Tuesday, February 16, 2016

NARS Blush in Impassioned and Shiseido Blush Brush

NARS Blush in Impassioned

NARS probably makes some of the best blushes in the market. Whenever I find a new one to love, the question I ask myself is, why don't I own more? I think I have three and I remember that when I got each one, it became a favorite. I started with Orgasm and used that as my main blush for years before I got married. This was a period when all my makeup would fit in a large Caboodle. Down the line, I purchased Douceur (posted here). Douceur was a limited edition shade and I'm so glad I have it because I don't think I have ever been able to find anything like it. However, as with most makeup phases, they pass, and while I still like Douceur, I don't use it, or Orgasm, frequently anymore.

Cue the NARS Spring 2016 makeup collection, featuring the new blush in Impassioned. And yes, I am once again, totally in love. This is the pink blush that I have been waiting for. It's the blush that's replaced my Chanel Tweed Rose as the blush to wear when you just don't know what to put on. Actually, save for a few other blushes that I've been trying out lately, this is the one blush that I do wear all the time. I've heard that it's going to be part of the permanent line so I'm looking forward to Impassioned being available as a refill pan. That might push me to finally pick up one of their customizable palettes. That is, if I ever hit pan on Impassioned.

I never hit pan on blush products because I use blush rather sparingly. Perhaps the reason that I don't own more NARS blushes is because I fear that most of them are so highly pigmented that I'm going to have much trouble keeping the shade just right when I put it on. I theorized that it could also be the absence of the right blush brush to get the job done. Many times over, I have contemplated purchasing the Lisa Eldridge-approved Suqqu blush brush. 15,000 yen is a lot of money for a brush. I don't think I have yet spent that much on any one single brush. But availability is also a problem as I live in the US. I'm not one to try eBay and I don't generally purchase from stores outside of the country or from websites that don't have a brick and mortar store. Beautylish is one exception to this general rule and I have bought my newly-beloved Chikuhodo brushes from them. But they do not carry Suqqu. So, when I heard about the Shiseido brushes being possibly comparable to Suqqu, I had to try them out.

I bought the Powder Brush and the Blush Brush. Many retailers carry them: Macy's, Nordstrom and the Shiseido USA website if you're more comfortable purchasing it directly from the brand. They didn't cost me an arm and a leg. They're not in the category of cheap but for the amount of use they've been getting from me, I think the brushes have been well worth it.

For now, I'm just going to show pictures of the blush brush. Size-wise, it has a small to medium sized head as compared to the rest of the blush brushes in my collection. The handle is a typical length, easy to hold, wooden and painted black. The ferrule on mine didn't sit completely flush against the handle on the bottom part but I haven't had any problems with it. That does tell me though, that quality control isn't as good as I'd hoped. If only for that reason, I suggest buying this from a store that won't give you a problem with returns, should this brush fail your expectations.

Shiseido Blush Brush

The hairs on this brush are very, very soft. It's not a dense brush, and I think that is what sets it apart from many of the brushes that I have. The Chikuhodo brushes that I purchased last year were the softest brushes in my collection at the time. But when I got the Shiseido brushes, I could not truly tell which one was softer against the skin. They may be the same. It's just that the Shiseido brushes are not as packed and that's going to mean a difference in the way that it applies product. I really liked how the Shiseido blush brush picked up and applied my new NARS blush in Impassioned. (It's paddle-shaped, so I apply blush in that sort of pat and slide motion when I use it.) I could more easily control how much color I was getting and it did a fine job of distributing the color on my cheek. I don't think I could ever look overdone with my blush when using this brush unless I was deliberately trying to!

Aesthetically, I don't think this brush is as pretty as some other brushes that I have. The hairs don't look silken and perfectly even-colored. An odd hair splays out a little bit here and there. I already mentioned the ferrule that didn't sit perfectly flush against the handle on the one side. But the performance that I get, for the price that I paid, makes me very happy to own the Shiseido blush brush. The pair of this brush and the NARS Impassioned blush, are a constant in my makeup arsenal. I would happily carve out a spot in the box for the two of them. I am already considering getting a backup.

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