Thursday, November 16, 2006

Beauty Product of the Week: Neutrogena Sheer Highlighting Blush

What is it? According to their website, Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin Blends Sheer Highlighting Blush “provides sheer illuminating color. A sweep of the brush illuminates your face for a naturally healthy look. This dermatologist-developed blush is made up of a collection of shades that blend together for sheer color with subtle shimmer and natural-looking results, regardless of your skin tone. Multi-vitamins and a botanical conditioner soften and smooth skin.” Available everywhere for about $13.00, though I got it at Target with a free, full-sized sample of their translucent oil-control powder for $9.99.

What did you think? I’ve seen products like this before—they have multiple colors that are supposed to blend together when you apply them—but have never used them. I’ve always been concerned that the colors won’t blend properly or that the overall look may appear uneven when applied to both sides of the face. Nevertheless, I decided to give this a go.

To be fair, I’ve been using expensive blush lately, so I’ve become used to a great texture and highly concentrated color. I admit I had low expectations for this product. And, when I opened it up and found a winky-dink brush, my already low expectations seemed a little high. At first I thought I would try the brush they gave me, even though I knew better. The instant I swept the cheap-o brush over the palette of pinks, whites and corals, stray hairs came out of the base. Just as I suspected—I would have to break out my good blush brush to give this a fair testing.

Once armed with a real brush made of real hair, I applied the product to both apples of my cheeks. At first blush (pardon the pun), I couldn’t really see any improvement and the blush felt a little dry and talcy compared to what I am used to using. I headed to the bathroom for better lighting and noticed a nice, soft hint of color on my cheeks. The subtle nature of this product is refreshing, but it also makes me a little nervous. If I hadn’t taken the time to chase down better lighting, I would have been more heavy handed with my application and would have looked like I had rosacea. Not what you want from any make-up product.

The final verdict? Despite some of my postings here, I really do like Neutrogena’s products and philosophies about beauty and skin care. This product, however, was disappointing. There are a lot of blushes and bronzers on the market, and I’m sure that for $13, you could find a better one than this. Hell, Sephora, Bare Escentuals, Urban Decay, Stila, and LORAC all offer blushes under $20. I’ve even tried and liked Ulta’s blush, and it only cost $4.00.

Bottom line: Save your money and your cheeks and stay away from this clunker of a product.

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