Powder blushes last the longest, but if you prefer clean, vegan formulations, try cream blushes and tints.

Which blush gives the best natural glow?

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A review of recently launched blushes, across price points, that claim to offer a subtle rosy glow

Pick any category in make-up and you are bound to be overwhelmed by the many options for different skin types. As one-and-done products are in demand, blushes have become a favourite among make-up lovers or those who don’t want to spend time on different make-up techniques but desire a natural flush on the face. Keeping the growing interest in mind, companies are releasing different formulations that offer natural-looking colours while delivering pigment with a single application. 

There are several types—classic powder blush, blush stick, cheek tint, liquid blushes, and more. Powder blushes last the longest, but if you prefer clean, vegan formulations, try cream blushes and tints. While they might not last as long as powder blushes, they are great for creating quick looks especially when you don’t use base make-up. You could also make a cream blush last longer by topping it with a powder blush. 

To help you zero in on a good blush, we tried some of the recent launches, across price points. Here’s what we found:

Fresh as new

Laura Mercier, which recently opened its first retail store in India in Mumbai, might be known for its luminous foundation matches and buttery lipsticks, but its blushes deserve mention as well. I tried the Blush Color Infusion range ( 3,900 for 6g), which should come with a warning: The colour payoff is so extreme that just a little with a fan brush gives enough colour to last all evening. It’s a good thing, considering the price tag. It’s a non-shimmer blush, so works well for those looking for that natural blush look.

Blend matters

If you still haven’t tried Kylie Cosmetics, created by social media personality and entrepreneur Kylie Jenner, start with the Pressed Blush Powder ( 2,000 for 10g). It launched pan-India this week on Sephora and makes for a surprisingly value-for-money buy. One dab is enough to last a night, even without a fixing spray. It also goes on smoothly (perhaps that’s because squalene is one of the main ingredients), is not sparkly or cakey, and blends perfectly even on dry skin. The cute packaging and shade options are a bonus.

Classic but new

Make-up in a stick format is quite popular at the moment. To keep up with the trend, Lakmē launched MultiSlayer Face Sticks last month, with foundation, blush, contour and highlighter options. Their thick blush stick ( 899 for 13g) is buttery smooth to apply and gives a strong colour output. It blends easily with fingers as well as with a brush, and doesn’t smudge the base make-up on application. Despite being creamy, the blush stays put on a really humid Mumbai evening and doesn’t need a touch-up even after four hours. The quantity makes it value for money. It comes in a shimmery option as well.

Buttery genius

If you only use clean beauty products, the home-grown Color Chemistry brand is worth trying. It is made in Italy with cruelty-free and certified organic ingredients. Their lip and cheek tint ( 799 for 3.5g) is made with ingredients like castor seed oil and beeswax and melts on to the skin. The shade options are best for deeper Indian skin tones. The pigment fades gently and isn’t patchy at all. It works equally well as a nourishing lip colour.

Budget bestie

Swiss Beauty is known for its affordable products and their Cheek It Up Blush stick ( 399 for 8g) falls in this category. It offers a luminous finish, though the colour payoff is less than the rest. This is a good option for skin with lesser pigmentation. The shade Mood Lifter Coral is a dupe for NARS’ Orgasm blush, but this stick works for a no-base make-up flush.

Homegrown luxury

The colour and the natural smell of this cheek tint feel like you are applying an ancient formulation. The Noor Nikhaar cheek tint ( 1,975 for 5g) by Forest Essentials is made with moringa seed oil and shat dhaut ghrita (or “hundred washes ghee”), among other skincare ingredients. The shades are better suited for deeper Indian skin tones. I tried the Gerua (which has red clay) and it gave a vibrant colour payoff and glided easily with fingertips. On application, the shade makes you look like you are back from a brisk walk and the flush reduces gradually.

Cult favourite

Most Indian celebrity make-up artists have the NARS Orgasm blush in their kitty. So when the brand launched in India late last year, I had to try the Orgasm blush ( 3,300 for 4.8g). Internationally, there are several shade variations in the Orgasm category, but in India, you can get only the classic shimmery pink. NARS’ cult classic gives a smooth finish that lasts long and has solid pigment payback. If powder blushes aren’t your thing, try their Afterglow liquid blush (isn’t as long-lasting, though), which gives a smooth natural finish and is super easy to work with.

Dhara Vora Sabhnani is a Mumbai-based writer.





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