For the longest time, I avoided using shimmery blushes like the plague. I was a follower of the Bobbi Brown makeup ethos: only neutral, wearable shades, and matte blushes for the cheeks. 'Who naturally blushes with shimmer?' was a question Ms. Brown posed in her earliest book, Bobbi Brown Beauty. It was my first beauty book and I was fresh from college (and hence, entirely gullible) when I read it. So when Ms. Brown said that frosty, shimmery blushes were too unnatural, who was I to disagree with her?
It was only until 2 or 3 years ago when I questioned that blush belief. Thanks to the internet and the advent of beauty forums, I saw how other ladies, from all over the globe, use shimmer to add a touch of glow to their faces without looking like a kindergarten's glitter project for Christmas.
I never abandoned using matte blushes, mind you. What I did was to complement my matte ones with a sheer dusting of shimmer blush high on my cheekbones, since an all over matte face can look too flat and one-dimensional. Used correctly, a shimmery blush gives a subtle glow to the face. A recent favorite is In2It’s Sheer Shimmer blush in 03 Plum Pearl. It comes in a sturdy, square, Lucite case embossed with flowers. The top part of the packaging is clear, allowing me to see the color of the product even without opening it.
|I like the packaging: simple, sleek, sturdy, and I can see the color.|
Plum Pearl is an inappropriate name for this blush. To my eye, plum is a deep red color with a violet undertone (think of it as a cross between an apple and an eggplant). Sometimes it may even have subtle brown undertones. And when you add the word ‘pearl’, I envision a pearly white sheen or iridescence.
In2It’s Plum Pearl is none of these things. In the pan, it looks like your run-of-the-mill peachy pink blush. But if you look close enough, you’ll see that this is a lovely combination of gold and true pink. Swatched lightly, I get the finest true gold sheen, not too yellow and not too orange with just the slightest hint of pink. Swatched a tad heavier and I see the pink coming through interlaced with the gold.
|L to R: light swatch and heavy swatch. (Notice the pink undertone of the product in this shot.)|
|In this shot you can see more of the fine textured shimmer.|
|One more picture (this product is extremely difficult to photograph). I added this because you can see both the golden shimmer and the pink tone.|
|Without flash: the product looks almost 3x darker than it actually does in real life.|
|With flash: This is the closest color shot I can get that 'almost' captures how it looks like in real life.|
I find that the color can layer well over an endless variety of blush colors, but I like it best:
- Over a cool pink blush since the gold sheen subtly warms it up without muddying the color;
- Over a peachy-pink blush for a true princess pink which I find especially flattering for those with yellow undertones like mine; and
- Over a tan or bronze blush for a rosy sun-kissed look without looking, well, too brown or too bronze.
|Here is Plum Pearl in action. In this pic, I gently buffed it over a matte tan colored blush.|
|A close-up shot of the previous one so you can see how wearable it is.|
In2It didn’t specify if this is a baked mineral product, but I think it might be one. It’s dome shaped and very similar to MAC’s mineral blushes and skin finishes in form as well as application. When I swipe a brush over it, I get little to no powder residue which is good.
I think it’s impossible to over apply this product. It has a very fine texture but applies sheerly, giving me the choice to build up the color depending on my comfort level. I’ve used a stippling brush and a true blush brush to apply the product on my cheekbones. And in both instances I got a soft dusting of color. For times when I want the pink and the gold to show up more, I use my (clean and sanitized) fingers to apply the product. I gently pat and blend the color in a semi-circular motion and my body heat (through my fingers) helps the product mesh with my skin better. It intensifies the shimmer without making it look too frosted.
If you are blessed with clear, smooth, and pore less skin, you might be able to get away with just using this product for blush. But if you’re like me, and Nature has slowly started making your pores become a bit larger, you might need to use this more sparingly as a cheek highlighter.
In2It is available at most health and beauty departments nationwide. This particular item is price at PhP299.00 for 4 grams of product.
P.S. A word of caution to ladies with oily skin: tread carefully with cheek highlighters. We (I have oily skin as well) are blessed with abundant facial lubrication which in itself provides shine to the face (admittedly, not the good kind of shine). I find it best to blot excess oil first, follow with a light dusting of powder, and then a sheer re-application of the blush color before re-applying any cheek highlighter.