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Best Blushes | Holiday 2016 Gift Guide

Best Blushes | Holiday 2016 Gift Guide

It’s that time of the year again:  holiday gift guides aplenty!  This year, I’ve broken out my gift guides into best of selections for blush, eyeshadow, highlighter, lipstick, lipgloss, palettes, and brushes.  These guides feature permanent formulas so that they can be useful anytime during the holiday season or even into next year.  For limited edition holiday products, you can check out our list of the top 50 highest-rated holiday products, which updates as I post more reviews for holiday products.  I hope you find this list of top performing blush formulas useful 🙂

Tom Ford Cheek Color

Tom Ford Cheek Color

Tom Ford Cheek Color ($60.00 for 0.28 oz.) has been a go-to blush formula for me since I first tried it many years ago. As time has passed, I have tried many more blush formulas from brands, but I still go back to this one frequently. I keep a few of my favorite shades (Love Lust, Ravish, Wicked) in my go-to drawer, where I keep products I want to wear again and again (when I’m not testing something!). The formula is soft, moderately dense, and smooth, which results in good pigmentation, a satin to pearly sheen, and easy application–plus, they wear long on me (over eight hours).

Availability

Bergdorf GoodmanNeiman MarcusNordstromSaks

Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Blush

Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush

Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush ($26.00 for 0.23 oz.) is a powder blush with medium, buildable coverage and a more satin-to-luminous finish. I like how the range includes a mix of more “wearable” neutrals along with brighter pops of color, so it’s a versatile range that can work for many skin tones. Some of my favorite shades are Rapture, TMI, Fetish, and Crush.

Availability

Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom

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Marc Jacobs Blacquer & Bad Behavior Le Marc Lip Crème

Marc Jacobs Beauty Blacquer (000) Le Marc Lip Creme
Marc Jacobs Beauty Blacquer (000) Le Marc Lip Creme

Marc Jacobs Beauty Blacquer (000) Le Marc Lip Creme ($30.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a deep black with neutral undertones and a cream finish. It was intensely pigmented–one of the most pigmented shades in the range that I’ve tried–with a creamy, easy-to-apply texture that glided over the lips and spread the color evenly across the lips. It wore well for six and a half hours, but it was a bit drying after four hours of wear. MAC Stallion (LE, $21.00) is glossier (95% similar). NYX Chambord (P, $6.00) is warmer (95% similar). Make Up For Ever C604 (P, $22.00) is lighter (95% similar). Urban Decay Perversion (P, $17.00) is lighter, brighter (95% similar). Tarte Naughty (P, $20.00) is cooler (95% similar). MAC In the Spirit (P, $17.00) is cooler (90% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Bad Behavior Le Marc Lip Creme ($30.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a dark burgundy with warm, brown undertones and a satin sheen. It had mostly opaque pigmentation that applied evenly and smoothly. The texture was lightly creamy, light-medium in weight, and didn’t drag or tug on the lips. The color wore well for seven hours, left a slight stain behind, and was a touch drying after four hours of wear. Tarte Manbun (P, $20.00) is lighter (95% similar). Maybelline Smoking Red (P, $7.49) is cooler (95% similar). MAC Runner (LE, $17.00) is less glossy (95% similar). NARS Bette (P, $32.00) is lighter, glossier (90% similar). Estee Lauder Desirous (P, $30.00) is warmer (90% similar). Colour Pop Prim (P, $6.00) is darker (90% similar). MAC Diva (P, $17.00) is lighter (90% similar). MAC Bowl Me Over (LE, $17.00) is lighter, more muted (90% similar). Besame Noir Red 1930 (P, $22.00) is darker, cooler (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Formula Overview

The formula claims 10-hour wear with “vivid pigment” and a “rich, velvety” texture that is “ultra-hydrating.” In general, the Le Marc Lip Creme formula is creamy and glides on easily with good pigmentation (most of the time), but I have not found the formula to be hydrating–at times, even a bit drying–and while the wear is longer than average, it is more likely between four and eight hours, depending on the shade. It also has a sweet, floral scent.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Lip Crème Blacquer (000)
8.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
6.5
Longevity
5
Application
89%
Total
Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Lip Crème Bad Behavior
8
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
7
Longevity
5
Application
84%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

Marc Jacobs Beauty Up All Night Petites Le Marc Lip Crème Collection

Marc Jacobs Beauty Up All Night Petites Le Marc Lip Crème Collection
Marc Jacobs Beauty Up All Night Petites Le Marc Lip Crème Collection

Marc Jacobs Beauty Up All Night Petites Le Marc Lip Crème Collection ($49.00 for 0.25 oz.) includes five miniature-sized lipsticks–all shades are available individually, should only one or two catch your eye–in the brand’s Le Marc Lip Creme formula. The formula claims 10-hour wear with “vivid pigment” and a “rich, velvety” texture that is “ultra-hydrating.” The formula is creamy and glides on easily with good pigmentation (most of the time), but I have not found the formula to be hydrating–at times, even a bit drying–and while the wear is longer than average, it is more likely between four and eight hours, depending on the shade. The lipstick has a sweet, floral scent.

Value

  • Le Marc Lip Creme: $30.00 for 0.12 oz. or $250.00/oz.
  • Total Value: $62.50

No Angel (242) is a muted, medium-dark peach-brown with warm, yellow undertones and a satin finish. It had nearly opaque color payoff paired with a creamy, velvety texture that sat fairly well on the lips and did not settle into lip lines further over time (there was a very tiny amount initially). The color wore well for six hours but was neither drying nor hydrating. Estee Lauder Covetous Nude (P, $30.00) is lighter (95% similar). Bobbi Brown Uber Beige (P, $35.00) is glossier (95% similar). Urban Decay Uptight (P, $17.00) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). Too Faced Chocolate Milkshake (P, $21.00) is lighter, brighter, warmer (90% similar). Bite Beauty Honeycomb (P, $26.00) is lighter (90% similar). Too Faced Chocolate Honey (P, $21.00) is darker (85% similar). Colour Pop Magic Wand (P, $6.00) is lighter (85% similar). Maybelline Clay Crush (P, $7.99) is darker, warmer (85% similar). Urban Decay Stark Naked (DC, $22.00) is lighter (85% similar). Colour Pop Platform (DC, $6.00) is lighter, brighter, less glossy (80% similar). Too Faced Melted Chihuahua (P, $21.00) is darker, warmer (80% similar). Bite Beauty Blondie (P, $24.00) is lighter, cooler (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Slowburn (246) is a muted, medium-dark rosy mauve with warm undertones and a cream finish. It had full color coverage that applied with smooth, even color that did not drag or pull on the lips. The texture was creamy, light-to-medium in weight, and easy to work with on the lips. On me, it lasted for six hours and was a touch drying. Tarte Cabana Boy (P, $22.00) is darker, cooler (90% similar). Colour Pop Cami (P, $5.00) is warmer (90% similar). Urban Decay Backtalk (P, $17.00) is cooler (95% similar). Bite Beauty Fig (P, $26.00) is warmer (90% similar). Bite Beauty Sake (P, $26.00) is darker, cooler (90% similar). Smashbox Audition (P, $21.00) is glossier (95% similar). NARS Vanessa (P, $32.00) is lighter, warmer, glossier (85% similar). Colour Pop Hype Girl (LE, $5.00) is lighter (85% similar). NARS Anita (P, $32.00) is lighter, warmer (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Oh Miley (200) is a bright, bold, medium-dark red with strong, blue undertones and a cream finish. The color applied beautifully with smooth, even coverage, but it was just a little shy of being fully opaque. The consistency was a bit thinner, but it wasn’t clingy and glided on easily. This shade wore well for nearly eight hours on me, which made it one of the longer-wearing shades in the range for me. It was slightly drying after six hours of wear. MAC Como La Flor (LE, $17.00) is warmer (95% similar). Charlotte Tilbury Carina's Love (P, $32.00) is warmer (95% similar). MAC So Good For You (LE, $17.00) is lighter, cooler (95% similar). Maybelline Rich Ruby (P, $7.99) is lighter, more muted, less glossy (95% similar). Tarte Juicy (LE, $20.00) is darker (95% similar). MAC Life's Blood (LE, $21.00) is cooler (95% similar). Besame American Beauty 1945 (P, $22.00) is brighter (95% similar). Make Up For Ever C404 (P, $22.00) is darker (95% similar). Clinique Cherry Pop (P, $18.00) is lighter, brighter (90% similar). Tarte Firework (P, $22.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Dior Marilyn (LE, $38.00) is brighter (90% similar). Make Up For Ever Red Ink (LE) is darker, less glossy (90% similar). Tarte Swamp Family (LE, $20.00) is more muted (90% similar). Bobbi Brown Imperial Red (P, $35.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). MAC Mulling Spices (P, $21.00) is glossier (95% similar). Colour Pop London Fog (P, $6.00) is cooler (90% similar). Urban Decay 69 (P, $17.00) is lighter, brighter, warmer (90% similar). Edward Bess Midnight Bloom (P, $32.00) is warmer, glossier (90% similar). Bite Beauty Sour Cherry (P, $26.00) is darker, cooler (90% similar). Dior Splendor (950) (LE, $38.00) is darker, more muted (90% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Miss Scarlet (208) is a deep red with warm undertones and a satin finish. The texture was light-medium in weight, so it had a thicker, more velvety consistency that was comfortable to wear and apply as it glided well across the lips. It had rich color payoff, though not quite opaque, and it wore well for seven hours. The formula was neither drying nor hydrating. NARS Mona (P, $32.00) is warmer (95% similar). Urban Decay Hex (P, $17.00) is more muted (95% similar). NARS Shirley (P, $32.00) is lighter, brighter (95% similar). NARS Olivia (P, $32.00) is lighter (90% similar). NARS Eva (LE, $32.00) is cooler (90% similar). Maybelline Burgundy Blush (P, $7.99) is lighter, less glossy (90% similar). Bite Beauty Mistletoe (LE, $26.00) is darker, cooler (90% similar). Tarte Manbun (P, $20.00) is darker, less glossy (85% similar). Estee Lauder Desirous (P, $30.00) is darker, warmer (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Scandal (226) is a deep purple with warm, pink undertones and lighter pink and violet pearl. It had semi-opaque color payoff with an emollient consistency, which meant that the color was prone to sliding around and settling into lip lines. Of all the shades in the set, this one would have me most concerned about feathering for anyone prone to that (it did not feather or bleed on me, though). The color lasted for five hours and was lightly hydrating. It did seem to apply a bit better, overall, compared to the permanent version I have. MAC Yung Rapunxel (LE, $17.00) is warmer, glossier (90% similar). Estee Lauder Extrovert (P, $30.00) is darker, cooler (85% similar). MAC Smoked Purple (P, $17.00) is darker, cooler (85% similar). MAC Instigator (P, $17.00) is darker, warmer (85% similar). Urban Decay Plague (LE, $17.00) is lighter, cooler (85% similar). Colour Pop Panda (P, $6.00) is less shimmery, lighter (85% similar). MAC Power My Spirit (LE, $19.00) is darker, more muted (85% similar). NARS Train Bleu (P, $25.00) is darker (85% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Theo (DC, $35.00) is more shimmery, lighter (85% similar). MAC Model Behavior (P, $17.00) is more shimmery, lighter, brighter (80% similar). MAC Which Witch (LE, $17.00) is darker, more muted (80% similar). Colour Pop Leather (P, $5.00) is lighter, cooler (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Marc Jacobs Beauty 5-Piece Petites Le Marc Lip Crème Collection Up All Night
8
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
6.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
83%
Total
See All Glossovers

See more photos & swatches!

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Sneak Peek: Marc Jacobs Beauty Object of Desire Palette Photos & Swatches

Marc Jacobs Beauty Object of Desire Face & Eye Palette
Marc Jacobs Beauty Object of Desire Face & Eye Palette

Marc Jacobs Beauty Object of Desire Face & Eye Palette ($69.00 for 0.30 oz.) includes three cheek colors and six eyeshadows. It comes in a zippered, gold case with a black tassel. Here’s one of many holiday sneak peeks coming over the next couple of days:

Marc Jacobs Beauty Object of Desire Palette

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Sneak Peek: Marc Jacobs Up All Night Le Marc Lip Crème Set Photos & Swatches

Marc Jacobs Beauty Up All Night Petites Le Marc Lip Crème Collection
Marc Jacobs Beauty Up All Night Petites Le Marc Lip Crème Collection

Marc Jacobs Beauty Up All Night Petites Le Marc Lip Crème Collection ($49.00 for 0.25 oz.) includes five miniature-sized lipsticks–all shades are available individually, should only one or two catch your eye–in the brand’s Le Marc Lip Creme formula. As far as color went, the three shades (No Angel, Slowburn, Scandal) I have individually were the same in color, though Scandal was more pigmented and as a result, appeared deeper on the lips.

See more photos & swatches!

Today in Holiday 2016: Eyes, Cheeks, & Lips by Tarte, Viseart, Too Faced, Marc Jacobs Beauty

Holiday 2016
Too Faced Color Wheel Blush Palette

With so many new pieces launching across brands, instead of bombarding you with brand-specific posts, I thought I’d group today’s recently launched products by type; most of what I’ve seen launch today is available via Sephora but may eventually release to other retailers later on.

Also, all of the holiday launches that were exclusive to Sephora VIB Rouges are now available for everyone. :)

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The Details

Tarte Color Wheel Amazonian Clay Blush Palette | $44.00 | Limited Edition, Tarte/Sephora Exclusive

Color your way to the perfect glow with this custom blush and highlighter palette. It features 10 deluxe, limited-edition blushes in mattes, lusters, and two micro-pearlescent highlighters—all in one complexion-enhancing palette. With its dual-sided design, it curates five warm and five cool shades so you can mix and match with your cheek wardrobe to create the perfect, custom look. The neutral and bold, universal shades spotlight a variety of complexions with a built-in cover for mess-free portability. Powered by tarte’s long-wearing Amazonian clay, the iconic, bestselling formula balances and replenishes skin for 12 hours of fade-free, ultra-pigmented wear. Available at Sephora.

Viseart Blush Palette | $80.00

A blush palette with six powder-based shades for unparalleled coverage, pigment, and long-lasting wear. Available at Sephora.

  • Rose/Coral
  • Plum/Bronze
  • Orange/Violet
  • Highlight/Sculpting

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