I’ve been on this kick lately of wanting to own every red blush EVER. MAC Frankly Scarlet. Illamasqua Libido. Dolce & Gabbana Sole. NARS Exhibit A. ALL THE RED BLUSH. Each are quite different from the other and therefore totally justifiable in purchasing (right?!). However, last month when I scored another red on my list, Becca’s Beach Tint in Papaya (described as a ‘hot red’), I had to pause in my red blush frenzy – not all of these shades will look good on me, guys! :’(
As some of you know, I’ve been sort of struggling to figure out my skintone – cool, warm, neutral, what is it? – and I think I’ve decided that I’m neutral with a bit of a cool leaning. Well, I think that my assumptions have been confirmed with this blush – it is FAR too warm for my skintone and has to be worn with an exceptionally light hand. See for yourself:
Though it doesn’t look terrible on me the way I’m wearing it – which is to say, very sheerly – it’s really not my best shade. with my tan I can pull it off, but any other time of year I suspect this will look ghastly (not to be confused with ghostly, as this is much to orange-toned and vibrant for that). This leads me to believe that similarly warm-toned blushes such as the Illamasqua or NARS versions noted above, may not be my cup of tea. I need to tread more carefully.
I suspect that the shades that will work best for me are more coral-red (such as D&G’s Sole) or the more pink-red tones of the MAC shade noted above. I’ve swatched the only other shades in my collection that even come close, NARS Boys Don’t Cry (of the coral-red camp) and MUFE’s #12 First Kiss (which in fact is a touch too orange and I usually layer it with other products).
Its interesting to look at these swatches, because I still feel like Papaya looks flattering here – but don’t let it fool you. I had to blend and blend down to next to nothing to ensure I didn’t look like I had been burned in a fire. Its certainly a summery shade and paired with bronzer can work well, but I prefer to wear more effortless shades that compliment naturally, even if they’re brighter. I’m starting to wonder if the key to blush isn’t to pick complimentary shades to your skintone, but contrasting. In swatches Papaya looks made for my skin and Boys Don’t Cry is more stand-out, yet the latter absolutely looks fantastic on me no matter if I’m tanned or not. Similarly with NARS Desire if you recall. INTERESTING.
Ultimately, I’m happy to have this shade as it represents a niche I hadn’t filled in my collection, and as it was a acquired via swap, I don’t feel bad about owning it. It was an excellent way to trial-run a warm red blush and learn that I probably won’t acquire any more in the future, focusing my energies instead on cooler-toned shades. The product itself is quite nice – easy to blend and wears quite well (though not exceptionally tenacious on my oilier skin). I likely won’t pick up anymore shades as most of them contain linalool which I avoid in products (can cause allergic reactions and sensitivity in people with eczema), but if you don’t have those concerns, I’d definitely check them out – they’re so easy and handy!
Do you own any red blush? To which tone does you skin favor, warm or cool?