Mar 032010
 

Make Up For Ever (“MUFE”) has introduced a new line of blushes called HD High Definition Blush (HD Microfinish Blush) ($25) that recently appeared on Sephora.com and Make Up For Ever’s own website.  Being curious about these new products, and impressed with Make Up For Ever as a line, I ordered two to give these a try.

In the picture, the one on the left is #2, called “Bright Raspberry” on Sephora.com and “Carmine” on MUFE’s website.   On the right is #1, called “Vibrant Plum” on Sephora.com and “Cassis” on MUFE’s website.

The blushes arrived packaged in clear tubes with a push-top applicator.  The package is a lightweight plastic.  Because of the clear tube and vibrancy of the blush, it will be very easy to tell when you are close to running out.  By pushing the applicator part-way down, the flow of the product could be controlled to some degree if you are very careful.

There are not very many products on the market for comparison.  Giorgio Armani made a liquid pump blush on a limited edition basis a few years ago, and some of their fluid sheers can be used as blushes.  However, Armani does not have the color range of MUFE’s by a long stretch. You get more for the price with Giorgio Armani’s pump liquids.  That is, MUFE’s HD Blushes are .33 fluid ounces for $25;  Giorgio Armani’s Fluid Sheer’s are $59 for 1.0 fluid ounce.  The MUFE HD pump is not as easy to control as a Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer, nor is the packaging as sturdy.  However, the texture of MUFE’s HD Blushes is completely unique in my experience.

The HD Blushes are remarkably small, and very highly pigmented.  Here is a size comparison between the HD Blushes and a MAC lipstick container:

Compact, right?  However, the pigmentation of the product is really what matters–and this blush is enormously pigmented.  The tiniest dab is enough to do both cheeks easily.  The texture of the blush is reminiscent of a stain –it does not add or subtract to the natural texture of your cheek.  Thus, when I was wearing this over a foundation, it neither added any shimmer nor did it mattify.  It sort of melted onto the skin as a soft layer of color.

I was only able to test one of these for a full day before writing this review.  I can report that it lasted all day, including a one-hour workout, until I removed it with an oil cleanser.  I got no color-shift or fading that I was able to notice.  The application process was easy–a tiny squirt onto one finger, then tiny dabs over the cheek before blending.

I can tell it’s going to take me a day or two more of practice to be able to do a natural gradation on the cheek and to control where to concentrate the color.  I’m sure it can be done, but I haven’t quite gotten that down yet.

Here are color swatches of #1 Vibrant Plum/Cassis, in three different intensities:

Here are swatches of #2 with Bright Raspberry/Carmine:

Overall, I like these very much and recommend them.  Of course, your mileage may vary.  Here’s some more specific thoughts.  On the plus side:

- Huge pigmentation, can be sheered down to a glow

- Great quality-the color looks the same on the cheek as in the tube (except more sheerly applied of course)

- Great staying power/ no color shift

- Lightweight, seems like a gel-texture that isn’t prone to clogging pores

- Beautiful range of colors

A few minuses:

- I’m worried about traveling with these, the packaging seems a little fragile

- The pump might be a little difficult to control–you only need the tiniest bit to get enough

- Not enough testers available in stores yet

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Mar 022010
 

The Winter Olympics are now over, and so too the blush marathon must end.  I feel as though I’ve spent a significant amount of time over the last few weeks on Chanel products, so it is time to add some variety.  Later on, there may be time to add some more Chanel Joues Contrastes from my drawer to the site.

So far, I’ve reviewed fifteen Chanel blushes in the Joues Contrastes format.

To organize the information here, here are the Chanel Joues Contrastes blushes reviewed on the site to date:

  • Enchanteresse is reviewed here.
  • Fandango is reviewed here.
  • Imprevu is reviewed here.
  • In Love is reviewed here.
  • Lumieres Magiques is reviewed here.
  • Luna is reviewed here.
  • Mocha is reviewed here.
  • Narcisse is reviewed here.
  • Nude is reviewed here.
  • Orchid Rose is reviewed here.
  • Reflex (non-U.S.) is reviewed here.
  • Rose Bronze is reviewed here.
  • Rose Petale is reviewed here.
  • Tempting Beige is reviewed here.
  • Turbulent is reviewed here.

Hopefully this will allow you to click to compare them.

One blush that I’m unlikely to ever add is Fresque, which was released for Fall 2009.  I’ve tried this several times at counters, attempting to get it to work but I still cannot understand the logic of that blush.  It’s either the peach equivalent of Narcisse, or a glowy highlighter.  Unfortunately, it nearly completely matches my natural skintone when applied.  Chanel’s sales associates (yes, more than one) have literally refused to sell it to me, as it simply is invisible on me when applied.  If you are fair and warm toned, now you know.

Which is  your favorite blush–of any brand or type?

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Mar 022010
 

The final blush that is part of the Chanel Joues Contraste marathon is Rose Bronze (currently available, $42).  This blush is an unusual bronzy-peach with a touch of pink.  The blush has a soft, warm bronzy iridescent sheen that will look lovely on warm skin tones, especially when worn on darker skintones or with bronzer on paler ones.  I’m not entirely sure whether pale cool toned users would like this blush–the bronze tones evokes a goldish-brown which might clash with such coloring.

Rose Bronze is probably the peachiest blush in Chanel’s current Joues Contraste lineup, although as you can see there is quite a bit of pink in the blush.  Here are two swatches of Rose Bronze, the one of the left is applied with a dense highlighter brush.  The one on the right is applied with a dense eyeshadow brush so that you can see the color with full pigmentation:

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Mar 012010
 

Chanel’s Fall 2007 U.S. Collection included Joues Contraste in Narcisse, which was discontinued a few months ago.  For Chanel, this was a much shorter product cycle than many of their blushes.  Narcisse was an extremely popular color, and its fans are left to wonder why.  At present, the U.S. version is extremely hard to find.   I understand that the non-U.S. version, which differs in color, tone, texture and pigmentation, is still being sold in some countries such as Canada.  It is gone from Chanel’s website for some other nations, including France.

Narcisse provided a very soft, glowy pink color.  It was a barely-there slightly cool pink, without the very faintest hint of coral tone on some complexions.  On darker skin tones, the blush either disappeared or could be used as a highlighter.

My half-used Narcisse is pictured below:

I apply this blush quite densely on my Cameo-Intensity 1.0 (MAC NC/15) complexion, or I will see very little color at all.  I find myself using a much heavier hand with Narcisse than other Joues Contraste blushes.

Here are some swatches, below.  I am unable to wring any more color from this blush.  Click to enlarge:

If anyone out there knows of a duplicate for Narcisse that is currently sold, everyone would be greatly appreciative if you post your thoughts in the comments.  Narcisse will be greatly missed.

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Feb 252010
 

Chanel Joues Contraste in Rose Petale (currently available, $42) is a sophisticated pink.  The color seems to be appropriate for both young and old, providing a pretty skin-brightening fresh tone.

This has a subtle rosy glow that always looks appropriate.  It is neither dramatic nor extreme, and yet I can’t think of anything else that quite duplicates this color.  As with other Joues Contraste blushes, the finely milled powder invites layering for more dense color application.

This has a very “lunch at the Ritz” or “tea with the Queen” feel to it– that is, I can be comfortable wearing these on even the most proper occasion and feel perfect.

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