Thursday, January 10, 2013

Red Blush Swatches (MUFE, Chanel, Essence)

It's a rare day when you have a free moment and discover that the sun is shining. It can mean only one thing to beauty bloggers: swatching time!

I've been wanting to swatch themed colour series for months but prime conditions were elusive. It's hilarious how I struggle to even open my eyes in the morning when it means having to go to work. But I literally jump out of bed when I see sunlight, running for the train case and the camera all before even the mandatory first run to the washroom.

Anyway, I've been blabbing on about loving red blushes for a while. How do the ones I acquired compare?

MUFE #99 (left) / Chanel Rouge (right)

MUFE #99 (top left) / Chanel Rouge (top right) / Essence Renesmee Red (bottome)

I'm insanely happy to report that all three undeniable reds are very different from one another. I'm also very pleased that we have representation from all three major strata of the makeup brand hierarchy: drugstore cheapie (Essence), mid-range pro brand (Make Up For Ever), and the covetable luxury brand (Chanel).

To the swatches!

Essence Renesmee Red (left) / MUFE #99 (middle) / Chanel Rouge (right)

Chanel Rouge (top) / MUFE #99 (middle) / Essence Renesmee Red (bottom)

As you can see, all three are quite pigmented and require only the lightest tap of your blush brush before moving to apply to the face. As I dipped into stores to swatch various reds all throughout winter, I knew that it was difficult finding a "true red" (not too pink, not too orange, not too brown, not too blue). All three I have tend to be on the warm side of red, with Chanel Rouge looking almost brick red, MUFE #99 looking very tomato red with a lean to cherry red, and Essence Renesmee Red looking almost orange.

All three are powder, and Chanel Rouge is the only baked formula while the other two are traditional pressed powders.

Of the three, Chanel Rouge is the most pigmented and dangerous to over-apply, though its softer formula makes it easy to blend and diffuse. It also has noticeable shimmer while the other two do not.


MUFE #99 is a close second and requires more thorough blending due to the chalkier quality of its texture. As most of you may know, MUFE solo powders can double as eye shadows and as blush, so they tend to be highly pigmented and tricky to use as blush if the colour is as bold as #99 is. (This can be done with any shadow. Check out Mimi of Makeupwithdrawal wearing Illamasqua Daemon as a blush!)


And finally, Renesmee Red, which I already "reviewed" here. I thought it was so bold when studied alone, but it's down right soft and tame when compared to the other two. It is nowhere near as pigmented as the Chanel and the MUFE and required double layers of swatching in order to display the colour more intensely on unprimed skin.


And there. I am almost satisfied with the red blushes I own. Currently my greatest lemming is D&G Sole, which appears to be one of the most ravishing shades of makeup ever in the history of makeup. The other is the Shiseido Camellia Compact (nicely reviewed by Paris B of My Woman Stuff), which I ordered on discount through a friendly elf. As for NARS Exhibit A, which kickstarted all this, I feel neutral about. If I can get it for a good deal, I might. If not, no one's crying over it. My clown cheeks are quite content, thank you very much.

50 comments:

  1. Wow those are some bright red! Got to admit I'd be too chicken for the Chanel and the MUFE ones! And they'd probably make me look like I have rosacea! Love the essence one

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    1. I know that these aren't meant to be worn full force, so they don't scare me, and looking at the colours make me happy. I can see how it can be tricky with rosacea but maybe give something like this a try after using full coverage base? :)

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  2. I thought Renesmee was pretty bold when you first posted it too, but it looks totally tame in comparison to the MUFE and Chanel! If I had the courage to wear something so red, the MUFE is definitely my pick of the three ;)

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    1. It does require a lot of extra tapping and blending, but it's so gorgeous, I love it. Try some time! :)

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  3. I love red blush! If you want more red blush lemmings, check out this post by Kate / Drivel About Frivel - http://drivelaboutfrivol.blogspot.com/2012/09/wordless-wednesday-red-blush-swatches.html - so many red blushes!

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    1. Haha, I've seen that before and I simultaneously drooled while becoming overwhelmed. I'm happy with my small stash and have room for maybe just one or two more. :)

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  4. The MUFE is gorgeous! I kind of like all of them, but I think red blushes just aren't so flattering on me! Or maybe the cooler ones aren't. I dunno. I'll have to explore again.

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    1. Lol, sorry to send you exploring again. I kind of don't care if these aren't my exact matches. Lately I can't tell if a blush looks bad. They all look good somehow.

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    1. I was so scared when I bought it but now it's one of my greatest treasures!

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  6. The MUFE one is SO RED! The shimmer on the Chanel one gives it such pretty dimension. You're kind of making me wanna try red blush now. I think for a "starter" red blush, I'd probably go for Renesmee Red since it's more subtle/sheer. Baby steps, y'know? Looking forward to see how you think of that Shiseido one! :)

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    1. I heard Renesmee Red was snatched up weeks ago by those darn Twi-fanatics, but if you do see it, give it a try! :)

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  7. Woah, Renesmee is gorgeous! I was looking for a color sort of like that lately and ended up getting Laura Mercier Spiced Cider. This would've been much much cheaper though!

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    1. Spiced Cider is much more rosy brown. I know Renesmee Red looks kind of brownish here but it's red. It is cheap though. Like, cheaper than cheap, lol.

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  8. Not clown cheeks at all! I'd say apple red cheeks of Snow White on the right person (= not me!) I don't have any red blushes. Essence one looks really wearable though :)

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    1. I'm definitely no Snow White, but I do get paler in the winter and red seems complementary. :) Bet you can rock red cheeks though!

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  9. Definitely the Chanel Rouge. Lemming!!!

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  10. Ooooooooooh, I need a red blush, clearly. Chanel Rouge is divine!

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    1. One of my best high-end purchases ever! And clearly, lol!

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  11. The MUFE is perfectly "POW! RED"! It actually reminds me of Illamasqua's blush in Panic except the latter was discontinued. Probably a good thing though as I need to explore more of MUFE's line, obviously.

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    1. I keep seeing Panic all over the net and wish it wasn't discontinued. *shakes fist at Illamasqua* *cough* NOT that I need more reds... Yes, try the MUFE, Ashlex. :D

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  12. Hi Liz,

    Wow, I'm loving MAKE UP FOR EVER #99. Pure Red! I'm always for straightforward no-nonsense colors :-)

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    1. I'm so glad to hear that. I appreciate your artistic measure so much. :D

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  13. As soon as I saw the terms 'blush' and 'swatch' in the title, I squealed. I have Renesmee Red and love it, and have been lusting over Chanel Rouge for quite a while now. I've only just received my first Chanel JC so I might wait a while before I buy it...or I might head out and buy it this weekend, and blame it on you ;P

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    1. Ahhhhh, sorry to have to break the news but Chanel Rouge was an LE from the Byzance de Chanel collection in 2011. =( =( =(

      I can only hope that they'll come out with something similar in the future if not re-release it!

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  14. When I originally bought CHANEL's Byzance Collection, I confess to having been initially drawn to the ad campaign - no one does over-the-top artistry in their campaigns quite like CHANEL, am I right? From the 4 items in this collection, however, I gave the Topkapi eye shadow quad the most love -- until i started playing around with the Rouge blush, and quickly fell in love with it. I never believed that with my colouring (as in ultra-blonde hair) that I would be able to pull off something as intense as that, but it's like you said: the baked formula, combined with the incredibly fine-milled powder of this product, make it a pleasure to work with. Plus, it makes my cheeks almost glow; you know, that outdoorsy glow kind of look.
    The Essence blush I passed on, primarily because I thought it was a creme and that formula is not always compatible with my skin; I regret it now, because it looks like a good alternative for a lesser red that doesn't bear any shimmer. Drat!
    I honestly do not own much from MUFE; when I'm presented with such a vast array of shades, I usually find it overwhelming and tend to steer clear - who the heck knows why? I've had that Shisheido blush on my radar for several weeks now, and this was the push I needed to pick it up - but you've also gone and shown that D&G blush, and I'm torn....darn it, Liz...you always manage to do this to me, lol!

    Thanks so much for this in-depth review - loved all the swatches!

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    1. The shimmer does add a nice glow, and I like how it doesn't look too garish even when slightly over-applied. Unbelievably dramatic and just so darn amazing in so many ways! This is Chanel at their best!

      I like the Shiseido because the white shimmery powder in the palette makes an amazing highlighter. It's basically a 6-in-1 product and the price is really fair compared to other companies in the same range.

      Sorrrrrrrrrrrrrrry about the D&G but I've yet to see in in person in Canada! I'm hoping Sephora does ship it across the border. :DDD

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  15. That Chanel is my fave. What a nice color!

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  16. Wow, Liz these are gorgeous!! You are really embracing your inner (now outer) bold!! I love it. The Chanel Rouge is so elegant! I really should have picked it up back then!!!!!!! :/

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    1. Ahhhh, I'm so sorry to hear you missed out on it! I can only hope that they will re-release it given its popularity and uniqueness. I think the quality of Rouge is what convinced me to pick up Notorious. I'm not in the habit of acquiring a lot of Chanel but some of their LEs are really something.

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    2. I know!! I almost bought it, but at that same time I bought their Topkapi quad, Pink Cloud JC Blush, and Royalieu Rough Coco Shine-- so I decided not to get Rough. Such a bad idea that was!!!!!!!!!!!! I also went on an exhaustive search for Notorious and never found one!! :/

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    3. LOL! It was a gorgeous collection, I give you that. :)

      I'm sure Notorious can be found on blog sales or eBay or something of the sort eventually. I'll alert you if I see one around!

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  17. Oooh these are so pretty, wifey! You know, prior to a couple of months ago, I would have never looked twice at a red-toned blush. Frankly, they scare the crap out of me and I thought they would make the redness around my nose area look like rosacea. But I'm learning that done right--and when the rest of your makeup is done right (i.e the redness is concealed the heck outta your face!!)--it works nicely! :D

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    1. I'm lucky in that there's not a lot of redness on my face. Either that or I'm just willfully and blissfully ignorant and doing what I want regardless! There are so many neutral shades out there that lately my eyes are steering to things I don't already have or don't have much of. Eventually you'll do the same. :D

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  18. Beautiful colours, especially the Chanel! I've only recently started paying attention to Chanel blushes again, I'm kinda gutted that I've missed out on so many of the limited edition shades. The MUFE looks great too!

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    1. There are a few things even this past year that I didn't go for, but those I don't really regret. But I know what you mean about seeing older LEs later and wondering where the heck we were at the time!

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  19. It's so funny how we go through colour phases, eh?
    I am still all about the peach, corals, and my nude standy-by (Tarina Tarantino Neapolitan Lane, which replaced Cargo Tonga). I flush easily so I stay away from red blushes. I bet I could make red work if I started wearing foundation. Nope. Let's not go there, Ninja. XD

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    1. Oh, I'm sure the orange/peach/coral wave will hit me again come summer! I'll need an eye-searing orange by then. :)

      I wear foundation on the regular so blush is absolutely necessary. I think that's why I have so much fun with it!

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  20. I love how the Chanel looks in your swatches - of course I have to like the most expensive one, right? I have one red/coral La Femme blush, I really like the look of it in the summer!

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    1. I used to hate when that happened to me, which was ALL THE TIME. :)

      I was recommended La Femme in the past, I think, but it's not something that I ever see around here. I suppose we really only need one real red blush, but this is too much fun. :)

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  21. I wish I had the confidence and artistry to wear a red blush! I almost bought an inexpensive bright pink/red blush duo last week but the sales assistant talked me down from the edge because it was "too bright" in her opinion. Damn...

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    1. Bah, don't ever let an SA talk you away from something you want! It's like hairdressers telling me I don't look good with bangs or some silly nonsense. If I want it, their opinion doesn't matter. (Unless the product is bad quality, which I really appreciate being notified of.)

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  22. Ooooooh, love the Chanel one...

    Have you checked out MAC's Frankly Scarlet? Or Illamasqua's Panic? Or Tarte's Natural Beauty?

    CLOWN CHEEKS UNITE!

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    1. I've looked at Frankly Scarlet a thousand times but didn't really get a strong pull toward it. I had Natural Beauty last year and loved it but sold it during that stupid blog sale. :(

      I hear Illamasqua Panic is discontinued. But they have some other amazing reds that the Eaton Centre Sephora unfortunately does NOT carry. >:(

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  23. lol gotta love good natural lighting!
    now i just take everything under my soft box lighting which is good in a way since everything comes out neutral (plus it is extremely friendly to my flawed complexion), but there is something about sunlight! :)
    i've been actually waiting for you to swatch these. i still want the Chanel Rouge. ahhhhh ;)

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    1. I've been playing around with tweaking images on Photobucket lately as well. :>

      Well, I'm glad to have been of service re: the swatches! I don't think a dupe for Chanel Rouge exists but we never know.

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  24. I don't know why we all seem to be gaga over red blush lately... must be something in the water.

    I plan on ordering Sole in the next few months - I'm so damn excited about it, too! I first saw it on Kate's 'Drivel' and from there my lemming has just gotten worse ever time I hear about it. Because it's so warm I am envisioning it as more of a summer/fall blush so that's partially why I'm waiting (and also because...I really have to stop buying blush constantly). I have NO red blushes if you can believe it though, so I'd be perfectly justified ~cough~ in buying it any ol' time.

    Anyway - hooray for red blush!!! I think you have a nice selection so far, Liz. Any thoughts on buying a cooler-toned shade in the future?

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    1. If I didn't have any of the other reds, I might be tempted to snag Sole, too. It's STUNNING. Correct me if I'm wrong though - I thought you had a bright red NARS that might or might not have been Exhibit A???

      As for cooler-toned reds, I can't really think of any and think it might not suit my yellowy tones so well. Do you have any suggestions?

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