Monday, December 11, 2017

Brief Thoughts on Recently Hyped Fragrances

I have this rather embarrassing tendency to hoard perfume samples like a fragrant dragon, it's true, but I don't think I can be entirely blamed for it. These teeny vials are a dime a dozen; I regularly have two or three thrown in my Sephora and Nordstrom orders, sales associates have no problem making me a trial size of whatever I'm interested in, and a lot of my friends who don't wear fragrances just dump their samples on me. I also have a slight obsession with pretty discovery sets and am forever on the quest for Full Bottle Worthy scents, but, you know...let's just ignore that and pretend it's not my fault.

What I must work on, though, is thinking carefully about hype before I make my purchases and free sample selections. For instance, I'm vaguely aware that I encounter two different forms of fragrance hype. First, there are the chic, "don't you want a lifestyle like this" Instagrammers who post carefully posed pictures of unisex fragrances in minimalist bottles, the types of perfumes that smell like musk, citruses, ambroxan, and a hint of millennial pink. (I openly admit that I am sometimes guilty of this.) Then there's the YouTube "frag comm," which is male dominated and tends to favor rich, spicy, or textured fragrances loaded with patchouli, leather, vanilla, incense, and tobacco; if it's a niche fragrance, all the better, my man. I enjoy both communities, and somehow, I get suckered in to both forms of hype.

Hence, I now own a number of samples from Commodity and Replica (minimalist Instagrammers), as well as a few bottles from Imaginary Authors (Frag Comm). And I think it's time to give you some of my thoughts on them. Please note that the product images you're about to see were stolen from Sephora and/or the house's website, since my broke ass doesn't have full bottles of any of these.

Lipstick On, by Maison Margiela Replica

I used to snark that Replica fragrances were just lazy attempts at making people feel like they've moved beyond the department store. Then I realized I was being a fucking fragrance hipster, which is annoying. I still stand by my belief that the range as a whole is merely okay, initially became popular because of the minimalist bottles versus any sort of outstanding smell, and is overpriced for the quality. But you know what? Some of these are nice, easy-to-wear-without-smelling-too-generic perfumes, and I get why people love them.

Lipstick On is one of the few I never got to smell in stores, so I'm glad it popped up in one of my recent Sephora orders. When first spritzed, this perfume smells like straight up lipstick wax--not like old school perfumed lipsticks, not like a candle, but like an actual waxy lipstick. That might sound gross, but as a lipstick lover, I really appreciated this brief but nostalgic top. After 15-ish minutes, it fades in to soft, sweet, very slightly powdery floral, with notes of vanilla, iris, and heliotrope dominating. Lipstick On had typical Replica fragrance performance on me: it sat close to the skin and faded within 3-4 hours.

Again: merely okay and blatantly overpriced, but easy-to-wear and, for me, vaguely nostalgic. If they sold smaller bottles of this at a reasonable price, I might actually get one just for that waxy top.

Book and Tea, by Commodity

I probably should've known that Commodity's range isn't for me. The people who wear their fragrances tend to have very different tastes, and the note lists don't usually inspire me. They also claim that their perfumes are meant for mixing to create "your own unique scent," which I get is a thing some people enjoy; it just kind of seems like an easy way to excuse a high price tag for a super simple fragrance. However...I had that $20 off of a $50 Sephora purchase email. And there was a discovery set. I'm weak for discovery sets. And the set included candles! Instagram fodder! Wee!

Yeah, no, this was a bit of a disaster. I actually love how the Oolong candle smells--I'm burning it as I write this, even--and I sort of expected the Tea fragrance to smell similar. The minute I sprayed it on, I realized I'd made a mistake. Not only does it smell thicker, muskier, and less fresh, but it has a jasmine note in it. Now, I love jasmine to bits, and it usually smells amazing on me. But jasmine can also go very fecal. And that's what happened with Tea: I smelt like a Port-a-John for a full hour until a subscriber was kind enough to suggest removing it with rubbing alcohol. Even when I sniff it in the bottle, it smells weirdly rank. What a shame.

I have a slightly different problem with Book. I actually can see why people enjoy this one, but I don't think it's as unique or complex as people suggest, and I'm not entirely sure why it gets so much hype. Admittedly, it has a simultaneously green and woodsy quality that I think makes it very unisex and pleasant; there's earthy vetiver, some crisp, bright cucumber and herbal eucalyptus for freshness, and a little bit of sandalwood that adds texture. But it's just...okay. It's like Cool Girl cologne, and that's not a terrible thing, but it's also not something that stands out to me. And as with every other Commodity fragrance I've tried, Book doesn't last more than 4 hours (though it has okay projection while it's on).

As a side note, a lot of people compare Commodity Book to Le Labo Santal 33. While they share some notes and have a similar tangy quality to them, I really think they're being compared because they're both popular right now. Book reads more green and fresh, Santal 33 is thicker and more textured.

Slow Explosions, by Imaginary Authors

I'm very open about my appreciation for the Imaginary Authors range, as well as my preference for leather fragrances. So you'd think I'd jump right on Slow Explosions when it came out in 2016.

Instead, I waited it out. Fragrances are expensive, and niche lines like Imaginary Authors are pretty much impossible to smell ahead of time unless you live in a big city with a quirky perfume shop or are able to snag a sample. Since I didn't have those opportunities, I gathered information from oodles of raving YouTube reviews and waited for a bottle to float my way.

When I first sprayed this perfume, I actually said out loud, "Oh my God, why the Hell did I get this?" The initial blast is an unpleasant, chemical leather smell that reeks of melting car tires. I almost scrubbed it off, but I waited ten minutes...and I'm glad I did. While I'll never enjoy that acrid opening, the middle is stunning. Large amounts of saffron give the leather a soft, almost powdery feel, a dash of tarte apple lingers in the background, and there's a muskiness underlying all of it that makes it quite sexy and smooth. This is definitely a modern fragrance, and while I admit that my personal preferences play a part in this, I truly feel it's way cooler than almost anything else I've sniffed recently.

Then again, I like to eat a gallon-sized bowl of popcorn while watching The Great British Baking Show in bed, so I don't know if I'm the best judge of "cool."

Sillage is moderate with this fragrance, provided you only do one or two sprays (which is more than enough). I get pretty solid staying power from Slow Explosions, but though it does sit closer to the skin after the first couple of hours.

Friday, December 8, 2017

FOTDs: Balance

Kevyn Aucoin's books were the catalyst for my makeup obsession, no doubt about it. I loved flipping through the incredible before-and-afters and gazing at the total transformations. But to be honest, I didn't actively try to implement most of his tips. I read them, definitely, and there were some that absolutely resonated with me, like "I don't use specific product names because that doesn't matter." Telling myself I was going to do A, B, and C from now on? Nah.

That said, I've realized that some of his recommendations have become internalized. This includes several pages of Face Forward that deal with balance. Aucoin recommends dividing the face in to two halves--eyes and lips--and deciding whether they're dark or light. He then uses these terms throughout the rest of the book, ie, "This is a dark eyes, light mouth look." As was his wont, Aucoin made it clear that there was no right or wrong way to balance a face; rather, understanding balance helps us figure out what we're drawing attention to and what "mood" we're creating.

Personally, I've become quite accustomed to making half of my face dark and the other half light. Both sections being light generally makes me look washed out, while both sections being dark is...just a lot of look. That's not to say I've never done it: this FOTD with Besame Merlot is an all dark look, and I'd argue that a lot of my barely-there makeup reads light-eyes-light-mouth. Overall, though, I do strive for 50/50.

 As always, click the picture to enlarge. It was a bit of a gloomy day for the photo on the right, hence the slightly different lighting.

I really wanted to see how this balance would play out in a comparative FOTD post. Hence, I used as many similar products and prep steps as I could for these two looks:


PREP: Belif True Cream Moisturizing Bomb all over face; lips exfoliated with Paula's Choice lip scrub [D/C] and hydrated with Aquaphor ointment; lashes curled with Shu Uemura curlers


BASE: MAC Face & Body foundation in C1 + White--mixed with Tarte Shape Tape in Fair where more coverage is needed; Maybelline Dream Lumi Pen in Ivory; Clinique Moisture Surge Spray


CHEEKS: Glossier Cloud Paints in Dusk + Beam; MAC Strobe Cream; Glossier Haloscope in Quartz


EYES: Lancome Monsieur Big mascara; Milk Makeup Gel Brow in Pilsner; Glossier Boy Brow in Clear


The only differences are in the eyeshadows and lip products. On the left, the light-eyes-dark-lips look features Colourpop powder shadows in Hear Me Out and Bel Air over a base of Too Faced Shadow Insurance; the lips are MAC Scarlet Ibis lipstick [L/E], outlined with MAC Basic Red pencil and with a bit of Glossier's clear gloss on top. On the right, the dark-eyes-light-lips look involves a mess of Butter London Glazen Eye Gloss in Oil Slick smeared in to some Milani Liquid Eyes eyeliner in Black [D/C]. The lips are NARS Raquel.

Personally, I'm more drawn to the dark lips than the dark eyes. My eyes are rather deep set and I have dark circles, so while a smoked out eye can look more dramatic, I think it also tends to make me look rather tired. Bright lips, however, draw attention to my large teeth (which I actually like) and don't seem to detract as much from my skin, which has been very well behaved lately. Both looks have their place, of course, but I definitely prefer the balance shown on the left.

How do you feel about makeup balance? Is it actually useful when you're creating a look, or do you find it overly restricting? What about blush and highlighter, which can be quite dramatic these days--should we actually separate the face in to three sections?

Monday, December 4, 2017

GIVEAWAY! Besame Classic Color Lipstick in Merlot

NOTE: This giveaway is open to both the US and Canada.

It's no secret that I've become a bit of a Besame stan over the past year, and now I want to share the joy with you. I capitalized on the Black Friday sales and bought a brand new tube of 1933 Merlot, a brick red shade in Besame's trademark formula that should flatter the majority of skintones. The open tube in this picture is mine; yours will be the brand new one nestled in the beautiful Besame box.

As always, there are some rules for this contest:

  • You must be at least 18 years old and located in the US or Canada to enter.
  • Canadian entrants must remember that I pay for my giveaways out of my own pocket and it is more expensive and intensive to ship to Canada. If you are a Canadian winner, you will likely have to be patient until I can find the time and money to ship out.
  • You must be prepared to provide me with your full name and address if you win.
  • You may only enter once. Using multiple accounts to enter is cheating and will result in immediate disqualification.
  • Comment on this post to enter. Your blog post comment must describe your favorite vintage (pre-1980) film or book to qualify.
  • Entries will be finalized on January 12th at 11:59pm EST. I will use to pick a winner.
  • You do NOT have to be subscribed to this blog to enter, but I will announce the winner in a blog post, so it might help to bookmark BOGL for the next month if you've entered. If you do not respond to that blog post within 48 hours, I will draw a new winner.
  • Please be aware that I have comment moderation turned on to avoid spam comments. Your comment may not appear right away. Do not submit multiple comments.

Best of luck, and thank you for supporting Bad Outfit, Great Lipstick!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Pray For My Face, December 2017

Despite the fact that I am not a skincare expert and my face tends to hate All The Things, I decided that I'd shift my focus to skincare in 2018. This doesn't mean I'm not going to buy makeup--lipstick still exists and I am weak--but it does mean I'll be trying to get my base in order so that makeup application is all the easier. And if I'm going to invest time and money in to something, I also want to write about it for my blog, even if my reviews are not especially technical or wildly helpful. Hence, I'm starting a mini-review series called Pray For My Face.

Why that title? Well, if you've been here for a while, you know that testing a new product makes me a little leery. My skin can be very reactive, and many of the ingredients that are supposed to be beneficial for dry skin (shea butter, caprylic triglyceride, etc.) break me out. So when I post a picture of the next contender on Instagram, I usually add the hyperbolic caption "pray for my face." I use that caption so often, in fact, that I didn't think there was any other appropriate title for this series.

I'm happy to say that the first post in this series features a slew of winners and a decent variety of products. I can't guarantee that future posts will always be this happy, and in fact, I'm sure there will be some wailing and gnashing of teeth when a moisturizer or a mask inevitably turns me beet red. But for today, ah, there is only joy.

With some criticism. I may be more exfoliated and better moisturized, but I'm still me.

Clarins Liquid Bronze Self-Tanning Lotion, $38 at Sephora

One of the things that always drives me nuts is how much whiter my neck and chest are than my face. There are plenty of days when I want to do my brows and dab on some blush, but skip the foundation, and the stark color difference in my skintone can really ruin the effect. I've actually gotten comments on Instagram about how I need to learn how to match my foundation...when I'm not wearing any foundation.

There are plenty of self-tanning lotions on the market, many of them cheap and effective, but I was told that this Clarins one gave the most natural color and wouldn't stain my pillowcase. Clarins recommends applying a small amount of this lotion to clean skin with a cotton pad, so I spread a little on to a Shiseido cotton, then wiped it down my jaw and neck. After two nights of this, I got nice base color somewhere between my NC5 chest and NC15 face, and I began to use it every other night. There was no streaking and the overall effect was really natural. There is a bit of a self tanner smell, which is unpleasant, but it usually fades within the hour.

Unfortunately, I don't think this product is quite right for me. The photo above is very forgiving, but in natural light, the color this self-tanner produces is...well, it's off. It's not that my neck ends up looking orange; rather, it looks a bit bright and peachy compared to my more muted face. I'll be returning the Clarins Liquid Bronze, but if you're light skinned and looking for a natural, lightweight face and neck tanner, this one has a truly beautiful formula.

Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Spot Treatment, $19.99 at Target

I don't have clinical acne, but I usually have a pimple or two on my face, and I like to treat them as thoroughly as I can. The problem is that most spot treatments are incredibly stripping, which can actually make you break out more and is not optimal for my bone dry face. Enter the Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Spot Treatment, a pen that promises to speed up the healing process with blue and red light therapy.

Using this pen seems easy: you just place it on your spot, press the button until the lights turn on, and hold the pen in place for 2 minutes. (It will beep and shut off automatically when it's done.) I say seems because it can actually be a bit uncomfortable to hold your arm up for 2 minutes at a go, and there isn't a large surface area on this pen--it's easy for it to slip a little on your face without you realizing and miss the blemish entirely.  Also, the pen is powered by a AAA battery, and each battery seemed to give me just a month's worth of use. Thankfully, rechargeable batteries seem to work just fine.

That said, I do like this product. If I rest my elbow on my desk and watch YouTube videos while the pen runs, I can usually keep it in place just fine. Neutrogena recommends using this on each blemish three times a day, but I think twice a day is just as good. After two good zaps with this pen, I find that my blemishes are reduced and healing faster than usual. Most importantly, this product doesn't burn or sting, and it won't interfere with any of your other skincare.

I will note that this doesn't seem to work on cysts. They're most likely too deep under the skin for the light to penetrate.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads, $15 for 28 at Sephora

I was having a rough time finding a less-than-5% AHA product that didn't have a scary ingredients list or cost a kidney, so an industry friend offered up a jar of the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads. I'd heard wonderful things about these pads for months, but the citrus extracts and the cost made me avoid them.

"Just patch test them first," my friend said, "and cut the pads in half."

"Cut the pads in half? Will there even be enough to do my entire face? I've got a really long face."

"No, really," she insisted, "they're big enough. Just cut them in half."

She's right: half a pad is definitely enough for my entire face, partially because they're a nice sized pad and partially because they're quite saturated with product. (If you have a larger face or you like to do your neck, you'll still want the full pad.) The actual liquid contains a mixture of glycolic and lactic acid. Paula's Choice says there's a total of 5% AHA, while FAB apparently told this Reddit user they contain "1.760000% of Lactic Acid and 1.400000% of Glycolic Acid," which is hilariously specific. Regardless of the exact number, it's clearly a gentler exfoliant. I will note that the citrus extracts haven't bothered me, but that may not be the case for you.

I like to use these right after cleansing and patting my face dry. I run half a pad over my face, avoiding my lips and eyes, and let it sit for about 5 minutes before moisturizing. One of the nicest things about these pads is that they don't leave any sort of residue on the skin and there's no strong scent--that's a welcome change from a lot of stronger AHAs. I use half a pad about twice a week on my dry, dehydrated, reactive skin, and they give me a subtle healthy glow.

Rohto Skin Aqua UV Super Moisture Milk, ~$11 on eBay (ingredients translated at Ratzilla)

I envy bloggers who show off collections of well-loved face sunscreens. While I've found a number of body sunscreens that I truly love, I haven't been so lucky above the shoulders. Most of the face sunscreens I've tested have broken me out, parched my skin, or gone geisha white on my already pale complexion. The few western sunscreens with viably light formulas were loaded with denatured alcohol, which always wrecks my face in the long run. So I turned to Japan for a face sunscreen I could love. After trying a handful of options, the Rohto Skin Aqua UV Super Moisture Milk emerged as the clear winner.

The Skin Aqua Super Moisture Milk is an alcohol-free sunscreen with a thin, liquidy texture; you can see just how thin it is up against Blue Lizard Sensitive in the photo above. It's a translucent white when it first comes out of the bottle, but it rubs in totally clear and feels weightless on my face. This doesn't dry my face out at all, and I can use it all around my eyes without any irritation or watering. (People with normal to slightly dry skin will likely find this lightly moisturizing, while people with oily skin should probably avoid this particular formula and go for a gel texture instead.) It's also a tenacious sunscreen: it kept me from burning during a sweaty trip to the zoo, and I had to use oil to remove it at the end of the day.

This sunscreen has been getting rave reviews across the internet, but it's not without its faults. For one, it's more expensive than any other Japanese sunscreen I tried. $11 doesn't sound like much, but the bottle is only one ounce. Also, you'll most likely have to order this directly from Japan, which means a longer wait if you live in western hemisphere. And lastly, this isn't fragrance free. I can't actually smell anything when it's on my face, but if your skin is sensitive to fragrance of any kind, take a pass on this one.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

REVIEW: Besame Delicate Rouge and Cream Rouge

When Besame offered to send me some of their blushes, I was expecting just one of the powders and maybe a pot of their Cream Rouge. Imagine my utter shock when they sent me both Cream Rouge shades and two of their Delicate Rouge powders. Actually, if you follow me on Instagram, you probably don't have to imagine my reaction; it was pretty obvious on my story:

Despite the excitement of "ERMAGAHD BESAME NOTICED ME" and legitimately gorgeous new products, I really wanted to take my time testing these out. I rarely use powder blushes, so I'm a wee bit out of the loop, and I have such an obsession with cream blushes and Besame that I was worried I wouldn't give this stuff a fair trial. Having fiddled with these for several weeks now, I think I'm ready to give my review.

Let's start with the Cream Rouges, which come in two permanent shades: Crimson, a cool-toned red, and Apricot, a bright orange. (At the time of this post, there's also a limited edition shade from the Snow White collection called With a Smile and a Song, which appears to be a rose shade.) These are packaged in small tins that are relatively easy to open, which is a definite improvement over their previous packaging that featured a lid like a bomb shelter door. The permanent shades retail for $18 and contain 3.5 grams of product.

People often complain that these are "really tiny," but that's a little misguided. For starters, you really can't compare cream and liquid blushes to powder blushes. Creams and liquids tend to have more concentrated color--you need less product to get the same effect. They're also more commonly applied with fingers, or put on the back of the hand to warm them up before using a brush, whereas powder blushes need to be a bit bigger so your brush can dip right in. For this reason, cream blushes will always seem tiny compared to a powder blush. Most importantly, it's the actual amount of product in the container that needs to be considered. In that case, the Besame Cream Rouges still seem quite small, but a cost per gram analysis reveals that they're actually relatively affordable:

 Besame Cream Rouge, $18 for 3.5g = $5.14 per gram
Stila Convertible Color, $25 for 4.25g = $5.88 per gram
RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek, $36 for 4.82g = $7.46 per gram
Makeup Forever HD Blush, $26 for 2.8g = $9.28 per gram

Wearing Besame Cream Rouge in Crimson on my lips and cheeks.

The texture of these blushes actually sort of shocked me at first. While they look very solid in the pan, they warm up quickly under your fingers and take on an almost liquid texture. They have the lightweight texture and natural tint of a stain. You get a lot of color, believe me, but you can still see your skin, which gives it a very natural appearance. I absolutely adore it.

Speaking of the stain-like quality: the Besame Cream Rouges are actually advertised as a lip and cheek product, which made me side eye them at first. I've always said that these dual use products are usually only good for one or the other: if they work for the cheeks, they're too dry for the lips, and if they work for the lips, they're too hard to blend on the cheeks. That's not the case with these; I had no problem using them on my lips and getting a very natural, beautifully flushed color. They're a hair drying on the lips, but it's easily remedied by some balm.

Because the formula is very lightweight but pigmented, you can layer it up. In other words, you can use a little to look naturally rosy, or you can pack the product on and look truly flushed and borderline feverish. If you wanna call back to the days when tuberculosis was considered super sexy, this is the product to do it.

I can only think of two downsides for these blushes. The entirely personal one is that they contain one of my acne triggers, so I can only use them once or twice a week if I want to avoid clogs. Everyone's triggers are different and the ingredients list is actually pretty solid, so I'm not knocking the formula overall. The more general complaint I have is the smell, which reminds me of cherry Chapstick. I just think it cheapens an otherwise luxurious product.

Now for the Delicate Rouge blushes, which are their powders. I have to admit that I tilted my head a little when I saw the shades they sent me: I'm very fair and lean toward the warm side, but they sent me Raspberry (a violet pink) and Sunkissed (a soft, peachy brown). I actually expected them to send me one of the other two shades, Rose or Sweet Pink.

Each of the Delicate Rouges retails for $25. They come in these absolutely beautiful metal tins with screw top lids. (It took me a second to realize they had screw tops, and I kept trying to open them like they were hinged...which is especially embarrassing when you realize the note inside the cardboard box says "please twist to open.") The powder is embossed with a really beautiful flower logo. I actually held off on trying these out because we had so many gloomy days that it was hard to get decent lighting for photographs, and I definitely wanted to photograph that logo.

With 4.5 grams of blush in each pan, these are in the middle of the pack as far as high end blush cost per gram goes:

Urban Decay Afterglow Blush, $26 for 6.8g = $3.82 per gram
Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush, $29 for 5.6g = $5.17 per gram
Besame Delicate Rouge, $25 for 4.5g = $5.55 per gram
Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Color, $26 for 3.7g = $7.02 per gram
Surratt Beauty Artistique Blush, $32 for 4g = $8 per gram
Bobbi Brown Blush, $30 for 3.7g = $8.10 per gram

Besame also sent me their Rouge Brush, and I'm damn glad, because I don't actually own a traditional blush brush anymore. The brush is decently fluffy, made from synthetic hairs, and retails for $30. That's a bit steep for me for a blush brush, but it definitely blends products smoothly and feels nice on the skin.

Now, some people like to tap their brush in to powder blushes, and other people prefer to swirl. I definitely recommend that you stick with tapping. For starters, these are decently pigmented and a lot ends up on the brush. I actually had to tap Sunkissed off on my wrist to avoid overbronzing myself. Furthermore, these kick up a lot of powder. The photo above shows what Raspberry looked like after a gentle tap. Don't get me wrong: a lot ends up on the brush. But you'll definitely have a little bit left loose in the pan.

Wearing Raspberry along my cheekbones and Sunkissed...kind of sort of in the hollows of my cheeks. I TRIED, OKAY?

Because Sunkissed is more of a bronze shade, I attempted to do a wee bit of contour with it, which...didn't work. I don't really contour because it heightens my resemblance to a horse, and I definitely didn't do the best job here. It's too warm for me to contour with, anyway, and it's too brown to work as a blush on my skintone. It's a lovely shade, but it's not right for me. Trust and believe that I have several friends not-so-subtly asking if I'm going to hand them this pot of Sunkissed.

I had better luck with Raspberry. While it reads violet in the pan and in my swatch below, it blends out to a muted pink color. (You might get more of the purple tones if you wear a fuller coverage foundation.) I really love that it's matte without looking dry or flat.

With both shades, I blended by tapping the color on to my cheek, then buffing in small circles. This formula blends easily and smoothly over liquid foundation and over powder, though it was a little easier and quicker to get an even finish on powdered skin. 

So they're not the single greatest powder blushes in the world--I might give that distinction to Surratt--but they're definitely nice. I'd have no problem recommending them to most people. The shade range, however, is a disappointment for me.

The above photos are stills from Lisa Eldridge's vintage makeup series. In all three pictures, you can see vintage blushes in bright, saturated colors. I'm wondering why Besame didn't draw inspiration from products like these. I admit that my frustration stems from my love of bright, clean blush colors, but I'm also thinking about deeper skinned people. The existing Delicate Rouge shades have a pastel quality (with the possible exception of Rose), and none of them seems strong enough to show up on dark skin. Something like that bold pink on the bottom, however, would probably look beautiful on dark skin, and that would make the range more accessible.

Lastly, I want to add a quick note on staying power. Both of these formulas lasted for more than 6 hours on my cheeks with very little fading. I have very dry skin, though, so blushes tend to stick to my face regardless of the formulation. I'm not sure how long these would last on very oily skin.

As a whole, I was pleased with the Delicate Rouge and wowed by the Cream Rouge. They're beautifully packaged, well formulated, and a joy to use.

Cream Rouge: 5 out of 5
Delicate Rouge: 4 out of 5

These blushes were sent to me by Besame. As I made clear to the company, I only write honest reviews. I do not accept financial compensation for my posts.
You can purchase these products on the Besame website.