December 14, 2012

Almay Smart Shade Powder Blush Review & Swatches

Almay Smart Shade Powder Blush is available in three shades selections and recently launched in drugstores as part of Almay’s Spring 2013 Collection.

The blushes are $8.69 each at Harmons but I suspect you may run into a higher price tag should you purchase at CVS, Walgreens, etc….

Do yourself a favor, wait for these to be on sale before indulging, if you even bother indulging after this review.

Almay Smart Shade Powder Blush are quite reminiscent of Almay Smart Shade Smart Balance Pressed Powder in style. Each blush is made up of one solid dominate color and has tiny little polka dots of two other different shades. The blushes are supposed to “smartly” adapt to your skin tone and create the perfect shade of blush for your tone.

This concept is bogus in my opinion. Blush shades in general will look differently on any variety of skin tones. Pink blush might be bright on fairer skin while looking sheer and natural on darker. There isn’t any special technology behind this concept. It’s merely your skin tone picking up on the color and reflecting back in a variety of different ways.

In this case, Almay Smart Shade Powder Blush will look different on everyone true but there isn’t any special adapting technology at work that makes it so. It’s simply your skin tone and how it adapts to a certain shade.

That’s all there is to it.

The blushes come in a dual compact which features the powder on the top. Flip it over and open the container under the powder to reveal a blush and a mirror. The packaging is slick, convenient, and easy for travel. Paying $8 to $10 per blush might seem expensive by drugstore standards but each blush is 0.24 oz in size so there is a generous amount of product in here which you should take into consideration when purchasing.

I don’t personally recommend these in all honesty. I’d love to rave them as they look like very pretty blushes in the package.

Sadly, the formula is dry so it’s difficult to pick up the blush with a brush. You literally have to swipe, swipe, and swipe to get any powder transferred to a blush brush. Swirling a kabuki into the powder might prove more successful. On some levels this might be a good thing if you’re heavier handed as you can’t over do the blush in the least. They apply easily, don’t have a dry appearance thankfully, and seem to blend out ok. Although sometimes I got a little patchiness going on particularly with Coral and Nude, both of which appear Snooki orange on my skin. The wear times isn’t fabulous here either as they seem to disappear within a three hour period.

Pink, Nude, Coral




I think the colors are also far from flattering. Pink is very nice and produces a natural flush on cheeks however, both Coral and Nude are very orange on my skin.

Overall, there isn’t very much to get excited about here. At a glance the packaging, blush itself, and general idea seems very fun. I instantly saw them and wanted all three! And in fact, as you can see, purchased all three. But after trying them I’m very disappointed, The dry, harder texture of the blush isn’t exactly friendly to work with and the wear time is iffy at best. Plus the colors turned into a very mediocre experience as well.



Note: Sorry trying different settings with my camera so one of the images kinda came out orange-y? Apologies!

If you tried them I’d love to hear your experience!

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Teresa

    So glad I read your review before seeing these..I cannot wait for your thoughts on the two new lippie lines from Maybelline! Love your site!

  • OrangeLipstickBlog

    Girl, preach about the “adapting to your skin tone” bogus. I hate that shiz.

    Also – your skin looks so perfect in these shots! Seriously, I hate you. (Just kidding – I lurve you!)

    • the Muse

      haha thanks girl! love ya back 😀 I look orange in the coral shot. I dunno, I just suck at pics lol! Me too, I mean I’ve tried some blushes that do appear to adapt but honestly I’m tricking myself if I believe it hehe!

  • Tinkibell

    And this is why I love you so much!

    I was really looking forward to getting the pink blush as the Smart Shade pressed powder is my Holy Grail…

    After reading this I will have to pass it up. You have saved me the money to put towards something that I will actually like!

    • the Muse

      tink, buy something else dear, it really isn’t worth getting, formula is super dry 🙁 or at least wait for a sale ;-D

  • Cindy

    Boo, I had high hopes for these. As always, thank you for your honesty and great reviews. My wallet and I appreciate it <3

  • amy

    I hate when “nudes” apply *orange*! The Nude looks really nice in the product shot, and I probably would have bought it (then thrown it against a wall for not being nude, LOL), so thanks for saving me $10.

  • C Godden

    I used 130 peach Almaty I don’t know what to use now if you can help me . Thank you

  • Maryjane

    Almay smart shade powder rose, i am afraid to waste my $ is it a true blush look and application? ? Thanks, Mj