Dopamine Glam in a Compact


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Kosas launched in 2015 with gorgeous lipsticks, and was in love with the shade Thrillest. A year later, it introduced a pressed powder blush, which was also gorgeous on the skin, but founder Sheena Zadeh wanted more. They were eventually discontinued, and Zadeh went back to the drawing board to bring her ideal blush to life. What she dreamt up: Blush Is Life Baked Dimensional + Brightening Blush ($29).

“At that time [2016], blush, in general, was a little scary for people. I had heard from many people that they were worried it was going to look like too much,” says Zadeh. “Now, I think it’s one of the most important parts of a makeup routine. Once you have a lip on, you really do have to balance the overall look with a cheek. With this launch, it was important for me to calibrate the shades so they were very approachable and easy to wear. However, they are anything but boring.” Here, Zadeh gives me the scoop on her latest launch, and I take the new blush for a test-drive.

What We Love About Kosas Blush Is Life

“This is a very, very exciting launch for me because I love blush,” says Zadeh. “The entire concept behind this product is that blush gives you an instant swipe of life. I really do think that’s the whole point of blush: It really makes you look alive and healthy; like blood flow.” Kosas took that concept and amped it up to the next level. “This is blush like you’ve never seen it. It’s that blissed-out, turned-on, total-thrill feeling that gives you that flushed look. The entire collection is pretty much like a seratonin dopamine rush for the senses.””

The texture is a baked powder, which gives it a super smooth and weightless feeling on the skin. This is also thanks to the addition of squalane and hyaluronic acid in the formula, as it lends a hydrating effect. The result is a skin-like, slightly radiant pop of color that can skew more natural or full-on bold. You can customize your color according to your mood, activity, etc.

I’m wearing the shade Blissed.

Skin Types It’s Best For

The blush is vegan, talc-free, dermatologist-tested and safe for sensitive skin. “I have naturally oily skin, and that’s always been a tricky situation with blush,” says Zadeh. “I love that glowy, carefree look that you can get from a cream blush, but it doesn’t really work for my skin type. With this product, I wanted to find a way to bring in a hydrating skin-care actives that allow a powder blush to have that radiant finish. Powder blush is so much easier and faster to use, and more compatible with a variety skin types. This one gives you a pop and almost looks dewy in a way. It’s a very well-calibrated situation between the color, the dimension you’re getting from the swirls and the hydration from the skin-care actives. And you get it all in this delightful little candy-like package.”

Some people with dry skin tend to stay away from powder blush for fear that it will accentuate dryness, but Zadeh says that’s not the case with this formula. “Baked formulas start out as a slurry, which is a bit of a mousse-y texture,” she explains. “This allows us to add the skin-care actives to it. Then the slurry is piped out onto terracotta tiles and baked in an oven. It’s such a beautiful process. It gives you this very specific, silky texture and an even dispersion of color.”

The Shades

“The shade range is the best thing about this entire collection,” says Zadeh. “It’s eight incredible shades that have each been obsessed over and create all different types of feelings. The names are inspired by the feelings you get. They’re almost like hormonal responses that are happening within your body when you’re living life to the fullest.” Here, Zadeh shares her thoughts on each shade.

  • Blissed: Soft, warm, peachy-pink for a beachy glow. “It’s that blissed-out feeling you get when you’re laying on the beach.”
  • Thrill: Vibrant blood-orange. “It’s such a juicy, strong-colored blush. I’d reach for this if I was doing a nighttime thing.”
  • Euphoria: Cool, mauvey pink. “Consider this a staple, go-to shade. Its like the perfect shade of mauve. To me, it’s the balance between a soft feeling and an intense feeling.”
  • Dreamland: Rosy bronze. “This one is like a head-in-the-clouds, highlight-y, yet soft, youthful glow.”
  • Hype: Warm, poppy pink. “You’re getting those orangey-pink, sun-soaked cheeks. You can’t quite tell if it’s poppy or pink, but it’s just perfect.”
  • Butterflies: Vibrant baby-pink. “It’s just so cute, and you can’t help but get that cute feeling you get when you have butterflies.”
  • Adrenaline: Hot fuchsia. “This is my favorite shade in the collection and the most versatile. It works on the full range of skin tones, from lightest to deepest, with a different effect on everyone. The name says it all. It’s super flattering and very sexy.”
  • Swoon: Pinky-brown mauve. “One of the softer shades, it gives you that effortless, sexy feeling.”

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How to Apply It

A little goes a long way, so start out with a little and build up, depending on the look you’re going for. For a flushed look, Zadeh uses her Fan Brush to apply the blush. “Smile so you can see where the apples of your cheeks are, and then I always go outside of that. This brings a lot of width to the face. Staying inside the apple really shrinks your features together in the center, which is not what we want. We want a very open, healthy look. I also like to dab a little bit on my temples as well to balance the color.” If you want more of a lifted look, she suggests using the brand’s Angled Cheek Brush. “To lift, start in the middle of your cheeks and sweep up toward your temples.”

You can also add a little to the bridge of your nose, and even your eyelids for a monochrome effect. “One secret is that I like to put on my lip first before I put on my blush so that I know exactly how much blush I need,” Zadeh says. “I always think about where I’m going, too, when I decide how much blush I’m going to wear. If I’m going somewhere dark, I choose a very saturated blush color because I want to make sure my cheeks look really alive, healthy and vibrant.”





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