Thursday, December 15, 2011

Milani Baked Blush in Red Vino Review and Swatches

I'm kind of a blush fiend. It's not the item I have the most of (that would be lipsticks/balms/stains), or even the second-most (that would be eyeshadow), but it is the item I feel I have the most versatility in. Unlike eyeshadow, where I pretty much just stick to nudes, or lipstick, where I'm really arbitrarily picky (berry-plum-rose-red, but it has to be the right kind of berry-plum-rose-red), I feel comfortable wearing a lot of different colors of blush. And, since I'm so pale, especially in the winter, I find blush to be the most important part of making me look not sickly. I have many of the staples covered, but I was lacking one true classic: red. Then, along came Milani's 50% off sale, and I decided to pick up the Baked Blush in Red Vino, an intensely saturated red with gold shimmer.
Milani Baked Blush in Red Vino

On me, it's definitely a pink-based red (not orange), and when applied with a very light hand, looks natural and glowy. Since blood is red (in case you hadn't heard), a really natural-looking blush should also be red, and this one definitely fits the bill. Since I'm neutral-cool, the pink really makes this wearable on me. 
Blended (but still heavy) swatch on the left, unblended (and obviously heavy) swatch on the left; enlarge to see the gold bits
While the gold is really obvious in the pan, I don't find it to be too much on my face. I tend to tap off any excess powder from my blush before application, which I think helps cut down on too much sparkle, but I don't think it emphasizes my pores, as some larger glitter can do.

But as I said earlier, it must be applied with a very light hand. This shiz is pigmented. Barely tapping my Real Techniques blush brush gives plenty for one cheek; using my flatter, less fluffy elf Blush Brush picks up less pigment, and I imagine a stippling brush would be the ideal choice for those of us with light skin to wear this blush, but as I don't have a stippling brush, I must make do with what I can. Fortunately, if I can make it work, pretty much anyone (barring albinos) can. Those with darker complexions will love this blush, since you really don't have to pack on color to get a good payoff. 

The packaging is a bit tacky with the fake gold, but it's sturdy enough (probably wouldn't try dropping it, though, since plastic + baked blush = crap, now the floor looks like it's blushing), and it has a nice little compartment under it with a travel brush. 
The brush is garbage, like most included brushes are, so I wouldn't use it except in the most dire of circumstances, like, if guns were involved. 

I find this blush wears all day on me with minimal fading, unsurprising given its heady pigment, but a definite plus nonetheless. It's only 0.12 oz (compared to NARS at 0.16 oz, and theBalm blushes at 0.25-0.35 oz), but it's so pigmented that I don't anticipate hitting pan anytime soon. Full price, it's $7.99, which is a bit steep for a drugstore blush (for me, anyways), but it's $6.99 on Target (with free shipping, currently), and, if you're lucky enough to live near drugstores that carry Milani, there are often weekly sales. Definitely worth checking out if you like blush, want a nice cool red-pink, and want something that lasts all day.

$7.99 for 0.12 oz, available from drugstores and Milani; $6.99 for 0.12 oz, available from Target and Cherry Culture

Quality: 8.75
Effectiveness: 5
Ease of Use: 4 (really pigmented, so if you're light, you have to be careful during application lest ye look like a clown)
Senses: 5 (hasn't broken me out, no scent)
Pigmentation: 5+
Duration: 5
Consistency: 4 (not as finely milled as it could be)
Price: 3.75 (I got it for $3.99, which was great, but $8 is a bit painful)
Value: 4.75 (yes, it's small, but it's so pigmented that it'll last just about forever)
Grade: A-

What do you think of Red Vino? Do you have a favorite red blush? Have you tried any of the other Milani Baked Blushes? Any you think I should try?
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