March 4, 2013

lancôme blush subtil rose #30

I have a confession - I'm a make-up newbie. I've only been actively using makeup since returning to work after lil' Kai's two months maternity leave. That was six months ago today which means all the reviews I write not only comes from a thirty-something's point of view, it also comes from a thirty-something who is learning about make-up ... from scratch. There is also one thing this old newbie likes to do and that is reading up on a lot of reviews before requesting for a sample or making a purchase. The latter especially true for the premium brands that cost an arm, a leg and sometimes half a thigh from the other leg too.

So today, I'll be reviewing Lancôme's Blush Subtil Rose in #30 Rose Melba at nrp RM120. Seriously Lancôme ... ouch! 

Okay, now to the aesthetics. I'm on the fence and almost tipping to a no-no on this. When I scrutinized the silver embossed box it came in, I found traces of sticky tape residue on the front and back of the box. Ok, maybe I'm just being ridiculous but if a consumer has to fork out over hundred buckaroos for this, clean packaging would have been very much appreciated.

See! Sticky tape residue just above the word "Subtil".

The inside of the box however was much better. I found a thin sponge lining to protect the blush casing from breakage and it was nicely packaged inside a dark shade of chocolate. Quite elegant and made me forget about the sticky tape residue until I took it out and saw this ...

Ok. Maybe I'm being ridiculous {again} but whenever I hear the word Lancôme, the next word that pops into mind is Paris. The last time I checked, the majority of Parisians don't read or write Japanese. For this very reason, I am having a hard time accepting Japanese printed on the back my blush casing when I was expecting English and maybe MADE IN PARIS in extremely fine print. It just does not feel quite right especially when it's RM120, you know what I mean?

The overall casing is also very plastic. It's extremely light which is probably a good thing especially if it's going to be toted around on a daily basis but again, for the price Lancôme, the price! I'm not sure if my casing is a dud or it is just built this way but when I press on the release claps the top does not spring open. In fact, it won't open at all if you don't push it up on your own.

I hate to write this, I really do but there is another brand out there that houses their blushes in a metallic case with magnetic closure and comes with a black velvet pouch for an additional RM20 ... and the back of it is printed in English ... without sticky tape on the inside either.

Oh, another thing I totally forgot about - probably because I was so disappointed when I saw it, I blocked it out of my mind. MORE STICKY TAPE and I repeat MORE STICKY TAPE was used on the inside to keep the protective plastic layer and brush in place. I had to use mild nail polish remover on a cotton pad to remove the residue from both sides of the casing and very, very carefully I might add because I didn't want to ruin the pan of pretty colours. Good golly! Sticky tape must be an in thing in Lancôme's packaging department ... tsk tsk tsk.

Anyhow, a redeeming feature I suppose is the decent quality mirror on the inside which doesn't distort your facial features. There's also a miniature blush brush on the inside but I'm not quite liking it. It's probably because I'm used to my densely packed baby kabuki which I purchased from Loving Minerals with my trial pot of mineral blush.

Anyways ... sticky tape and foreign language aside, the Lancôme Blush Subtil Rose in #30 Rose Melba really is a collection of pretty blush colours. I think this particular collection of shades are much better suited for fair skinned gals. It features an off-white highlighter on the top left corner {the larger piece is with shimmer and the smaller one without}, a pastel shade of pink in the middle {non shimmer}, coral on the right {again, larger piece is shimmery while the smaller one isn't} and at the bottom a deeper shade of orange with a slight reddish hue {full on shimmer here}.

The colours are not extremely pigmented. I had to swatch the colours thrice on my arm to get it to show on camera but I suppose this isn't a bad thing. The last thing you'd want is a monkey's butt on both your cheeks. The pay-off is a natural flush

The staying power is pretty decent. I've did not have to reapply in the any one day I was using it so it's definitely a plus point since I won't look like a zombie at the end of the day, if when I forget to bring my blush out with me.

To use, you just need to swirl your brush around the pan and apply it on your cheeks or you could to do it the Lancôme way - colour by colour, which I personally find to be too much of a hassle. Fine ... I'm lazy. But I do use the highlighter on its own - it's quite a good highlighter on its own because it's not white white which may work for some but usually doesn't on most {me included} because most of us are not porcelain skinned; applying white as a highlighter just doesn't blend properly. There'll always be that "lighter" patch visible.


Anyhow, the verdict ... if you don't mind the overall plastic feel of the packaging, the sticky tape and the foreign language debacle and oh yes, the price ... than this is one blush I would recommend but solely for its pretty colours and staying power. It also comes in four different variations of shades so you're bound to find a shade to suit your skin tone. Otherwise, if you have an additional RM20 to burn and you happen to be in the vicinity of Suria KLCC's Isetan, than do splurge on the "other blush" which will be reviewed ... soon.