This or That: Coral Blush Edition

This week, I shared my breakdown of how to make more critical comparisons between two products when you’re choosing between two options, whether you’re in decluttering mode or considering a new purchase or have been tempted by something new and shiny!

Here are those methods applied to some of the recommendations I made in my A to Z Guide to Coral Blush. In that post, I included a variety of shades from light to dark, matte to shimmer, cooler to warmer and so on across different brands and price points. When I make recommendations, I’ll often provide more rather than less as they’re all great products but I want to make sure it’s helpful for more readers!

Sydney Grace Cantata vs. Natasha Denona Alba

The Analysis

CANTATA Sydney GraceALBA Natasha Denona
FinishIntensely metallic, more overtly shimmeryModerate glow, smoother sheen
ColorAppears more golden due to high shimmer contentAppears slightly deeper pink, thus cooler-toned
PigmentationOpaque; must be used with soft hand for sheerer coverageOpaque but more forgiving, could be applied sheerer with less adjustment
TextureCreamy, dense but yielding, metallicSmooth, dense but not too thick, luminous
LongevityStarts fading at 8.5 hours, faded evenlyStarts fading at 8.5 hours, faded evenly
ApplicationEasy, effortless, works with a variety of brushes but best for someone with a lighter-handEasy, blendable but better with moderately-dense brush/moderate-hand; better for someone heavier-handed
AccessibilityDirect only, likely more expensive for int’l buyers, no ability to see it in personMore widely available online but still a smaller in-person footprint
Price/SizeAffordable but available as pan-only (requires freestyle palette)Expensive, has a lot amount of product, doesn’t require a lot per use, likely to take awhile to use (even with regular use!)
PackagingPan-only, requires freestyle palettePlastic, compact, should be durable

Reasons for Sydney Grace Cantata: It’s more affordable, so if budget was a concern, I’d go here and if I wanted to subdue the finish a bit, I’d dust translucent powder on top. It’s an intense highlighter, so if I was more in the market for something ultra-metallic and visible from the next galaxy over, Cantata is the easy choice.

Reasons for Natasha Denona Alba: It’s more travel-friendly/consumer-friendly, since it comes in its own compact, so if either of these were important, they would be very much in the pro column. If I was looking for something that had a more moderate, more luminous finish or if I was heavier-handed, it makes more sense.

Editor’s Pick: If I had to choose only one, I’d probably end up with Alba if I wanted a blush, and then I’d add a lil’ extra gold highlight on top if I wanted a more intense finish.

Bottom Line: They are quite comparable blendability, longevity, and ease of use, generally, and the biggest difference between the two is the intensity of the finish, followed by price and packaging. The difference in finish ultimately impacts both the tone and color as-applied and may make it more or less appealing for those with more textured skin.

Essence Satin Coral vs. Persona Georgia

The Analysis

FinishSatin sheen, slightly more amplified than skin-likeSatin, my-skin-but-better
ColorApplies true-to-color, leans slightly pinker blended outDarkens slightly, giving it a brighter hue when applied but truer undertone
PigmentationOpaque but soft enough to be used with a lighter hand for more buildable coverageSemi-opaque, buildable, yielding without being powdery so easy to control amount of product applied
TextureSoft, lightly powdery but didn’t appear dusty or drySmooth but firmer press (not stiff), velvety, more seamless and “melted” onto skin
LongevityStarts fading at 7.5 hours, faded evenlyStarts fading at 9 hours, faded evenly
ApplicationEasily blended out, more luminous as it was buffed into skin, worked with a variety of brushes but better for someone with light to medium-handEasily blended out, worked with a variety of brushes and could be good for someone who can be heavy-handed
AccessibilityDirect only (appears it’s discontinued in lieu of The Blush formula, which doesn’t have a comparable shade)Limited distribution, mostly online
Price/SizeAffordable, good amount of product but may use more per application due to slight powderinessModerately-priced, smaller amount but may have less waste per application due to firmer texture
PackagingSturdy, see-thru plastic, no durability concerns, easy to cleanSturdy plastic, no durability concerns, easy to clean

Reasons for Essence Satin Coral: It’s one of the cheapest blush options on the market, so if maximizing the budget is a priority, it performs comparably and well across many metrics but saves a lot of money. Essence’s packaging doesn’t feel flimsy either (packaging is often a big ticket item in a product’s cost!). It is slightly powdery (mostly in the pan), so it will work better for those with a light-handed application and less-dense (like a fan) brush. It is forgiving of heavy-handed application but the excess kicked up/lost might be deal-breaking.

Reasons for Persona Georgia: For a true, skin-like finish where the color has a particularly seamless, almost “melted” appearance on skin, I think this formula succeeds better there. If you tend to be heavier-handed or use moderately-dense blush brushes, this formula is more foolproof when paired with either. Georgia is longer-wearing by a decent margin, which could be a very compelling reason to spend more.

Editor’s Pick: I would opt for Georgia because the way it just melts on skin is so seamless and hard to find in the blush world, generally.

Bottom Line: They are extremely similar in general application, blendability, pigmentation, ease of use, and packaging. Georgia has notably better longevity, but they both fade evenly at the end. If budget is less of a concern, the way Georgia sits on skin is what makes it more “special” as a product.

Hourglass Incandescent Electra vs. Clinique Melon Pop

The Analysis

Incandescent Electra HourglassMelon Pop Clinique
FinishSatin, skin-like, subtle shimmerSatin, skin-like, subtle sheen, melds slightly better with skin
ColorSlightly pinker, darkens a touch when applied to oilier skin/dewier base; touch darkerSlightly peachier, applies more true-to-color
PigmentationMedium, buildable coverage that’s easy to dial up or down depending on how much is picked upSemi-opaque, buildable but requires a moderately-dense brush/moderate hand to pick up product, very easy to use as sheer wash as a result
TextureSilky, lightly powderyModerately dense, firmer press, gel-powder hybrid
LongevityStarts fading at 8 hours, faded evenlyStarts fading at 8 hours, faded evenly
ApplicationBlended out easily and product picked up well with a variety of blushes, best for a buildable techniqueBlended out easily, looked more glowing as it was buffed in, requires a moderate-hand and/or denser brush (slightly rounded/flatter edge preferred) to pick up product evenly
AccessibilityGlobal online and in-store distributionGlobal online and in-store distribution, probably wider
Price/SizeMore expensive blush for a moderate amount of product, some powderiness results in waste, may require more product per use based on textureSlightly less product but less excess kicked up, more affordable only in comparison, may use less product per application with less potential for waste
PackagingRounded, plastic compact (doesn’t stack as well), sturdyStudy, see-thru plastic

Reasons for Hourglass Incandescent Electra: If you’re someone who has trouble using a heavier hand or tends to use more feathery brushes, this shade is a lot easier to apply. If you like a hint of shimmer, you may find this produces a better finish.

Reasons for Clinique Melon Pop: If you find that you tend to over-apply your blush, the firmer, denser texture of this product is more forgiving of heavier handed application (though it actually requires a more medium-hand or denser brush!). If you tend to apply with denser brushes, this will also be more foolproof to use. There is also less waste as there’s no powderiness.

Editor’s Pick: Melon Pop by a hair, mostly because I can be heavier-handed as a result of often applying more for camera than in real life, so something that’s more forgiving is better. I also prefer using a flat, rounded blush brush for application, which suits Melon Pop’s formula better.

Bottom Line: They’re really comparable products; they’re both more buildable coverage, similar in color and finish, have the same longevity ratings, and come in plastic packaging. I think the type of formula may make some more or less interested as Melon Pop is a gel-powder hybrid that’s denser and Incandescent Electra is more like a traditional powder blush (and thus, a little powdery in the pan).

Was this helpful? Let me know if you’d like to see more editions of This or That with specific products.


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Nancy T Avatar

I love this new feature! Makes it very easy to compare two products that may *look* alike, but may perform differently enough to require some extra guidance when picking between them. Ironically, I do have SG Cantata and ND Alba BOTH on my WL. Now, I can plainly see that Alba better suits my skin type, as I do have some texture due to large pores. Very helpful!

Janice Avatar

Oh, this is great! I would love to see more editions of this or that. Maybe, with eyeshadow palettes, like Pat McGrath & Natasha Denona. Or comparing lipsticks from any brand.

Beth Avatar

I love this post! I already have Alba and love it, so I know I don’t need Cantana. Likely I will pick up Georgia, though. I especially appreciate the insight into the differences between products and why (and to whom) you recommend one product over another.

Carolina Avatar

LOVE this series. For each of those comparisons, there is one brand that’s accessible to me (ND, Essence, Clinique) and the other is not – and this post makes me feel like I’m not missing out! I have no opportunity to make this comparisons in person and this is ideal. Love everything: the choices, the level of detail, the bottom line. Please please please make more! 😀

Genevieve Avatar

I love this in depth comparison of products Christine, particularly with an expensive and a more affordable option. These info posts are of great value to help navigate the world of makeup. Thank you so much.
A lipstick comparison would be of great interest too.

Maggie Avatar

THIS sort of in-depth analyses is hard to find online and is especially important for those who can’t shop in person. These are the sorts of details we’d subconsciously notice as we touch, scrutinize, and experience the product and sometimes don’t even think to verbalize. Makeup is a very tactile experience and the visual results are nearly always different after applied to your own person–not to mention you’d have to see the differing visual results in different lighting or viewed through different lenses.

There’s no way I’d be able to easily tell in photos that Persona Georgia easily achieves a melted-into-skin look bc I’d automatically attribute to Christine’s blending skills–unless Christine explicitly said otherwise. Do all of Persona’s blushes do this? I’ll have to keep an eye out on this brand.

I really appreciate Christine’s additional comments on whether things change color after application bc that is an enormous pet peeve of mine.

Looking forward to more posts like these.

I love this post!

Jessica Avatar

Great series! I love seeing them side by side and how they are to apply and wear (especially since we won’t be able to try them on anytime soon where I live). I second the interest in PMG vs ND. Would also love to see eye primer differences in how the shadows look and wear. Thank you!

kjh Avatar

Your JD/MBA is showing! Incredible depth analysis. Kind of too bad that we can’t instore swatch at present. We could apply the template/thought organization. How to utilize comparison/contrast…on which parameters to think it through… Why am I not surprised that the foundation of your blog is teaching us how to think (rationally) about makeup?

Linda Avatar

I rarely post, but I have followed you daily since you first got started. This is extremely helpful! Thank you so much Christine. This type of information is why I keep reading you and why I appreciate what you do. Congratulations on your Allure article as well. That’s so awesome!

Gilad Avatar

I love this approach, and so appreciate the detail and analysis. Helps me evaluate any new purchase better. I’d love to see lipstick comparisons between similar formulas, and also interested in any comparisons on eyeshadow palettes, blush and liner while we’re (you’re!) at it. Do you ever review mascara? Consider me a big fan of this series for any product . Thanks!

Bella Avatar

I love this comparison, but I feel like the Clinique blushes barely last an hour on me, I love Luminoso by Milani and that lasts a long time, and so do the TooFace heart trio blushes. My holy grail. Beautiful swished all together, and it gives a great glow to the checks. The pink one is my HG!

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!