*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?

Happy Friday beautiful! I have something to confess…I am, above all things,  a bargainista at heart. I truly, truly detest paying loads of $$$ for products I can get at rock bottom prices, ya dig? So naturally I check out Eyeslipsface.com on a frequent basis for new and exciting products that are super steals. That’s where the Studio Line comes in. Mostly priced at $3 the Studio Line is leaps ahead of the normal ELF core line (the $1 priced items). The Studio Blushes are a great way to have several different choices of blush and not having to shell out massive dollars to do so.

ELF Studio Line Blush

The sleek black packaging is reminiscent of NARS, but definitely not as heavy (read sturdy) feeling as the NARS packaging. There is a mirror on the inside so it’s great to throw in your makeup bag for touch ups should you need one. These retail for $3 each.

L-R: Candid Coral, Berry Merry, Mellow Mauve, Fuschia Fusion, Blushing Rose, Pink Passion, Peachy Keen

I really enjoy these blushes. At times, they can be a bit powdery but with proper blending, they get the job done. I don’t experience any wear issues with these blushes, but keep in mind I always use face primer on days I wear blush. I won’t get into color specifics because the picture speaks for itself here. I also wanted to inlcude the NARS Albatross dupe (so I have been told, I don’t own Albatross so I can’t verify 100%).

ELF Studio Blush in Gotta Glow

It is really a highlighter, not a blush but I digress. It does add a nice, light golden glow on the cheekbones. It isn’t glittery so no worries about looking like a disco ball here. It just adds a nice glow to your face and I rather like it.

Have you tried the ELF Studio line blushes? They are a definite staple in my collection because of the great value and color variety!

I stepped into a Sephora store in June of this year. I was looking for something VERY specific. A SA approached me and asked me if I needed help finding something. I told her that I was looking for “a true coral, matte, cream or cream-to-powder blush.” Thinking that what I was looking for was not going to be a possibility as I had already searched for this item long before I entered the store, I was surprised when she said, “I know just what you are looking for, come with me.” She led me to the Make Up For Ever section and pointed out the HD Microfinish blushes. She picked out a color that looked positively orange in the bottle and even on her skin. She was, however several shades more pale than my NC37 skin (probably even darker at the time since it was summer time). On me, it looked perfect. EXACTLY what I was searching for. I told you that story, to tell you that I now have a slight obsession with these blushes. See below for more details.

MUFE HD Microfinish Blush Container

As you can see, they come in pump form and there has been much discussion over the, err, usefulness of the container. It tends to pump out more product than you could ever possibly use because of how highly pigmented this blush is. I only gently pump a tiny bit out at a time so as not to waste product. It is $25/blush, but I foresee these blushes lasting a long, long time. They can be found at Sephora.com.

L-R: Nip Slip, Star Struck, Quickie, First Kiss

The shades I have are as follows:

#5- Nip Slip: Neutral Pink, gives a very natural flush

#14- Star Struck: Pale Peach, which gives me that ‘no blush’ blush look. Very nude and natural

#6- Quickie: Salmon Pink, a brighter slightly coral pink.

#12- First Kiss: Bright Apricot, very intense (can be orangey) coral but is lovely when sheered out.

I want to try more shades, because I can tell you without a shred of doubt that these are by far the longest lasting blushes I own. Period. End of Report. You do have to blend them into your skin quickly because it dries and sets pretty fast. Once it sets, it ain’t budgin’ ’til you remove it baby. I am grateful to the SA who kindly directed me towards a HG product for me. Yes, this is that good for me. Again, I want to stress that just because these worked for me, they may not work for everyone. I tend to have oily skin, especially in the summer. So finding a blush that won’t melt off my cheeks is truly a miraculous event. What say you about MUFE products? Have you tried any of the HD blushes yet?