cheeky business

Hey, it’s time again for some beauty talk! Maybe a couple of you have wondered whether I heeded any of your past advice. I have! I still use the Aveeno brightening moisturizer, and I did try the Bare Escentuals mineral foundation (too makeupy for me). I also got that Bigelow lip balm, which is nice and minty.


I can’t believe I am showing you a photo of my hyperpigmented, splotchy cheek. Well, anyway, I don’t really wear much makeup to speak of, but I decided recently that I should wear blush. I have tried some of those gel stick blush things as well as stuff you smear on with your fingers, and I have come to the conclusion that I would prefer something I can brush on–no muss, no fuss. I think I want something pink and rosy, but would I look like a scary grandma? I welcome all your suggestions on your favorite brands, colors, you name it!

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48 Responses to cheeky business

  1. Mary-Heather says:

    Oh, this isn’t a dry brush, more like a nail polish brush (I’m not making it sound like something you’d want to put on your face, but bear with me): Benefit Benetint. It’s liquidy and a really light tint and easy to use and smells like roses. And it works as lip tint, too. I love that stuff!

  2. Scout says:

    Yeah the Benetint is good but I love my MAC blush.

  3. Sara says:

    Cargo Blush in Tonga. A nice happy pink on Asian skin without any of that glittery businesss. I’ve used mine daily for over a year and it still looks untouched. I think I’ll have this compact forever!

  4. Tooth Carrie says:

    I love when you ask this stuff because I always want to know too!

  5. Johanna says:

    I second the benetint. I’m scared of blush as I don’t want to look like a… woman of dubious profession.. but it actually works pretty good.

  6. megan says:

    oh my little yellow pal… my pupa bronzer is awesome. blush is nice and rosey for winter, but summertime calls for bronzer on the cheek!
    i can’t get over how great your skin looked when i saw you! you are so damned cute 🙂

  7. john says:

    DAP and a putty knife.

  8. Spackle is good. I bet Peter has a trowel you can use.

  9. dana says:

    MAC well dressed is the best! Very pink and pretty.

  10. Geri says:

    I have two suggestions: Be sure to wear sunscreen every day no matter what! Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch SPF 45, it’s great. Also check out Bobbie Brown cosmetics. She has a nice line for asian skin. I’m half asian/caucasian and love her line.

  11. Margaret says:

    I like this bronzer/blush stuff that comes from smashbox:
    It can double as eyeshadow too because it’s composed of like 5-6 different colors.

  12. katrin says:

    i cannot give you advice on color or something, as i don

  13. sarah e says:

    I am suprised that more people haven’t mentioned Nars. I think their more popular colour is “Orgasm” but for my oddly olive yet pale skin tone (I think that translates as “yellow”) “Deepthroat” works the best. It is a nice adaptable peach with a hint of shimmer in the tin but it doesn’t actually show up on your face. Don’t ask me about the pervy names, I don’t make ’em, I just buy ’em 🙂

  14. eve says:

    Try Benefit Dandelion. It’s a light rosy color that you apply with a fluffy brush. Very light coverage so it gives you a glow, but you just apply more for extra color if/where needed. Comes in a square cardboard box. I’m always afraid I’ll leave streaks with the liquid/gel stuff.

  15. Ashley says:

    I’m seconding the Benefit Dandelion (they also make a bronzer and a peach-y one)!

  16. katie says:

    I like easy-to-find, plain old Revlon cream blush, in the square compact with the pop-up mirror. I have olivey skin and use “Berry Flirtatious”, which is about as pink as pink gets. I use a fluffy brush to apply it (I know, it wouldn’t have ever occurred to me that you could use a brush with cream blush, until I saw Carmindy do it on WNTW). It’s nice and sheer but adds the color I want, plus it looks totally natural and it lasts. All day!

  17. Megann says:

    Try something peachy with just a hint of brown in it. Peach can be much more flattering than a rosy or pinky color, and look more natural. Mac has great colors in every product, and they last forever, both in the pot and on your face. Reasonable prices, too, for a big brand name.

  18. carolyn says:

    MAC powder blush in the shade ‘angel’ is a pink that looks good on anyone. more or less pink depending on how much you put on.

  19. janel says:

    The very best advice I can give about something like blush is: Go to Sephora and try on a bunch! They’re great about free samples and that way you can compare side by side and find what really works best for you. Personally I use the cheek tint from The Body Shop, I’m not too fond of the powdered blush. Thanks for the slurpee tip, by the way!

  20. gleek says:

    NARS, color: sin. excellent. i’m a big fan of NARS. they’re brush-on blushers last all day.

  21. marielle says:

    Can’t help out on the blush front, but I can share my secret Holy Grail product for hyperpigmentation: Neutrogena Pore Refining Cream with SPF 15. It works better than anything in the arsenal of prescription products I’ve tried – but it’s hard to find. Dr* is the way to go!

  22. Gina says:

    Cargo has great blush, and the amount you get for the money is amazing! MAC also has nice product. I would ask the Beauty Advisor to help you with some suggestions. Go to Sephora for Cargo. They can also suggest other lines without the impetus of commission.

  23. Renata says:

    Benefit Dandelion, but don’t use the brush it comes with- it’s bunk. Spend a few extra bucks and buy a decent blush brush and you’ll be verrry happy. The one that comes in the packaging doesn’t hold a lot of product and it tends to smear.

  24. Gina says:

    Sorry. But I want to add that some non-department store brands are great. Milani is very nice. There’s also Sonia Kushak at Target that has good colors at a good price.

  25. Karen says:

    Here’s one to try: it’s a local Portland company that makes natural mineral makeup in nice shades. I read about it in the Oregonian recently but haven’t tried it yet.

  26. Eileen says:

    I don’t wear very much make-up, but do use MAC powder blush – Cubic is the color. They have good brushes too, which are well worth the money.

  27. Looby says:

    You have to try Benefit Dandelion or the benefit Benetint as previously mentioned, they look good on all skin tones.

  28. Lydia says:

    I don’t wear much make-up either, in fact, I get through the day wearing just Blinc mascara (a very different kind of mascara) and Bobbi Brown concealer (great stuff–it’s a cream and powder combo) for undereye dark circles. When I do wear blush, which I dread because then I have to put at least some light foundation on (MAC) or else it disappears in an hour, I use MAC, which has a nice broad range of colors to choose from and you get a good value.

  29. KELSEY says:

    MAC blush in the color ‘cubic’ is great – looks good on lots of skin tones!

  30. Mary says:

    I like Nars blush in Orgasm. I can’t attest to the name, but it’s a very pretty pink with a hint of shimmer.

  31. cheryl says:

    Hi Mariko,
    Definitely check out the Portland based Alima Cosmetics…she has a really nice line of products and you can buy them in small trial size samples. She makes really pretty shimmer blushes as well as a more matte one. She ships really fast also…you’ll get it within a day usually.

  32. freecia says:

    I have lots of freckles, too! Those Japanese girls in magazines have pale glowing skin while my Chinese self has freckles right across her nose. From Halogen lights perhaps?
    I use Philosophy’s liquid stain product that goes on lips and cheeks. Works really well to give a healthy glow.

  33. Minna says:

    Pure Luxe Cosmetics’ (www[dot]pureluxecosmetics[dot]com) powder blush in “Nymph” is very close to NARS’ “orgasm” at a fraction of the cost. Plus you can get a sample for about a buck! PLC is another small internet-based mineral makeup company (like PDX’s Alima) that has a pretty rabid fan base.
    I like Nymph for spring/summer, but for a real natural flushed look on my freckly Chinese skin, I use “Afterglow”. (Doncha love the names they come up with for makeup?)

  34. madmommy says:

    Um, ok, I sell Avon…so I recommend (for blush) the True Color Blush in Antiquity. It works on everyone I know so far and is a powder blush (I don’t do well with creme blushes either). And not as pricey as some others.
    And I think freckles are cool.

  35. Lisa says:

    I also like MAC in “cubic” … like you, I wear little makeup and it is natural looking.

  36. carole says:

    NARS Orgasm turned my life around. Ok, that’s extreme.
    It’s the best, most subtle, yet amazingly face-changing blush ever.

  37. Jaime says:

    I really like Clinique powder blush in Totally Tawny. It doesn’t look very pink in it’s powder form, but it would be on your skin. My skin tone is much like yours and this blush leaves a subtle pink shade on me.

  38. Kim says:

    I recently discovered Loreal True Match. Probably the C2 color is what you want, but I would use the foundation matching card to match your skin and then check the the coodinating blush. The colors don’t look so amazing in the package, but they really give a very natural looking fresh glow to your cheeks.
    I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks that Bare Minerals are too makeupy (I think the term I used was cakey). Everytime I saw the commercials, I started to wonder if I was the crazy one.

  39. Julia says:

    I agree with the MAC Cubic, and NARS Orgasm people. I’ve used both, love both. Cubic is more brown-y and Orgasm is more pink-y.
    Don’t worry about the price – my NARS blush has lasted for four years.

  40. suzanne says:

    MAC blushcreme in Summer Lily. Beautiful coral-rosy, natural, glowy, lush, translucent & super long lasting. So easy to apply, melts easily into your skin. No scary old lady clowny circles! I’m also pale with freckles/age spots! Asian of a certain age…

  41. danielle says:

    I just discovered Mary Kay products and found that I like them a lot — they don’t make me break out like a lot of other products do! They have a blush color called “apricot breeze” that looks really nice and brushes on sheer so it looks nice and natural.

  42. Michele says:

    Nars Orgasm – you can get it at Sephora.

  43. Gina says:

    I love Benetint too… but it is a bit expensive for me. I have been wearing Bonne Bell sheer gel blushes for years. They are similar to Cliniqe gel, Benetint or other more expensive blushes. I know you are looking for a powder, but these are so sheer and they make you look like a kid again… not someone wearing makeup. Here’s a link (they’re not easy to find, but they still make ’em!)

  44. Shauna says:

    I randomly came across your journal and have to chime in that I love both Nars’ Orgasm and Sin. I use Orgasm more during the day and Sin when I go out at night. Both colors work beautifully. I actually love all of Nars’ colors in their shadows, glitter pencils and lip colors (glosses and lipsticks). No, I’m not affiliated!

  45. Susan says:

    Benefit Dandelion is good if you like a look that isn’t too makeup-y because the color is really light and you can put on more for a more pink look or just put a little to make your complexion glow a bit. I also hear great things about Nars Orgasm but haven’t used it myself.

  46. Mery says:

    I don’t wear much makeup either but I do like the the rosy cheeks =) I also have hyperpigmentation so if you have any advice to share I’d be happy to hear! Anyway, I like the blush from Stila and also this kind of liquid type of tint from Philosophy that I don’t remember the name, but you can use it on your cheeks and lips and it is AWESOME!!!! I think is called The Supernaturals or something like that, but it gives you rosy cheeks and rosy lips, like you finished eating a big juicy strawberry.

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