My go-to for a great natural cheek color is Korres #15 Natural, which gives my cheeks a little warmth and natural color without being too pink or plum. I also really love Tarte Exposed, which gives a little more color but still retains a soft, natural result.
It’s so hard for me to pick favorites, but these are ten products that really caught my eye this year for adding color and/or glow to cheeks. Since these are products for 2011, I did exclude any spring 2012 products that may have been reviewed this year, as they’re technically for next – so these feature products new for 2011 and permanent products I discovered this year!
Tarte Exposed Amazonian Clay Blush ($25.00 for 0.20 oz.) is described as a “nude.” The color is like a neutral plum–it’s soft but definitely plummy with a hint of pink. The overall color is muted, so it should never be too much on the skin. It can be built up to look more like the color in the pan or sheered out for just a hint of color. This is a great color for everyday or to round out a look that you just don’t know what blush to use.
Tarte purports that the Amazonian Clay makes it suitable for all skin types, because it minimizes oil, hydrates skin, improves the skin, and gives the skin an overall smoother and more even appearance. I’m not going to comment on whether it improves the skin in the long-term, because in order to do that, one would need to wear it for six to eight weeks everyday (like skincare). I have normal-to-dry skin, though for the past month and at present, it’s normal with no dryness or dry patches. The weather is crisp and autumnal, no humidity or the like, so I would generally expect long-wearing products to perform to their best, given the conditions.
This blush does not wear 12 hours on me; it wears a good eight hours, but by ten, it has disappeared. I’m fine with my blush wearing for eight to ten hours, but I will note that several blushes last around eight hours or so on me (Burberry, Dior, Guerlain, Illamasqua, NARS, theBalm–just naming some of the ones off the top of my head). The wear is good but falls short of its 12-hour claim. The texture is very, very soft to the point where there is some powderiness if you go heavily, and I find that a blush brush kicks more product loose than you actually need for a single application. You might find that a stippling brush works better, because it will disturb the pressed powder less and waste less product that way.
Thankfully, it’s not powdery when worn, because I was initially fearful that it would be, after seeing how it swatched. It’s very pretty and soft on, and with the nearly matte finish, it looks natural on. The softness of the powder makes for effortless blending. The texture and feel of these reminded me a lot of Burberry’s Light Glow, actually. As far as the color goes, theBalm Cabana Boy is a pinker, shimmery version, while Chanel Rose Temptation is a touch darker. NARS Oasis is similar, too, but it also has shimmer.
It's a good blush, but it just doesn't wear the full 12 hours that Tarte claims, which is really where this product lost the most points from. It wears well (eight to ten hours on me), looks natural when applied, and has good pigmentation.
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Lips: Chanel La Somptueuse Rouge Allure Velvet (red)
For eyes, I skipped eyeshadow primer (for testing purposes), but if you prefer or need primer, lay it down prior to the eyeshadow. I applied peach-beige (center) eyeshadow on the entire lower lid with the 239, and then I gently patted the copper (top) eyeshadow on the outer third of the lid with another 239. I swept the bronzy brown (right) eyeshadow into and above the crease with the 222 and deepened the crease with the deep brown (bottom) eyeshadow in the crease with the 231. I highlighted the brow bone with the white gold (left) eyeshadow with the 217. On the lower lash line, I used Bronze eyeliner. I used one coat of Film Noir mascara on top and bottom lashes.
For face, apply Pro Lumiere all over face with the 109. Add color to the cheeks by gently dusting Exposed near apples and blended out towards temples with the 116. Set with Translucent 1 using the 134. For lips, apply La Somptueuse onto lips.