The Local Blush Battle: Which of these blushes will win the crown?
by Khae Aruelo
Whether you’re rocking a full face of makeup or keeping it minimal and natural, sweeping on some blush is always a great way to add a pop of color into any FOTD. We love a cute flush on our cheeks, especially when we get intense color payoff and great staying power at a reasonable price tag. While many may have HG picks from abroad, Filipino beauty brands have been working hard to offer that same awesome quality!
We’ve done a blush battle to find the most long-wearing flush but this time around, we wanted to focus exclusively on Pinoy picks. It’s definitely important to #supportlocal but as smart spenders, we also make sure to buy products that offer the most bang for our buck. That can mean different things to different people, so I rounded up five local blushes of different price points and had them battle it out!
I wore each one for an entire day of activities, which were mostly in an air-conditioned environment with some walking outdoors for short bursts of time. Blushes usually last 5 to 7 hours on my oily skin in these conditions. I applied the blushes over the exact same base products to make sure that all products had equal and fair footing, and I opted to use a separate blush brush to make application more uniform.
Chihuahua Blush in Salmon (P249 for 3.6g)
Our first contender is the up-and-coming minimalist brand, Chihuahua Cosmetics! The brand prides itself in quality, deluxe-size makeup at a fair price point for the amount of product per item. At P69.17/gram, the blush is very affordable. The brand itself is very straightforward, with no-nonsense product descriptions: the formula is lightweight, and formulated with vitamin E and petroleum jelly to hydrate the skin and lock in moisture. It also promises to protect from “environmental aggressors”, though I’m not sure if there’s any way to test that.
In-pan, the powder feels very creamy and picks up on any tool with ease. I love how pigmented this is - a single sweep renders amazing color upon application, but it is also buildable for a more dramatic look. Salmon is a deeper, fuller version of its namesake color, with gold microglitter. Among the blushes I tried for this battle, it was easily the most reddish and most metallic, but I found that tapping it over my cheeks with a light hand made it wearable. The glittery glow is probably due to its main ingredient, mica. Though it didn’t promise impressive longevity, I was pleasantly surprised that the blush survived my usual wear time, with a fair amount of pigment despite the shine building on my T-zone area. If there were any points for improvement, I think it would ask for an easier-to-open compact!
Happy Skin Get Cheeky with Me All-Day Hydrating Blush in Blushing Bride (P899 for 4g)
A crowd favorite, Happy Skin is one of the bigger brands in the local beauty scene. With the tagline “Makeup that cares for your skin”, the brand’s products often come with skin-nourishing properties that are meant to supplement any skincare you might have in place. This particular blush locks in moisture with Japanese cherry blossom extract which keeps shine at bay and prevents breakouts with anti-bacterial neem leaf. While this is a lot of action for a blush, it comes at the steep price of P224.75/gram. The packaging is a thoughtful plus; a perfect union of form and function with its cute flip type divider, hiding a soft, compact brush below.
Meant to mimic the soft glow of a girl in love, I guess that might explain the lack of immediate pigment pay-off on my skin. Despite going in quite heavily with two layers of product, I couldn’t quite get the versatile mauve-pink to show up. For maximum pigmentation, build layers steadily to a subtle blush. I think its skin-caring properties were pretty effective as I did feel and look slightly less shiny at the end of the day. Contrary to its “all-day” name though, the blush disappeared from my cheeks at around the sixth or seventh hour. While I don’t mind a natural look, I did expect a bit more in terms of longevity and pigmentation, especially given the price per gram.
Pink Sugar Sweet Cheeks HD Cheek Color in Florence (P299 for 6g)
The Sweet Cheeks HD Cheek Color is the most cost-efficient pan in the bundle! Going for P49.83/gram, the product stays true to the brand’s promise of rich texture and better color pay-off without breaking the bank. Liz even raved about these blushes when they were relaunched as solo pans last 2017. This is the only one of the blushes that didn’t come with an applicator, but I didn’t mind at all since I prefer using my own blush brush.
Admittedly, I was a little intimidated by the color as it swatched very brightly! Florence is a lovely, deep mauve in pan, so I went in with a light hand. There is some minor kick back when getting from the pan, but it’s a small price to pay for great pigmentation and longevity. I wore this to my nephew’s first birthday party but despite the sweat and hubbub of the celebration, I could still see a hint of it around my cheekbone area by the 7-hour mark. The fine powder also helped tone down the shine in my cheek area, keeping it pretty matte while the rest of my face was shiny and greasy. My only qualm is that the packaging could be easier to open.
EB Advance Cheek Color in Rose (P175 for 2.2g)
The very first thing I noticed about this blush was its brilliant packaging! Perfect for stowing away in a clutch or tiny purse, it was a complete compact with a flip mechanism, hiding a mirror and a tiny brush. EB Advance is Ever Bilena’s attempt to keep up with the trends and needs of the modern Filipina without sacrificing affordability but I was surprised that the price per gram EXCEEDS both Chihuahua and Pink Sugar at roughly P79.54/gram.
I had never used Ever Bilena before and this blush left a great first impression! The shade Rose was the most natural-looking shade of the lot I got to try. It delivered a subtle flush of old rose that admittedly took a bit more work to build visibly but the effort is well-worth it! It exceeded my usual wear time, too, and survived through the humid condition of the muggy restaurant I was in. It also fared well against the shine and oil that had built up on my face, not by staying put completely but by fading gracefully. I definitely see myself picking this up again!
Features & Shades Powder Blush in Nude Peach (P395 for 6.2g)
Features & Shades has actually been in the local beauty industry for more than a decade, laying its roots in late 2003. The rebrand allowed it to modernize its approach to quality local makeup that caters to the diverse set of Filipina features. As the heaviest, fullest pan among the contenders, FS is reasonably priced at P63.71/gram. The blush promises intense color payoff and a long wear time. They’re available in both matte and shimmer finishes.
Though Nude Peach was lovely in the pan, I think it was far too light for my medium skin. It looks like a very faint, peachy flush, but it seems to blend right into my light contour. The packaging and formulation itself is a little tricky as well and has a tendency to look very powdery! On the cheeks though, the product looks and feels finely milled, with the micro glitter blending very easily. It’s not the most long-lasting blush out there, but I think it just came down to the color not being the best fit for my skin tone.
Each blush had its pros and cons, so here’s a quick breakdown of the results:
If you’re starting out and want to play it safe, Ever Bilena and FS Cosmetics have products at a great price point with neutral, everyday shades. I actually intend to try FS Cosmetics again in a different shade, since it applies smoothly and blends in seamlessly into the rest of my makeup, though it didn’t last very long on my oily skin.
The Happy Skin Get Cheeky With Me formula felt great on my skin and seemed to help control my skin’s oiliness but it’s not very pigmented and didn’t deliver on its all-day promise.
For those looking for an adventurous blush option, Chihuahua’s blushes are a great, reasonably-priced buy for a rich, baked texture and look.
You can’t go wrong with Pink Sugar’s long lasting and high pigment formulation at an unbeatable price, but it’s important to choose a shade that works best for you since a little goes a long way!
If I had to choose an overall winner in terms of formula, I think it would have to be Pink Sugar! Not only was it the most affordable over all, but it was also the most pigmented and long-wearing. Unfortunately, I couldn’t build it up to the full pigmentation on my cheeks because it was leaning much too purple on my skin tone. For my personal favorite product of these five, I’d have to go with Chihuahua for its flattering shade, impressive pigmentation, and long wear time.
Have any local blush faves of your own, or did you spot your next one today? Share your picks in the comments below!
Khae Aruelo is an intern at Project Vanity, and is currently fulfilling a degree in Communications. When she isn’t dying from school work, she is probably designing, writing, and taking photos - or indulging in her current vices of pretty cocktail drinks, semi-sweet iced coffee, and obsessing over her next online purchase.