I’ve had a long time fascination with neutral blushes. I suppose it is only a matter of time before I just move into contour powders. But for now I thought it would be interesting to compare some recent acquisitions with some old favorites.
In the Strength Collection, Mac released Taupe Shape ($20) and Poised ($20). These sold out almost immediately online. According to a response to my email, Mac’s customer services stated that neither will be restocked online. The Strength Collection was also released in Mac stand-alone stores (but not department store counters). Several Mac stand-alone stores seemed to have gotten a good supply of both Taupe Shape and Poised, so if you are interested those stand alone stores are the only places to find them.
Intrigued by the name “Taupe Shape,” I wondered whether this blush might be a more user-friendly version of Chanel Notorious (now apparently sold out). As it turns out, it is (sort of). Mac’s Taupe Shape is softer, ever so slightly warmer, and far less pigmented. These combine to make early morning application more user-friendly and foolproof. Of course, Mac’s Taupe Shape lacks Chanel Notorious’ drama, but I don’t know of any blushes (ever) as dramatic as Notorious.
Some will find Mac Taupe Shape far too cool and too edgy. For those, I recommend Mac Poised, or a more brown or amber blush. Here I compare this to my well-worn Shu Amber 85 (long discontinued, a matte) and Mac Sur, a mauve-brown that sold out in a heartbeat last year. However, there are other brown blushes on the market (check Illamasqua Create, Nars Madly, Burberry Earthy and others) or even soft bronzers that can do the trick. Other worthy contenders are the softly mauve Giorgio Armani Blush #5 (reviewed here by The Black Panties) and the amber Rouge Bunny Rouge Delicata (reviewed here by The Pink Sith).
I can barely apply Chanel Notorious with a standard brush. I use a duo fiber and also wipe it down before application. Mac Taupe Shape can be used with an angled or small-headed blush brush (for precise placement). Some may find Mac Taupe Shape and Poised too shimmery for contour purposes (compare these to The Beauty Look Book’s review of the Mac Sculpting powders). I didn’t find Taupe Shape very shimmery on my cheeks, personally. Heavy application with flash: