#FrenchFriday: Lancome Cushion Blush Subtil in Splash Orange (Review)

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Lancome Cushion Blush Subtil in Splash Orange: review, photos, swatches

Happy #FrenchFriday and welcome to your weekly French beauty rendez-vous! Today let's get comfy and talk about... a cushion: Lancôme's brand new Cushion Blush Subtil, released for summer 2016. It wasn't released together with this year's summer color collection (that you can see here) but in a separate launch, and I believe it to be a permanent addition to Lancôme's makeup range (not 100% sure though). I feel like beauty brands nowadays want to have a constant stream of new products coming to the shelves, do you notice that too?

Anyways, let's take a closer look at this baby!

Lancome Cushion Blush Subtil in Splash Orange: review, photos, swatches


As you can tell by its name, the new Cushion Blush Subtil is a blush in a "cushion" form. This innovative format was first popularized by Asian brands and is slowly becoming a trend in the Western hemisphere too. The "cushion" we're talking about is actually a soft sponge soaked with the product, and you've probably heard of cushion foundations before: Lancôme launched theirs a while ago, and you can now find two at the drugstore by L'Oréal and Physicians Formula (I reviewed the latter recently). Cushion Blush Subtil is the first blush in a cushion by a European brand that I have seen - according to the label it's actually made in Korea.

Lancôme's Cushion Blush comes in an elegant black compact decorated with their signature rose logo on top, in a color that matches the shade of the blush. When you open the lid you find a mirror and a very soft silicone sponge applicator sitting on a second lid that flips to the side to reveal the cushion itself. All cushion makeup products I've seen featured this airtight double-lid system to keep the sponge inside from drying out. You have to be really careful about closing this inner lid after use or the blush will dry fast!

Lancome Cushion Blush Subtil in Splash Orange: review, photos, swatches

Cushion makeup is often refillable, because the outer compact and the jar that contains the product are two separate pieces just assembled together. I tried to pop the cushion part out but it wouldn't move. I guess we won't have refills for this one, even though Lancôme offers refills for their Miracle Cushion Foundation!

Lancome Cushion Blush Subtil in Splash Orange: review, photos, swatches


As with all cushion makeup products, this blush has a liquid formula - obviously the cushion has to be able to absorb it. It's a very creamy fluid, and Lancôme claims that it delivers an instant cooling sensation. Personally I haven't noticed it! It's also supposed to have skincare benefits and provide moisture.

In terms of ingredients that I know can be of concern for some of you, it contains silicones high up the list, and also fragrance as the last ingredient. I can't detect any fragrance when I use it, and even when I stick my nose in the cushion I only notice a very faint floral scent.

The first time I used my Cushion Blush Subtil I was taken by surprise by its intensity. This stuff is extremely pigmented - I had to stop myself from writing extremely in all caps and bold! Because of the fluid texture I was expecting something sheer, like a tint, in the same vein as Stila Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush or Benefit Benetint. Oh boy no, this is creamier, so much more vibrant and absolutely opaque in one swipe! If you like a full intensity cream blush, you'll love it!

Lancome Cushion Blush Subtil in Splash Orange: review, photos, swatches
The "cushion", a sponge soaked with liquid blush


Since the Cushion Blush Subtil is so intensely pigmented you have to be careful to apply it with a very light hand. I can turn into a clown with bright orange cheeks in just seconds if I use too much! A little goes a very, very long way. My advice would be this: consider the amount you think you'll need, and use about a quarter of that. You can always layer if you want more intensity, but you most likely won't need to.

Luckily it blends and sheers out beautifully, and if you have a darker skintone than mine it also builds very easily. Actually it's probably more forgiving for people with light to medium complexion and above: fair lovelies will need to use a microscopic amount to keep it natural. I personally find that I can't use the included puff. However lightly I try to tap it on the cushion, I always end up with way too much color. Fingers work fine, but my favorite way to apply it is a synthetic brush. I feel like this method gives me the most control, and with such a vibrant product I really need control! I've been using it with Real Techniques Face Expert Brush, which is not a blush brush, but it works well because it's small and firm. A softer dual-fiber brush such as MAC 188 could make sheer application even easier.

Lancome Cushion Blush Subtil in Splash Orange: review, photos, swatches
Sorry, the shade is called Splash Orange, not Orange Splash!


Don't be scared by the saturated, opaque formula: the Cushion Blush Subtil can still look very natural if applied lightly. I always wear my cheek colors very sheer because I want them to look like a natural flush rather than obvious blusher, and I can make it work with minimal effort.

Lancôme says that this blush imparts a "dewy glow", but in my opinion it dries down to more of a satin finish with a natural, skin-like sheen. It's not glowy, dewy or illuminating, and none of the shades contain any shimmer. I think it would work perfectly fine for oily skin, and it doesn't sink into pores or emphasize texture.

There are 6 shades in the range, but Sephora only carries 4 that you can see swatched below. As usual it took me about forever to decide which shade to pick, and of course I was very tempted by the coral one, but I went for 31 Splash Orange, because I already own too many coral blushes! All the shades I saw in person looked very fresh and pretty.

Splash Orange is a medium peachy orange with bit of pink to it, and it's clearly the warmest shade in the range. It works well with my skintone and it gives my cheeks a nice pop of color, perfect to balance out a look with nude eyes and a bright lipstick. On my full face picture I paired it with a sheer gloss to let the blush speak for itself, but I like it best with a coral or warm red lipstick.

Lancome Cushion Blush Subtil: swatches of Cerise Givree, Sorbet Grenadine, Splash Corail and Splash Orange

Wearing Lancome Cushion Blush Subtil in Splash Orange - fotd, full face picture
Wearing Lancome Cushion Blush Subtil in Splash Orange


If you thought that Lancôme was always doing sheer makeup, think again: the brand really hit this one out of the park in terms of pigmentation! If you like your blush bright and vibrant, you'll adore this Cushion Blush Subtil. Even if you prefer barely flushed cheeks like me, you'll likely enjoy the fun cushion compact, and you can always sheer it out for a beautiful natural finish.

Where to buy?

The product featured in this review was purchased by Lulle. I received no compensation to write this post, which only reflects my personal opinion. This post contains affiliate links.

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