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Estee Lauder Ultra Pink Lip & Cheek Ball

Estee Lauder Ultra Pink Lip & Cheek Ball
Estee Lauder Ultra Pink Lip & Cheek Ball

Estee Lauder Ultra Pink Lip & Cheek Ball ($26.00 for 0.11 oz.) is described as a “translucent berry hue.” It’s a muted, pinkish-red with cool undertones and a subtle shine. NARS Adoration (Right) (P) is a powder. MAC Red Obsessed (LE, $20.00) is warmer. MAC Bred for Beauty (LE) is a powder. YSL Rose Frivole (02) (P, $40.00) is similar. YSL Fuchsia Desinvolte (01) (P, $40.00) is brighter. Illamasqua Peaked (P, $26.00) is more muted. Illamasqua Seduce (P, $26.00) is more muted. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The formula is supposed to be a “jelly-like gloss” with a “full-throttle shine” that gives a “slight tint to lips while imparting a rosy glow to cheeks.” It’s not at all glossy or jelly-like; it’s more like a very thin, firm balm that offers a satin shine with sheer color. The coverage is as described–translucent–and tints the lips and cheeks with a barely-there hue. It’s extremely uncomfortable to wear on the lips, as it feels dry and is drying over time, while the color lasts about an hour before sliding off. As a blush, it wore for six and a half hours before breaking down, but it imparted no real shine, just a smidgen of color (would be better suited for a fairer complexion than mine).

Estee Lauder Lip & Cheek Ball Ultra Pink
Ultra Pink

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NARS Panic Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Panic Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Panic Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Panic Dual-Intensity Blush ($45.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a vibrant duo featuring a bright pink and rusty coral. This seemed to be the least forgiving of the duos releasing as we’re working with much richer shades to begin with, so any weakness in blending is easily seen, and it is lacking that blendability that is so necessary when you have deeper shades like these two. The texture of the product dry is firm and a little stiff, so getting a really even, smooth layer of color dry wasn’t easy and required some buffing with a separate brush to get everything in place. Applied damp, it was hard to avoid splotchy color. Worth repeating, NARS described the formula to have richer color payoff applied dry with more of a wash of color applied damp, and the latter isn’t true whatsoever–applying with a damp brush results in much richer, deeper color and a more intense finish (typically more shimmery).

Panic (Left) is described as a “shimmering shocking fuchsia.” It’s a brightened, medium fuchsia pink with cool, blue undertones and a soft, frosted finish. Applied dry, it had mostly opaque color coverage, was somewhat blendable but not easy to apply, and the shimmer very slightly emphasized pores, but with enough buffing, it’s possible to tamp it down, while the color itself lasted for seven and a half hours on me. Applied damp, it was fully opaque with really rich color coverage but lacked blendability as it adhered and “dried” in place and didn’t want to diffuse/blend out after a few seconds. The finish is more noticeably shimmery on the skin and tended to emphasize the skin’s natural texture. The damp application lasted eight and a half hours. NARS Adoration (Right) (P) is warmer. Clinique Berry Pop (03) (P, $21.00) is brighter, darker. Tom Ford Beauty Narcissist (LE, $55.00) is darker. MAC Supernova (LE, $27.00) is warmer. MAC Feeling Flush (LE, $27.00) is more muted. Burberry Hydrangea Pink (P, $42.00) is less shimmery, darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Panic (Right) is described as a “shimmering orange-pink.” It’s a brightened, medium coral with a hint of pink and a gold, frosted shimmer. Applied dry, it had mostly opaque color payoff with a fairly shimmery finish, so it did make my pores more noticeable, and the color stayed on well for seven hours before fading. Applied damp, it deepened and turned a reddish-orange coral with a more metallic sheen, and definitely made my cheeks look very textured as a result, though it lasted a bit longer than dry application at eight hours. It was also rather difficult to blend the color out when I tried using it damp. MAC Secret Admirer (LE, $20.00) is a cream product. Surratt Beauty Ponceau (P, $32.00) is less shimmery, lighter. IT Cosmetics Pretty in Peony (P, $24.00) is pinker. Clinique Ginger Pop (01) (P, $21.00) is less shimmery. NARS Realm of the Senses (Together) (LE, $29.00) is pinker. MAC Simmer (LE, $27.00) is pinker. Tom Ford Beauty Flush (P, $55.00) is less shimmery, lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NARS Dual-Intensity Blush Duo Panic
Panic
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NARS Fervor Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Fervor Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Fervor Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Fervor Dual-Intensity Blush ($45.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a mix of warm pink and plum. The formula can be used wet or dry, with dry application yielding a “bold flush,” while damp application gives a “translucent wash of color.” The blushes perform best when applied dry, as they blend and diffuse with little effort and have decent wear (though wear definitely is longer and improved with a damp application). Applying either damp is trickier, as you lose a lot of the ability to blend, and it’s really more like tugging and dabbing color into place, but it never appears as nicely diffused and blended as dry application does. Damp application also means you have to contend with potentially emphasizing pores due to shimmery finishes getting amplified; the lighter shade in the duo didn’t seem to do so, but the darker shade will get very metallic quickly if you aren’t careful (and will take a lot of work to tamp it back down). The texture of the blushes is soft and smooth to the touch, but the powder itself has a firmer press, so really soft, feathery brushes (like Chikuhodo Zs, SUQQU, etc.) do not work well with these in particular. I primarily used MAC 159s when applying these, as they worked well for both dry and damp application methods.

Fervor (Left) is described as a “shimmering, soft pink.” It’s a light-medium pink with warm, yellow undertones and a silvery shimmer. The pigmentation was similar both wet and dry–mostly opaque–but dampened application made the color two to three shades darker and intensified the shimmery effect in the finish. Luckily, while it has noticeable shimmer, it doesn’t intensify to the point where it’s harder to apply; it stayed luminous without emphasizing pores regardless of application method. On me, the blush lasted for seven hours applied dry and eight hours applied damp. LORAC Underrated (LE) is darker, more matte. MAC Modest Blush (LE, $27.00) is more matte. MAC Lesson in Love (LE, $21.00) is lighter. Chanel Sakura (87) (LE, $45.00) is more matte, warmer. Charlotte Tilbury Love Glow (P, $40.00) is similar. Giorgio Armani Eccentrico (LE, $88.00) is warmer. MAC Dainty (P, $27.00) is less shimmery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Fervor (Right) is described as a “sparkling deep coppery rose.” It’s a medium-dark, coppery brown with pink and gold shimmer for a more frosted finish. Applied dry, it had semi-opaque pigmentation with a soft, frosted finish. Applied damp, it was darker, bolder, and nearly metallic. It is a lot harder to work with damp than dry, so my recommendation is to apply dry unless you really need the color intensify of damp application, but be prepared for a lot of buffing and/or dusting of translucent powder to tamp it down. Just blending the damp product is significantly harder, whereas dry application feels nearly effortless. Applied damp, the metallic finish emphasizes the skin’s natural texture and any pores in the area. Applied dry, it wore well for eight hours, and applied damp, it lasted for eight and a half hours. This one was more of a chameleon between dry and damp applications, as it takes on a stronger rosy/plum color damp compared to how warm and copper it is dry. Sephora + Pantone Universe Marsala (LE) is rosier. MAC Make You Mine (P, $23.50) is less shimmery. Gucci Beauty Cherry Nectar (P, $49.00) is redder. Tom Ford Beauty Contour (Softcore) (LE, $55.00) is redder. NARS Mauritanie (LE, $39.00) is a cream, matte. Chanel Canaille (89) (LE, $45.00) is similar to the dry application, primarily. NARS Na Pali Coast (P, $39.00) is a cream. MAC Scene to Be Seen (Inner) (LE, $30.00) is similar. NARS Lovejoy (P, $29.00) is slightly more plum. MAC Stylish Me (LE, $21.00) is darker. MAC Ambering Rose (P, $21.00) is warmer, brighter. MAC Stratus (LE, $27.00) is darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NARS Dual-Intensity Blush Duo Fervor
Fervor
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Burberry S/S15 Runway Palette

Burberry S/S15 Runway Palette
Burberry S/S15 Runway Palette

Burberry S/S15 Runway Palette ($68.00 for oz.) is described as a hybrid of a highlighter and blush. Swirled together, it’s a muted, light-medium pink with subtle neutral-to-cool undertones and a semi-matte finish. The shimmer in the lettering is an overspray, while the lighter pink and yellowed beige shades seem to go all the way through (I scraped through several layers to check). MAC Modest Blush (LE, $27.00) is darker. YSL Singuliere (1) (P, $47.00) is similar. MAC Pink Sprinkles (LE, $21.00) is darker. Surratt Beauty Guimauve (P, $32.00) is more shimmery, lighter. Dior Rose (001) (LE, $56.00) is similar. Givenchy It-Girl Purple (P, $44.00) is brighter, darker. MAC Well Dressed (P, $21.00) is darker. MAC Pink Cult (LE, $21.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Launch Away (LE, $21.00) is warmer. Burberry Misty (P, $42.00) is similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

It’s more blush than highlighter, especially as the finish is semi-matte with little sheen or visible shimmer. It doesn’t look powdery applied to the skin, but it didn’t highlight or reflect light from any areas either. It had a very soft, smooth, finely-milled texture that tended to kick up excess powder, though it was blendable and easy to diffuse on the skin. The color coverage was good and appears slightly lighter than the dominant pink section of the blush (as the lighter beige section lightens the overall color). It only lasted for seven hours on me before fading noticeably.

Burberry Runway Palette S/S15 Runway
S/S15 Runway
S/S15 Runway
8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
7.5
Texture
7.5
Longevity
5
Application
83%
Total

NARS Frenzy Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Frenzy Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Frenzy Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Frenzy Dual-Intensity Blush ($45.00 for 0.21 oz.) is more of a highlighter/blush concept, as the lightest shade is most similar to other gold highlighters we’ve seen in the past. The formula is a lot easier to work with dry, as it blended nicely and just didn’t take nearly as much effort to work into the skin as a damp application. If you wear foundation underneath these, I would recommend great care and some brush experimentation when using the formula damp, as using NARS’ Wet/Dry Blush Brush lifts the color and doesn’t blend the color well at all. I think this duo was a lot more flattering on the skin, as the texture wasn’t emphasized terribly (compared the first one I reviewed).

If you missed my initial review of this formula, you can find it here, but it went into more detail about the formula. As a recap, NARS is touting these as a wet/dry formula with the wet formula yielding a “translucent wash of color,” which is really the opposite of my experience, as applying either shade with a dampened brush intensifies both the color and the finish (if it has any shimmer)–this would have rated a B+ if it was described as most wet/dry formulas were (including their own Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow formula, which is damp application yields greater pigment/intensity).

Frenzy (Left) is described as a “sparkling soft pink-gold highlighter.” It’s a brightened, true yellow gold with warm undertones and a metallic finish. I don’t see any pink in the pan, whether from afar, up-close, or when swatched (wet or dry). The texture is firmly packed, and this was a shade that yielded only so-so color coverage with brushes but will yield better pigmentation if you use your fingertips. It had a luminous finish that gave the skin a sheen (and didn’t give me much color, but I’m medium in color) without emphasizing pores. It wore well for seven hours. When I applied it damp, it was more pigmented and significantly more shimmery, but it only slightly emphasized pores and wore well for eight hours. Becca Opal (P, $38.00) is very similar. Dior Transatlantique (LE, $58.00) is darker. theBalm Mary Lou-manizer (P, $24.00) is lighter. MAC Whisper of Gilt (LE, $30.00) is similar. Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder (LE, $70.00) is darker. Chanel Mouche de Beaute Illuminating Powder (LE, $80.00) is similar. Chanel Routes des Indes de Chanel Illuminating Powder (LE, $80.00) is yellower. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Frenzy (Right) is described as a “shimmering bright tangerine orange.” It’s a medium-dark orange with warm, yellow-red undertones and a soft, pearly shimmer. The texture was softer while still being smooth. Applied dry, you’ll get semi-opaque coverage with a softer quality to it, while the finish appears more satiny on the skin. I was able to get seven and a half hours of wear when I applied it dry. When I tried using the blush damp, the color payoff was deeper and richer with a more pronounced shimmery sheen. It was harder to blend and work with when used damp, though it lasted for nine hours. MAC Style Cast (LE, $21.00) is lighter. MAC Seduced at Sea (LE, $25.00) is slightly redder. MAC Modern Mandarin (P, $21.00) is darker, redder. Sleek MakeUP Pink Mint (P, $6.99) iis darker. MAC Bad Girl Gone Good (LE, $21.00) is more muted. NARS Soulshine #2 (LE, $29.00) is similar. NARS Luster (P, $29.00) is lighter, yellower, more shimmery. MAC My Paradise (LE, $28.00) is similar when mixed. MAC Shape the Future (LE, $30.00) is darker, more orange. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NARS Dual-Intensity Blush Duo Frenzy
Frenzy
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ColourPop Rebound Super Shock Shadow & Pressed Pigment Set

ColourPop Rebound Collection
ColourPop Rebound Collection

ColourPop Rebound Collection ($20.00 for 4 x 0.07 oz.) includes four shades for spring/summer 2015. Those who tend to prefer more matte finishes may like that this set includes three more matte shades and one sparkly shade. There’s something to be said about reading carefully, though, as this set includes three Super Shock Shadows and one Super Shock Pressed Pigment (Ex); with the latter being “not intended for use in the immediate eye area.” I missed that until I sat down last week to write-up the review, so you’ll see it included in the eye look with the other shades, but I tested it as a blush (and it is only be rated as a blush) after that.

One & Done is described as a “soft butter cream ivory with a matte finish.” It’s a light, subdued yellowed beige with warm undertones and a semi-matte finish. There’s a little sheen to the finish that keeps it from being totally matte. It had fairly opaque coverage that could build to fully opaque color with two layers of product. The consistency was blendable, while the formula was long-wearing and stayed on for nine hours before creasing. Hourglass Obscura #1 (P) is powder. Hourglass Monochrome #1 (P) is lighter, powder. Hourglass Atmosphere #1 (P) is lighter, powder. LORAC Undressed (P) is a powder. Kat Von D Damned (LE) is less yellow, powder. Tarte Breakfast in Bed (LE) is darker, powder. Makeup Geek Mirage (LE, $5.99) is darker, brighter, powder. Make Up For Ever M510 Vanilla (P, $21.00) is darker, powder. bareMinerals Pacific Sands (LE) is powder. Kat Von D Entomology (P) is powder. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Too Soon is described as a “golden peach with pink opal iridescent duochrome finish.” It’s a softened, peachy-orange with warm undertones and pink and pale gold sparkle. It was semi-opaque and slightly buildable, but I couldn’t get fully opaque color (even with fingertips). The texture is blendable with little fall out during application, and there were a few stray sparkles that drop while it is worn, but it was minimal. The color itself stayed on well for nine and a half hours before creasing slightly. Colour Pop Halo (LE, $5.00) is darker, less sparkly. theBalm #7 (P, $6.50) is darker. theBalm #4 (P, $6.50) is pinker. Tom Ford Beauty Escapade (LE, $42.00) is brighter, less sparkly. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Ex is described as a “bright coral red with a matte finish.” It’s a muted, light-medium coral with warm undertones and a matte finish. It had mostly opaque color coverage in a single pass with fingertips, but with a stippling brush, it was more semi-sheer to semi-opaque buildable coverage. Since the brand released a blush formula, their recommendations were to use fingertips for the most coverage, but advised that a flat brush could be used for higher coverage (but less than fingertips) and a duo fiber brush for a “sheer, air brushed effect.” I haven’t tried their blushes yet (I did order) so I’m not sure how the Super Shock Shadow/Pressed Pigment formula differs, but I tried to use that as my guideline when I went to test this as a blush. When I used it on my eye (again, it is not safe for the immediate eye area), it did require two layers for more opaque color–it’s definitely one that lends itself to fingertip application for best pigmentation. It lasted for eight hours as a blush. Chanel Angelique (190) (P, $45.00) is lighter, powder. MAC Fleeting Romance (P, $23.50) is more shimmery, powder. MAC Sideshow You (LE, $21.00) is lighter, powder. Milani Coral Cove (05) (LE, $7.99) is warmer, powder. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Adios is described as a “smokey taupe gray with a matte finish.” It’s a medium-dark taupe with warmer, brown undertones and an overcast of gray. It had more of a semi-matte finish than a true matte–there was a very slight sheen to it. It had mostly opaque pigmentation applied with fingertips or with a brush, so I used a brush to apply it to the lid and had no issues doing so. The texture was lightweight, blendable, and the color itself wore well for ten hours before creasing slightly. Giorgio Armani #08 (P, $32.00) is darker. Laura Mercier Stone Taupe (LE, $23.00) is warmer. MAC Lofty (LE, $15.00) is darker. Burberry Storm Grey (No. 27) (P, $29.00) is cooler-toned. Tom Ford Beauty Unabashed Eyeshadow #2 (LE) is less shimmery. Dior Mirage (761) (P, $30.00) is lighter. bareMinerals Head Over Heels (LE) is cooler-toned. bareMinerals Exec (LE) is grayer. Lancome Volcano (P, $19.00) is similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Colour Pop Super Shock Shadow & Pressed Pigment Set Rebound
Rebound
Rebound
A-

Limited Edition

8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
90%
Total
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A-

One & Done

Limited Edition
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B+

Too Soon

Limited Edition
Read Review
B+

Ex

Limited Edition
Read Review
A

Adios

Limited Edition
Read Review

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