The right blush can bring color and life to a dull complexion, but finding the perfect product is a challenge for many women. Most blushes available on the market today are in powder, gel, or cream form and vary tremendously in the quality of their colors and ease of application. Too often, I’ve found these products either too unnatural looking or too hard to work with. But recently my search for the ideal blush came to a happy conclusion when I discovered Tarte’s line of cheek stains. Just a few weeks after I began using Tarte’s cheek stains, I’ve been completely converted to this fresh, foolproof alternative to the powder and cream blushes I’m used to.
The first thing I noticed about the cheek stains was their packaging: cute, candy-colored little cylinders with a simple push-up design that reminded me of those push-up popsicles I used to eat as a kid. The blush itself defies conventional descriptions. It’s sheer, water based, like a gel but in solid form, and applies effortlessly. Although you can use a sponge to apply the blush, application tools aren’t necessary. In fact, my preferred method of application is simply to push up a little bit of the product, dot it along my cheekbones, apples of my cheeks, and anywhere else I want color, and blend with my fingers. There is a noticeably wet quality to the product as it goes on, and it dries gradually, giving you plenty of time to blend to your heart’s content. Not that blending is much of a chore – the product glides on so smoothly, it’s easy to smudge and pat everywhere you need it. The product is sheer enough that little mistakes are virtually invisible (just try being sloppy with a powder blush!), but also buildable so that you can get concentrated color in the spots you need it most. Even on my very light skin, I found it easy to apply just the right amount of color to give a sheer, satiny, natural-looking glow.
Tarte’s oil-free, water-based cheek stains are available in eight shades, each with its own fun, fruity scent. I currently use Blushing Bride, a universally flattering plum-rose shade that smells like (no surprise) plums, and Tipsy, an apricot-scented peachy shade that gives a nice pop of brighter color. Other must-try colors include Sunkissed, which is as much a blush as a sheer bronzer, Dollface, a pale pink that gives a cute “just pinched” look, and Flush, a cool deep berry. The cheek stains can be applied over foundation, under or over powder, or onto bare, just-moisturized skin. The stain is long-lasting, touch-ups are a breeze, and it’s very difficult to apply too much.
Founded in 1999, Tarte Cosmetics’ mission has been to offer fun, user-friendly cosmetics without sacrificing quality. If their cheek stains are any indication, I would have to say, “mission accomplished.” Cute, practical, and easy to use, Tarte cheek stains are everything I need and want in a blush. At $28, Tarte cheek stains are priced comparably to other high-quality cosmetics brands. Tarte cheek stains are available at a number of independent boutiques, Sephora, and Nordstrom. I recommend a visit to a store to try before you buy, but if you’re far away, you can still order the cheek stains directly from Sephora.com, Drugstore.com, or directly from Tarte Cosmetics.