Powder Cheek Stain: Game-Changer Or Gimmick?

It promises the staying power of a stain with the ease of applying a powder blush, but I'm pretty sure that defies the laws of physics.
Publish date:
January 22, 2014
blushes, mineral makeup, cheek stains, glo

Cheek stains scare the bejesus out of me. I'm not talking about sweet-tempered cream blushes; I mean those semitransparent liquid- and gel-based formulas.

As much as I love the idea of a fresh wash of color that will last all day, I hate the way stains actually look on me. Almost every one I've tried goes on way too brightly for my very pale complexion, and what's worse, my skin seems to absorb it unevenly, emphasizing even the most minor discoloration on my cheeks. I end up with a speckled, translucent finish that's less "wash of color" and more "splotch of awful."

So when I heard that Glo had come up with something called Powder Cheek Stain, I cocked my head like a pug being asked if he wants to go to the park.

A powder stain? I thought. Is that even scientifically possible? I went on to think thoughts like, Surely this is just a gimmick and I wonder how it's different from regular powder blush and How many times is too many times to order delivery from Seamless in a single weekend?

Powder Cheek Stain comes in only one color, and a surprisingly dark one at that. There's a tiny hint of shimmer that often accompanies mineral-based cosmetics. According to Glo, it "has the vibrant long-lasting color of a stain to keep cheeks flushed with a rosy tone all day and the easy application of a powder blush."

That last part is not entirely accurate. If you apply Powder Cheek Stain with as much product on your brush or as liberal a stroke as regular blush, you'll look like you were punched in the cheeks. It most definitely is vibrant, which is why you need to apply it very lightly.

I found, even with blowing most of it off of my brush, it still deposited a lot pigment. Madeline was watching me apply it, and she was all, "Whoa." But with a little brush (and finger) blending, I ended up with a vivid yet pretty flush.

Glo makes three other claims about Powder Cheek Stain, none of which I had the opportunity to put to the test: it's supposedly sweat-resistant, swim-proof, and "perfectly complements a bronzed complexion."

I did, however, get to test whole "long-lasting" claim. Seven hours after the initial application, here's how it looked:

Without any touchups, it really did last!

It's not as vibrant as the initial application, but it's definitely still there, and it's definitely not splotchy. I've never known a powder blush to stay that perceptible that long.

I'm genuinely impressed, and even though I suspect this Rosy color will look good on pretty much everyone, I'll definitely be first in the virtual line if they introduce other colors. (Does anyone say "virtual" anymore in reference to the internet? I was born in the '70s.)