*trumpet fanfare* It’s the time of year when all the beauty lovers search their stashes and reminisce on all the products we loved, loathed and lusted over for the past 365 days….well if we are being precise it’s more like 349 =P but who’s counting?

Since blush was one of my most purchased products of the year, I thought I would start with that first (also, blush is my favorite). I decided to delegate cream products to a different category so cream blushes aren’t included here. Also, I am not sticking to a set number per say, it just so happens that this time it’s ten.

Drugstore Favorites

Physician’s Formula Happy Booster Blush in Natural

Physician’s Formula Happy Booster blush has such a cute design and I ADORE the scent it gives off…someone help me…it’s not lavender, what is it? I have both of the colors but the one shown above is shade Natural, which gives (you guessed it) a gorgeous natural flush and glow. It’s super soft and a lovely powder.

Milani Baked Blush in Lumioso

Milani’s baked blushes have gotten a lot of cover time on my blog this year, and for good reason. They are fantastic. My favorite shade far away has to be Luminoso. It gives a nice glowy look to the cheeks without being gritty or frosty. Plus, it leans peach….my favorite of all blush shades (ok, tied with coral).

NYX Powder Blush in Raisin

NYX Raisin was not a new blush or shade for 2011, and I purchased it in 2010. But, I got a lot of use out it in January and February of this year, and have done the same this fall. It’s my go-to shade when I want a plummier cheek because it’s so easy to use. I have a number of highly pigmented plum shades, but they take too much work. This is swipe and go kind of color and why I adore it so much.

NARS & Illamasqua

Illamasqua Powder Blushes in Lover and Hussy

I thought NARS was the best blush in the mid-high range until I tried Illamasqua. The formula is so much more smooth and finely milled that I cannot actually compare the two in the same league. I still love my NARS (see below) but Illamasqua’s formula puts NARS to shame. My two favorite shades this year were Lover (a bright peachy apricot) and Hussy (a bright, slightly peached pink).

NARS Blushes in Mata Hari and Desire

NARS does have a strong blush formula. There is no denying their amazing color variety and the awesome pigmentation of most of their range. Their formula is excellent, until you compare it to Illamasqua…then it’s sort of old news (Sorry NARS lovers!). But don’t fret, I still have a special spot in my heart for NARS blushes. Mata Hari (Mauvey-Rose Pink) and Desire (bright cotton candy pink) are two stand out colors for me. In terms of wear time, I get a little more out of Illamasqua (7-8 hours), but NARS stays strong for most of the day (6-7 hours).

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes in Exposed and Tipsy

This was a new product this year. You already know I feel like this is the best blush formula ever. I have oily skin, and these beauties last longer on me than any other blush. The formula is smooth and silky and the blushes have just the right amount of pigmentation. I hope they will continually expand their color range as well.

Burberry Russet

Burberry Light Glow Blush in Russet

Again, I don’t feel like I need to explain this as I just did a post about there fabulous blushes. The packaging, the design, the quality of the powder and the shade all make this blush one of my favorites EVER. Like, of all time. The reason I felt like I couldn’t name it as my top blush of 2011 is the staggering price. I realize that this is a luxury brand and that not everyone can or wants to pay those kinds of prices. With that in  mind, this is the runner up right behind the Amazonian clay blushes. For me personally, though, it’s my number one. The color looks kind of dark and scary in the pan and the swatch but on my cheeks it imparts such a nice glow of peachy/nude that kind of makes it one of those dual-purpose blush/bronzers in one.

Swatches L-R: NYX Raisin, Tarte Exposed, Burberry Russet, Illamasqua Lover, Tarte Tipsy

Swatches L-R: NARS Mata Hari, NARS Desire, Illamasqua Hussy, Milani Luminoso, Physician's Formula Natural

Oh, and I have one honorable mention:

MAC Mineralize Blush in Nuance

You will notice that not a single MAC blush made it in to my top ten. The reason is that although I think MAC does make a nice blush (as evidenced by my collection here) and has the most extensive range of colors, their formula doesn’t usually ‘wow’ me. Nuance, however, is a great blush. It’s a peachy-brown shade with a light golden shimmer. It is gorgeous….but it’s also discontinued. You may still be able to find this at a CCO, though. I have swatched this blush in the same link above.

What made it to the top of your list for blushes this year?

50 Responses to “Best of Beauty 2011: Ten Powder Blushes”

  1. Olivia says:

    Awesome post! I definitely want to try out Illamasqua Powder Blushes now.

  2. Ashley says:

    I absolutely LOVE Lover and Hussy by Illamasqua. They’re the only powder blushes I own by the brand but I plan on picking up all of the shades in the future<3

  3. DROOLS ***
    Nice Picks!! My fave of your picks would have to that Burberry Russet. EVERYBODY should have that blush!

  4. Kelly says:

    Illumasqua is one brand I’m afraid that if I start trying, I won’t be able to stop! What are some of your favorite products from them, besides the blushes? :D

    • Danielle says:

      I really like their pigments in Ore in Furore, and their cream blushes are great. They have an excellent highly pigmented lipgloss formula too!

  5. jess says:

    blush is my favorite category of beauty products so these lists make me drool. i only have exposed from your list and it’s a fave of 2011 as well!

    have you tried Cargo? they give Nars a good run for their money and you get a lot more product for your money. your list makes me want to try Illamasqua blush to see how it compares.

  6. Romzs says:

    I’ve heard so much about Luminoso! For the price, I think I’ll be picking it up soon! Hussy & Lover look so peeeeeeeeeerfect!

  7. Fiona says:

    Ah I would love to try the Burberry blush! The package is drool worth on it’s own, then top it with the color, overkill! So expensive though :(

  8. They are beau-ti-ful! I can’t get enough of blush. And I can’t pick a fave! Sophie’s Choice!

  9. Ahhh I want to try the Burberry blush! I haven’t gotten into Burberry’s beauty products, and it is probably a good thing since I don’t need any more brands to obsess over… I also want to try Illamasqua but I haven’t decided on blush colors to test… wish they had bronzers available really!

    Can’t wait to see your other blush posts! :)

    • Danielle says:

      Oh I know what you mean Joyce! Once I start a brand I start wanting to try all different products in it’s line which basically means -$$$ lol. You will enjoy Illamasqua!

  10. lilladylife says:

    oh i LOVE how you have such a range of shades and brands! i agree I thoughts NARS was #1 till I tried Illamasqua! talk about soft PIGMENTATION! i need a burberry blush in my life….yes this has been decided!!! Luminoso, who dosent love drugstore peachy goodness!! Nuance! one of the few i never purchased but always wanted to, maybe ACWS!!

    Thanks for sharing your favorites!

  11. Ashley says:

    I’m darker, but I am in LOVE with NARS Desire, I realllly wanna try it!

  12. isabella says:

    more blushes for me to lust after! xD

  13. Cecilia says:

    Loved reading through your choices Danielle! I always hear such good things about the Tarte clay blushes but I still haven’t got round to checking them out. Must rectify that next year.

  14. I want everything here, as usual ;] But especially Luminoso, Nuance and and the Physicians Formula Happy Booster!

  15. Alison M says:

    (The “sweet scent of violet” is what you get with Happy Booster) I have to say, I’m surprised you narrowed it down to 10 blushes. Although you will have a separate category for creams… ;)

  16. andrea says:

    nice collection

  17. Sarah S. says:

    100% agree! I would have picked every blush of the ones I have from above for a best-of list.

  18. Dovey says:

    I can’t help but agree. Amazing choices!! Raisin, Exposed, and Hussy are probably my favorites among the favorites

  19. stephanie says:

    I so wana try physicians formula but i love nyx blushes!

    http://tzeyien89.blogspot.com/ xxx

  20. Courtney says:

    Great picks! The Illamasqua blushes are gorgeous! I`ll have to check those out one day.

  21. DalaLuz says:

    I have heard so many great things about the Tarte blushes, so they are on the wishlist for 2012 ;) My fav this year was Sleek Suede, it seemed blah, but it ended up being just the perfect color for me!

  22. Tara says:

    I have been loving my NARS Deep Throat blush this year. I have also just started using cream blush this year and am loving the effect of dewy cheeks!

    • Danielle says:

      Deep Throat is so pretty! I only purchased it about a month or two ago, and I now see why everyone likes it so much!! You are right, cream blushes make your skin look so radiant!

  23. Dilara says:

    this post just made me add 5 blushes to my “to buy” list!

  24. Citrine says:

    People (more like the packaging) said that the happy booster blush is violet (some compared it to guerlain)…I can’t tell but I love sniffing it. My most used blush is actually the normal milani pressed blush (mineral blush) in Luminous, since it seems silkier and longer lasting on me than the baked one.

  25. […] Happy New Year’s Eve everyone! I thought I would finish up my favorites of 2011 (I did one post on my favorite powder blushes of the year already, here). […]

  26. […] 2011 was a big blush year for me. You can read about all of my favorites and see swatches here. […]

  27. kelly says:

    yes. my favorite kind of post. i am so happy i got burberry russet for christmas, though i havent used it yet! my favorites this year have been mostly nars and cargo :) but i havent tried any illamasqua blushes. i need to hop on the bandwagon. happy new years danielle!

  28. […] you know, these blushes stole the top spot for best blush of 2011, and for good reason. The formula is amazing; it lasts well throughout the day, blends easily on […]

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