Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Over & Under: Most Overrated & Underrated Blush Formula

There are always products that receive endless raves, but they don’t always live up to our expectations or work out as well as they do for others.  Share your picks for most overrated and underrated BLUSHES.  Don’t forget to share your whats and whys as to your choices!

  • Most Overrated: [answer]
  • Most Underrated: [answer]

My Picks

  • Most Overrated: NARS and Tarte; while I like both, neither wears all-day long on me. I had higher expectations for both!
  • Most Underrated: Le Metier de Beaute’s blush formula is really soft, smooth, and long-wearing–I wish they had more shades. Tom Ford’s range is excellent, too, though I see enough raves on it that I don’t think it’s underrated.

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46 thoughts on “Most Overrated & Underrated Blush Formula

  1. xamyx

    Because blush isn’t a product I use on a regular basis, I don’t tend to follow many discussions on the topic, so I can’t really give an opinion on what is “overrated”. That said, on the occasion I *do* wear it, I tend to go with one of three, all by L’Oreal, which is a brand I *never* see mentioned. I do have *alot* of blush, by several brands, but the ones I tend to use are L’Oreal. I find them very pimented, finely milled, and the shades very natural looking, which is probably most important. I also find the wear time to be sufficient, as I tend to “touch-up” and refresh my makeup midday, anyway. If I use a blotting powder or pressed powder, it only stands to reason I would have to refresh my blush as well.

  2. ZulaikhaMuddassir

    I think Nars is underrated. I have the blush Orgasm and I love it. I have Too faced collection of shadows and blushes, the blushes are very dry and brittle.

  3. Liz9969

    Over:  Tarte.  I have a couple of their blushes.  While I like the colors quite a bit, the lasting power is nothing like it claims.  
    Under:  L’oreal True Match.  The lasting power is great and I like the pigmentation levels.  

  4. jennyh

    Most overrated – Tarte for sure! The amazonian clay blushes fade from my face in about an hour, and I don’t have excessively oil skin. Plus I find them to be very shimmery.
    Most underrated-  I honestly am not sure. I like WnW’s MegaGlow Illuminating powder, Spotlight Peach makes a wonderful blush. Maybe Bobbi Brown blushes as well?

  5. Dominique33

    Most overrated blush formula : M.A.C
    Most underrated : SEPHORA

  6. Trillium

    Most overrated: this is hard for me to pick; I’ve tried some pretty “hyped” blushes and had good luck with them (NARS,Tarte) so I can’t necessarily consider them overrated. I think I would have to pick MAC, because for me, everything MAC has been overrated.

    Most underrated: I have 2 picks here. My first are ELF Studio cream blushes. They are a cream to powder formula, super pigmented, gorgeous colors, and they look amazing on. I think they are like 6 bucks. The wear is great too! My second pick are Urban Decay’s Afterglow Cheek Tints. They are all gorgeous! They look super bright in the pan but give a very natural flush. They look very natural on the skin and wear a long time. I know UD is hyped for other things, but I never hear anyone mention their blushes.

  7. over-rated: chanel, mac,
    under-rated….waiting to hear what everyone has to say.

  8. Laurence.

    Most overrated : Nars
    Most underrated : NYX

  9. kmk05

    Overrated: NARS. I own Orgasm and it is useless: after 6 hours there is nothing left! Over a cream blush, the NARS colour is gone after 7 hours and just the remains of the cream blush remain. So disappointing!
    Underrated: MAC and Tom Ford. To be honest, none of these are underrated per se, but MAC’s staying power is definitely good, and Tom Ford’s is spectacular. For both I layer them over a gel or a cream blush anyways, and they stay on 16 hours.

  10. Julesmond

    Overrated: MAC – wear time is shorter than desired.
    Underrated: Illamasqua – so pigmented and lasts a long time!


    Most overrated: NARS, obviously! As well as the cream blushes. I think the quality is still under some other high-end brands.
    Most underrated: YSL Creme de Blush. The texture is airy, pigmentation’s great, blending’s a breeze, it lasts on my cheeks almost the whole day. Rejoice! The only gripe is just the price for a tiny pot.
    I just wish Christine would compare cream blushes side-by-side, that’d be awesome!

  12. I don’t know that I’ve ever encountered an overrated or underrated blush formula, because I find that it’s one product where there’s not all that much differentiation. There are certain colours that I find overrated- like Orgasm, which is nice, but hardly warrants the cultish dedication it gets. I find almost every cream blush formula overrated, since they all feel greasy to me and fade within 20 minutes. In fact, I don’t know that I’ve ever found a blush formula that made me want to go out and buy more just because it was that good. 

  13. Kathy S

    Most overrated: NARS and most drugstore brands

    Most underrated: LaFemme (pro brand, but be careful – it’s potent stuff), Milani and MAC (both wear all day on me)

  14. cchloe

    Most overrated would be Chanel Joues Contraste. The colors look relatively pretty in the pan but there’s absolutely no color payoff without aggressively scraping that little baked dome, and even then, it’s not much, so I really regretted buying this and still don’t get the hype. I much prefer the tweed blushes. There is much more color payoff. I don’t think the tweeds are necessarily underrated, generally speaking, but compared to JC, I feel that they are.

  15. blueraccoon

    I don’t have much experience with blush, so I don’t know what’s overrated. But underrated – Burberry, totally. I adore their powders in general and I’m in love with the one blush I have (so far; I need more). I wish Burberry was easier to find, and I’m so lucky that my store has a counter, because their products are amazing.

  16. hwendy

    overrated: chanel including most of Joues Contraste and some Tweeds collection. I have to put LOTS of effort to get the colour to show on my face just a little bit…
    the quality actually remind me those super cheapy brands from toy store which mothers buy for their little girls to play for fun.
    I don’t know if there is a hype for chanel blushes or not but the quality is a joke for a brand with such a big name.

  17. pumpkindolly

    Most Overrated: Tarte. I find their blushes to be stiff and powdery at the same time.
    Most Underrated: TheBalm! Talc-free, silky smooth, and MAJORLY pigmented.

  18. Shelby

    Underrated: Any/all blushes by TheBalm! I love Hot Mama and I’ve had my eye on Frat Boy.Overrated: Benetint as a blush, if that counts. I can never blend it fast enough and I don’t care for the color on my face.

  19. Adelita

    • Most Overrated: 
    M·A·C & NARS!!! 
    M·A·C because of well, you know, it didn’t last long! I always tempted to buy their limited edition blushes, but after stacks of unused blushes on my drawer, I had enough. I just hate to reapply my blush during my lunch break!
    NARS because of how it continuously receive “the best blush” award thingy. Come on, it’s not that NARS blushes aren’t great (they are, I have —nay— hoard it!), but there are other blushes that deserve to receive that award too, you know…
    • Most Underrated: 
    » Tarina Tarantino, CARGO and La Femme blushes. Try it, you’ll know why! 😉

  20. Mariella

    I don’t know that I could praise or damn an entire formula since, within any brand’s formulas, there are winners and losers. Take MAC’s Sheertone powder blushes – I’ve had some with great pigmentation and some that were disappointing. BUT….I do have to say that I really love the new “liquidy/gel/cream” blush I got from Clarins but I think it’s LE, which is a shame.

  21. joyceg77

    Most overrated blush: Nars Orgasm and Super Orgasm. Both colours are terrible on darker skin tones. A shimmery mess!
    Most underrated blush: Illamasqua blush. I have Excite and Tweak, beautiful products. Great pigmentation, long lasting, smooth application. Sleek Blushes are really good drug store priced blush. Great pigmentation and quite long lasting too.

  22. t_zwiggy

    Overrated: NARS (I have 11 of them, so it’s not like I just tried one or two, didn’t like them and say they’re overrated). I do think that they have some good blushes, but I definitely don’t feel it’s the best blushes out there. One of the comments I most often hear about NARS blushes is how pigmented they are, but imo that’s not necessarily a good thing. Most of them have a drier texture (I prefer silky and buttery formulas) and I find that they are really hard to blend (extreme pigmentation + hard to blend = blotchy, uneven blush). Also, their shimmery blushes have too large shimmer particles imo, and give me glitter cheeks instead of a nice glow.
    Underrated: I absolutely LOVE Korres blushes, but hardly ever hear anyone talk about them. Perfect pigmentation, easy to blend and look so natural on the skin. Natural, Orange and Peach are my favorite shades. I’m also a fan of Shu Uemura blushes. They give such a nice glow to the skin, while still looking natural.

  23. moena

    Most Overrated: Tarte, feels dry and difficult to blend, not enough color or finish variety
    Most Underrated: Illamasqua, beautiful colors, great pigment, and easy to blend

  24. Kafka

    Over-rated: Chanel. I have quite a number of the domed/baked Joues Contraste blushes and with the exception of one shade (Brume Rose), I find them all terribly stiff, hard to apply (as someone said below, you have to really scrape at it), dry and of limited duration.  Also over-rated, Benefit and MAC (ugh).
    Under-rated: 1) Kevin Aucoin.  I almost *never* hear people talk about his stuff but I really think he’s got fantastic quality products. I’m a fan of his Creamy Glow pots are lovely, sheer, non-greasy and give a lovely glow to the face. I love the super bright colours (almost scary bright in the pot) and how easily they blend for a natural look. The only thing I really dislike about it is the small pot which makes me feel I’m going to end up poking a lot under my fingernails. Though there are ways around that, I think that’s probably why I use it far less than say my NARS cream blushes. 2) Paula Dorff’s blushes are also under-rated, imo.  Until my current NARS obsession, I used extensively her Ballet powder blush (which is the one they always used on Sarah Jessica Parker in SATC) and it’s lovely. I’ve tried a few of my mother’s other Paula Dorff blushes and they too are very good quality.

    • t_zwiggy

       @Kafka I can’t believe I forgot to mention Kevyn Aucoin! I haven’t tried the glow pots, but I love the powder blushes! I have never had a blush formula that is so easy to blend. I just wish that there were more shades to choose from. Have you tried his highlighter (Candlelight I believe it’s called)? It’s my favorite highlighter, so smooth and natural looking.
      I also agree with you on the Paula Dorff blushes (where the hell was my brain when I posted earlier? lol). I LOVE Jingle and Sweet Cheeks! Paula Dorff is also one of those brands that no one talks about. I have never really understood why, because I like all the products I’ve tried from her. I guess it’s just one of those brands that gets lots in all the MAC, NARS, UD etc hype.

      • Kafka

         @t_zwiggy  Yay for more Kevyn (god, that “y” always seems so strange; it’s probably why I always forget it. lol) Aucoin appreciation!  I haven’t tried Candlelight but I will certainly look into it. The quality of his stuff is so good and his death so sad (esp. given his age), that I’m always happy when he gets a little praise. :)
            As for NARS, I actually don’t think it is over-hyped. Like you, I own 11 of them and only 2 are duds on me: Orgasm and Super Orgasm.  The latter because it is a glitter bomb and the former because it’s really not pigmented.  @Miss J put it better than anyone I’ve ever heard when describing Orgasm a little while back: there is no pigmentation but there is glitter. So, unless you have super fair skin, nothing shows up. 
              *BUT*…. all my other blushes are amazing, smooth, silky and hyper-pigmented.  Mounia, which I just received today, is a holy COW powder in terms of pigmentation but it’s silky pigmentation that just melts into the skin. I don’t have problems blending them and on me, the blushes last for ages.  That said, I freely admit that few of my NARS blushes are super glittery or shimmery.  (Super Orgasm doesn’t even count as a blush, imo, it’s so bad, and I only got it because it was part of something else.) Only Angelika is really shimmery out of the lot. But Luster, Mounia, Lokoum & Cactus Flower (the 2 cream blushes I have), Torrid, Desire, & Laguna — not a problem at all.  Copacabana neither, though it’s more of a highlighter blush than a true blush.  IMO, the massive (and somewhat inexplicable) Orgasm love has essentially hoisted NARS on its own petard because it’s advanced their reputation while also hurting it badly.  Absolutely *NO-ONE* I know in real life likes it or has it show up on them. As a result, they think NARS is over-hyped and they’ve been totally put off the blushes.  I don’t blame them.  Every brand has a few bad apples. LOL. But, as a whole, I think NARS absolutely deserves its reputation for blushes.  I’m happy to disagree though, as it sounds you haven’t had such great experiences with it. 

        • xamyx

          @Kafka I think the reason for the popularity of Orgasm (and subsequently, Super Orgasm) is due to the claims that it is suitable for nearly *every* skin tone/color. I remember several years back Francois Nars (himself!) was on HSN (or was it QVC?) and he was discussing Orgasm and how it should be the “gateway” shade for NARS blushes. From what I’ve seen, it probably would be a suitable shade for me, but I don’t do shimmery blush. It is very pretty though, but I can’t see using it during the day.

        • Kafka

           @xamyx  @Kafka  Well, I think my dear François must have been smoking something when he said that. <grin> Makeupalley is littered with posts saying that Orgasm doesn’t show up on them, with the posters being generally from a range of skin tones. That said, it seems that the darker one’s skin tone, the less it shows up. (Esp. on Olives, I’ve noticed.)  And “show up,” I mean show up with actual *colour* that is.  The shiny glitter, unfortunately, seems to appear regardless. 
                As for shimmery blushes suiting you, I’ll take your word on your personal style.  But, to me, there is a big difference between a glittery, shiny blush (like Orgasm) and a shimmery one that merely has a slight, soft sheen (like Torrid or Luster, for example).  Maybe we should just invent and use the word “sheen-y” to describe those blushes and avoid all possible mental associations to something like Orgasm or, even worse, Super Orgasm.  LOL!  :)  

        • Kafka

          Well, I think my dear François must have been smoking something when he said that. <grin> Makeupalley is littered with posts saying that Orgasm doesn’t show up on them, with the posters generally being from a range of skin tones. That said, it seems that the darker one’s skin tone, the less it shows up. (Esp. on Olives, I’ve noticed.)  And “show up,” I mean show up with actual *colour* that is.  The shiny glitter, unfortunately, seems to appear regardless.
                As for shimmery blushes suiting you, I’ll take your word on your personal style.  But, to me, there is a big difference between a glittery, shiny blush (like Orgasm) and a shimmery one that merely has a slight, soft sheen (like Torrid or Luster, for example).  Maybe we should just invent and use the word “sheen-y” to describe those blushes and avoid all possible mental associations to something like Orgasm or, even worse, Super Orgasm.  LOL!  :) 

        • xamyx

          @Kafka I love the “sheen” of Albatross, and even the “shimmer” of Nico, so I think something like Orgasm would be overkill with either of those, LOL. Add all the shimmer, sparkle, frost, etc I wear on my eyes, then it just gets a little scary! Now I’m actually curious to swatch them… The base color of orgasm is really pretty, but I keep hearing about all the glitter.

    • hwendy

       :) Kevin Aucoin’s press powder products are great including eyeshadows and conturing powder.

      • Kafka

         @hwendy  I haven’t tried any of his pressed powders or contouring powder, but I’ve heard excellent things about them. :) Particularly the powder. I know my mother has it, along with his foundation but I’ve never tried either. I think an exploratory raid into her bathroom is warranted. LOL.  I like his eyeshadows, esp. his matte ones, but I get frustrated that the range or colours are so limited.

  25. JEN

    Most overrated: MAC and TARTE!  I don’t understand why people love Tarte.  It’s such a short lasting blush.  I’d have to say that MAC outlasts Tarte on my skin.
    Most underrated: Daniel Sandler watercolour liquid blush.  It’s beautiful, dewy and stays on a long time. 

  26. stefffie78

    overrated: NARS! they are nice but not that special for me

    underrated: liquid/gel blushes and/or cheek stains. I hardly hear anyone raving about Tarte cheek stains or Stainiac by thebalm!

  27. Overrated: For me, that’s got to be Tarte. I expected better longevity! 
    Underrated: I haven’t really tried enough blushes to know, but I’m loving reading everyone else’s’ picks! Making a list of must-try blushes… :) 

  28. Alexus

    Overrated: Nars & Mac  Underrated: has to be Wet and Wild !

  29. Overrated: NARS & MAC like what most of the other people have said. I own a couple of blushes from both but I never am finding myself reaching out for them specifically.
    Underrated: theBalm’s blushes are amazing! They last super long on me with little to no fading, even after 15 hours! I like Fyrinnae’s as well since they’re super cheap at $6.50 and have interesting colors that other brands don’t have. For Japanese makeup, Diamond Beauty’s got some great blushes that are similar to NARS blushes but only cost 1050yen and are bigger in size.

  30. Alison Cole

    I wish Le Metier had more shades in their range, too! I’d LOVE to buy one, as the formula sounds amazing, but none of the shades look like they’d be flattering on me. 

  31. pw37

    Most overrated: Without a doubt Tarte. It doesn’t last on me and the pigmentation is just “meh.” Though I’m not the biggest fan of some of the NARS blushes, I believe the matte blushes in the line make up for it.
    Most underrated: CARGO and Illamasqua! I am an absolute blush fanatic and have a relatively large collection, but I tend to reach for my CARGO and Illamasqua blushes. They are somewhat similar in my opinion in terms of formula.

  32. bigblackcock

    Overrated: NARS and MACUnderrated: Tarina Tarantino, Laura Mercier, Shu Uemura (but Shu everything is underrated anyway) 

  33. Ana

    Most Overrated: NARS, Tarte, MAC

    Most Underrated: Too Faced, Covergirl, WetnWild, Chanel, Dior

  34. Nicola

    Most overrated: Nars, particularily in the shade Orgasm. While it is a beautiful colour, it isn’t anything unique and the staying power just isn’t there. I’d also lean towards the Tarte blushes. They do have some beautiful colours but some of them have way too much shimmer for my liking and I don’t think they live up to the big claims. I’d say both are good products, just nothing spectacular. Most underrated: I haven’t tried an array or blushes so I’m definitely making a list of the ones mentioned in this dicussion! Thinking of trying Tarina Tariatino and theBalm blushes next! Hopefully they’ll do a better job of impressing me.

  35. teacups

    Overrated: MAC, probably? And NARS Orgasm. It’s not that I don’t think they’re good – in fact, several seem quite lovely – but they aren’t necessarily the end-all-be-all of blushes.
    Underrated: CARGO, and theBalm blushes. I have CARGO’s The Big Easy (which is apparently quite similar to NARS Orgasm), and Hot Mama and Down Boy from theBalm, and they are all pretty fantastic.

  36. peachgirl

    Overrated; MAC – these aren’t unique to me and they oxidize on my skin.
    Underated; Illamasqua !!! I gave up almost all other blushes since discovering them :)

  37. Sara Heppner

    does mac sheertone blushes intend to be less pigmented than the other formulas?