Review and Swatches: Kanebo Media Blush OR-1

Kanebo Media Blush OR-1
Kanebo Media Blush OR-1

I’m a late bloomer when it comes to Japanese makeup and skincare. I can’t say I’ve ever been into them. One reason is not being able to decipher product ingredients and technical information. Another is the sometimes nonsensical names that do not lend technical credibility. I mean, Girly Whipped Cheek? (Lavshuca, a cheek tint). Powderless Liquid? (Kanebo Kate, a liquid to powder foundation finish, I think, which you’d think is powder-more, not less? Unless it’s a liquid foundation that lets you skip powder? See my quandary?) Medicated Acne Emollient Supplizer? (Shiseido Ettusais. I’m not even..).

But indecipherable names aside, I know there are some great products out there that I’m missing if I don’t join the fray. I mean, my most sacred oil control apparatus is a Japanese miracle: Biore UV Perfect Face Milk, a sunblock that absorbs sebum like there’s no tomorrow.

So, Japanese makeup. One day, I saw an online deal for Kanebo Media blush, which has some very good reviews online. It’s not too expensive, and there is the color OR-1 which seems like a nice soft orange that I am missing from my stash. All my orange blushes are divas.

However, when the blush arrived, it might as well be PC (peach). Which? Actually works. I like. It is a peachy pink that I do not have a dupe of amongst my 80+ blushes. It will take serious effort to overdo, but is a really effortless exertion for a statement-lip look. There is a pronounced shimmer that does not translate to the cheeks (my problem with Nars Orgasm and the like).

Kanebo Media Blush OR-1, swatched heavily on the bottom and blended out at top.
Kanebo Media Blush OR-1, swatched heavily on the bottom and blended out at top, taken in the morning sunlight.

Bottom line: with its relatively cheap price (about $10 online at Ebay, Icibankao, etc),  a soft and usable brush, requirement of minimal effort, affinity with statement lips (OR-1, that is), compact size and transparent packaging for ease of color selection, there’s not really a con to trying one. However, I won’t be picking up more colors from this line as they’d be too light for my skin and I am not missing pale pinks/reds.

The pictures below were taken at different days, on different time of day, with natural lighting, so excuse the wide variation in skin color. But this really is a versatile blush color.

Kanebo Media Blush OR-1 with NYX Morocco (left), MAC Viva Glam Nicki (middle) and a random lipstick that looks lovely but for the life of me, I can’t remember. Might be an Illamasqua cream blush with some lipgloss….

NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams: 18 shades swatched!

nyx soft matte lip creams

I love the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams. The first that I tried was Stockholm, I think. I liked it so much that I got (and kept) its sisters Amsterdam, Addis Ababa, Antwerp, San Paulo, Milan and Istanbul, swatched below. I did not much like Monte Carlo (too vampy dark), Abu Dhabi and London (too dark), Tokyo (too light) and did not keep them, though I had them all at one time.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams Amsterdam, Antwerp, Addis Ababa, San Paulo (Sao Paulo), Milan, Istanbul, Stockholm
NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams Amsterdam, Antwerp, Addis Ababa, San Paulo (Sao Paulo), Milan, Istanbul, Stockholm

The swatches below were taken at different times as I added to my collection. I also didn’t like Buenos Aires and Sydney; there were both too pale for my relatively dark mauve-y beige lips. I still can use Buenos Aires, but Sydney is just plain weird on me. Istanbul is the palest I can go in terms of pink; beyond that it is not a good sight.

NYX Lip Products:  Antwerp, Strawberry Daiquiri (matte lipstik), San Paulo, Buenos Aires, Sydney, Milan, Istanbul.
NYX Lip Products: Antwerp, Strawberry Daiquiri (matte lipstik), San Paulo, Buenos Aires, Sydney, Istanbul, Milan

The recently released nine colors are overall pretty nice. Transylvania (too dark), Cairo (too light), Cannes and Zurich (both too dark) won’t work for me, but the others definitely will. Moreover, they’re all pretty different than the ones I already have. My favorite is Morocco (miss-spelt in the picture, sorry). I also really like Prague (radiant orchid being the 2014 color of the year) and Athens (a lighter ‘nude’ color than Stockholm).

NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams, 13 colors swatched.
NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams: Antwerp, Stockholm, Addis Ababa, Istanbul, Prague, Copenhagen, Marocco, Transyvania, Cairo, Athens, Ibiza, Cannes, Zurich

Bottom line: do I like them? Yes I do, very much, if you can’t already tell.  The colors are so vibrant yet can go on sheer or as stain if you wish; the coverage is excellent; the scent is pleasant to my nose (unlike other NYX lip products, most of which I can’t tolerate) and the price is just right for the quality. The lasting power is relatively good, and they’re not particularly drying on me unless I wear it several days in a row from dawn til dusk.

Overall, I highly recommend these. If you are medium-toned, try Stockholm and see if you agree with the formula. If yes, then I would highly recommend San Paulo (still conservative for office use but not boring), Morocco (bright!), Istanbul (the best complement for smokey-eyes) and Milan (another office-friendly color).

nyx morocco and istanbul
Nyx Morrocco (left) and Istanbul
NXY Prague
NXY Prague