It’s interesting how you develop ‘cliques’ even in the online world. From my experience so far, they’re much more open and welcoming than the same cliques you might find in the ‘real world,’ but they’re there, just the same. In the group I seem to be running with, blush is the current obsession of choice (which, it seems to me, started with blush fiend numero uno, Tracy ). The love of blush seems to be spreading like wildfire over the past few months, and it doesn’t take long before you’re swept up in the mania, too. A year ago, blush was probably the last makeup item I desired – while I absolutely must wear it, as I have no natural flush to speak of, it just never interested me that much. Flash-forward to current day, and I suddenly am having to hold myself back from buying every brand of blush I come across. It’s madness I tell you, madness!
As I intensely dislike having dupes in my stash, but very much like shopping for makeup, I went through my blush collection to see what shades I should/could pick up ~if I so desired~. I noticed that I seemed to have a number of pinky-peach shades, and of course my blogger-brain started working and I thought I’d do a little comparison of them. The shades (and their official descriptions) are: NARS Torrid – a warm coral with golden shimmer; theBalm Hot Mama* – a pinky peach; and Benefit Bella Bamba – a watermelon pink with shimmering golden undertones. Mainly I was interested to see how Hot Mama and Bella Bamba compared to Torrid, the mother of all pinky-peach shades. Naturally, I had to swatch each of them to see just how similar they were.
I’m going to forgo much chatter here because this is about to get ridiculously picture heavy (I was bored a couple weeks ago and this is what happened). I’ll discuss the nuances of each shade in between briefly:
NARS Torrid vs theBalm Hot Mama
In all lighting, Torrid and Hot Mama look quite similar but not identical. However, the difference in the two shades is much more prominent once swatched:
The sunlight photo is a bit blurry, but I wanted to capture not only the shade difference but the shimmer capacity of each – Torrid has much more prominent shimmer particles, while Hot Mama is more of a shimmer product overall (I would probably use this as a highlight in the summer due to my darker skintone).
I couldn’t get over how different the two were – two totally, completely different shades! It taught me a lesson though – always swatch before you buy. Sometimes I’ve passed things up thinking they wouldn’t work for my skintone, other times I’ve bought items thinking they’d show up and they turn out to be rubbish (for me). Good to know.
Next, we have Torrid vs Bella Bamba. I didn’t expect them to be too close because Bella Bamba is a fair bit pinker, but in the same family with the golden shimmer:
Benefit Bella Bamba vs NARS Torrid
The difference between Bella Bamba and Torrid was the most apparent in sunlight; in the other two shots, it was a bit trickier to spot. Even so, I still felt like when these were applied, they’d look similar when blended out, because they appeared to be close in pigmentation even if the shades weren’t identical:
Errr! Wrong again. Bella Bamba is so obviously lighter and vastly more pink than Torrid, I almost felt silly bothering to compare them at all. They’re shimmery – that’s where the similarities end. And again, Torrid contains shimmer particles in a matte base, whereas Bella Bamba is shimmery as a whole. So…nope, no dupes there.
Regardless of the fact that I seem to be color-blind, I’m still happy I did the comparison, as it justified my ownership of each shade, and actually made me better aware of what look each imparts. It also highlighted the fact of just how crazy-pigmented NARS blushes are; during the summer months, while Bella Bamba and Hot Mama will be stashed in the back of my drawer (there’s no way they’ll be showing up on my tanned skin), Torrid remains a prominent player in my blush rotation. That’s not to say it’s better, just that it is a great addition and value in my collection as I can wear it year-round.
Do you own any of these blushes? Do you ever buy replicas of shades, or do you try to get colors that you don’t already own?
*Thanks to Liz of Beauty Reductionista for generously giving me the Balmbini Palette: Babies of the Balm, which contains the Hot Mama shade – you rock!!