Blush Up In the Club

Since I'm constantly in some sort of feminist denial of how much I love colored powders and creams, I'll begin this post with a meaningless declaration - I have never been much of a blush girl (much in the same way I've declared not to have been a mascara girl, or a liner girl, or any sort of genuine makeup girl generally). I don't know why I beat myself up like this because the truth is that on any given day (particularly a blues-y one), I'll go wherever the magical makeup lurer at Duane Reade or Sephora guides me. Recently, it was past the L'Oreal shelves, whose clean and neat-looking line of True Match products are strangely alluring.

This might have to do with the fact that I had a rather good experience with a True Match foundation in college, and that I finally got hold of Subtle Sable blush and would recommend it. Since it is a sweltering July here in New York, my makeup inclination has been to ditch some of the traditional blush shades for my medium/warm skintone and try some summery nude blushes instead. This meant avoiding pink and berry blushes for a while and going for something more neutral and understated along the lines of NARS Lovejoy (which I'm not in love with). If you want to know the truth, I was somewhat inspired by random images of Beyonce whose warm skintone had a very pretty, apricot-brown glow. It made me want to put my hands up in the club and do my own little thing with that same glow.

L'Oreal has a somewhat complicated letter/number system for matching shades to skintones, and so I largely ignore it - I just went with the highest numbers in the neutral and/or neutral-warm family, which led me to True Match blush in Soft Sun (W7-8), a slightly browned peach. It started chanting "Now put your hands up, up in the club..." I caved. I had a $5 coupon so the cheapster couldn't even object.

Best $5 I've ever spent in a drugstore (for now). This blush is deceiving - at first glance, you might think it's too light for medium/warm skintones, and you might be tempted to go with Sweet Ginger (N7-8) or Subtle Sable (W5-6) both warm, brick-pinks. But Soft Sun has its own charm and appeal. This golden apricot shade warms up my face, but never competes with some of the redness I have around my nose and cheeks from summer allergies. It almost has the effect I always thought bronzer should have, minus the muddiness and with some more color. With it's matte finish, it gives just a little bit of definition to my youthful (read: round) face with zero chalkiness. Compared to some of the brighter and darker blushes I own, it is much easier and more comfortable to wear. It reminds me of Milani's Sunset Beach blush, which is more orange and less neutral, and so doesn't have the same effect as Soft Sun.

The reason I prefer this to NARS Lovejoy as a natural/nude but still warm and forgiving blush is the texture. True to its name, the L'Oreal blush is very fine-milled, soft, blendable, and matte. Even though Soft Sun is the lightest blush I own, the pigmentation still makes an impact. Lovejoy, on the other hand, barely registers on my face. Instead of giving a natural, warm finish, it looks much like I took a few of swipes of a cakey nude blush to my cheeks. If you like Lovejoy but find Soft Sun too peachy-nude and want a little more pink, Sweet Ginger might be the next best drugstore alternative.

Now I just have to get more gloss on my lips and a man on my hips.


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