30 June 2012

Revlon PhotoReady Coral Reef Cream Blush

Olivia Wilde's face goes a long way in images that make me buy things.  Actually, truth be told Revlon is one of my more favorite drugstore brands. I like that there is a definite push from them to keep fresh relevant "models" for their images and that they try to keep their products inventive and on parallel with more prestigious cosmetics brands (even if they out right copy them *cough*balmstainisatartelipsurgencepencildupe*cough).  I appreciate the effort, because I'd much rather shell out $10 or so for a fun bit of pretty, than for a product with a heftier price tag.

The external packaging!

This blush debuted with Revlon's Summer 2012 collection, designed by Gucci Westman for Revlon, featuring Olivia Wilde's face, and having this blush as one of it's offering.  Actually, there are three Photoready Cream Blushes available Pinched - a delicate pink-peach, Flushed - a neon fuschia, and Coral Reef - a vibrant shade that looks a wee bit like this.... (look at the next picture!)

Holy crap it's so bright, how can you possibly wear such an atomic color on your cheeks, Olivia Wilde doesn't look neon in her pretty advert, what non-sense is this!  This non-sense is actually just a bit of deceptive shock, Coral Reef is actually pretty tame and sorta reminds me of another shockingly Orange-Pink cheek product by Benefit.  Yes.  I'm talking about the 2011 Mango hued ChaCha Tint.  Coral Reef looks almost exactly like it, except for one small thing - it's loads easier to use.

1- Revlon Coral Reef. 2 - Benefit ChaCha Tint.  Pretty bang on, right?
So if you were jonesing after softly hued cheeks reminiscent of a sheer coral glow Revlon Coral Reef may be your cheaper solution and also exact dupe.  So, now that that revelation is out of the way, we can discuss the product formulation and wear.  Coral Reef is a bit dry to the touch, in that the texture feels more like a matte foundation cake than blush.  When you press down the product does slide and become more malleable, but the texture can be problematic for application with a flimsy duo-fibre brush or even your fingers.  The key to use a cream blush effectively is to find out the best way to blend it on the skin so that you get a pretty diffuse flush.

All will be revealed in due time.

So in order to be comprehensive and provide sensible solutions to the conundrum of product application, and to showcase the color more, and just because I can... I applied the blush in a variety of ways to my arm.

1 - For this method I balled up a tissue, swirled it into the product and pounced it onto my skin.  The error with this method, is that balled up tissue has hard edges and scrapes up more product in some areas and less in another.  Clearly, tissue geography is prohibitive in proper application, but this can be overcome by pouncing slowly, and switching to a clean tissue to remove excess product and clumps of blush that deposited on your cheeks.

2 - Cosmetic sponge.   I know some people frown upon them, and some people only use brushes, and some people think they're cheap and tacky and no good.  But seriously.  They were invented for a reason and this is actually my preferred method of application.  They're spongy, have a wide surface area so you don't get areas of concentrated color on the face, and application is as simple as pounce on, pounce off.  Dab the sponge into the product to pick up, and dab in sweeping circular motions to apply to the face. 

3 - Finger.  I suck at finger applying things.  I never get it to blend right and I always pick up too much product, it gets deposited in roughly a finger sized area, because it's coming from my finger, and then I can't get it to blend nicely.  But it is an option, should you be so inclined.

I apologize for my hair and my dazed vacant expression.  But I do have Coral Reef on.
Overall, CR is very sheer despite it being mind bendingly neon in the package, but I'm ok with that because I'm not a crazy blush fanatic. I prefer blush when it's sheer and less obvious and more natural looking.  I applied this using the cosmetic sponge method over my cheeks, diffusing back towards my hairline, on my nose and a tiny bit on my chin.  This applies well over unpowdered and powdered foundation, and takes the application of translucent powder pretty well, you lose a tiny bit of intensity with it, but you can layer more product over top to increase intensity and longevity.  Unfortunately, even with layering Coral Reef doesn't stay around for long. It wears off during the day and you get about 3-4 hours of wear out of it max.

Coral Reef is by Revlon and sold for about $10 - $12 USD wherever you can find it.  I procured mine from Walmart.


  1. I totally agree about the finger application - I can never get it right. I like using a stippling brush sometimes, but more often than not, I go with the sponge application as well. Love this color though - very summery! Just wish it lasted longer. :( I also think it'd be downright FAB as a lip balm/gloss!

    1. I had that as an after thought after I posted it. Maybe the lip balm test will appear in a Faves & Fails.