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making faces :: becca makes me blush

dom is extremely understanding about my makeup addiction interest. he not only knows that a colourful treat can pick me up when i'm feeling ground down, but he even appreciates different colours, textures and looks and is great at making suggestions. i'm a lucky lady. where he draws the line, though, is with blush. by his own admission, he can't ever tell one from the other and i imagine that's true for many people: unless it's applied really heavily, it's always just a few tones from your natural skin colour, and if it is applied really heavily, chances are you look crazy.

but i can always tell when i get blushes and highlighters just right. i'll catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and there will be a difference that's visible even if the view is fleeting; i find i'll look healthy or, and i've never quite figured out why this should be the case, happy. having a perfectly complementary colour seems to bring a positive energy to my face. but not just one complementary colour, of course. the fun is in finding different ways to achieve different effects.

and since i'd already had my interest piqued by becca with their highlighter palette last year, i was excited when they launched both a new blush line and a series of duos [as part of their collaboration with makeup artist jaclyn hill] that featured both a blush [in their previously existing, matte mineral formula] plus one of the two highlighters developed for the hill line.

i snoozed and lost with the large blush and highlighter jaclyn hill palette earlier this year, but since i already had one of the highlighters, 'champagne pop' from last year's palette, and not all of the blushes looked like a good match for my colouring, it was actually a bit of a relief when the blush i most wanted and the second highlighter were made available as a duo only. less money, and i get just what i want.

the duo in question is 'pamplemousse' mineral blush and 'prosecco pop' highlighter. 'pamplemousse' is french for grapefruit, and, indeed, the shade does look like a very bright red pink, much like the inside of the fruit when it's been sliced in half. it's a lot less like the colour of pink grapefruit juice, or sliced grapefruit, which is lighter and softer. this is a bold colour, although it fortunately can be applied lightly and diffused to keep the effect from looking too dramatic on light skin.

pamplemousse

i was a little surprised that this shade wasn't closer to others in my collection, because, when i first laid eyes on it, i thought it would be. mac 'salsarose' is pinker and deeper. armani '509' is considerably deeper and looks almost magenta by comparison, which shows that 'pamplemousse' has more warmth in it than is immediately apparent. for colour analysis purposes, it's a shade that will flatter both bright seasons- winter and spring- immensely, having a lot of pigment and a warm-under-cool kind of tone that can be hard to find. it's also available as a single shade, which may be important to you, as i'll explain shortly.

l to r :: mac salsarose, pamplemousse, blush d'armani 509

the texture of the blush felt a little stiff and it wasn't the easiest to blend out, but it also didn't just blend away. given the two options, i'd rather blend more and apply less. on the skin, the finish is beautiful. it's very smooth, doesn't emphasize pores and it gives an especially healthy glow if you buff it with a soft brush. it is a mostly matte finish, but buffing gives it some sheen, if that's your preference. i'd say the wear time was about average on me, which for a mineral blush is not great, but it's one of the better mineral formulas i've tried for longevity.

'prosecco pop' like all of becca's shimmering skin perfector highlighters, is for those whose highlighting tastes are more vegas than paris. their luminous skin perfectors are very consistent, with a shine that's nearly metallic. you will glow like a spotlight, even with a relatively light application, which, combined with the fact that the high-shine finish can emphasize pores, makes them most appropriate to nighttime wear.

the colour looks like a bright, clear, yellowy gold in the pan and you'd better believe that's how it looks on skin. there's a warmer, slightly orange undertone i could see, which i think is the effect of the gold layered over the pink tones in my cheeks. this is absolutely a warm-toned product, best suited, i think, to warm spring complexions, although probably some autumn ones as well. [the strong yellow tones could make it look a little too hard on an autumn face.]

prosecco pop

i don't have a highlighter that looks much like this at all. both hourglass 'luminous light' and becca's own 'champagne pop' look quite peachy by comparison, and those are the most yellow-toned highlighters i own.

l to r :: hourglass luminous light, prosecco pop, becca champagne pop

the highlighter, lovely though it is, is too warm for my skin, so i have to be careful how much i apply and wear. yes, i can make it work, because getting some effect takes very little product, and layering it over something cooler creates a balance, but it's not the easiest match with my skin.

if it is a great match for yours, and if you like the metal gleam that becca offers, this is a really nice and original highlight. most gold tones are either whitened, which makes them much cooler, or browned, which makes them more muted. this is warm and saturated. the blush has enough warmth that it could work with the typical true spring complexion, i think, especially when it's layered with the highlight. bright spring would be the next best match.

next up, we have 'camelia', which is one of the new shimmering skin perfector blushes that were launched in the early summer. these are meant to combine the colour of a regular blush with the shimmery finish of their highlighters. i chose 'camelia' because i was shocked to discover that i was remarkably short on plain pink blushes, ones that didn't pull too lavender or peach, not too light or dark, and i had nothing in the entire family that was even a little shimmery. clearly, we were meant to be.

the coverage on this is described as "buildable", which is usually code for "starts off kind of light and sheer". i cannot imagine what complexion would need to build up this colour. unless your face is an astrological anomaly that absorbs colour and light, multiple passes are not going to be necessary. which is to say that the formula is very pigmented. it's described as a "ballerina pink", which is a reasonably accurate description of the base colour [i remember my ballet slippers being somewhat lighter, but it's been a very long time]. but what really steals the show here is the infusion of smooth, light gold shimmer. the effect isn't quite as high-wattage as the plain highlighters, but it is pretty dazzling. it's more of a combination blush and highlighter than one or the other.

camelia [one swipe]

as i mentioned, i don't have a lot of blushes in this range, but here's a comparison with the closest one i could find, mac mineralize blush in 'dainty'. as you can see, 'camelia' is deeper, pinker and cooler.

l to r :: camelia, mac dainty

the downside of this is that the colour can emphasise pores, and the more you blend, the more emphasis you're going to get. my advice is to take a very fluffy brush [i like the mac 188] and tap it in place, then diffuse around the edges. of course, if you want to amp up the highlighter effect, blend away!

although it's not quite what was promised, i have no problem with the full-colour application, particularly since the formula is so soft and blendable. the colour really is a gorgeous pink that will suit a lot of complexions. any kind of spring mix, from bright winter to light summer is likely to find this fits right in, and will just need to get the level of colour they want.

here's a look at these beauties in action [and a sneak preview of some other products i'll be reviewing in the near future], starting with the combination of 'prosecco pop' and 'pamplemousse'. this is what the two of them look like layered- blush on bottom, highlighter on top, although if you want to reduce the effect on your pores, you could do it the other way around.

this is a pretty bright application, which i thought suited the summery colours of the rest of my makeup. [i've been sitting on this review for rather a long time.]




the eye makeup is a combination of brands and shades, including shiseido 'fire opal', a gorgeous bright orange that's sadly discontinued, and mac 'natural wilderness'. the lip gloss is anastasia 'date night', a bold red-pink with a bit of translucency. the overall look i was going for here was saturated colour, but with a sheen that meant nothing looked flat. it's all supposed to catch the light.

next up, we have a softer, moodier look with 'camelia'. as i said, there's no need for a highlighter with this one, although i am wearing guerlain pressed meteorites as a finishing powder, which tamps down the shimmer just a teensy bit. i think that this shows how camelia can be a natural-looking shade, but still give a healthy dose of colour.




the eye makeup here is made up of mainly one colour: armani's matte eye tint in 'fur smoke', which is the closest i'll get to wearing fur. the lipstick is nars' 'apoline', a recent addition to their audacious collection.

tl;dr i really like both products, but would recommend a light hand to avoid too much colour. both 'prosecco pop' and 'camelia' can do unkind things to large pores, especially when buffed onto the skin. if you're looking for a colour that suits your complexion, these will work best on someone whose complexion has at least some warmth and can handle pretty saturated, clear shades that are neither very light nor very dark.

i keep telling myself that i'll have to eventually try something other than a cheek product from becca, but they're really not making that easy for me.

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