Monday, February 17, 2014

Review -- The Balm Instain Long-Wearing Staining Powder Blushes (Pinstripe, Houndstooth, Argyle, Swiss Dot, & Toile)

For as long as I've been wearing makeup -- and we're looking at about 20 years at this point -- I've always had a trouble getting blush to last on my skin.

When I was younger and my face was super oily, It made sense -- it just sort of melted away.

But even now, with my skin becoming more normal, even downright dry at certain times of the year, my blush still manages to fade away by about halfway through my makeup-wearing day.

It's almost as if my pores just eat up the damn blush or something.

And, yeah, it's seriously annoying.

I've had some better luck in recent years --  I can get nearly 6 hours of wear with Tarte's Amazonian Clay Blushes, which is pretty good in my book.

So good, in fact, that I pretty much considered the Tarte blushes my holy grain cheek product.

Well, that is until I tried The Balm's Instain Long-Wearing Staining Powder Blushes.

Man, oh man, are these some seriously long-lasting blushes!

I've never really used anything like them before.

Originally, I purchased just a single shade to see how I liked the formula -- and I loved it so much that I bought four more.

(There are five shades in total, but the one that I didn't purchase, Lace, is a bright pink that's similar to a couple of other blushes I own and don't wear as frequently as other shades, so I figured I should restrain myself. See? I have *some* self-control.)

The five shades I own are:

Pinstripe -- a plum
The Balm Instain Blush in Pinstripe

Houndstooth -- a pinky mauve
The Balm Instain Blush in Houndstooth

Argyle -- a soft pink (it appears much brighter in the photo than it actually is.)

The Balm Instain in Argyle

Swiss Dot -- a mid-tone peach

The Balm Instain Blush in Swiss Dot

Toile -- a warm strawberry pink

The Balm Instain Blush in Toile

The Balm Instain Blushes (from l. to r.): Pinstripe, Houndstooth, Toile, Swiss Dot, Argyle

All of these blushes are seriously pigmented -- so much so that they can sometimes be a little bit tricky to use if you have fair skin. I find that using a stipple brush to apply them and just tapping the brush once, lightly, across the product is the best way to ensure a natural look.

The shades are all beautiful too -- though, as you can probably tell from the swatches, there's some similarity among them so you probably don't need to buy all of them, as I did. My most used shade is Houndstooth, which is a little dark but works well when blended out on my fair skin.

When it comes to staying power, these babies are called Instain for a reason -- they really do stain the skin, which means that they last all day, from the moment I put them on to the moment I wash them off.  I have never had a blush last like this on my skin -- it almost feels magical.

None of the blushes are shimmery, but they all seems to have a satin-y finish that gives a nice glow to the cheeks.

The Balm scores big points for their packaging yet again -- the blushes come in cardboard compacts with adorable retro artwork on the front and a small mirror on the inside. Each shade is named after a fabric pattern so the inside of each compact is decorated with that pattern.

You get 6.5 grams of product for $22 -- but these babies are so pigmented that it takes so little to get nice color on your cheeks, which means a single Instain blush will probably last forever.

The Instain Blushes are available on The Balm's website, Nordstrom, and Kohl's, where you can even score a three pack with Argyle, Toile, and Houndstooth for just $34.  They also turn up on HauteLook from time to time where you can usually get them a significant discount, so you may want to keep an eye out for those sales events.

I definitely recommend these blushes, particularly if you have trouble with your cheek color lasting all day. The range of colors is nice, so I imagine that there's an option for most skin tones.

Have you tried The Balm's Instain Long-Wearing Staining Powder Blushes? Which shade is your favorite?


  1. I know what you´re saying - my skin eats blush as well. So after 8 hours there´s usually not much left on my cheeks.

    And I think I fell in love with Pinstripe. The colour is so pretty and unusual. At least I haven´t seen a colour like that. ^^

    1. It is definitely pretty! It's one of the ones that I got later, so I haven't used it as much but I really do like the way it looks even on my fair skin. Houndstooth is another pretty one and isn't like most of the other blush shades in my collection. I think those are the two standouts of the line. Though you really could make a case for any of them based on your coloring... ;) If you have trouble with blush lasting, I definitely recommend checking them out.

    2. I also think that the darker colours could really create a snow white effect for fair skinned people. That´s what I usually aim for anyways. ^^
      That said, I hope you gave Pinstripe some more attention over the past days!

  2. Im no professional, but I believe you just crafted a very good point point. You definitely understand what youre talking about, and I can seriously get behind that. Thanks for staying so upfront and so truthful. brand identity firm


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