Thursday, April 21, 2016

Drugstore Superstars: Blushes

 The whole idea of blush is to mimic a healthy glow.  It all depends on your skin tone, but the right blush can make you look awake, alive and impossibly refreshed... like you just came from a day at the spa.  The problem with many drugstore blushes is that they can come off chalky and unblendable, or they have so little color payoff that it's almost impossible to see.  That's why I'm super impressed with these blushes.  Like the other blog posts in this series, I'm going to divide them up by category, so it's easy to figure out which product meets your needs.

Best Matte Blush: NYX Ombre Blush ($10.00)

Daaaaamn, NYX! Back at it again with the awesome products!  These blushes have only been on the market a few months, but they've shot straight up onto my must-have list.  Not only are they amazingly pigmented and easy to blend (a requirement to be on this list) but I love that the ombre effect actually gives you options for color.  NYX officially wants you to swirl your brush around the whole product to mix the light and dark colors together, but if you want something a bit darker, just dip your brush in the lower portion of the compact and the opposite goes for the higher portion of the compact.  3 blushes in 1!  Who doesn't love that?

Best Luminous Blush: Milani Baked Blush ($8.49)

Ok, this little endorsement comes with a bit of a caveat.   For those of you that don't like the look of a matte blush and prefer a bit of a healthy sheen, I think that SOME of the blushes in this line are fabulous, and others are kind of duds.  Let me explain.  A good luminous blush will quite literally illuminate and wake up your skin.  It should give you a youthful and almost dewy flush of color.  In order to create that illusion, the product needs to have a nice sheen and sparkle, and sometimes instead of putting in a finely milled sort of sparkle, companies will opt for the cheaper option of chunky glitter.  Now don't get me wrong, I love glitter as much as the next drag queen, but I don't want it anywhere near my cheeks - I'm not 13 anymore.  That brings me to the Milani Baked Blushes.  The majority of them have glitter in it.  I don't know why they chose to only make a couple without, but that's definitely the case.  I do have to point out, that even though they do have glitter in them, it's quite easy to buff it away once it's actually on your face, so it's not a complete lost cause.  Having said that, the shade Luminoso is GORGEOUS!  Being an almost exact dupe for the cult-favorite NARS Oragasm, I actually prefer Luminoso to it's much more expensive counterpart.  It has a peachy coral shade that is universally flattering on almost all skintones.  I, in fact, reach for Luminoso almost exclusively when I'm doing other people's makeup.  Since I do have a darker skintone, I do need to layer Luminoso quite a bit in order to get it to show up on me, so I usually end up using either Belissimo Bronze or Terra Sole (they are the darker versions of Luminoso with the least amount of glitter.)

Best Cream Blush: Maybelline Master Glaze Blush Stick ($9.99)

For those of you that prefer to work with creams, Maybelline has a great cream blush that comes in an easy to use stick.  Just swipe on your cheeks and blend with your fingers or a brush... what could be easier than that?  These have a gorgeous luminosity to them without any glitter and they have a light consistency to them that makes you feel like you're not wearing anything at all!

Best Blush Palette: e.l.f. Powder Blush Palette ($6.00)

I love any kind of makeup palette.  I love them so much that I actually depot the majority of my single makeup products and condense them into a Z Palette.  They're easier to work with, easier to pack up, easier to travel with, easier to mix colors with... they're just easier!  There actually aren't very many drugstore blush palettes on the market, so when I saw that e.l.f. came out with two, I rushed to my nearest Target to check them out.  As with all e.l.f. products, the price point can't be beat - it's already cheaper than the first three blushes on this list!  But what really impressed me was the pigmentation.  I'm not really that big of an e.l.f. fan... I usually feel that even though the price is amazing, there's always something wrong with either the pigmentation or blendability (something that's pretty common for drugstore products.)  But man, they made me eat my words with this one.  There are two different palettes to choose from, Light and Dark, and within those two palettes, there are four different blushes.  I prefer the Dark palette not only because the colors match my skintone better, but I feel like the products are a bit less chalky than those in the Light.  I'm going to tell you right off the bat, that one of the blushes has glitter in it and I hate glitter in blush (see above) so I could do without that shade.  The others, however, pack one heck of a punch!  I'd say start with a light hand, because these babies are PIGMENTED but they glide across the skin beautifully and blend like a dream!

Best Bang For Your Buck: Wet n Wild Color Icon Blush ($2.99)

I would be remiss if I failed to mention the O.G. of the drugstore blush world - the Wet n Wild Color Icon.  These matte blushes were the best on the market for so long, and it's really not that hard to see why.  They're super pigmented, blend beautifully and last all day long.  They were recently reformulated to be softer to the touch, and while I appreciate that, this has increased the product's fallout upon application.  For this reason, NYX has dethroned these blushes as my favorite.  The price, however, still makes it a great option for those looking for a good matte blush.

That's it!  Those are the best drugstore blushes on the market right now!  Which ones are your favorites?  Check out the other posts in this series here.

~Glammie love!