The Great Purge of 2014: Aftermath – Blush

Clockwise from top left: Sonia Kashuk Enchanted, Sonia Kashuk Charmed, BECCA Bolero, BECCA Sweet Pea, BECCA Songbird, Jane Iredale Clarity

I’m a true blush fiend so getting rid of blushes from my makeup collection was a really time consuming process for me.

It took about a year but I did it!

For a makeup collector *coughhoardercough* purging can be really difficult and if you’re dealing with hundreds of items it can be quite a daunting task but I can tell you the strategy that worked for me.

First, lay all of your blushes out so you can see everything you have.

Second, break them up into color families: pink, red, mauve, berry, nude, peach, etc. Some blushes may be a little hard to categorize because they’re a mix of pink/peach, brown/red, etc., so set those aside and come back to them later. Deal with the blushes that are more easily definable first.

Third, working with one color family at a time, swatch your blushes together on your arm and eliminate any repeats/dupes. If you have two or more blushes that are really similar in color, compare their finishes and pigmentation and choose your absolute favorite among those to keep.

That’s the basic guideline I used to narrow down my stash to about 50 which is a number that’s a lot less overwhelming than 100+. After that it was about wearing the blushes. That sounds simple (like, duh, of course wear your blushes) but because I had so many there had been blushes that had been sitting in my drawer untouched and forgotten for years. I put the blushes I had left on rotation and from there it was easy to figure out which colors flattered me and which didn’t. With that simple step I was able to completely eliminate all of my red and berry blushes.

When I was down to 25 blushes then I started focusing on ingredients and formulas. I personally dislike blushes that are extremely hard or extremely soft, so I got rid of the blushes with those characteristics and kept those that were a happy medium between those two extremes: soft but with enough structure to hold together and not cause a dusty mess in their compacts when I used them.

Last but not least I eliminated blushes with talc, an ingredient that I find really drying on my skin. You could argue that this should’ve been my first step in editing my blush stash but I feel like foundation acts as a buffer between my skin and blush, so I’m more forgiving with blush formulas/ingredients. I’m a lot pickier about the ingredients that go into my foundations.

Clockwise from top left: Sonia Kashuk Enchanted, Sonia Kashuk Charmed, BECCA Bolero, BECCA Sweet Pea, BECCA Songbird, Jane Iredale Clarity

So, there you have it. From 100+ down to six.

The blushes that made the final cut are:

  1. Sonia Kashuk Dewy Luxe Lip & Cheek Balm in Enchanted
  2. Sonia Kashuk Dewy Luxe Lip & Cheek Balm in Charmed
  3. BECCA Bolero
  4. BECCA Sweet Pea
  5. BECCA Songbird
  6. Jane Iredale Clarity

As you can see, I’ve narrowed it down to three warm/nude blushes that are great for everyday and three bright blushes to keep things interesting. It’s just a coincidence that the three bright blushes are also cream blushes.

Out of all the cream blushes I’ve tried my favorite formulas for dry skin belong to Sonia Kashuk and Jane Iredale. The ones featured here are all really moisturizing and quite dewy/glossy without any shimmer or sparkle.

I also really like the Maybelline Face Studio blush sticks and if I could only buy from the drugstore that’s what I’d get (that and the Sonia Kashuk cheek balms). Unfortunately, the only shades I had had shimmery finishes and I got rid of them for that reason but I’d happily buy them in a matte formula.

I know that Stila’s Convertible Colors are getting a lot of hype right now especially after tarababyz’s recent glowing review of the Field of Florals palette — heck, she’s really tempting me too — but all I have to do is go back to my older blog entries to remember that while I love the colors Stila comes out with I’m not a big fan of the Convertible Color formula. It’s okay but not my favorite. The Convertible Colors feel too thick, heavy and sticky on my skin, especially in humid summer weather. Plus, they aren’t dewy enough for me, especially if I use a brush to apply them. In general, I think that applying cream blushes with a brush takes away the dewiness, so I prefer to apply them with fingers.

As far as powder blushes go, my favorite formula, hands down, belongs to BECCA. Their blushes have the most natural, skin-like finish and blend so well into the skin. If you prefer to go the drugstore route, my favorite powder blushes are the Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Airbrushing blushes (in the blue packaging). The shade range is extremely limited but the powders are silky soft with a satin finish and never look heavy or chalky on the skin.

I loved the Cargo blushes for a time and went all out buying a bunch but, in my opinion, the BECCA blushes have them beat. The Cargo blushes, especially the lighter shades like Cannes and Catalina, can come off slightly chalky looking on the skin. I believe that’s due to the talc in the Cargo blush formula which gives the blushes a powdery, drier looking finish compared to the talc-free BECCA blushes. Talc is something I’m trying to avoid in all my makeup moving forward.

Purged Blushes

Here’s a look at some of the blushes I purged from my collection. These aren’t even all of the blushes I got rid of, simply the ones I happened to take photos of for my blog and blog sale. There were others that I just gave away that I never photographed.

Some of the blushes purged include those from high end/mid-range brands such as LORAC, Laura Mercier, Smashbox, Tarte, Bobbi Brown, Josie Maran, Cargo, Benefit, theBalm, Shiseido, Too Faced, Sephora, Tarina Tarantino, bareMinerals, and Estee Lauder to drugstore/low-end brands such as Canmake, NYC, NYX, e.l.f., CoverGirl, Maybelline, Majolica Majorca, Coastal Scents, Hard Candy, Bonne Bell, Jordana, Jane, Milani, L’Oreal, Pixi, SheaMoisture, Revlon and Wet n Wild.

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2 thoughts on “The Great Purge of 2014: Aftermath – Blush

    • I find nude blushes suit just about any occasion or eye look because they’re so neutral and don’t lean too pink/red/peach/plum/brown. The trick, as with any blush, is finding one that flatters your skin tone. My personal favorite is BECCA Sweet Pea, a rosy nude.

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