ColourPop Pie Super Shock Cheek
ColourPop Pie Super Shock Cheek ($8.00 for 0.15 oz.) is described as a “true bright neon pink pie in a matte finish.” It’s a brightened, magenta pink with cool, blue undertones and a mostly matte finish–there appears to be a smidgen of micro-shimmer but applied, it looks matte. Colour Pop Homie (P, $8.00) is slightly brighter, more magenta than fuchsia. Colour Pop Pegacorn (P, $8.00) is slightly more fuchsia, shimmery. LORAC Unashamed (LE) is lighter, powder. MAC Sweet Sentiment (LE, $27.00) is more shimmery, more muted, powder. Surratt Beauty Se Pomponner (P, $32.00) is a powder. Makeup Geek Hanky Panky (P, $9.99) is lighter, powder. Urban Decay Savage (P) is a powder. NARS Coeur Battant (LE, $29.00) is darker, powder. Urban Decay Quickie (LE) is lighter, powder. NARS Desire (P, $29.00) is a powder. MAC Florida (LE, $21.00) is similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.
I’ve tested a few of the new blush shades, and this is the first one to be reviewed (I like to test a few of a new formula prior to posting any reviews, just to have a better “big picture” of where it seems we’re going), so more are on the way. The formula on the Super Shock Cheeks seems to be creamier in comparison to the Super Shock Shadows, though they still have that more sponge-like consistency where you can press and mold the product like clay. According to the brand, coverage is buildable from “natural-looking” to “more intense,” and they specifically state that “fingertips will provide the highest amount of coverage.” On each blush’s product page, the brand suggests using a flat synthetic brush or duo fiber brush with the latter yielding “a more sheer, air brushed effect.”
This is a formula where technique counts. So, how best to apply? It depends on the shade, your skin’s natural texture, the level of coverage you want, and what tool(s) you use to apply the color with. All true with any product, of course, but I felt like there was a bigger learning curve with this formula as a blush. I have been using an assortment of brushes and techniques to apply these as I’ve applied them for testing as well as for just capturing initial face swatches to see what worked best for me. I’ve had good luck with brushes like MAC 159, MAC 188, Real Techniques Setting Brush, and Real Techniques Contour Brush for semi-sheer, buildable coverage that looked well-blended and diffused nicely along the edges. Fingertips work exceptionally well for depositing medium to full coverage and blending edges. For initial application (to get color coverage), dab and pat along the cheek area, don’t swipe. For blending, the key was to use less pressure than you think; a more airy touch is all you need to blend without displacing the color. I didn’t like flat synthetic brushes for applying these, as they tended to streak and were more prone to appearing uneven and blotchy–I would always end up correcting with fingertips. Some shades were less buildable than others, and some of the very lightest and more matte finishes were less forgiving on the skin (a couple seemed less creamy, which might have been a contributing factor).
Most of the blushes look mostly matte to semi-matte applied, even those that have shimmer don’t appear nearly as shimmery applied as they do swatched or in the pan unless you’re wearing them at full, true-to-pan intensity. As I swatched through a lot of them (I still have a few I haven’t photographed yet), several shades overlapped. If you tend to like a subtle application, you may want to stick with the lighter version of the shade, but if you need or like the versatility of having a richer and deeper shade and don’t mind sheering out the color, opt for the deeper version. If you have very strong cool or warm undertones, you may find that the nuance in undertone of two seemingly similar shades may be the make-or-break difference.
Pie had good color coverage that was slightly lighter than the pan color itself, but it had mostly opaque coverage. It was blendable and sheered out to a softer, cool-toned pink. Applied with a stippling brush, it had more of stained appearance on the skin as it was brighter but more translucent. The finish is mostly matte but doesn’t look flat or powdery on the skin, and it looked good on bare skin and over (liquid) foundation. When I tried it over liquid foundation, it doesn’t disturb the underlying base product much, if at all, because it doesn’t have a wet or creamy consistency once it hits the skin. It acts more like a powder product, but it is more forgiving when it comes to diffusing and sheering the color out than really intense powder blushes. On me, the color wore well for nine hours before fading. I think if you wore it at a higher opacity level (and depending on any base products underneath), you might also see slight staining of the skin.