A Thought on A Couple of THREE Blushes

April 28, 2015

I’ve recently been digging through my makeup stash, and trying to get some little loved items back into play. I’m not a big blush junkie, and unlike eye or lip color, I find that subtle nuances in blush shades seldom show up well. So in order for me to love a blush, my prerequisites are – smooth formula, easy to blend, interesting color. The THREE Color Veil for Cheeks are not easily accessible outside of Japan, and they have their share of raves out there on the Internet. I thought I’d offer up my own views just in case you are considering an online purchase, something to mull about.

THREE Color Veil for Cheeks 22 Sweet Thing 23 Emotional Rescue

THREE Color Veil for Cheeks are powdered cheek blushes from Japanese label THREE Cosmetics. I had picked these up for experimentation back in the fall of 2013, along with 2 eye palettes [reviewed here and here]. The shades I have are #22 Sweet Thing and #23 Emotional Rescue, both released in Fall 2013 and are part of the permanent collection.

THREE Color Veil for Cheeks 22 23

THREE Color Veil for Cheeks #22 Sweet Thing (left) and #23 Emotional Rescue (right)

These Color Veil for Cheeks are simply packaged in THREE’s signature industrial minimalist style – light grey rubberized plastic with a simple no-frills snap lid. These are reminiscent of the old NARS packaging, but so far none have turned sticky which is a great blessing. I do wished they come with a mirror inside, but they don’t. On the plus side, they are incredibly slim and lightweight, and seem hardy enough to be thrown around in a makeup bag.

THREE Color Veil for Cheeks #22 Sweet Thing and #23 Emotional Rescue swatches

#22 Sweet Thing is a sweet lil thing with all its baby pink-ness. It’s so pale that against my skin tone it is near-invisible, and required maybe half the pan to create this photograph-able swatch. I exaggerate…. or maybe not. For those who are near wraith-like translucency, this may work out well. On me, it takes a dense brush (like the Chikuhodo T-4 and Hakuhodo SJ110 shown above) and lots of buffing in to show up as a blush. But when it does, it’s quite pretty indeed, in that very natural-barely-there sort of way.

THREE Color Veil for Cheeks 22 Sweet Thing LOTD

I’m wearing THREE Color Veil for Cheeks #22 Sweet Thing on cheeks, Yazbukey for Shu Uemura I Love My Shu Shu Palette on eyes, and Tom Ford Lip Color Shine in Unabashed on lips.

#23 Emotional Rescue is a medium reddened pink that looks much more exciting in the pan than it really is. I had posted a swatch comparison here some time ago, and am reproducing it here for your convenience (my apologies for the different lightings, but I no longer own some of these blushes below so I can’t recreate this comparison):

Tom Ford Narcissist blush comparison swatches

I was disappointed when I got around to swatching it as it turned out to be rather dupeable. What the swatches do not tell you though, is that the THREE Color Veil for Cheek was the sheerest of them all and took a dozen swipes to show up.  I’m definitely no fan of clown cheeks, and I would prefer no blush than to overdo it all. But when I apply a blush, I expect it to show up without much work, and to be true to pan. After my experience with Tom Ford Narcissist Cheek Color, and even at the instructions of the BA at the THREE counter, I had gently pressed my softest red squirrel cheek brush on Emotional Rescue before sweeping it on my cheeks… to find nothing. Huh???  I then swiped the brush a few times across the pan, and again nothing!  It wasn’t until I switched out to a denser goat brush that I managed to pick up enough color.  Clearly, this is not a blush you can easily overdo, which may be great for those looking to play with bolder shades but are worried about blending.

THREE Color Veil for Cheeks 23 Emotional Rescue LOTD

I’m wearing THREE Color Veil for Cheeks 23 Emotional Rescue on cheeks, Yazbukey for Shu Uemura I Love My Shu Shu Palette on eyes, and Shu Uemura Laque Supreme WN02

Even if these blushes fall on the sheerer side of things, that in itself may still not be a deal killer. After putting them aside for a good period of time and trying again with a fresh set of expectations, I noticed there are lots of redeeming factors about these blushes. They are incredibly smooth despite being quite matte which is great for those who are averse to shimmers. They are never powdery and don’t emphasize pores or bumps on the skin. The beauty of these blushes are self-explanatory in the photos above.

However, what is a deal killer for me, is the fact that these blushes do not apply true to pan on my cheeks. They don’t even swatch the same on my arm as they end up on the cheeks… somehow on the cheeks they pull warm-ish. Sweet Thing is clearly not the pastey pink it appears in the swatches and in the pan, and Emotional Rescue pulled more red than the bright fuchsia it appears in the pan.  I don’t really know the scientific explanation for this phenomenon, but I’m guessing something about the inherent redness on my cheeks plus the way my natural oils interact with the formula. It annoys me to no end when a perfectly curated makeup look goes awry because somehow the blush I had picked out applies differently than what I had envisioned.

From experience, I know that Japanese blushes tend to be sheerer than Western-formulated ones, but these are the sheerest yet. I may be a little bit harsh in my critique above, and I hope you know that this has not been an easy review for me to write. To be completely fair, these blushes pack 4.6gm of product and retails for only approximately USD26… which is easily one of the cheapest blushes for the quality!  For fans of THREE Color Veil for Cheeks, I really would love to hear from you whether these colors apply true to pan for you, or if I’m missing the point completely.

xo Linda