We tried the hotly anticipated liquid-to-powder Soft Pinch to see if it’s worth the hype. Here’s our honest review
Another day, another celebrity beauty brand. This week though, it’s one we’re actually excited about – singer and actress Selena Gomez’s range of beauty products, Rare Beauty just launched in the UK and it’s been getting a good deal of entirely justified attention.
Everything in this cruelty-free range is under £28, with the 25-strong product lineup including products for base, brows, eyes, lips and tools. Rare Beauty is also aiming to do more than just make up faces, Gomez wants her brand to empower fans as well as help to break down mental health stigmas by raising money for her non-profit organisation the Rare Impact Fund.
One product, in particular, has got everyone from beauty editors to Tiktokers all of a flutter Rare Beauty’s Soft Pinch Liquid Blush £19 is being hailed as a game-changer, the hashtag #rarebeautyblush has nearly 50 million views with users saying they are ‘obsessed’ and that it’s ‘the best blush ever’ for adding a dramatic flush of colour to cheeks.
Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush does what it says on the tin. The creamy, buildable formula adds a healthy flush of colour, as if someone has pinched your cheeks, or you’ve been out for a light jog. The doe-foot applicator gives precise application. Choose from four matte shades and seven dewy finishes with colours spanning the spectrum from mauve (Grace) to peach (Joy) and everything in between.
Gomez says that the ethos behind Rare Beauty was to enhance natural features rather than cover them up. The shades available flatter a range of skin tones and you can swap between the matte and satin finishes depending on the effect you’re after.
On Tiktok, fans of Gomez’s liquid blush have been comparing the ultra-pigmented formula to other much-loved liquid blush such as Glossier Cloud Paint £15 and NARS Liquid Blush £27.
There’s even been talk that the colour payoff gives Pat Mcgrath’s blushers a run for the money in the pigment stakes. With such bold claims flying about we had to find out for ourselves whether the Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush is just another celebrity-founded product that’s more about the name than the substance or whether it’s actually worthy of a spot in our makeup bags, Selena or no Selena.
What’s so good about Soft Pinch Liquid Blush?
The brand bills this as a ‘weightless, long-lasting liquid blush’. Liquid blush can be messy, plus there’s a real danger of applying too much or looking as though you are bleeding. However, Soft Pinch Blush is thicker than your average liquid, it’s actually a cream that has absolutely no chance of dripping. I’m normally a blush stick kind of girl, but because this stuff makes for minimal mess, I’m open to switching allegiance.
In the name of research, four Get the Gloss staffers tested out the blush on their range of skin types, tones and ages. We tried two of the dewy finishes, in Joy (a happy vibrant coral) and Hope (a muted mauve). The overarching feedback was just how buildable and lasting this blush is. Its silky, sheer texture means you can start off with just a light dusting of colour and build it up to the opacity that you want, but you can really create a statement blush look.
It dries down to a powder very quickly. Liquid blushes can often look chalky and can highlight dry skin, but this contains a blend of oils from white water lily flowers, gardenia and lotus which helps it to melt into the skin. There’s a moisturising effect and the skin is left looking look glowy and healthy. We’re impressed.
Let’s talk about the pigment…
My word, it is strong! If you’re a blusher novice or like your makeup on the natural side then you need to be very careful not to overdo it with this. The blush comes with a generously sized doe-foot applicator that, in our experience, picked up rather too much product to apply directly to our cheeks. I, and the rest of the team, had a better result popping a bit onto the back of my hand before applying two tiny dots on each cheek (one on the apple, one on the cheekbone) and using my fingers to blend it out. Think of it more like a stain or a cheek tint than a traditional blusher. The colour payoff is incredible.
The staying power is pretty phenomenal too. It’s actually almost too good; our testers struggled to get it off with a simple (biodegradable) wipe. We recommend using an oil-based cleanser to get rid of all traces of this long-lasting blush. Our editorial director, Victoria, accidentally got some in her dark blonde hair (below) an accidental dip-dye discovery that will take a hair wash to remove. You’ve been warned.
How to apply Selena Gomez’ liquid blush
My main piece of advice here is to do a dry run first because a touch too much will take you from doll face to clown territory very quickly.
Speed is the name of the game. Once you’ve dotted it on your hand (or your cheek if you’re brave) you have ten seconds, maybe less with the matte shades, before the liquid turns into a dry stain. Start blending as soon as it hits your cheek.
This blush is not just for cheeks. Since Tiktok users cottoned on to the punchy colour, Soft Pinch has been used in myriad ways. Fans have been using one of the brightest shades Happy, a vibrant pink, under concealer to brighten the area, counteract any darkness and lift their faces. Our tester Jemma dotted one blob of shade Joy under her concealer to brighten the eye area. She reported that it looked pleasant and bright but not an obvious enough result to make it a daily hack.
Fans of the blush have been mixing the dewy shades with the Rare Beauty Highlighter, £21 to give skin a super glowy, hydrated look along that nods to the Korean skincare trend of dolphin skin. with a complexion so glassy you look like you are ‘fresh out of the water’.
Our tester Amy tried the technique, applying the products to the base of her thumbs, pressing them together to mix before pressing the blend into her cheekbones. “I looked glowy and healthy. To get a decent effect you need to repeat the process,” she reports.
Another way the liquid blush is being used is as a multi-tasking makeup product, swept over lips and eyes, as well as cheeks for a pulled-together monochrome look. Victoria tried this (above). “I was impressed with the pigment that does indeed make it a good lipstick, but I found even the dewy finish to be quite matte. I definitely needed to follow it with a lip balm to stop my lips from looking dry.”
The verdict: Is Rare Beauty’s Soft Pinch Liquid Blush worth the hype?
Once you’ve worked out how much – or little – to use and how quickly you need to blend this in to achieve the look then you’ll probably be hooked. We think it knocks favourites such as Glossier Cloud Paint and Nars Liquid Blush of their perch, in terms of wearability and durability. In testing, we loved how buildable this vegan, cruelty-free blush was, and while we won’t be putting it under our eyes (or accidentally in our hair) again any time soon, we will be turning to it for everything from a natural flush to statement cheek and even lip from now on.
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