I've been lemming for The Balm Instain Blushes ever since they've come out (last year maybe?), but just never got around to getting them. Especially since Sephora no longer carries the brand, it's just not as easily accessible. Also the price of these individually are a little steep. So when I found this set of full-sized blushes at Kohl's for a fraction of the cost ($34 for the set, $22 each), I was excited. This is a limited edition set (for an unspecified period of time), just to let you know.
To continue reading the review and see swatches, click the link below.
Of the 6 shades available, the set includes a good variety of the more "wearable" colors. These include Argyle, Toile, and Houndstooth. Luckily these were actually the colors I would have chosen for myself if I bought them individually. The only other color I want is Lace, a bright bubblegum pink.
One of the great things about The Balm products, besides the quality, is their packaging. I totally dig the retro/pin-up style. The Instain Blushes are no exception to the packaging greatness. There are sturdy cardboard material that doesn't add unnecessary bulk. You can easily pack these in a makeup bag and cart it around with you. The front of the blushes have a vintage magazine look to it. The inner packaging that houses the blush is housed in a sleeve with the same "magazine" image. You can keep the sleeves around to keep the blushes from opening, but the magnetic closure is strong enough that the sleeve becomes more of a hindrance when you go to use the product. I threw all mine away. It has a good sized mirror in each of the packaging for touch-ups (although it's really unnecessary). As a side note, the pattern of the packaging surrounding the blush pan matches the color and name of the blush as well.
The main appeal of these blushes are the fact that it's meant to be a long lasting formula that actually stains the cheeks. It's a powder blush that feels very buttery and smooth to the touch and applies VERY easily. If you are fairer skin toned, then use a very light hand when applying. You don't want to look like a clown. It's best to build up the color until you get the hang of the intensity. It is truly long-lasting, and does seem to "stain" the cheek in the sense that the color lingers on the skin for hours.
The most usable, everyday color of the set is Argyle. A matte light yellow-toned baby/pastel pink. It's the type of color that goes with any makeup look, and gives the face a nice flush. The only downside is that it might not be appropriate for the darkest skin tones. I might become a little ashy, just due to the nature of the color. Since the packaging matches the color and name of the blush (as mentioned above), it's a muted, dusty pink argyle pattern.
Toile is the bright, "summer" shade of the bunch. It's a matte pinkey/orangey-coral. It's a super vibrant shade, but gives the cheeks a nice glow. Even light skin tones can pull this color off. Once applied, it gives a sunkissed/sunburnt look of summer. This is a shade that would work across all skin tones.
Houndstooth is the "darkest", most fall/winter appropriate color of the set. It does have the slightest hint of shimmer, which really isn't noticeable once applied onto the cheeks. The color is a muted, dusty colored rosey-mauve. It has an intensity of color without being super dark/deeply pigmented. Most skin tones should be able to wear this as well.
Hand swatches of each of the blushes below. The swatch on the left is the concentrated swatch, then I took whatever was left on my finger from that swatch to do the blended out swatch on the right. As you can see, you can build up color with each of the polishes, but you can also use it as a light flush of color.