Much like the Matte lipsticks in vibrant shades of pink and coral, the Duocolor Cheek Blushes in Sweet Pink and Fresh Apricot are unusual choices for a fall collection. Then again, perhaps that's why they feel so fresh, and so characteristic of the youth culture and whimsy that inspired the collection?
The blushes are sold individually, and the Retro Sensation Custom Palette can be purchased separately to house them. (If you prefer to place them in something like a Z-palette, you will need to attach a magnetized disk to the bottom, as the pans are made of a non-magnetic metal.) Both feature a - pardon the word, I CANNOT HELP MYSELF - groovaliscious design. The palette, at the very least, owes a nod in Pucci's direction. :P
The blushes have a deeper shade with a matte-to-satin finish, and a lighter shade with a fair amount of micro glitter. Sweet Pink has a bright tulip pink and an pale pink with a white undertone, while Fresh Apricot has a pastel tangerine and a pale yellow-peach with a beige undertone.
Blended, both duos come out more pastel and pale, and pick up the microglitter from the lighter shades. I don't find that the glitter transferred all that much once applied to the face, however. The pink is easier to wear on my skin tone, but I was surprised at how nice the Fresh Apricot looked, since orange shades tend to make me look more sallow. (If you want to see a picture of how Sweet Pink looks, I'm wearing it in my review of the Lancome Teint Visionnaire foundation.)
Both powders are soft, silky and fine, and pick up quite easily on a brush. It's tricky to parse out just the deeper shade on a blush brush, so the colour defaults to a blend and therefore goes on lighter than you'd expect considering how much is picked up by the brush. It makes for a very fresh, delicate effect that is best left as is rather than built up in an attempt to get a deeper colour. I found that if I applied more, the white pigment started to look chalky on my skin. EDIT: I was told that one technique to using the colours separately is to swipe the brush horizontally through the pan, and apply to the cheek in a similar manner. This creates a highlight over the cheekbone while placing the deeper colour just below.
The wear on these was 5 hours until I started noticing some fading, which is about average for more pastel-toned blushes on me.
Left to right: Sweet Pink and Fresh Apricot
Top to bottom: Fresh Apricot and Sweet Pink
Pros: Whimsically retro design, soft, smooth texture, good pigmentation and wear. Easy to create a delicately flushed cheek. Microglitter doesn't really transfer when applied (which could be a con, depending on your expectations and preferences).
Cons: More difficult to parse out the separate shades when using a normal-sized blush brush. Can create a chalky look if applied more robustly. Blushes only available as pans, require a palette.
(These items were provided by the brand/PR to be considered for review. This post is not sponsored or compensated. Opinions are my own.)