Sunday, September 13, 2020

Fenty Frenzy, Part 1: Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush in Strawberry Drip

Fenty Beauty, like Rituel de Fille, is a brand that I started following years ago but didn't get around to trying until 2020. I always liked Fenty's bold, exuberant aesthetic, but the releases never seemed to line up with my makeup habits. Fenty's flagship products were an impressively inclusive range of foundation (I don't wear foundation), a caramel-scented gloss (I hate lip products with strong fragrance), brilliant powder highlighters (I prefer a subtle highlight), and a red liquid matte lipstick (I already owned Wet n Wild Missy and Fierce). This spring, though, Fenty launched a line of tempting candy-colored cream blushes. I'd been looking for a good coral cream blush for years, so I bought Strawberry Drip, a bright coral pink. A few months later, Fenty put its entire line of Mattemoiselle lipsticks on sale, and I decided to try one of the most offbeat colors: Pumpkin Rose, a light marigold orange. 


I was going to review both products in the same post, but my review predictably got too long, so this post will be devoted to Strawberry Drip!


Strawberry Drip's hexagonal, cream-colored compact evokes the Polly Pocket toys I loved in childhood. (Fenty's aesthetic in general reminds me of the late '80s and early '90s, which makes sense, since Rihanna and I are the same age and surely played with the same toys.) The compact feels sturdy and closes securely. Inside, there's a mirror with a protective plastic sheet that I forgot to remove before taking the photos for this post. Typical.


Like a Polly Pocket house, the compact has a tiny latch that can be hard to open if you have large hands and/or less-than-stellar fine motor skills (I have both). 


The azalea color of Strawberry Drip looks just as vivid in person as it does online. Strawberry Drip reminds me of a blush I owned more than half a decade ago: Face Stockholm's Paris. However, Paris always gave me trouble because it sat right on the border between warm-toned and cool-toned, and I couldn't figure out which lipsticks and eyeshadows should go with it. Since Strawberry Drip is warmer than Paris, I find it much easier to pair with other colors.


Some people have complained that the Cheeks Out blushes are $20 for a mere 0.1 oz. (3g), which makes them $200 per ounce. However, that price point isn't unusual for cream blushes from comparable brands: Face Stockholm's cream blushes are $28 for 0.15 oz ($186.67/oz), while RMS Beauty's Lip2Cheek blushes are $36 for 0.17 oz ($211.76/oz). The size seems reasonable to me, especially since cream blushes expire more quickly than powder ones. 


The Fenty website copy describes Cheeks Out as "a light-as-air, non-greasy cream blush that instantly melts into skin for an effortless wash of color, giving life to all skin tones with a no-fuss, natural-looking flush in ten sheer shades." This is a fairly accurate description; I can't speak to the "all skin tones" claim, but I can confirm that Strawberry Drip's formula is much less dewy and slippery than I'd expect from a cream blush. Here's a close-up of the texture (this is the most color-accurate photo in this post, by the way):


I've heard that Fenty's original foundation formula is best suited to oily skin, and that seems true of the cream blushes, too. Compared to other cream blushes I've tried, such as Illamasqua Zygomatic and Bbia Downy Lavender, Strawberry Drip looks almost matte on my dry-leaning skin, and it's harder to blend. (RIP Zygomatic: I finally tossed it last month after six years of faithful service.) However, I think the Fenty blushes would be ideal for people who find that most cream blushes slide off their skin after a few hours. 

Strawberry Drip is not as sheer as I'd expect from the description, but it can certainly be sheered out with ease. Here's one swipe on the left, and one swipe blended out on the right:


My favorite way to use coral or peach blush is in a k-pop-inspired placement: a broad flush of color on the apples of my cheeks. I think that looks so cute and youthful, though more so on YooA of Oh My Girl than on me.

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Somewhat in that spirit, here's a look from earlier this summer, with Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner in Jolt and Revlon Glass Shine Lipstick in Fire and Ice. I always seem to wear Strawberry Drip with this shirt, or this shirt with Strawberry Drip. 




I've really enjoyed wearing Strawberry Drip this summer, and if I didn't already own more than enough blushes, I'd be very tempted by some of the other shades in the Cheeks Out lineup. (For the fall and winter, Rosé Latte and Summertime Wine look particularly appealing.) I wish the formula were a little dewier and easier to blend, but the non-greasy texture gives Strawberry Drip more staying power than the average cream blush. Overall, a triumph. 

See you next weekend (I hope) for my review of Pumpkin Rose!

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