My second installment of “Three of a Kind” where I’ll cover cream blushes from “clean beauty” brands. My first one was on skin tints, you’ll find it here. Just like that one, I won’t be sharing any swatches with you just for simplicity and because I’ve hit the pan on two of them. See this more as an empties post. 😅
Kosas Color + Light Cream Blush in Velvet Melon
I got this for my birthday last year. Ordering it straight from Kosa’s website, as they had 40% off on their cream blushes. I seem to have been very lucky as, at the time, international shipping with duties and taxes prepaid was much lower. Today it wouldn’t be worth it.
I picked the shade Velvet Melon as it looked the most universally flattering. My second choice was the shade Helios which unfortunately seems to have gotten discontinued. I was, however, debating on whether to go with the original or the high intensity-version of the shade. I spent hours watching swatches on youtube but eventually went with the regular intensity.
Velvet Melon is such a unique and perfect shade of warm peach I’ve come across! I fell in love with it instantly. It brightened up my complexion and was the perfect no-blush-blush for subtle makeup days. Both the blush and the highlighter are nicely creamy and easy to apply. However, you only need a little dab of the highlighter, while the cream blush is quite sheer. At least on my skin tone. Not to mention it had a tendency to fade quickly during the day, so touch-ups were necessary. This lead me to hit the pan within 2 months of not even daily use! I mean, I never if rarely hit the pan on blushes! They usually last me several years. 😐
It’s a different story with the cream highlighter though. Which I still have much left of. The highlighter shade per se isn’t my favorite for my skin tone as it tends to make my skin appear sort of paler. The highlighter is more glittery than luminescent but looks very gorgeous and natural-looking on the skin. It pairs especially well with matte makeup, as it gives a dewy look. As my makeup base is already quite dewy, I tended not to gravitate toward it as much.
The packaging is easy to open, but not very nail-friendly. It’s light though and includes a good-sized mirror. Perfect to have in your handbag for touch-ups, but maybe a little big for some. It would be cool if they’d make it refillable. Especially as you run out of the blush quicker than the highlighter. I would happily repurchase the blush separately and match it with one of the golden-toned highlighters. For being such a “hip” (do we even use that word anymore?) brand I’m really confused that they don’t do refillable.
The Kosas cream blush didn’t really live up to my expectations. I love the shade Velvet Melon but wish it was more pigmented. Then I wouldn’t have to apply so much and it perhaps wouldn’t fade so quickly. I’m very curious to see if the high-intensity version of Velvet Melon would fix my issues with the cream blush. The only problem is that it’s not the same shade as the original Velvet Melon, but looks much more like papaya pink. Otherwise, I just don’t think this cream blush is worth the money if I’ll only get 2-3 months’ use of it and get stuck with the highlighter. I’m really bummed about it as I love the shade. I’m currently looking for a dupe and I’m open to suggestions!
Kjaer Weis Flush & Glow Duo in Inner Light
Right after ordering the Kosas cream blush, I saw a hefty sale on the Kjaer Weis flush and glow duo, metal compact included. I, of course, quickly jumped on the offer! Since my early days blogging about green beauty, I’ve always wanted something from Kjaer Weis, but it’s been out of my budget. So I felt really excited to finally try something from the brand and afford the metal packaging!
The Flush & Glow Duo is perfect as you get a two-in-one product. These are the shades available:
- Vibrant Ray – Joyful & Ravishing
- Inner Light – Desired Glow & Radiance
- Luminous Flush – Blossoming & Lustrous
- Sunlit Glow – Sun Touched & Dazzling
All the shades you can get separately as they are in their core collection. As it was springtime I ordered the shade Inner Glow which includes their bronze blush “Desired Glow” and highlighter in “Radiance”. These two paired well together and really suited the name as they gave the skin a lit from within. Very subtle and again great for a no-makeup-makeup-look.
As you can see by the picture, I’ve pretty much devoured the whole thing, from blush to highlighter. It wasn’t purely from my love for it, but more of the lack of pigment. Similar to the Kosas cream blush, I had to apply a lot for it to appear on my skin. At the same time, the staying power was sort of weak, but better than Kosas. With Kjaer Weis, even their highlighter was very subtle and was more luminous than glittery. The texture and finish, however, are less dewy and a lot more powdery than the Kosas blush.
I got about 2 months of use out of the two of them. I did finish the blush first, but shortly after the highlighter was gone too. You could say I was yet very disappointed as it was regarded as such a high-quality product. At least by looking at the price point. So I expected it to be a lot more pigmented. Otherwise, looking at the size of the product, you do only get one-third the amount of blush and highlighter that you get from Kosas.
Since 2021, Kjaer Weis offers now two refillable packaging to choose from. You can decide between the iconic edition metal compact, setting yourself back $24 extra. Or the new lightweight eco-friendly red edition made of recyclable paper, which is only $5 extra. Fun fact: I live not far from the factory which produces the new red edition packaging!
It can be very seducing to want the metal compact. However, if I had the choice, I would’ve gone with the paper packaging. Although the metal looks very luxurious and sort of doubles as a mirror (but not a very good one), it is HEAVY. Which makes it not very purse-friendly. And unless you keep it in a separate velvet pouch or something, expect it to get scratched. The case got a prominent scrape the first day of use only because I flipped the thing the “wrong” way. The amount of scratches it’s gotten from just laying in a drawer annoys the hell out of me.
I love that Kjaer Weis decided to offer a lighter, cheaper, and more eco-friendly compact, making their products more accessible too. I personally advise you to go with the paper packaging over the metal.
Now, there is a benefit of finishing up cream blushes within a few months. As per usual, cream products have a tendency to spoil more quickly than powdered ones. But considering the high price tag of the product, I was expecting it to last a little longer.
I did love the blush shade “Desired Glow”, but also felt like it was formulated with light skin in mind; the color payoff was barely noticeable on my skin and faded rather quickly. The cream blush can also be used as a lip color, but this particular shade didn’t do well, more so on the eyelids. I had about the same issue with the highlighter as with the Kosas-one; “Radiance” was a bit too cool-toned for me.
The two shades are split into the same container, which started becoming an issue the closer I got to the pan; blending into one another. Other than that I loved the concept of getting two products in one and do consider repurchasing a refill as I now have a compact. But would then go for the shades Sunlit Glow or Luminous Flush that seem to have a bit deeper color and warmer highlight.
Rose Inc Refillable Cream Blush in Azalea
This one came in my SpaceNK advent calendar 2021. Rose Inc had just launched not long ago and this cream blush was one of the selling points for me in getting the advent calendar. Prior to Rosie’s makeup brand launch, I was subscribed to her newsletter which I greatly enjoyed. – Something I actually miss as she stopped with her personal monthly edits when she announced her rebranding and going into beauty.
Azalea is not the shade I would’ve picked up for myself. The color is stunning, but just not as universally flattering as one would think; especially being put in an advent calendar. I don’t know, I find it to look somewhat “off” and clownish on both me and the lighter skin models on their website. The shade is just too intense, and I look like I’m 14 years old and just discovered blushes. It’s a shade I see suiting best on darker skin, in my opinion. With that said, the Rose Inc cream blushes can also be worn on the lips. Although Azalea is not the most flattering shade for me, it’s a greater use to me on the lips than on my cheeks.
Out of all of these cream blushes, this one packs the most punch in both pigment and lasting power. I know Rosie adored Kjaer Weis and, so perhaps, wanted to create something that was missing in “clean beauty”: intensity and pigment.
The texture of the blush is kind of waxy but doesn’t feel heavy or sticky once blended on the skin. But the high color pay-off and thick texture make it a bit tricky to apply and blend out with only your fingers. Which is my preferred way. With Azalea, at least, you need to be a lot more careful where only one dab of product is quite potent on lighter skin.
The compact has been described as a toilette seat, which I can see a resemblance to… However, I find the packaging to be quite elegant. The case is plastic and light, with a good-sized mirror. It holds itself closed with the help of magnets but isn’t hard to open without using your nails. And I love that the blushes are refillable. I’ve read that some had issues with the hinge, however, I’ve not yet had that problem.
It’s hard for me to form a full opinion on the Rose Inc cream blush when the shade feels too intense for me. I’ve had the blush for a year but have barely reached for it, just occasionally applying it on my lips. Still, with how intensely pigmented this one is, I can see it lasting way longer than the previous cream blushes. You get about the same amount as the Kosas cream blush, minus the highlighter, 4.5g.
I kind of wish the formula would be a lot creamier, sheerer, and more buildable, as that’s what I’m used to. I find the waxy formula just makes it a bit hard to apply nicely without using a brush. But if high color pay-off and long-staying power is your thing, this would be your go-to blush!
I think I have to test out a softer shade to compare. I’ve been planning on getting either Heliotrope or Delphine. Just have not gotten around to it as I’ve had a bit too many blushes in my rotation… But it looks to me like getting the blush brush would be a good investment too, unless you already own one. I will keep you posted and update my review once I’ve had more shades to compare to.
UPDATE 04/2023: I got the shade Heliotrope this Christmas and have been loving it and using it daily! It’s been four months and I haven’t hit the pan. I’ve also gotten the chance to swatch some more shades in-store. All blush shades have great color pay-off and stays put for long. Although I still would like the texture to be more velvety, the lighter shades, like Heliotrope, are much easier to apply and blend with your fingers and look very beautiful and natural on. The Rose Inc cream blush has easily become my favorite and will definitely be expanding my collection with the shades Delphine and Camellia!
The Bonus: Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek Cream Blushes
I have sort of been collecting these over the years. Currently, I have three shades in my collection:
- Werk – Dusty Rose
- Perk – Shimmering Coral
- Quickie – Berry
I also had the shade Rally (described as mauve with shimmer) which was a gorgeous pink blush. But I gave it away as it just didn’t suit my complexion and looked off. My next purchase will be Quirk, described as a spiced rose or a deeper shade of Werk.
Despite the three shades being quite different in color, I find them all to have about the same amount of pigment. But Perk shows up more sheer on my light to medium complexion, while Quickie pops more than the two of them. But once sheered out, they all have about the same coverage.
I find the Milk Makeup stick cream blush to be really fun and easy to use. The formula is creamy and glides nicely on the skin. The finish and wear are more on the dewy side. My preferred way to apply is to go in and swipe the blush directly onto my cheeks, then fade it out by patting it with my fingers. But you can use a brush, sponge, or whatever if you find it to disturb or pick up the foundation. Overall, I found the trick for the blush to last almost a day is by patting it in and avoiding swiping it into the skin.
As the name suggests, the Lip + Cheek cream blush can be used on the lips too. But out of these three shades, I only find Quickie to actually be wearable as a true lip tint. The other two are barely noticable. To combat that, I dab a little bit of Quickie on top, to get a little more life back to my lips. And they tend to highlight dryness more so than regular lipstick.
When these came out the first time they came in large bulky packaging. The small ones were offered as “travel sized” to have in your purse. However, Milk Makeup must’ve quickly realized that consumers were loving the smaller blush size a lot more. For one, they are the perfect size for a more precise application. And despite their size, they last a really long time! The amount you get is 6 grams. It makes a lot of sense for Milk Makeup to have discontinued the chunky packaging and expanded the travel-sized shade range instead.
I’ve owned four of these, which should tell you enough of what I think about them. My favorite is still their bestselling shade, Werk, as in how universal the shade is. Perk is a lovely peach color that really perks up your complexion. But a bit too pink than what I expected and wanted it to be. I would’ve loved for it to be more apricot, like Kosas Velvet Melon. Quickie is the most intense berry shade, very similar to the Benefits Benetint lip stain! Kind of scary when you first apply. But unlike Rose Inc’s blush in Azalea, this one can be sheered out to the point it looks like a natural flush. It’s my go-to blush when I want to look a bit dolled up.
My only complaint has to do with the shade range in general. They are all very pink-leaning. I’d like to see Milk Makeup, come out with shades that lean more brown/apricot. As of right now, they only carry one terracotta shade, Swerve. Which leans very red. I’d like a more brownish version of that one!
UPDATE 04/2023: Milk Makeup has added more brown-leaning shades: Smirk (a glimmering dusty rose), Enigma (beige-rose with a clear base), and Muse (a rich burgundy)! However, with this new addition, the price of the blushes has risen almost 50%! 👀 Going back to the price point of the original big bulky full-size a couple of years ago.