Coffret D’Or Smile Up Cheeks

Image from official website

Have you heard of cosme.net? It’s a Japanese beauty and cosmetics website that collects and ranks products based on public reviews. They have on-going weekly rankings and publish a big one for the first half of the year and another for the second half, and then of course a review for the entire year.

Coffret D’Or’s Smile Up Cheeks was ranked No. 1 cheek makeup product for 2012 (beating Chanel’s Joues Contraste) and they are still at the top as I type this. This blush came under my radar around summer last year but I managed to convince myself I didn’t need it. At the end of last year I saw this again on a website and noticed they released new limited colours and this time I caved, since I was going to place an order for something else anyway.

By the way, Coffret D’Or (link to Japanese site) is a brand under Kanebo. The spokesperson in their current TV commercials are ladies in their 30’s so I gather that’s their principle target market.

Naturally I had really high hopes for this. And as it often turns out, I’m disappointed.

My main gripe (besides the packaging, we’ll get to that) is how shimmery it is. Hello Saturday Night Fever! Now it’s not glitter (thankfully) but the particles seem to be bigger and more in-your-face than what I’ve been accustomed to with products from other brands that tend to do shimmer in a more elegant, sophisticated way. I’m no longer at an age where I can wear this type of shimmer.

…… Actually let me rephrase all that because it didn’t sound very fair. The blush looks ok in natural light, it can be quite pretty actually, giving the cheeks a kind of sheen and glow. But indoors, under certain lighting (top-down spot light type for one) all you can see is a coat of silver shimmer sitting over the cheeks. It’s not the forgiving kind, on me it highlights my pores and imperfections. I’ve asked a second opinion on this and will disclose that the Man didn’t agree but men hardly notices anything anyway 😉

So who knows? It’s 50/50 at the moment. And it could be just these new LE colours. Maybe the older colours aren’t so shimmery, I’ll never know. It’s a bummer that I can’t swatch and compare them in person since they’re not available in France.

Oh, about the packaging. It’s bulky. They sweetly included a brush that’s actually decent and functional but it’s really too clunky:

The actual pan is wider than MACs. In fact it is wider and higher than Cargo blushes. Its diameter is pretty much the same as a Chanel blush. But higher, of course.

All this for 5.5g of product. FYI, MAC has 6g, Cargo a whopping 8.9g and my Chanel Tweed has 5.5g, the same amount.

Still a decent brush that’s soft and picks up a good amount of product is a good addition and I do appreciate when I have a dedicated brush for a blush, especially one that’s (so) shimmery. Maybe it’s just me but I always feel like I need to clean my blush brush right away if I use something shimmery so that I won’t transfer remaining shimmer onto a matte blush and my cheeks.

If I have to nitpick the plastic tray holding the blush is rather filmsy.

But the good thing about this blush is that it’s scentless. Here’s a close-up of the pan:

It has a new flower motif, more pink than coral (thus giving you “Coral Pink” as stated and not Pink Coral). Surrounding it is an ivory highlighter. NARS Deep Throat is less pink/peachier.

Swatches on paper:

From Left to Right:
Pink only, Coral only, the highlight (unfortunately it looks contaminated from this angle), and all mixed together. When everything is swirled together you get a warm peachy pink. The pink on its own is a dolly kind of pink, it’s more intense than it looks in the photo.
These are heavy swatches and when blended out it’s a lot more subdued. It’s quite pigmented for a Japanese blush which in my past experience tend to be on the sheer side. You can really build up a nice layer of colour with this.

And to show you the sheen:

Although not apparent the sheen is on the pink as well. This means you can’t avoid the shimmer even if you only pick the middle colours up. They’re all shimmery.
If you head over here (official website and page of the blushes) you can see swatches on cheeks that Coffret D’Or has kindly provided of all the shades. The Coral Pink is actually the ‘reverse’ of the classic Peach colour, which has more peach than pink.
I think this blush works best on younger or beautiful skinned people, or if you must, an outdoor concert or picnic. Or indoor places with an abundance of natural light (greenhouse?). Unfortunately I just don’t reach for this often when so many other blushes in my stash are less fussy and make me look better.
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