Sometime last fall I was struck by the sudden, strong desire to own a red blush. Even though I suspected that I wouldn't use it as much as my other, more wearable blushes, I wanted a red to fill the color gap. So with an affordable price at the top of my priority list, I turned to the ever-trusted NYX brand, which offers quality, reasonably-priced blushes in a plethora of shades, and bought NYX Powder Blush ($6, 4 g) in Red.
Red has been described as a dupe of MAC Powder Blush in Frankly Scarlet. It is a matte red color with pink undertones and packs a punch of pigment. I would say that for light to medium skin tones, Red falls decidedly into the "loud" category. Fortunately, it has a smooth, finely-milled texture that more easily lends it to light application. In order to avoid garish clown cheeks, I touch my blush brush ever so gently onto the powder and blend, blend, blend. More delicate brushes such as fan or stipple brushes would also be appropriate tools. However, being such a pigmented product, Red can still be tricky to completely blend out. When that happens, I take a clean powder brush (or one with some powder foundation) and buff away at the edges to soften them.
On the bright side, Red wears like a champ, partially due to its propensity to leave a stain. And I bet it would beautifully suit olive to dark skin tones--which likely comprise the color's target audience. Being of a medium Asian-skinned girl myself, however, I wasn't wrong when I said that I would probably not reach for Red very often. The one time I've used it so far was for my college fellowship's traditional senior photo shoot this past spring. Because photography tends to wash out colors, it is recommended to apply makeup more dramatically than usual. Therefore, I reached for Red as my blush pick. It was still hard to keep it from looking over-the-top though, so I've been hesitant to use it again since. Nonetheless, I am happy to have Red as part of my collection and will be eager to try it out no-holds-barred on my darker-skinned friends.