I can’t remember getting as excited over any Glossier release as I did over the Cloud Paint cream blushes, which launched a week and a half ago (following a “soft launch” at the Oscars, because of course). Two days before the blushes dropped, I had a dream that I was looking at them in a store, but they were in pans instead of tubes, and there were only two shades: a warm brown and a bright red-orange similar to NARS Exhibit A. Say what you will about Glossier, their marketing is capable of infiltrating my subconscious to the point that I have dreams about specific products. Glossier is really good at creating narratives around their merchandise, and as someone who picks apart narratives for a living, I have to respect that.
The Cloud Paints are $18 each (though Glossier currently has a two-for-$30 deal), and they come in four colors: Beam, a peach; Dusk, a beige-brown similar to Illamasqua Zygomatic; Haze, a purple berry; and Puff, which I thought would be a lavender pink capable of fulfilling my k-beauty fantasies. I’d been meaning to order a new tube of Boy Brow anyway, so I gladly succumbed to Puff, as well as one of Glossier’s terrycloth headbands with an embroidered G (which happens to be the first letter of my surname).
Each Cloud Paint comes in a metallic cardboard box that slides out of a plastic sheath:
I’ve heard some complaints about the smallness of the blushes (0.33 fl oz, or 10 ml), but keep in mind that 1) cream products expire more quickly than powders do, and 2) this is a pigmented formula that doesn’t take much building up. Here’s the tube in my hand for scale:
A commenter on ITG’s Cloud Paint post mentioned that the blushes look awfully similar to Too Cool for School’s Impasto Blushes, which are also housed in mini paint tubes. (I’m surprised that ITG let that comment through, to be honest.) It’s no secret that Glossier draws heavy inspiration from k-beauty, but inspiration is one thing and ripping off a product design is another. The designs are different enough that I doubt it’s a legal issue, but it still feels a bit icky to me.
Unscrew the cap and remove the little foil protector, and you get this:
The blush formula is somewhat runny (as it has to be, given the nature of the packaging), and a lot of product can ooze out of that little hole if you’re not careful. Other cream blushes in tubes, like the Becca Beach Tints, have a long, thin “snout” (not sure what else to call it) that prevents the product from dispensing too quickly. I wish the Cloud Paints had this feature, but since they don’t, I’d recommend storing the tube with the cap pointing upward and squeezing it veeeery gently to dispense the product. I actually hold the tube upright when I squeeze it, too. Glossier describes Cloud Paint as a “gel cream,” which gives the impression of a thicker, creamier formula, but it’s more of a slippery stain (it’s full of silicones, if you care about that sort of thing). Here’s Puff dolloped onto my hand, then blended in:
Puff is an extremely pretty neutral pink. It is not, however, the pastel cotton-candy unicorn fantasy promised on the Glossier website. Seriously, check out the videos of women applying Puff: the pink looks so much cooler on them than it does on me. To be fair, my skin is quite cool-toned, so most pinks will pull a bit warm, but I was astonished when I swatched Puff alongside three NARS pinks and it looked almost coral. L-R: Mata Hari, Threesome, Puff, Coeur Battant:
Puff is even warmer than Threesome! What is the deal? (These swatches remind me how pretty Coeur Battant is and how infrequently I wear it. Must change that.)
Taken on its own terms, however, Puff is a lovely and user-friendly shade. For a natural flush, I use one small drop per cheek, blending it upward from the apples with my fingers. (I’ve heard that people use brushes with the Cloud Paints, but I imagine that would get messy.) For a more dramatic pop of pink, I use two drops per cheek. The color sinks right into my skin for a stain effect, blends out smoothly, and lasts several hours without fading, though I’m curious whether it would perform differently over foundation or on skin less dry than mine.
For my first attempt, I took inspiration from various k-beauty tutorials and put together a subtle warm eye with a cool lip and cheek. I used three shades from ABH Modern Renaissance on my eyes: Warm Taupe all over the lids and on the lower lashline, Primavera in the center for a halo effect, and Cyprus Umber on the top lashline. My lipstick is Glossier Generation G in Jam, because why not go full Glossier?
For my second attempt, I applied Urban Decay Skimp, a pinkish beige, all over my lids, then used the Physicians Formula liquid liner to draw a “puppy eye,” which looked a lot better on me than I remembered (then again, I have a decent eyeliner now…). My lip color is Too Cool for School’s lip tint in Milky Lavender, which in the year since I bought it has deepened to the vivid lilac I always wanted it to be. That probably means it’s going bad, but it still smells fine, so let’s live dangerously.
Puff seems like it will play well with other blushes, so in the coming days I’m going to try layering it under Threesome, Tony Moly Milky Violet, and ColourPop Rain. Perhaps one of those combinations will give me the lavender-pink cheeks I so desperately desire. If not, the Korean brand 3CE seems like it might have me covered:
But before I run out and buy yet another product, I’m going to do my very best to achieve the look above with the blushes I already own. Reading Renee’s post about resisting the “I WANT IT!” feeling has made me more determined to mix and layer products, which is not something I generally do. But if the best makeup artists do it habitually to create their ideal colors, why shouldn’t I? If I come up with any good combinations in the next few days, I’ll update this post.
Overall, I really like Puff. The little tube is ideal for travel, and the color suits me and seems like it would go well with both warm and cool lip colors. Cloud Paint is probably my second-favorite Glossier product (Boy Brow being the winner, of course), though the other three shades are similar enough to blushes I already own that I doubt I’ll pick up any more.
By the way, when I ordered Puff and made a Glossier account, I received an affiliate link. If you’re a first-time customer and you click here to shop on the website, you get 20% off and I get $10 in store credit. If you’d rather not, no worries at all! (FYI, first-time customers get 20% off whether or not they use my link.)