The Gloss Report: Powder blushers

April 17th 2014 / Katie Robertson Google+ Katie Robertson


Nothing takes off the years and fakes a good night's sleep like blusher. We put them to the test to see which brand comes up roses

Clarins Blush Prodige Illuminating Blush


Price £26

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Feedback I am relatively new to the power of blusher but finally see what everyone's getting at. Whereas I used to add bronzer to make myself look more alive, others were creating that barely-there, just-had-a-spring-walk flush and pretending it was just their healthy complexion. I'm now in on the secret and this Clarins blusher is my secret weapon. A beautiful mirrored compact with a surprisingly soft brush (we all know we never use them, but if needed it's not bad at all), this has two complementary shades, one matte and one shimmer. The texture is divine - silky, super-fine and with none of that crumbly excess that thicker formulas create, the brush sweeps it up neatly and deposits it only where you want it. The matte shade is ideal for adding a daytime hint of colour, while the iridescent shade wakes skin up if you're feeling a little dull or want some highlighting for the evening. I can't fault it.

Reviewer JJ

Score 10/10

Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush


Price £31

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Feedback A thing of beauty. Smooth, silky and ever so slightly shimmery, this is one of my favourite blushers of all time (and I have many). Sure, it’s expensive, but the finish is so subtle and elegant that it’s worth the extra spend. In my opinion, if you’re going to flaunt a Chanel compact, this is it. Swept across cheekbones it adds instant polish and luminosity, as if you’ve just had a facial or woken from the best sleep of your life. Buffed into the apples of the cheeks it takes ten years off, and it lasts about that long too, unless you choose to take it off of course. At the end of the day I was tempted not to. This particular shade was halfway between a blusher and a bronzer on my pale Celtic skin, and I loved the low key, slightly suntanned effect - it was about as far from China Doll as you could get. The only drawback, as with many compacts and palettes, is the fiddly brush. Ditch this and your blusher dreams will come true.

Reviewer AH

Score 9/10 (due solely to overly petite brush)

Laura Mercier Second Cheek Skin Colour in Rose Petal


Price £20.50

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Feedback I’ve always tended to shy away from blushers and opted more for bronzing products to help lift my pale and pallid skin. However, I am totally in love with this Second Skin blusher from Laura Mercier.

Light-as-air and velvety soft, it’s formulated with skin-silkening natural botanicals so that not only does it look great but feels gorgeous on the skin too. Taking a small amount, the blush swept onto the apple of my cheeks smoothly and evenly and had real staying power that lasted throughout my long and chaotic day.

In particular, the Rose Petal shade was beautifully fresh, young and radiant and left my skin with a ‘just off the tennis-court glow’. Whilst it’s not the cheapest on the market, the finished result definitely makes the money all worthwhile - this is a beauty bag must-have in my opinion.

Reviewer KR

Score 9/10

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure


Price £28

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Feedback I am not normally a powder blush kind of girl as I never think it looks quite as a real as a cream blush, but this product has changed all that. A hybrid between a highlighter and a blush, this beautiful marble product gives the ultimate, beautiful cheek glow. This colour, whilst it looks mauve-ish in the packaging actually creates a pinkish tone to the skin (it comes in many other beautiful shades from rose to coral pink), and leaves a super light dusting on the cheeks leaving the kind of flush you get from a brisk walk in the countryside.

All in all a makeup bag must-have that is also so beautiful to look at it will delight you every time you open it. Dreamy.

Reviewer ST

Review 10/10

NARS Blush in Orgasm


Price £22.50

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Feedback Oh, where to start with this NARS classic hue? (Note: this review is nothing short of a love letter to this product.)

I’ll start by saying that it’s the ONLY blusher I have used for the last five years and that there’s definitely a reason for that.

Not only is the pink-peach shade perfect on a wide range of skintones, its transparent pigments ensure a smooth, silky application and soft coverage. It’s advertised as offering a natural-looking ‘after’ glow, and it delivers every single time. Don’t be intimidated by the rich hue inside the chic packaging, it goes on much more sheer than first glances would indicate.

So, what do I love most about it, you might ask? The subtle touch of sparkle that adds just the right amount of radiant shimmer to your skin without veering into body glitter territory - no need for highlighter here.

It’s the king of blushers. A true cult classic.

Reviewer KA

Score 10/10

Guerlain Rose Aux Joues Blush Duo


Price £32.50

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Feedback Beautifully packaged in its elegant gold casing, this Guerlain blush is a little gem of prettiness. A duo of two shades (one rose pink, one slightly darker) with a hint of shimmer to flush the cheeks and a pale matte pink to highlight. The finely milled powder blends in like a dream to create a soft rosy cheek. The darker pink is quite pigmented so the lighter matte blush works alongside it to give a more natural glow. I would love for the palettes to be slightly bigger as I like to use a bigger blusher brush than the one provided. As it was I found it a little hard to evenly distribute the two colours. Although the brush provided is soft, it is just too small for me. At £32 I will probably use it sparingly!

Reviewer SM

Score 8/10

Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Cheek Swish and Pop Blusher in Love Glow


Price £30 (and worth every penny)

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Feedback Charlotte Tilbury blusher. AMAZING. That's all I need to say!

Charlotte Tilbury has created such a beautiful range it's hard to find a fault with this blusher. The packaging is beautiful, elegant, and so lightweight and compact that it slips into any clutch bag. It aims to create a glowing, contoured complexion, adding colour and giving a radiant glow to the cheekbones. The 'swish and pop' effect helps to blend. You simply swish your brush around the outer colour in the palette and brush across the cheekbones whilst the inner circle is used to give a pop of colour to the apples of your cheeks. The powder is finely milled and highly pigmented so a little goes a long way - just swish and pop and you have a perfect flush of colour. Everyone needs this in their life!

Reviewer SM

Score 11/10

Benefit Rockateur


Price £23.50

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Feedback I’m not usually one to play around with blushers. I’ve always felt that they drew too much attention to my cheeks and made my face look rounder. Instead, I’ve usually taken to applying bronze in the hollows of my cheeks and temples. The first thing that drew me to this blusher was its cute packaging - the box is a printed mix of what looks like snakeskin with lace and studs. When you open it, there’s a pretty shimmering pink powder with the word ‘Rock’ embossed into it and a handy mini mirror.

What I liked about this blusher is that it’s meant to be ideal for any skin tone. When I applied it, I was given an instant shimmer to my cheeks that looks pretty yet natural and subtle. Instantly, my face had a healthy glow which lasted all day and the powder is highly pigmented, meaning a little goes a long way. I can’t imagine doing my makeup without it now.

Reviewer HI

Score 9/10

Bobbi Brown Blush


Price £19

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Feedback I am in love. I’d heard so many good things about this iconic Bobbi Brown product so I was really excited to test it. I applied the powder with a fluffy powder brush in one big sweep and blended it along my cheekbone. When I looked in the mirror, the colour was so pretty that I only wanted to build on it more – something I thought I’d never say about blusher!

I used the shade ‘Tawny’, which gave my face a lovely natural glow and made me appear fresher and healthier. It’s matte powder means that it is subtle while making a MASSIVE difference to your overall look - the perfect everyday product. If anybody is considering trying a powder blush for the first time, or simply wants to experiment with a different type – this is one for you.

Reviewer HI

Score 10/10

Yves Saint Laurent Blush Radiance


Price £32.00

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Feedback In true YSL style this beautiful blusher comes in an ultra-chic compact that’s super stylish and pops perfectly into a little clutch.

Blending matte and iridescent textures, it works to contour and highlight the cheekbones so that you’re left with a glowing flush that perks up your complexion and gives your skin a fresh spring look.

However, despite the dazzling design I wasn’t blown away by the results of this blusher. With seemingly very little pigment, I had to work really hard to get any colour onto the brush and indeed onto my cheeks - by the end a considerable amount of the palette had been worn down and this product doesn't come cheap!

In addition, this shade was a couple of tones darker than I would usually go for, so Iwas left looking more post-workout exhausted than fresh and flush. A beautiful brand but not a purchase I would make in the future.

Reviewer KR

Score 3/10

Chantecaille Cheek Shade in Laughter


Price £23

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Feedback Before I write about this blush I have to admit my view is likely to be biassed. First up, I'm an optimist and one of the things I'm most proud of inheriting from my mum is my ability to laugh. Then I have to admit that I tested this in the kitchen in our office (beautiful light here next to our huge industrial table) using the mirror from my Chantecaille Soleil Bronzer.

No surprises then that I loved the Chantecaille Cheek Shade in Laughter - and luckily after a weekend in the countryside sunshine with some buddies, it's just the right shade.

It's soft and easy to blend, and as a gal with rather sensitive skin I (touch wood) am yet to find a Chantecaille product that doesn't work for me.

Reviewer TD

Score 8/10

Bourjois Paris Little Round Pot Blusher in Rose Coup de Foudre


Price £7.99

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Feedback This particular powder blusher scored highly on all fronts for me. Not only was it great value for money, but it also gave a natural, barely there finish that was subtle, feminine and easy to blend. Although this particular shade was perhaps a little too light for my darker skin tone and didn’t quite satisfy my penchant for extra pigment come nightfall, the muted tone was probably just the thing that my beauty regime needs for daytime wear.

For size and texture, this blusher gets bonus points. It fit perfectly into any of my impractically small-sized handbags and came with a mirror in the lid and a nifty little brush to make touch-ups on-the-go a doddle. Light, wearable and super compact, this is one beauty classic that should be in everyone’s makeup bag.

Reviewer AM

Score 9/10

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