Read ALL about my review process including how I take swatches, photos, and more here.
So Estee Lauder wasn’t exactly known for having a wide range of blush. By far. But the genius that is the brand’s Creative Director Tom Pecheux designed a line of 16 blush shades so pigmented, so luminous, so sensuous that upon seeing them at Macy’s Herald Square, I nearly fell out.
It gets this serious, people. This is makeup after all. *hair toss*
Seriously, these blushes are so beautiful—there’s two finishes, satin and shimmer, and with the 16 color range, there’s a shade for everybody. My NW47 self actually found five gorgeous shades and immediately purchased them after frantic swatching (and odd looks from the counter people).
Remember how I said I loved Tom Ford Cheek Color because it was so luminous and radiant but the vivid hue in the pan doesn’t translate on darker skin like mine? It’s like these Estee Lauder Pure Color Shades are similar in texture BUT carry enough pigment so that even the chocolatiest of skin can get its glow on.
In fact, here’s a quick guide of which shades to go for first according to your skin tone. This is of course not to say you shouldn’t try other shades listed for your skin tone—but just to help you narrow down some choices.
Quick rule of thumb with blush: the darker your skin, the brighter the blush
Fair: (think Nicole Kidman) Peach Passion, Pink Kiss, Lover’s Blush, Sensuous Rose, Wild Sunset
Medium: (think Sarah Jessica Parker) Brazen Bronze, Peach Passion, Pink Kiss, Wild Sunset, Lover’s Blush, Pink Ingenue
Light Olive: (think Kim Kardashian) Wild Sunset, Brazen Bronze, Mauve Mystique, Rebel Rose, Electric Pink
Dark Olive: (think Freida Pinto) Mauve Mystique, Wild Sunset, Hot Sienna, Exotic Pink, Audacious Plum
Light Tan: (think Rihanna) Wild Sunset, Electric Pink, Brazen Bronze, Pink Kiss, Rebel Rose
Tan: (think Eva Mendes) Wild Sunset, Brazen Bronze, Mauve Mystique, Pink Kiss, Rebel Rose, Alluring Rose
Caramel: (think Queen Latifah) Wild Sunset, Poppy Passion, Hot Sienna, Brazen Bronze, Electric Pink, Rebel Rose, Mauve Mystique
Dark to Deep: (think Gabrielle Union to Alex Wek—not to lump all of us together, but these skin tones can all work the brighter shades) Wild Sunset, Hot Sienna, Exotic Pink, Poppy Passion
As you can see, Wild Sunset is universally flattering–it’s a bold punchy coral with golden shimmer—like NARS Amour Blush with the shimmer from Orgasm. It can be toned down or kicked up with layers. Lover’s Blush is also universally flattering but used in different ways on different skin tones. On lighter skin, it’s a soft golden bronze but on darker skin, it’s a golden highlighting shade.
Wear? Expect the matte shades to last longer–particularly if you’re like me and have oily skin, but overall I went through a day (which I measure as eight hours for makeup because it’s rare if I wear it out longer than that) with the blush still visible and pretty vibrant.
And how do they compare to NARS Blush? NARS Blush which is now $28 (when did that happen???) have .16 oz of product, while Estee Lauder Pure Color Blush has .24 oz of product for the same $28 price tag. NARS of course has a more extensive line of shades (25 in total), but Pure Color Blush is definitely a very strong contender giving NARS a run for its money. I mean, I’m not throwing out my NARS Blush, but Pure Color Blush will definitely be in heavy rotation for quite some time. Shoot, I did buy five shades…lol.
Bottom line: These are a definite must-have…and I don’t say that often around these parts. You will appreciate the glow, the pigmentation, the whole sensual experience of applying this blush to those awesome cheeks of yours. And it comes in pretty packaging, which if you’re a nut like me and bought five can be tough to store if you like palettes, but I’m sure you’ll live. I will.
Where to Buy: some counters may have these out already–Macy’s Herald Square in NYC definitely has them out, but you can pre-order at EsteeLauder.com, at Dillards below, and it should be available throughout March at Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Nordstrom.