Pretty as the Clarins Skin Illusion Blush looks, it’s a rare miss from the brand this time around. It’s not the first time I’ve been disappointed with Clarins make-up: they definitely need a formula upgrade to replace the dry version they have now. I love the packaging though – the blush sits in the lid with a cushion sponge applicator that boings down onto the product to leave a dab of colour that you then transfer to your cheeks.
However, that’s where the love ends because in use, that wide, round applicator is a devil to get any decent blend with and I’m still sitting with round pops on my cheeks looking like Aunt Sally. The actual blush formula is dry with a lot of drop and it immediately made the skin on my cheeks look dry. If the formula was less powdery, blending would be much easier. Even the swatches look poor, and believe me, I have tried.
The darker shade, which is more of a bronze colour, is full of sparkles. I used a concealer brush to lay down the colour but it took several attempts and this is the best one. I’ve looked around US reviews (they got this earlier than us) and nobody else thinks it’s dry (or aren’t saying so)! So – maybe it is just me and this formula just isn’t the one for me. At the top of the swatch is the peachy scented Kiss pH reactive lip balm – a joy and the saviour of this collection. It sprang into life on my lips as a light but kinda bright pink shade.
When all’s said and done, I still think Clarins does lips better than any of their dry formulas – their Lip Oil is still one of my favourite products of all time (limited edition HERE, £19) but these dinky blushes aren’t for me. The Clarins Skin Illusion Blush (and Kiss pH) launches in March.
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Boots 17 had something similar a couple of years ago, called Cheek Stamps maybe?! Not sure if they’re still around xCx