Sunday, March 12, 2017

In Pursuit of Pastel Pink, Part 2: Glossier Cloud Paint in Puff

I can't remember getting as excited over any Glossier release as I did over the Cloud Paint cream blushes, which launched a week and a half ago (following a "soft launch" at the Oscars, because of course). Two days before the blushes dropped, I had a dream that I was looking at them in a store, but they were in pans instead of tubes, and there were only two shades: a warm brown and a bright red-orange similar to NARS Exhibit A. Say what you will about Glossier, their marketing is capable of infiltrating my subconscious to the point that I have dreams about specific products. Glossier is really good at creating narratives around their merchandise, and as someone who picks apart narratives for a living, I have to respect that.


The Cloud Paints are $18 each (though Glossier currently has a two-for-$30 deal), and they come in four colors: Beam, a peach; Dusk, a beige-brown similar to Illamasqua Zygomatic; Haze, a purple berry; and Puff, which I thought would be a lavender pink capable of fulfilling my k-beauty fantasies. I'd been meaning to order a new tube of Boy Brow anyway, so I gladly succumbed to Puff, as well as one of Glossier's terrycloth headbands with an embroidered G (which happens to be the first letter of my surname).

Each Cloud Paint comes in a metallic cardboard box that slides out of a plastic sheath:


I've heard some complaints about the smallness of the blushes (0.33 fl oz, or 10 ml), but keep in mind that 1) cream products expire more quickly than powders do, and 2) this is a pigmented formula that doesn't take much building up. Here's the tube in my hand for scale:


A commenter on ITG's Cloud Paint post mentioned that the blushes look awfully similar to Too Cool for School's Impasto Blushes, which are also housed in mini paint tubes. (I'm surprised that ITG let that comment through, to be honest.) It's no secret that Glossier draws heavy inspiration from k-beauty, but inspiration is one thing and ripping off a product design is another. The designs are different enough that I doubt it's a legal issue, but it still feels a bit icky to me.

Unscrew the cap and remove the little foil protector, and you get this:


The blush formula is somewhat runny (as it has to be, given the nature of the packaging), and a lot of product can ooze out of that little hole if you're not careful. Other cream blushes in tubes, like the Becca Beach Tints, have a long, thin "snout" (not sure what else to call it) that prevents the product from dispensing too quickly. I wish the Cloud Paints had this feature, but since they don't, I'd recommend storing the tube with the cap pointing upward and squeezing it veeeery gently to dispense the product. I actually hold the tube upright when I squeeze it, too. Glossier describes Cloud Paint as a "gel cream," which gives the impression of a thicker, creamier formula, but it's more of a slippery stain (it's full of silicones, if you care about that sort of thing). Here's Puff dolloped onto my hand, then blended in:


Puff is an extremely pretty neutral pink. It is not, however, the pastel cotton-candy unicorn fantasy promised on the Glossier website. Seriously, check out the videos of women applying Puff: the pink looks so much cooler on them than it does on me. To be fair, my skin is quite cool-toned, so most pinks will pull a bit warm, but I was astonished when I swatched Puff alongside three NARS pinks and it looked almost coral. L-R: Mata Hari, Threesome, Puff, Coeur Battant:


Puff is even warmer than Threesome! What is the deal? (These swatches remind me how pretty Coeur Battant is and how infrequently I wear it. Must change that.)

Taken on its own terms, however, Puff is a lovely and user-friendly shade. For a natural flush, I use one small drop per cheek, blending it upward from the apples with my fingers. (I've heard that people use brushes with the Cloud Paints, but I imagine that would get messy.) For a more dramatic pop of pink, I use two drops per cheek. The color sinks right into my skin for a stain effect, blends out smoothly, and lasts several hours without fading, though I'm curious whether it would perform differently over foundation or on skin less dry than mine.

For my first attempt, I took inspiration from various k-beauty tutorials and put together a subtle warm eye with a cool lip and cheek. I used three shades from ABH Modern Renaissance on my eyes: Warm Taupe all over the lids and on the lower lashline, Primavera in the center for a halo effect, and Cyprus Umber on the top lashline. My lipstick is Glossier Generation G in Jam, because why not go full Glossier?


For my second attempt, I applied Urban Decay Skimp, a pinkish beige, all over my lids, then used the Physicians Formula liquid liner to draw a "puppy eye," which looked a lot better on me than I remembered (then again, I have a decent eyeliner now...). My lip color is Too Cool for School's lip tint in Milky Lavender, which in the year since I bought it has deepened to the vivid lilac I always wanted it to be. That probably means it's going bad, but it still smells fine, so let's live dangerously.


Puff seems like it will play well with other blushes, so in the coming days I'm going to try layering it under Threesome, Tony Moly Milky Violet, and ColourPop Rain. Perhaps one of those combinations will give me the lavender-pink cheeks I so desperately desire. If not, the Korean brand 3CE seems like it might have me covered:

Source: Stylenanda

But before I run out and buy yet another product, I'm going to do my very best to achieve the look above with the blushes I already own. Reading Renee's post about resisting the "I WANT IT!" feeling has made me more determined to mix and layer products, which is not something I generally do. But if the best makeup artists do it habitually to create their ideal colors, why shouldn't I? If I come up with any good combinations in the next few days, I'll update this post.

Overall, I really like Puff. The little tube is ideal for travel, and the color suits me and seems like it would go well with both warm and cool lip colors. Cloud Paint is probably my second-favorite Glossier product (Boy Brow being the winner, of course), though the other three shades are similar enough to blushes I already own that I doubt I'll pick up any more.

By the way, when I ordered Puff and made a Glossier account, I received an affiliate link. If you're a first-time customer and you click here to shop on the website, you get 20% off and I get $10 in store credit. If you'd rather not, no worries at all! (FYI, first-time customers get 20% off whether or not they use my link.)

19 comments:

  1. Cream blushes is probably the first product that Glossier's made where I agree that their small size is prudent. That tube is so cute. That colour is beautiful. Goddammit, Glossier. Ship to me!

    The Too Cool for School tint looks lovely on you - I went back to look at your post from last year about it and I much prefer the darker version of it. Hopefully it doesn't kill you!

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    1. Well, it's the next day and I'm still alive and my lips haven't fallen off, so I'm going to say the tint is still fine to use. I think I'll wear it more now that it's the color I wanted it to be all along! Someone on Instagram suggested I try using it as a cream blush, which could be interesting.

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  2. Well, if nothing else, you got a flattering, natural blush. Even if natural was the opposite of what you were going for. I love the puppy eye on you! I wish that shape worked on me, because it would be a good way to avoid the creases at the corners of my eyes.

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    1. I don't know why I was so vehemently opposed to the puppy eye before. I first tried it when my eyeliner skills weren't quite at their current level, so that could be it. I still wish I could do a proper cat eye, but I think I have to accept that that's always going to be a struggle.

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  3. Now I think I want the pale lavender pink from 3CE. Must read Renee's post asap! LOL

    I think you'd like MacQueen creamy cushion lip and cheek tint if you want a thicker consistency. I got one in Light Pink (gifted from a friend) and it certainly is thicker in consistency and cooler in temperature (it is almost dusty, though).

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    1. Hmm, I've never heard of MacQueen! I wonder why some Korean brands receive so much hype in the US and others don't. I actually don't mind the runny consistency of the Cloud Paints; I was just remarking on how Glossier doesn't quite represent it accurately.

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  4. Let me kill that 3CE lemming for you: I've tried that cream blush you want. I wasn't impressed.

    If you really want a lavender, what about the BBIA Downy Cheek in the lavender shade? I got rid of it because it was a wee bit too unnatural for me, but if you mixed it with the pink shade (which I still own), you could definitely make a cool lavender pink. (I know I'm not helping, but they were $5 on eBay when I bought them, so...could be worse?)

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    1. Haha, thanks! That helps a lot.

      Oh man, I just looked up the BBIA blush, and it seems you were selling it back in December! I wish I could turn back time and buy it from you. I'll keep that shade in mind if my layering experiments don't pan out (pun not intended, but I can't bring myself to delete it).

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  5. Given the recurrent complain about the runny texture of the glossier blush, i think that if i was to buy one, i would just poke a hole into the foil protection with a pin rather than removing it. But they don't ship to Europe, where i live, so i am just throwing that idea here for the benefit of your readers :)
    (But i really want to purchase Coeur Battant, such a great color)

    To be fair with glossier, Too cool for school doesn't have a monopoly on blush in tubes, Armani had one named Cheek Fabric for years (i think it has been discontinuited for a couple of years, tho). But, yeah, they draw a lot of inspiration from K Beauty.

    If you are not afraid to buy products you can't swatch beforehand, and you want a K-Beauty look why you don't try to order something from a korean brand? They make good products, according to the beauty addicts i know, and at a price a lot lower than glossier. And when it comes to blush, many brands have light lavender ones for a really cool tone wash of color. There's tones of sites to order from, like testerkorea or jolses.

    I always enjoy reading your posts.

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    1. Poking a hole in the foil is a good idea! I don't think the packaging is a huge problem if you know what you're getting into, but it certainly could have been designed with more care. Coeur Battant was limited edition for holiday 2013, but I'm sure there are some floating around on the internet! It's a really special color.

      I should have been clearer (and after reading your comment, I went back and edited the post): I was talking about the fact that the Cloud Paints and Impasto Blushes both look like paint tubes.

      Actually, I do own a lavender blush from a k-beauty brand: Tony Moly Cristal Blusher in Milky Violet, which I bought in NYC two years ago. Unfortunately, it's chalky and not very pigmented, so I have to use a lot of product to get the color to show up at all. You're right that I probably should have looked at Korean brands before Glossier, but...sigh, I fell for the hype.

      And thanks! :D

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  6. Ahhh. Lena just said it's not special now you are tempting me with that code.


    I think I will resist a bit longer since their viral marketing put me off a little. But then again it's just their brand philosophy, trying very hard to look like they are not trying at all.

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    1. Haha, you get 20% off as a first-time customer whether or not you use the code, so don't let me tempt you!

      I'm not a huge fan of Glossier's marketing, either, and I think a lot of their products (specifically their skincare) are overhyped and overpriced for what they are. But I read Into the Gloss for years before Glossier launched, so it was hard to resist trying a few things!

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  7. I never wear cream blush but I always read reviews with great interest- I have some IRL friends with dry skin who are always looking for user-friendly formulas. This one looks fantastic on you, even though it's not the unicorn-cotton-candy-dreams shade promised in promo/ads. I feel the slight muted/neutralness suits your coloring very well

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    1. I love cream blushes (they work well on my dry skin and are so convenient for traveling), but I own just two because I'm afraid of buying too many and having them go bad. And yet I have almost no restraint with lipsticks, which also go bad in a couple of years. Go figure...

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  8. i wonder if part of the problem with finding the K-POP MAGIC! blush color of your dreams is that you tend to be a lot more cool-toned than the models/pop stars in those photos so the contrast is just highlighted/heightened a bit on them?

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    1. That thought did cross my mind! The K-POP MAGIC! blushes all seem to be white-based, too, and Puff definitely is not.

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  9. Have you by any chance tried thumper by colourpop? I know you're against colourpop, but it's been my go-to pastel pink for the past couple years. I'm also very pale with mid-to-cool toned skin, and I really encourage you to try it!! It's very pigmented but can be easily sheered out, either with your finger or with a stippling brush (I use the Elf stipple brush, I think it's either $3 or $4.)

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    1. I wouldn't say I'm *against* ColourPop, just that I've been disappointed by some of the CP products I've tried (though I have snarked on the brand's marketing, it's true). I just looked up some swatches of Thumper and it is very similar to the pink I've been envisioning! I'll keep it in mind.

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  10. The formula looks and sounds similar to the Rimmel Stay Blushed liquid blushes in tubes (which might be discontinued?), though I compared ingredient lists and they're actually pretty different. Which makes this comment kind of pointless. Actually, I was really commenting to say that I think you'd enjoy listening to Emily Weiss on the most recent episode of the podcast Fat Mascara. As someone who is skeptical of Glossier in many ways, I thought it was a very interesting glimpse into what she's aiming for.

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