I’m always asked for more budget/purse-friendly alternative to the higher end products – and this one is all about fabulous budget blushers.
I photographed these blushers ages and ages ago – and then I kept finding ones I liked and adding to them. I think we are up to abut 14 or something now. I *think* I’ve got a good selection of the best ones – I have tried quite a few! The quality of high-street budget blushers is so good that I rarely splash the cash for the higher end ones. The only higher end ones I covet now are the Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes).
I don’t have a preference between powder or cream – cream is deemed to be the more natural; I decide which one I fancy based on colour and eye shadow/lip combination. As a general guide – bright pink wakes you up, a pale orange/peach is the most natural. I apply cream blush with a Real Techniques Stippling Brush or my fingers. All powder blush I apply with a Real Techniques Blush Brush or an Elf/Zoeva Contouring Brush. I apply all blusher to the high parts of my cheek bones – a tiny bit on the apples of my cheeks – then blend up towards the space between the top of my ear and my eye: this is to lengthen my face (according to the MAC guy!). I always tap the excess off of the brush before applying and I use the back of my hand to put the product on before I put it on my face; you can always apply more but it is a bit trickier to take it away.
So, I will briefly talk about each blusher, my thoughts, the price and where you can get it.
Sleek Blush in Coral 933 (top in left photo, centre in swatch) £4.49 (www.superdrug.com) – This was the first coral colour blush I bought, and also my first from Sleek. The pigment is amazing so a light hand is needed otherwise it looks like a dirty bronzer. Easy to blend with a slight shimmer. It is a powder blush and I wear this in the summer usually. Sleek quality is amazing and far outweighs the price tag.
Sleek Blush in Rose Gold 926 (left in left photo, top in swatch) £4.49 (www.superdrug.com) – This colour is gorgeous and very similar to NARS Orgasm (I own both and they are so alike!). More shimmery than Coral but very flattering on any skin tone. A gorgeous summery pink powder with gold shimmer.
Sleek Blush in Flushed 935 (right in left photo, bottom in swatch) £4.49 (www.superdrug.com) – This is such a pigmented powder blush you have to go really careful with the application. The colour is a beautiful dark, deep berry/red with very subtle shimmer. I like using this on my really pale skin for quite a striking look. Must be blended out well though to avoid those red rosy over-the-top cheeks.
As a side-note, I would compare Sleek blushers very favourably with the famous and more expensive NARS ones. The quality and mill of the powder, staying power, blendability and pigments are amazing and for the price, I’d have to say that they really do knock NARS from the top spot! I just wish there was a Sleek stand in the Boots/Superdrug on the IOW! 😦
Bourjois Paris Little Round Pot Blush in 85 Sienne (top in photos, bottom on swatch) £7.99 (Boots, Superdrug, Feel Unique) – Who hasn’t owned a Bourjois Little Round Pot Blush? Everyone has! I used to have Rose but smashed it a few years ago. These blushers are iconic and they are for a reason: they’re good! The pigment is excellent, as is staying power – they smell gorgeous and they are the perfect size to chuck in your makeup bag. This shade actually comes out in more of a nude colour (it looks a lot more brown in the swatch), so it is perfect for more natural makeup days. It isn’t really shimmery – more a subtle satin finish that is very flattering.
Bourjois Cream Blush in 02 Healthy Glow (right in photo, centre in swatch)£7.99 (Boots) – These cream blushers are again, excellent quality. I reach for this one when I want a healthy glow – as the name suggests. I use this on more natural makeup days. the colour is a peachy/apricot colour with a tiny bit of shimmer to it – it does make the skin look a little more bronzy.
Bourjois Cream Blush in 04 Sweet Cherry (left in the photos, top in the swatch) £7.99 (Boots) – A deep pinky colour with brown tones to it. This is the darkest of the shades but can still be used as a natural flush to the skin.
The cream blushers have a cream to powder formulation so blend quite easily. Their staying power is pretty good. The cream ones can be applied with fingers – of all my cream blushes these are the ones I do use fingers with – just patting on to the skin and blending any obvious lines with fingertips.
Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush in 14 Soft Pink (top left, top in swatch) £6.99 (Boots, Tesco) – Wow – there is a lot of love on the net for this little gem! I bought this about four years ago and it is still going strong. It is such a tiny little pot but it packs a punch. A very pigmented, light cool pink shade – so flattering, very easy to wear and instantly perks up my face and makes me look more awake. I apply with a brush and blend it out. Beautifully creamy – a real high-street winner!
Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in 05 Lovely Pink – (top right, second down in swatch) £8.99 (Boots/Superdrug) – This is part of the very famous, much loved Creme Puff from Max Factor. Bought back recently and reformulated, these baked powder blushes are fabulous. This colour is perfect for my pale skin – but might not show up on really deeper skin tones; others in the range are beautiful though. This particular colour is a very shimmery warm pinky shade. This range has been said by many to be a ‘kind of’ dupe for the ££££££ Hourglass Ambient Lighting blushes. I don’t own them so I can’t comment but they certainly look similar …
L’Oreal Paris True Match Le Blush in Nectarine – (bottom left, third down in swatch) £8.99 (Boots/Superdrug) – The idea with True Match blushers is that there is a shade for everyone and they can suit your skin tone no matter what. The shade I have is a bright, warm coral colour – brighter than the Sleek Coral. The shade has a very very slight shimmer on the skin and is easy to blend – it stays put for hours too. Don’t use the brush that comes with it though (it is cleverly in the base, along with a mirror) as it picks up far too much product and the fallout is huge!
Rimmel Lasting Finish Soft Colour Blush in 010 Santa Rose – (bottom right, bottom in swatch) £3.99 (Boots, Superdrug) or £2.79 (ASOS.com) – I think this is the only blush I have ever repurchased! That tells you something! This is an incredible, subtle, flattering, easy-to-wear, all-round amazing blush! And the price is fantastic. Buy one! No matter what your skin tone is, this will suit. I use this all the time and I think it is pretty much my go-to blush. It gives such a nice natural flush. The packaging is cheap and crap, but don’t let that put you off. It is a sort of dupe for Benefit Dandelion – but I much prefer this.
Barry M Make Me Blush Cream in 1 Peach Melba – (top in photo, top in swatch) £4.49 (Superdrug/Boots) – I am not the biggest fan of stick cream blush – I just don’t really like/get on with drawing a line on my face. Anyway – if I had to pick a cream blush, the Barry M one would be it. I hope you can tell from the swatch that this one is so much softer than the No7 one. This one has vitamin E in it to soften the skin – which is nice – and the colour is a lovely pale summery peachy colour. It was easy to blend too.
No7 Pop & Glow Cream Blush – no colour/number – weird! £9.95 (Boots) – I didn’t pay £9.95 for this as it came in a gift set from Boots when I bought some stuff on their Christmas evening event. I have had a Pop & Glow before but I gave it away as I didn’t get on with it … I think, to be honest, this might end up going the same way. Sorry No7 – I think you can see from the swatch, that it clung to the skin and did drag too. It just isn’t as creamy as the Barry M one. Also – £9.95 is a crazy price for this blush! And why is there no colour/shade on the tube?!
MUA Luxe Whipped Velvet Blush in Hedonic – (left and top swatch) £3.00 (Superdrug) – God I love this blush! It has the strangest texture but it is so creamy and blendable. It is similar to the Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush but cheaper! In the pan it looks like powder, but it is whipped in to a cream. It glides on to the skin and blends like a dream. It is a cool toned pink with a very subtle shimmer – again another blush that just wakes you up. I love it and such incredible value! MUA do some fantastic products for such brilliant prices – go online or in to Superdrug and have a nosey about!
MUA Blusher in Cupcake – £1.00!!!!!!!!!!! (Superdrug) – Everytime I buy an MUA blush for £1 I just have to pinch myself! I’ve owned Marshmallow and Candyfloss as well as Cupcake. They are incredible value. The only downside is that they are quite thin in the pan, so they shatter easily- hence mine 😦 I dropped it on the floor and it shattered – but I will still be using it! It is very similar on the skin, to Rimmel Santa Rose – so if you think the Rimmel one is still too pricey, check out MUA. Any of their six shades would be a great addition to any collection. Equally, if you don’t own any blushers at all but want to start somewhere – MUA is the place! I’ve got some amazing eye shadow palettes from MUA coming up soon which are also fantastic. How can you argue with £1?!
Phew – I’m done!
Hope there was something there for everyone. If I had to pick just one blush, it would be Rimmel Santa Rose. If I could add another one, it would be MUA Whipped Velvet Hedonic. If I could have a third, I’d pick Sleek Rose Gold. You could have a great blush selection there for under £12! Amazing! ONE NARS blusher costs £23.00! I wouldn’t personally bother with the No7 Pop & Glow – stick to Barry M Make Me Blush if you’re a lover of the stick cream blush. If you want an icon – Bourjois Little Round Pot is your one; any colour is great.