Makeup Spring Cleaning - Blushes + Powders


One of my favorite childhood memories was going to my Pama's house (that's what we called our Grandma) with my cousin Lauren and beg to watch the old movie, The Dolly Sisters.  A quick synopsis is two twin sisters who have a raw talent for singing and dancing get hired to headline a show on stage.  One portion of their show that I loved the most was when they sung about makeup products and in particular, "rouge."  I loved how fancy blush sounded when it was called rouge and just like that my love for the product was born.  While most girls my age gravitate toward bronzer, I head straight for the blush.  So often I see girls with a full face of makeup, but nothing on their cheeks and while that's fine, it just always seem to be something missing.  Blush not only pulls a whole look together, it also defines the face much like mascara defines the eyes.  Another reason I love blush more than bronzer is that you can experiment with so many different shades!  A peachy-pink is universal, a bright pink is perfect for summer, and a berry or mauve makes a subtle statement.  It was so hard to cut some blushes from my stash but I knew I had to be a bit brutal with myself.

Just like foundation, you need to give the expiration date a look.  Almost all powder products will have a 18-24 month shelf life, but I've found through research that powders can actually last well up to 3 years or 36 months.  So definitely trash something if it's past that 3 year date and/or if the product just isn't performing like it used to.  Often "baked" powder products will fizzle out first because they are inherently drier than most blush formulas.  If your blush is cream, adhere to the foundation rule of 24 months and/or smell.

Once you've gotten rid of the old products then go through and swatch them all on your arms.  You'll easy be able to see if own any similar or identical shades and you can see if the product is still performing the way it should. Because I did end up cutting some products out, I'll be listing the ones I cut then the once I kept.


Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette

Hourglass is one of my absolute favorite brands for blush.  Their baked and marbled formulas create a smooth and iridescent finish that gives you a lit from within glow.  They go on sheer but are easily buildable and never look "clown-y."  The reason I'm cutting this palette is because it's definitely past the three year mark and has stopped showing up as well as they did.

the Balm Cabana Boy Blush

theBalm is a company known for their pigment!  This blush in particular is a deep rose with a mauve undertone and is SUPER pigmented.  While it too is past its expiration date, it still performs as well as it did the day I bought it, but I just don't seem to reach for it anymore.

Benefit Coralista Blush

Benefit is known for their boxed blushes.  Coralista was the first Benefit blush I bought and I chose it because I didn't have any coral/orange blush tones in my stash.  I loved how it looked on my skin, especially in the summer with a little tan.  I'm tossing this one because it sadly barely shows up anymore no matter how much I apply.

Laqa & Co Blush Highlighter in B'Lighter Peacher's Daughter

I received this product in a Birchbox.  I liked the consistency and color and it lasted well on the face, but it was just too shimmery on the cheeks.  


Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Paaarty

Out of all of Tarte's products they are best known for their Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blushes.  They last forever and blend beautifully on the skin.  The Paaarty shade is the perfect neutral shade and I'd recommend it to anybody not big on blush.  I'll have this shade in my drawer indefinitely. 

Nars Blame It On Nars Cheek Palette

Next to Hourglass, Nars is my ultimate favorite brand of blushes!  I love the variety or shades and finishes they bring out and their packaging is always spot on.  This particular palette was a limited edition, so while you can't purchase it now (I'd recommend their Wanted Cheek Palette, btw) my recommendation on formula still holds true.  The palette features a highlight and bronzer named Satellite of Love and Casino, and two blush shades Day Dream and New Attitude.  I gravitate towards the blushes the most and love New Attitude punchy pink for a real statement on the apples of the cheek. 

Nars Orgasm Blush  

This blush is THE most iconic blush in history.  Did you know that at least two are sold EVERY minute?! Clearly it's favorite for a reason.  Orgasm is the perfect peachy-pink with a slight gold shimmer that looks good on every skin tone and with any look.  I know many people who have used it everyday for years.  If you've never picked one up, you need to ASAP. 

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit - Surreal Light

This cheek palette is my current favorite and the one I pack with me when I travel.  It features a finishing powder - Surreal Light, a bronzer - Surreal Bronze Light, two blushes - Surreal Glow and Surreal Effect, and a strobe powder - Surreal Strobe Light.  Hourglass comes out with these Ambient Lighting Edits every year before Christmas and they worth every penny!  I love Surreal Glow for its neutral tone and Surreal Effect for its radiant peach glow. Because these shades were unique to the limited edition palette the closest shades available would be Ethereal Glow and Radiant Magenta

Lorac Color Source Buildable Blush in Tinge

Lorac's Buildable Blushes are amazing! They are perfectly pigmented and foolproof to blend.  The Tinge color is described as a matte nude.  I would also add that it has a neutral pink undertone.  It's very similar to the Tarte blush but slightly brighter which is how I'm justifying my choice to keep it around. 

Glossier Cloud Paint in Puff 

My newest blush addition in my collection and I already want more colors!  I had been dying to try out Glossier's Cloud Paint, but was hesitant since I had never tried a liquid formula blush before.  After hearing enough rave reviews about them, I finally pulled the trigger and bought Puff, the perfect bright, but not too bright pink.  Be forewarned that a LOT comes out when you barely squeeze the tube!  I found the easiest way to apply the product was by placing a small amount on the back of the hand and then using a brush like this one or two fingers to bounce and blend the product on the apple of the cheeks and slightly up toward the temples.  By having the product on the back of the hand you can better gauge how much or how little product you want to use.  The blush blends into the skin quickly and has a slight sheen.  I will say it doesn't last as long as I would want, but it's not enough of a con to stop using it.  I'd love to get my hands on the other shades, and I've heard they are great to blend together to make totally unique shade of your own. 

Nars Blush in Goulue

My last blush is the beautiful berry shade that was a limited edition product from Nars for Sephora Rouge members. I love this particularly in the fall and winter.  A good dupe would be the shade Outlaw


A makeup product I seldom use is powder.  I fall in the normal/dry skin range and powder usually emphasizes this.  I decided to give powder a try when I realized not all powders work the same.  There are two types of powders: setting and finishing.  Setting powders are used to set (duh) your makeup like concealer under the eyes or your foundation to keep you from getting shiny.  These powders are usually translucent or come in a range of shades to match your skin to add coverage and always matte.  Finishing powders are used after setting powders (or atop makeup) to create an effect.  Finishing powders are not meant to keep you matte (though some do, depending on their formula), but to fix something.  They are specifically formulated with certain technologies to color correct, smooth and minimize the look of pores, or create a glow.  So if you're frustrated with how a powder is working or just confused when walking down the aisles at Sephora, just remember to look at the entire name of the product not just the word "powder" and you should be able to better pick a powder that will meet your needs.


Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light

I dipped my toe in the powder pool with this product after I saw them all over Youtube years ago.  In particular FleurDeForce was obsessed with this powder and she, like me, was not into powder.  The Ambient Lighting powders come in different shades to color correct and give the illusion of particular lighting situations.  Diffused Light has a pale yellow undertone that flattered my skin and literally made my face flawless.  I loved that it didn't dry me out or make me look flat.  Now you might be wondering why I'm cutting after that obvious good review.  Well, it just comes down to expiration.  I've had this powder for well over 3 1/2 years and it just isn't creating the same glow it used to, but don't worry I've already ordered a new one!

Soap and Glory One Heck of a Blot Powder

While I definitely don't shy away from indulging in higher end products (the speed in which I obtained Sephora Rouge status proves that, sorry Brett love you!) I do love researching drugstore products that are known to deliver high end results.  This powder was mentioned numerous times by trusted beauty blogger, Estee Lalonde.  She reported the she found herself grabbing this drugstore powder more than her many high end ones on the daily and always had a compact of it in her purse.  I quickly jotted it down in my phone and stumbled across it on sale in Target -- WINNING!  This product is SUPER matte, perfect for summer and for extremely oily faces.  It set concealer and spots really well with a very soft almost invisible finish, but unfortunately I just found the shade too pale for my skin.  So if fall on the paler side of the skin spectrum, I might have just found your new favorite powder. 


Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder 

This my friends, is the mother of all powders. Cult classic, favorite by makeup artists, and even made this dewy skin loving girl love powder!  I have yet to come across a more smooth and fine powder that sets makeup all day.  It is the top selling powder at multiple retailers and you need it in your makeup bag.  I had always heard great things about this product but I just didn't get why...I mean it's just powder. But trust me, the hype is real for a reason.  Also to note: it comes in a pressed form too, so it's a bit easier and safer to travel with every day or on vacation. 


My makeup drawer is starting to clear up which I guess means it's time to buy more products! Just kidding...maybe.

By the way, I just finished writing this post with TWO pups at my feet! If you haven't met the newest addition to our family, head to my Instagram to meet Denver

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