I remember the first time a makeup artist graced my cheeks with blush; I was seven years old and celebrating Shichi-Go-San, a traditional Japanese rite of passage when five-year-old boys and three- and seven-year-old girls visit shrines and pray for health and prosperity. In addition to its cultural significance, the holiday is also a great photo op – hence the make-up artist. Looking back at the photos now, I can’t help but laugh at how much the look just doesn’t work. My lips were painted in a crimson polish, and staring right into my face were bright pink cheeks that made me look like a Madame Alexander doll. It was enough to scare me away from blushing until I was in my twenties. Even when I picked it up, the shades gravitated towards blush shades that were as neutral and un-reddish as possible. That was until I tried Rare Beauty’s beloved Soft Pinch Liquid Blush.
When Rare Beauty debuted back in 2020, the Soft Pinch blush tubes quickly became a hit—so much so that they added new shades last year. With highly pigmented payoff and unique shades, they were catnip for blush lovers – but no surprise there. However, I realized that they were just as enchanting for beginners like me. Since a little goes a long way, you can easily build it up and create your own blush adventure. For this story,
Selena Gomez Rare Beauty sent me three shades to play with: Joy (a dewy peach), Faith (a matte berry), and Love, a matte terracotta.
Each blush comes in a small tube and can be dabbed onto the cheeks, the back of the hand or a makeup palette using the oversized doe-foot applicator. You need as little as a tiny dot to get a natural flush, but you can certainly build up for a more intense shade. The formulation also dries down to a long-lasting finish. Joy was perfect for summer and I reached for it all the time al fresco dinner date and was perfect for the tanned-but-make-the-blush trend that is so popular right now. Faith scared me at first, but in the spirit of the purple blush trend, I tapped the smallest amount right on top of my cheekbones and blended it out. The result: A just-came-in-from-the-cold berry flush that I actually loved. My favorite of the bunch was Love, which I combined with Faith in the selfie here. (Soft Pinch is perfect for blending, as you can see in the swatch above.) A colleague even complimented my rosy cheeks on a video call—that’s how good this is.
The best-selling blush has earned a whopping 698,000 “Loves” on Sephora, and has an overwhelmingly positive review to match. “[It’s the] only blush I will use again! It blends so well even with my fingers, [and] the color matches my skin tone so well, says a Sephora customer. At $19 a pop (but TBH, they look and feel even *so* luxurious), they’re on the expensive end of things – but then again, I highly doubt I’ll ever finish a single one because I only use one dot for each cheek. Finding the right blush to make your skin really glow from within? Now it is rarely.
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