A Touch of Blusher talks…blushers!

by PJ on Thursday, September 11, 2008

in all about Japanese cosmetics,makeup,makeup - blusher,What do you think? Beauty topics and thoughts

(It’s more than just A Touch of Blusher, it seems…)

One of the things I try to do on my blog is to share my thoughts on beauty items from both East (mostly Japan) and West. Today I’ll be talking about blushers and, specifically, how pigmented western and Japanese blushers tend to be.

Very generally, there seems to be a wider range of pigmentation levels in blushers from western brands than in Japanese brands. For example, among the ones you see in the photo, Chanel’s Irréelle Blush is quite sheer, while the ones from MAC and NARS are very pigmented. Japanese blushers, like those from Majolica Majorca, Lavshuca and AYURA, are more towards the sheer side.

One of the reasons seems to be that many western makeup brands cater to a wide variety of skin tones (in terms of dark/light as well cool/warm). On the other hand, most major Japanese brands are either sold locally in Japan or within East Asia where there isn’t such a wide range of skin tones. I think people with darker skin tones will find that some blushers from Japanese brands are simply too sheer and don’t really show up on the skin.

Another reason, I think, is that Japanese customers seem to see the role of blushers slightly differently. This is reflected by the fact that some Japanese brands either categorize blushers as part of base makeup (along with primers and foundations) or release new blushers along with new base makeup items.

In most cases, for them, and many customers in Asia, blushers, when worn, just like foundations or concealers, are not to be seen. Like a freshly powdered face that should look ultra-natural (which is something Japanese base makeup excels at), blushers should simply make the face look healthy and slightly flushed, and nothing more. I think this is the main reason why most Japanese blushers are softly pigmented with relatively basic but natural colors. (The shade range is often small.) Even though some of them have shimmer, they still look natural and glowy, not glittery.

But there are of course exceptions. The shimmery particles in Canmake’s Loose Cheek are bigger than the norm in Japanese cosmetics and I think it definitely appeals more to a younger consumer group. (Many thanks to my friend Lynn for having me try this item.) Also, as Shu Uemura has been a professional beauty brand available globally, its blusher range features a very wide variety of shades.

I think, overall, I have been enjoying using Japanese blushers more. It is much harder to go wrong with the shade choices, mainly because most shades are quite natural anyway and they are not that pigmented. Also, since I can be quite heavy-handed at times, I tend to find it easier to apply blushers from Japanese brands. Even for someone like me, who likes to wear blushers relatively sheer, I can still enjoy the fun of slowly building up the color intensity to the level I want.

What about you? Have you tried blushers from both sides of the world? What would be your verdict?

Blushers featured in the photo above:

From Japanese brands-

Majolica Majorca Cheek Customize in PK333 and OR211

Lavshuca Cheek Color in PK-1

AYURA Aura Veil α in Sweet Pink

Albion Eprise Water Face Color in 100

From western brands-

Chanel Irréelle Blusher in Tea Rose

Fafi for MAC Powder Blush in Fashion Frenzy

Prescriptives Blush More Or Less Creamy Cheek Color in Thai Orchid

NARS Highlighting/Blush Duo in Albatross/Torrid