Reviewed by DJ

I was very happy to have the chance to try IT Cosmetics Vitality Cheek Flush Powder Blush Stain ($24) because at 46, I still haven’t found a cheek color I really love. My thin, combination yet sensitive skin is a challenge; powder blushes tend to sit caked up on my face, emphasizing every crease and looking anything but natural. Creams and stain sticks are greasy, highlight enlarged pores, and can lead to breakouts. Liquid stains come closest to the natural flush I want, but they’re hard to control and can look like war paint if not applied with care. All of them seem to fade or wear off after a few hours.

Vitality Cheek Flush is a powder, but it’s unlike any powder that I've used before. For one thing, the color is HIGHLY concentrated. You’ll want to use a soft, fluffy brush and a very light touch when applying it. IT Cosmetics actually makes a brush that I’m planning to try, because my own brush picks up more product than I need. The stain is also milled extremely fine, so it doesn’t sit on the skin looking powdery – all you see is color.

At this rate, the one small compact will last me all year, not only because a little goes a long way, but because Vitality Cheek Flush STAYS PUT. I apply it once in the morning, and my cheeks are still rosy at bedtime. This means I can leave it at home and not carry it around with me, which is how all makeup should be.

The stain’s remarkable staying power made me wonder if I could use it to give my pale lips some color as well. The answer is yes: rubbing a bit of the powder on moistened lips with a finger stains them nicely. A lip liner pencil would give a neater edge for more formal occasions, and you might experiment by mixing the pigment with lip balm or moisturizer. Just remember to wash your finger before you touch your clothes.

The color I tested was Magical in Mauve, a rich plum shade that looks like it would be equally flattering on a wide variety of skin tones (my own skin is very fair with yellow undertones).

The ingredients list is free of nasty junk like talc and parabens, and full of things that are meant to be anti-aging, such as hyaluronic acid, seaweed extract, and my favorite moisturizer, jojoba oil. Time will tell if those have a positive effect, but one thing I do notice already is that the blush is non-drying, and after four weeks it has not caused any irritation or breakouts. IT Cosmetics also added antioxidant ingredients, which help fend off the daily assault my skin gets from New York City filth.

Bottom line: this stain is definitely worth trying if you want a natural-looking cheek color that doesn’t fade. Invest in a good soft brush for best results. And if you need more dramatic makeup for the stage or formal events, this stain will be perfect: you can get lots of color without layering it up, and it won’t sweat off.

Ingredients: Mica; Dimethicone; Magnesium Stearate; Lauroyl Lysine; Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil; Tocopheryl Acetate; Ascorbyl Palmitate; Prunus Domestica Seed Oil; Prunus Cerasus (Bitter Cherry) Seed Oil; Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract; Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract; Camellia Oleifera Seed Extract; Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract; Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract; Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract; Retinyl Palmitate; Ethylhexyl Palmitate; Silica Dimethyl Silylate; Butylene Glycol; Hyaluronic Acid; Lonicera Caprifolium Flower Extract; Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract; Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil. May contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891); Iron Oxides (CI 77492); Iron Oxides (CI 77491); Iron Oxides (CI 77499); Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090:2); Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140:1); Ultramarines (CI 77007); Red 27 Lake (CI 45410:1)