Saturday, May 25, 2013

Dolce and Gabbana Blush Swatches and Reviews

So, I went a little crazy during the last Sephora sale and purchased all of the Dolce and Gabbana blushes they sell that I didn't already own. I really wish there was a store somewhere in my region, even, where I could swatch and try Dolce and Gabbana products before buying; unfortunately, the nearest counter is hundreds of miles away, so instead I settle for this trial-and-error-ordering madness.

I already owned Sole, Mauve Diamond, and Nude blushes, and LOVE all three, so I thought chances were good I would like at least a few of the other seven. It was a gamble, and I still haven't decided if it's one that paid off or not. But let's look at the swatches first, shall we? In both sets, I show the flash picture first, then direct sunlight, then indirect sunlight. Each color is shown semi-blended-out to the left and heavily swatched to the right.

Here are Sole, Rosebud, Provocative, Mauve Diamond, and Tan:

And here we have Delight, Nude, Peach, Rose, and Mocha:

The thing I struggle with - with the entire Dolce and Gabbana line - is inconsistency. Some of the blushes are extremely pigmented; others I have to pile on to get them to show up. Some of them last all day long on my skin no matter what; others only last all day if I apply them to a slightly tacky surface, like still-damp foundation or over a thin sheen of cream blush in a coordinating shade; and others still seem to not last well on me at all. It would be easier to review these if the most pigmented ones were also the longest-lasting, but that's not the case. I've swatched all of these heavily so you can see their true colors, but please know that some of them required far more work to build them up to that level than others! One thing I will say is consistent about these is that when you first swatch them, they almost all have a "powdery" look, like they're sitting on top of the skin, but after a little while, every single one softens texturally and develops a second-skin, naturally-flushed appearance.

Frankly, my favorites - for their uniqueness and quality - remain the ones I already owned before the sale: Sole, Mauve Diamond, and Nude. Sole and Mauve Diamond are stunning, long-lasting colors and they have absolutely no dupes in my personal collection. (I believe there are dupes from other brands, but none whose formulas I'd consider comparable.) They're very buildable and blendable, so you really don't need to worry about overdoing it with either of them as long as you use a brush made for pigmented blushes (examples: stippling brushes like the MAC 187, 188, or one of their many dupes; super-soft, less-dense brushes like the Japonesque or Suqqu blush brushes). See here for an example of Sole applied in a natural way on me, and here for Mauve Diamond. Nude is very pigmented, but due to its pale color, it doesn't last quite as long on me and does require a heavier application. However, but it's such a perfect nude color on my pale N10 skin that I am perfectly willing to overlook those faults. Here is an example of Nude on me.

Mocha is a shade that I found I was able to make work on me when lightly applied, and it is highly pigmented, but it refused to last on my cheeks more than a few hours no matter what I did. The compact on that one is also defective, so it's definitely going back to Sephora.

Rosebud, Peach, and Rose are not terribly unique shades, but all are very natural and flattering on the skin, and have what I consider an ideal level of pigmentation (not too much or too little, and therefore, they are very easy to work with); you can see pictures of Rosebud on me in two different looks here and here, Peach on me here, and Rose on me here. They all have about average wear time - perhaps 6 hours or so - easily all day if I use a cream blush as a base underneath them.

Provocative is a little bit chalkier in consistency than some of the others and is a decent, but not exceptional, cool vivid pink; because I have other colors that are very similar but last longer on my skin, such as Tarte Amused, it will be going back to Sephora as well.

Tan, I thought, would make a fantastic contouring shade, but in fact it settles into my skin in a semi-blotchy way and is a little too pink-toned to make a believable contour on me. I prefer NYX Taupe or Chanel Notorious for contouring, whose gray tones more closely resemble a "shadow" on the skin.

Delight is beautiful and natural-looking on the skin (see it on me here - sorry, that's an iPhone camera picture) but it's also incredibly unpigmented, and it takes a lot of work to build it up on me to a color depth I find satisfying. It's a very basic neutral pink color that's easy to dupe in my collection (example: Burberry Misty), and also not as long-lasting on me as some other formulas I have, so as much as I love it on the skin, I don't think it's worth the work. More to the point, I certainly would not recommend this to anyone with darker skin than about NC/NW20 because of how pale and sheer it is. EDIT: I just discovered that the pigmentation of Delight is medium, not terrible; the trouble is, for some reason it is far more susceptible than most blushes I've used to hardening on the surface of the pan due to skin oils, which can make it hard to pick up pigment. After scraping off the surface layer and getting it "good as new," then testing it again, it seems that Delight begins to harden on top after just one use with a clean brush on powdered skin. So, it's still problematic for me, just not for the reason I originally thought!

In summary: if you are only looking for colors that are both excellent quality and relatively unique, cast your eyes toward Sole, Mauve Diamond, and Nude (but Nude may not show up on skin tones darker than NC/NW20). If you simply want natural, everyday tones in a luxurious formula, consider also Rosebud, Peach, and Rose. I am sure there are some who would like them, but I cannot personally recommend Mocha, Provocative, Tan, or Delight.


  1. It's unfortunate that the quality for some of these aren't consistent. I really love how sole and mauve diamond looks though! Those are so pretty!

    1. Those are excellent ones for sure!

  2. I don't think my lemming for Sole will ever go away :P

    1. Ahh, you need it! It's so worth it - one of my favorite blushes. (I guess I should have said that in the original post, huh? Haha.)

  3. I wish we have DG counter nearby, I've heard some good things about them reading other blogs. Too bad that the blush quality is quite inconsistent; I have such a soft spot for blush and normally that would be the first thing I'd try within a new line. V. nice swatches!!


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