Beauty Basics: Blush


Hi Everyone!

I’m back today for a quick post about blushes.  This will be part 1 of my Beauty Basics series wherein I will focus on my 5 beauty staples.  By “staples” it means the bare minimum makeup items that I always use unless I’m going to workout, swim or wakeboard.

Just so you know what to expect, these are my 5 Beauty Staples:

1. Brow Pencil/Powder

2. Brow Tint

3. Mascara

4. Blush

5. Lip Balm/Lipstick/Lip Stain

So today, we’ll talk about blushes.

This is a simple guide on ways to apply certain blush formats, how to wear “odd” shades and what you should look for and avoid when picking up new blush products.

Blush Basics

So let’s blush up on the basics

There are 3 Blush formats: Powder, Cream and liquid/tint.

Honestly I’m not a big fan of tints or cream blushes, though the latter is starting to grow on me.  I avoid using cheek tints whenever I can though, so even if I have a couple of tints in my stash, I won’t include them in this post just yet.

All About Blushes

Blushes, Brushes & a Beauty Blender

In my makeup stash, the number of cheek products are neck and neck with lip products.  I have no bloody idea why I feel compelled to buy new blushes or highlighters in varying shades all the time (I am baffled, really) but yeah, I end up buying a lot so I have a lot of blushers.

I tend to favor shimmery powder blushes because they are easier to work with compared to matte blushes.  They tend to be softer in texture and easy to blend to the skin.  Shimmer blushes are also “glowy” on it’s own so using one eliminates the need for a highlighter.  Well, most of the time.

powder blush

I. Powder Blushes x Angled Contour and Blush Brush

I favor angled blush brushes for powder blushes because it follows the natural contour of the cheeks and the tapered tip makes it easy to create blurred edges that makes the blush look natural.  If you’re a makeup newbie, I suggest that you start with shimmery blushes from mid-range brands (e.g. MAC, Tarte, L’oreal) as it is easier to work with the texture and pigment of their blushes.

If you’re moving up to more pigmented blushes (e.g. Sleek, La Femme, The Balm Instain) these are trickier to apply because they are very pigmented.  If you have a heavy hand with blushes and find it hard to adjust using an angled blush brush, I suggest using a stippling/duo fibre brush until you get used to the level of pigmentation of the product.

Duo Fibre brush ends are less dense compared to angled brushes so it picks up less product.  The softness of the brush tip also makes product application smoother.  You can’t go wrong with this brush, just remember to start light and use circular brushing strokes especially when you’re using matte blushes.

A. Shade Selection

As you can see in the photo above, I do not stick to any particular color family.  Forget the notion of sticking to a certain blush shade for your skintone.  There are blushes that will not seem wearable to you, but trust me, you can use any blush shade you want as long as you can match it with the look you have on.  Layering shades also work if you’re not good with coordinating your makeup looks.

This summer I skipped out on the standard peachy/flushed cheeks and opted for a bronze-y and berry-toned blushes.  I usually layer the shades to make bright blushes look more natural.  Check my previous post to see my favorite blushes.

I’ll make a separate post for my blush/face routine this week so watch out for that one.

B. Finish

There are three blush finishes: Shimmery, Satin and matte.  I’m sure shimmer and matte is pretty self explanatory.  Satin is a cross between the two.  It’s not quite matte but it’s not very glowy either.

Purchasing matte and satin finish blushes is pretty much foolproof as what you see in the pan is pretty much what you can expect upon application.

But for shimmery blushes, make sure that the shimmer leans more towards warm and golden tones or the shimmer/glitter matches the color of the blush.  I’ve bought a couple of blushes with shimmers that’s either silvery or, in the case of a purple La Femme blush, bluish.  I am yet to wear those blushes outside the house as it is difficult to make it look wearable.  I’d probably find a way to wear those eventually.  I’ll let you know when I do.

cream blush

II. Cream Blushes x Duo-fibre brush or Beauty Blender

I don’t really hate cream blushes, but if you’re used to powder blushes, it takes a bit of adjusting to work with a cream blush without getting totally frustrated.

In the photo above I selected several cream blushes in different formats.  Pot rouge by Bobbi Brown and Flower Beauty, Multi Stick by Nars and HD Cream blush in a pump bottle by Make Up For Ever.

For applicators, you have three options.  One is the Duo Fibre brush, which is the most commonly used medium for this blush.  I have my most treasured MAC 187 in the photo for that.  It’s my HG brush and I can’t sing enough praises about it.

MAC 187 is available in all MAC stores for P2750.00

It is expensive, yes, but boy you won’t regret spending your hard earned cash on this baby.

The second, less preferred choice would be the Beauty Blender.  Or any of those dupes that you can get your hands on.  It almost hurts me to say this because I love the MAC 187, but I prefer the beauty blender when it comes to applying cream blush.

Why?  Well, since using the BB (beauty blender) means you’re stippling the pigment using the round end, it makes the pigment blend to the skin seamlessly.  This method also ensures that you won’t displace your foundation or concealer if you choose to wear your blush over it.

But if you’re just looking into adding a pop of color on your cheeks and don’t actually wear a lot of makeup, you can get away with applying cream blush using your fingers.  Swirl you ring and middle finger over the pot and lightly dab the color on your cheeks until you cover desired area and get the color intensity that  you prefer.

A. Shade Selection

Since I’m a cream blush noob, I stick to staple colors I am comfortable with.  Peach, pink, coral, and earth-tone red.

I find it easier to work with cream format when I don’t have to sheer the product out so much.  Heavy blending can displace your makeup base, which is a pet peeve of mine.  I also notice that cream blushes tend to mix with whatever foundation you have on and the color changes.  I really hate this. -_-

Clearly, I still have a lot of cream blush practice to do.

B. Finish

There are 2 cream blush finishes.  The usual finish is that it stays dewy even as it sets.  Some cream blushes have cream to powder finish where in sets and appears matte and dry.

I’ve tried a lot of cream to powder blushes lately and I really prefer them to the ones that remains tacky. Try Boujois cream blushes or Revlon cream blushes.  They’re pretty good for cream blush noobs. 

I usually reach for my cream blush on weekends when I just want natural flushed looking cheeks.

Most cream blushes do not have shimmer as they are glowy even without the shimmer, so if you’re trying out this format, look for a shade that you are comfortable with and work your way to bolder and deeper colors as you get used to it.


So that’s my guide to powder and cream blushes!

I hope I didn’t make you dizzy with all the details.  Let me know if you’re up for an tutorial or demo on blush application.  I’m thinking of working on a separate post for that. 🙂

Let me know what you guys think in the comments.

Talk later!



Beauty: 11 April Favorites

Beauty, Favorites, Personal

Hi everyone!

It’s been a while since my last post and I really missed rambling on here.

There seems to be a conspiracy that is keeping me away from my 1 blog post a week goal.  I had a wakeboarding accident a couple of weeks back and I sprained my MCL in the right knee.  I’m getting better and I can move around and drive but it’s still not back to 100%.  I’m currently having therapy sessions to heal my injury properly.

So my injury, plus the numerous deadlines looming at work has kept me far faaar away from blogging the past few weeks.  I’m actually writing this post while waiting for some things I need for work. haha!

Despite the injury and hectic work schedule, I’m still feeling really positive because it’s already May!  It’s my birth month and for some weird ass reason it just feels like everything will go my way this month…  Or will it?  We shall see.  But aside from the tragedy of turning 23, there are just so many things going on right now and I’m so excited about all of it!

1. My cousin is getting married next weekend! (finally!)

2. Several relatives and friends are coming home from the States. – This is always fun! 🙂

3. Frantic work pace will pause after May 22; but then again maybe not…

4.  Which means I can totally enjoy my first solo trip to Siem Reap by the 24th!  Soooo excited!

5.  My injury is healing rapidly and I should be able to get back on my board soon. (yeah!)

So now that I’ve rambled on, it’s time to share with you my favorite beauty products from the past month!  It’s a miracle to only have 11 items for April.  I actually have been using pretty much the same things since March, but I’ve tried a couple of some new and not so new things too, so here are my top picks:

01 Primary

02 11 items

Clockwise: Bourjois Maxi Format Makeup Remover, Beauty Cottage Chic Duo Eyeshadow in Peach Choco, Heroine Make Long and Curl Mascara, Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation in 190 True Beige, Kiko Makeup Milano Concealer in Fair, Bite Beauty Lip Pencil in Rhubarb, Denman Hair Massager, Tweezerman Mini Teezer, MAC Cremesheen Glass in Star Quality, Chic Cosmetics Round Kabuki Brush, Gino McCray Single Eyeshadow in Light Peach

eye products

Let’s start with the single eye products!

I’ve had this Kiko Concealer for a while now and I am guilty of forgetting that it existed.  Good thing it’s still in perfect form.  This is too light for me at the moment so I use it as a highlighter instead of a concealer.  I love to dot and blend this along my nose bridge, inner corner of the eyes and underneath the brows.  Think of it as reverse contour.  It’s less obvious but very effective.

Kiko Makeup is not available locally.  I got this a few years back on a Eurotrip.

Beauty Cottage eyeshadow duo in Peach Choco – I can’t praise this thing enough.  This is an amazing product.  Pigmentation is incredible, very true to color, what you see in the pan is exactly what you get when  you apply this on the lids.  Texture is very soft and buttery, almost creamy, and blends like a dream.  I cannot believe I scored this at at a discounted price of 320 Baht in Bangkok, plus I get to pick another eyeshadow duo for free.  I am not kidding!  That’s about 500.oo pesos for 2 excellent eyeshadow duos!  I own a number of MAC eyeshadows and I have to say that the quality of these eyeshadows trumps some of the MAC shades that I have.

I love the other duo too but the shades on this one are just spot on and perfect for summer, no other shades necessary. I was in a hurry when purchasing this though so I couldn’t get more.  I’ll definitely pick up more products the next time I’m in BKK.

Gino McCray Eyeshadow Single in Light Peach – Another beauty product I scored in Bangkok.  Got this at 95 Baht (P150.00) which is 50% off the usual price of 180 Baht.  Another excellent eyeshadow.  Very similar to the Beauty Cottage one  when it comes to texture and pigmentation.  The shade looks bronze-y in the pan but actually looks more like burnt rose gold when swatched.

This shade is perfect for summer and really lovely for a single eyeshadow look.  Just make sure to build up the color on the crease to make it look like you made more effort than you actually did. 😉

Revlon NN

Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation in True Beige – I’ve been wanting to try this foundation since it came out late last year, but I just couldn’t kick my BB Cream routine back then.  I bought this one on impulse a month ago though because I stopped using my BB cream after I got really tanned.

I have to warn you, this foundation oxidizes like CRAY.  On initial swatches, this shade was perfect for my tanned skin.  When I got home and applied it on my face, I was aghast to find that it turns more than 3 shades darker on me.  That and it looks really flat when it sets on my skin. *insert horrified mouth gaping moment here*

I was so dismayed since I was expecting a dewy finish from this product.  It did say “Nearly Naked” so the implication is it will look like skin.  But NO it did not. I wasn’t happy and I thought it was doomed to rot in a hidden corner of my makeup stash.  At least until I thought of mixing it with some gel moisturizer.

When diluted, this thins out just enough to give me that natural looking finish and light to medium coverage.   It still oxidized but this time it just went about a shade darker which wasn’t a problem for me.

So now it landed on my favorites list because it is pretty good, despite the fact that it doesn’t look Nearly Naked like it claims to be.

I am currently searching for a lighter foundation that will work well when mixed with this and a setting powder that won’t flatten and totally mattify it.  To shop for new stuff or shop from my stash?  Hmm.   and no, I don’t want to get another bottle of the Revlon foundation in a lighter color.

lip products etc

Some odd lip and eye products and a brush

Chic Cosmetics Round Kabuki brush – This is a dupe for the Sigma Round Kabuki.  I ranted about this in my old blog but I found that the prickly bristles softens after a couple of washes and now I really enjoy applying my foundation with this.

Bite Beauty Lip Pencil in Rhubarb – The perfect My Lips But Better shade with a mauve tone to it.  Love the texture and fragrance of this product!  It’s really pricey but this was part of a gift set so I got 4  travel size shades for the price of one full-size pencil.  I think I just might get this shade in full-size when I finish it.

MAC Cremesheen Glass in Star Quality – LE lipgloss from MAC.  Something I’ve had for a while.  This was actually a PR sample I got back when I was still in publishing.  I haven’t used lipglosses for quite some time, but watching Korean TV Series got me thinking of wearing lipgloss again.  I’m glad I did because reopening my lipgloss drawer made me realize just how many lip products I’ve been neglecting.  lol!  Anyhoo,  I hope MAC releases this as a permanent color because this shade is perfect for the summer!  Love the feel of this gloss too.  It’s not sticky like the lip glass but it is tackier than most lipglosses so it lasts longer.  It also makes my lips look plump and blurs the natural grooves of  your lips.  I don’t know why I but really love it when lipglosses do that.  I might be using this for a Korean Makeup tutorial soon.

Heroine Make Long & Curl Mascara – They weren’t kidding when they said this mascara will elongate and volumize your lashes.  It really would.  Move over Fairy Drops.  This baby just drop kicked you off the Mascara Top Charts  in one hit.

HM Mascara

This mascara has a thin and curved wand that makes it easy to maneuver and reach all of your lashes.  I advise that you wipe off some of the product on a tissue before using this, especially if it’s a new tube, because it will make your lashes clump like crazy.  So just wipe it, swipe it on your lashes, et voila!  It will give your lashes some really mean lift and volume.  Work quickly when using this mascara as it dries really fast, and when it does, it’s not moving out unless you attack it with an oil based makeup remover.

Picked this up at HK for around 60HKD.

tweezerman denman

Tweezerman Tweezer – This tweezer is supposed to be smaller than the usual Tweezerman tweezers, though honestly I can’t tell the difference.  It feels the same and works just as well at a fraction of a price.  This is only P500.00 ish or so compared to the Limited Edition ones that are almost 800 to 900 bucks.  Tweezers are just Tweezers.  I’m willing to pay for quality so long as I see a good reason for it.

Denman Hair Massager – I love love love this!  I used to run a hairbrush through my scalp a couple of times to stimulate blood circulation, but this one, hands down, does a better job at it.  If you like getting your hair brushed and that tingly feeling when  your stressed scalp starts to loosen up, then get this thing.  Like now.

P295.00 at Beauty Bar Stores.

Oh, you’re welcome.

26 Bourjois

Another item I picked up at HK.  I think it was HKD 60.00 then because it was on sale.  This works just as well at the Lancome Bifacil but it’s way cheaper.

If you ever find yourself in good old Hongkong, pop by one of the Bonjour stores and pick up a bottle of this.  You won’t regret it.


So that’s my favorite for the month of April! I just noticed that my previous post was my favorites for March. GAH.  How was I reduced to posting once a month?  I didn’t even notice the month passing by so quickly! batshitcray.

Anyhoo, I’m working on another post today and it should be up by this weekend.

Until my next post!