Jac’s back, y’all, and this time I’m actually really interested!
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the powder highlighters and the blush bronzer duos were alright, but Ms. Hill has been playing it pretty safe with her color stories as she’s been venturing back into the beauty world post-Lipstick-Gate. I don’t necessarily blame her, and I’m glad to see that quality control has gotten a boost at her production facilities, but cleanliness in a factory is not dependent on a boring color story.
Enter Bougie Rouge.
Finally breaking away from the more elegant-but-been-there black and silver and gold, this collection has blue florals and cursive writing, and wild pops of colorful blush that are a welcome change from her previous nudes. Even the previous blush/bronzer duos were pretty heavy on the Basic Becky medium pink, so these give a little bit more variety and vividness. I am still on my (never-ending, it seems!) blush journey, so I got quite a few things from the collection: both blush palettes, two loose powder blushes, and two of the cream to powder sticks. Now, I’ve mentioned many times how much I hate cream blushes, but in Jaclyn’s video she claims that the “cream to powder” formula can be used over powder products without picking them up. That’s a bold claim, and I was willing to lay out a little extra coin to see if she could deliver.
The naming of this collection is a little scatterbrained and annoying: the collection reveal called it Bougie Rouge, but both of the palettes say Rouge Romance on the cover. And then, one of the color stories of the palettes is actually called Rouge Romance, but the other one is Rouge Affair. This weirdness sort of encapsulates how I think about Jaclyn and all of her past missteps: people act like she’s some moustache-twirling villain who plots out these doomed products as a cash grab, but I just think she’s doing what she wants to do and there maybe isn’t anyone around her to help her refine her ideas or fill in all of the details and prep steps before it’s too late. Maybe I’m being too kind, but she’s never struck me as someone who plots and schemes, but rather as someone who jumps into things, thinks without speaking, and asks for forgiveness rather than help in advance (from people who don’t say “yes” all the time!).
Rouge Affair is the cooler-toned blush palette, and this one is definitely my favorite. I love pink blushes, and there are some great options here. The blushes were swatched over the Uoma Beauty Say What?! foundation in Fair Lady T3C with a finger swatch on the left to show it built up and a better representation of the color in the pan, and a more diffused brush swatch on the right. The top photo is under my studio lighting with no flash,a nd the bottom photo is under the same lighting with a flash.
L to R: Fantasy, French Kiss, Living Lavish
Fantasy is a bright candy pink with a strong blue undertone. This one sheers down and isn’t so intense when diffused, so if you’re wanting a softer, less baby pink look definitely work it good with a fluffy brush. All of the shades have some degree of a satin finish, but this shade and the next one definitely have more sheen than other shades in the palette. French Kiss is a peachy pink maybe some golden tones to it? Definitely not sparkly, but it does seem to have a slight golden glow to it. This would pair nicely with a gold highlighter. Living Lavish is a plummy rose with brownish tones, and keeps a lot of the color even when defused. I think this is probably a good dupe or dupe-adjacent to Lolita by KVD (if you’re looking to swap one kinda problematic fave for another?) and it would be a great option to deepen up earthier blushes that are too light. The paler you are, the gentler you have to be with this shade as you’re building it – it packs a punch!
L to R: Admirer, Dainty, Forever
Admirer is a slightly deeper and more mid-toned pink than Fantasy. You still get a little bit of the blue base notes, but it edges more toward the middle and it’s got that dusty rose kind of look. Dainty is a gorgeous hot coral pink in the pan, but unfortunately it goes on much more diffused. I know no everyone is a #HookerClown like me, but I wanted more of that pan color, and while the spirit is there, it’s a little more timid in person, even in the finger swatch. There is a little bit of a golden undertone in this one, however, that pushes it into that slightly more glowy territory that I like.
Rouge Romance is the warm-toned palette, and these are warm as hell! Trixie Mattel thinks she likes orange blush – but this is some orange blush for real!
L to R: Boudoir, Tea Room, Tempting
Boudoir is a fiery red blush that packs a lot of pigment. This was hard to diffuse over the foundation; if you have lighter skin like I do you might have better luck if you wear this over a powder foundation or bare-faced so there is less to stick to…unless you want a fabulous cherry red blush, and then I say embrace it because the color is definitely bold but also beautiful. Tea Room is orange. Crayon orange. If it was a filter, it would be Valencia. If it was trying to take away gay rights in the 70s, it would be Anita Bryant. If it was trying to take away gay rights now, it would be Trump’s spray tan. This is orange blush. I compared it to Trixie Cosmetics’ Mod About You palette, and this is definitely the most true orange color out there. I love playing with color, but I think truly orange blush can be hard to wear, at least for the pale creatures like me. I think what Trixie does is actually smarter: she says “orange” but what she gives us is a deeper, coral/red infused orange and a peachy blush. But this is straight up orange. The performance is fine, and there is a little bit of a golden undertone, but it’s a lot. Tempting is a brown with reddish undertones, sort of the warmer sister to Living Lavish in the other palette which has much stronger plum/purple tones.
I think the performance on these is great, and I love the pigmentation. I think they really nailed the satin finish on these – it’s not so glowy that you can’t tone it down, but it doesn’t have that sort of chalkiness that you can get from a matte blush. I mean, I love a matte blush, but when I saw that I don’t really mean a fully, fully matte blush! I want a tiny little bit of dimension, and this definitely has that. Some of the lighter shades are a little bit more glowy than other shades, and while I would prefer to be able to make that choices and do that myself with a highlighter, I don’t hate it. These are pretty fantastic, and an easy recommend from the collection.
The loose powder blushes were another formula I wanted to try even though this isn’t my preferred method of working with blush. I feel like it’s hard to control, and the sifters can be a pain but if you take it out you’ve just got a huge mound of blush…you get the idea. But, I was trying out pretty much everything else from the collection, so I figured I would give these a go as well!
Love Language looks like it’s going to be much more peach than it actually applies; it’s a soft watermelon pink with some peachy undertones but definitely more of a pink. This is a nice formula, and I liked the way that it blended out, but it wasn’t as glowy as I was expecting. These are supposed to be like her luminizer powders but in a blush form. While they are a little bit more shiny than the pressed blushes, I wouldn’t call them glowy. They were nice, but not really anything that special.
Love Poem is a lighter, brighter pink and this one did get a big more of that lit glow, but I still wouldn’t go as far as to call it a glowy blush. I played with it a little, but maybe I need to use it in a full look and layer it over a matte blush to see if I get the effect she was talking about. For right now, I’ll say that it’s not the glow that I was expecting and it’s in a formula I don’t love, so I don’t know that I would purchase any additional shades. It’s a lovely color, and if you’re not hoping for an internal glow kind of moment, you might like this, but I’m not really recommending it unless loose powder blushes are a fave for you.
Now, on to the blush sticks! These are the two things I was most intrigued to try, as I’ve always had problems with cream blushes moving my foundation, contour, and any powders that I have on my face. These supposedly won’t do that. Now, I will say that I am very aware that my makeup application isn’t typical. I know there are some that will be like, “There is no such thing as typical! Normalize individuality!” and all that shit, but we all know what I mean. This isn’t Revlon to me, it’s Dutch Boy, and I put it on like spackle. So for this I used the same layer of foundation that I normally do when testing blushes and I didn’t do any setting powder. I may go back and try some to see how that affects it. So it’s not exactly like the base I wear, but not exactly civilian level either. Let’s see how she does! for these swatches I didn’t do anything with a blush; instead, I applied two lines directly from the stick, and then blended out the line on the right with my finger. This is how I would apply cream blush “in the wild.”
Swoon is a bright peachy shade with a nice little bit of sheen. This did disturb the foundation underneath it, which you can see in the center of the blended swatch, but it wasn’t as bad as other cream blushes I’ve tried. That’s not a ringing endorsement, but it’s the best I can do right now. The nice thing about this is that after blending it out, it did transform into a powder finish, and it was locked into place. This shade is a bit tricky, because it’s so light and somewhat similar to my foundation shade, so you can really see the disruption underneath.
The same wasn’t true for the darker shade, Overruled. This one didn’t seem to mess with the foundation layer, or if it did it at least gave me enough of a solid color coverage and a deep enough shade difference that you can’t tell. This one is sort of a plummy brown, and I could see using this with my cream contour at the beginning of my face makeup, but the further it goes up the cheek the more likely it is to encounter powder, so I’m a little nervous.
Overall, not bad. I don’t love them, but I like them better than any other cream blushes I’ve tried for a long time, and I would be willing to consider additional shades to play around with in the future, so that’s saying something. They both felt very slick when applied, so I’m not sure how that claim is about them not interacting with powder, but I might have to do some additional experiments. The finish on Overruled when it was set is actually really beautiful, and Swoon was a pretty shade just looked muddled over the foundation.
And of course, can we talk about Jaclyn Cosmetics and NOT talk about some sort of lip product? Please! The blush collection had 4 lip “cushions” which I knew I would hate (spoiler alert: I was right) that came in fun colors but are that weird blotted lip kind of look. I ordered one, just to say I had one from the collection, but then I also decided to pick up three of the liquid lipsticks from the last launch to try. They haven’t gotten very great reviews, but I know that I lot of the beauty space has moved on from liquid lipsticks, and I never will!
These are swatched over bare skin using the provided applicator; lighting is the same as described above.
L to R: Promised, Momma, Outspoken, Noodie
Promised is the lip cushion, and *shocked gay gasp* I hate it! I know that I said I knew I would hate it, so why order it, right? Yes, I wanted to have one piece from each of the parts of the collection, but I also decided to give it a try since Jaclyn’s lips in the video looked gorgeous. They didn’t have the weird, diffused, fuzzy look that I usually see with products like this. What can I say, the promises of the cream to powder blush stick had me feeling hopeful! I don’t know what sort of devil magic and lip liner combo she used, but these do not apply effortlessly. The product is thick and silt-y, like the mud in a river that doesn’t move very fast (gawd, where did that come from!). It’s hard to get it to apply evenly and it has that sort of stain, blotted look but I find it very hard to get it to look even on the lips. The swatch on the skin is inconsistent enough, and that’s flat and smooth. On the lips, it’s a mess. Promised is a light watermelon pink, but it’s very streaky and hard to work with. The liquid lipsticks, however, are actually really nice!
Momma is a bright mid-toned pink, not too blue or too yellow at the base. Momma is a more peach-toned bright nude, and Noodie is a bright beige. Noodie is the shade I used to create a fun ombre in my Face Friday post trying out the Jeffree Star Cosmetics Star Ranch palette from the summer mystery boxes. Speaking of Jeffree Star Cosmetics: the review of the full Pink Religion collection is coming out later today!
I know a lot of people hated on these, but I think they did because a lot of “regular” makeup wearers have sort of given up on liquid lipsticks, and these are exactly like what you remember of liquid lipsticks: they dry down and can be dry (though I wouldn’t say uncomfortable), they can get flaky if you layer them too much, and they are a matte finish on the lips. We are living in the time of the gloss! I still love liquid lipsticks, and I still use them for shows and photoshoots (where I can’t be reapplying lips all the time – she came to WERK, dammit!), and I thought that these were pretty solid options. They aren’t my favorite formula out there, and the shade range is way too nude for my liking right now, but I would absolutely add more shades to my collection if something colorful came out.
All in all, I was pretty impressed with this release. I do have to say that I think a blush collection is easier to get right, and this might be a little more of her hedging her bets and keeping things a little more on the safe side while she recoups from Lipstick Gate, but I think that this collection has some really standout products – and nothing that is truly terrible. Yes, I think the lip cushions are terrible for me, but someone out there is abviously buying blotted lip products because people keep fucking making them, so I’m willing to believe that that’s a me thing and not a “this product is trash objectively” thing. Now if she can just streamline her concepts a bit and make some smarter decisions, I think she’s poised to become a major player.