Beauty

We examined Smooth Pinch Liquid vs. Powder


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With so much makeup on the market, it’s rare to see a celebrity-owned brand cut through the noise.

But Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty has done just that in the years since its 2020 launch, skyrocketing to viral status with products like the TikTok-adored (and editor-approved) Soft Pinch Liquid Blush ($23).

And this spring, the company surprised shoppers with a new version of its cult-favorite hero product: the Soft Pinch Luminous Powder Blush ($26), a combination highlighter and blush that promises an extra-glowy look.

“I wanted our Soft Pinch Luminous Powder Blush to capture that radiant confidence we all exude when we’re feeling our best — and this bold, shimmering color does just that, Gomez told Cosmopolitan of the powder product, saying it can “add a glass-like sheen to your cheeks.”

Having reviewed the liquid version when it first dropped, we had to get our hands on the newest buzzy blush to see how it stacks up against the OG.

Our review

Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush

Rare Beauty Liquid Blush
Sephora/Rare Beauty

Pros:

  • Majorly pigmented; a little goes a long way
  • Serious staying power
  • Blendable
  • Comes in 30 colors, including both dewy and matte shades to suit a range of preferences

Cons:

  • Easy to go overboard if you apply more than a tiny dot

Perhaps no Rare Beauty buy is quite so discussed as this dewy blush — and after giving it a try, we understand the hype.

“After seeing this blush all over Instagram, I was excited to give it a try,” says Page Six Commerce Writer Hannah Southwick, who tried it in the shade Believe. “I’d sampled it once before at an ‘Only Murders in the Building’ pop-up, but was skeptical about re-creating the look on my own. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to apply, although it’s easy to go overboard with application.”

Hannah Southwick wears Soft Pinch Liquid Blush in Believe.
Hannah Southwick wears Soft Pinch Liquid Blush in Believe. Hannah Southwick
Astra wears Soft Pinch Liquid Blush in Encourage.
Astra wears Soft Pinch Liquid Blush in Encourage. Astra
Elana Fishman wears Soft Pinch Liquid Blush in Worth.
Elana Fishman wears Soft Pinch Liquid Blush in Worth. Elana Fishman

Page Six Style Editor Elana Fishman, on the other hand, was already familiar with the formula, having reviewed it when it first hit the market (and made it part of her regular beauty routine ever since). She sampled the product in the shade Worth for this review.

“This is the blush that changed my mind about blush,” says Elana, who never consistently wore cheek color in the past. “It’s so pigmented that I only need one dot on each cheek, so a single tube will last you ages; it’s a great value. It also blends beautifully, lasts hours and hours and looks really natural.”

“It’s going to last you a very, very long time,” echoes Page Six Global Anchor Astra, who tried the shade Encourage.


Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Luminous Powder Blush

Rare Beauty Powder Blush
Sephora/Rare Beauty

Pros:

  • Amount of pigment is easier to control
  • Buildable
  • Doubles as highlighter

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with an applicator, though our testers loved how it looked when they tapped it on by hand anyway
  • Some purchasers report the product shattered when they dropped the compact

Rare Beauty’s powder blush combines the natural flush of the brand’s bestselling liquid formula with the radiant finish of its popular Positive Light Silky Touch Highlighter ($25) for a two-in-one glow boost.

While Astra first noted the product doesn’t come with an applicator, she ultimately concluded that it goes on more evenly when applied by hand anyway.

“You’d need to use a lot more of the powder – or apply it with a brush — to get the same effect as the liquid version, but I love the more understated shimmer it provides,” she says.

Hannah Southwick wears Soft Pinch Luminous Powder Blush in Cheer.
Hannah Southwick wears Soft Pinch Luminous Powder Blush in Cheer. Hannah Southwick
Astra wears Soft Pinch Luminous Powder Blush in Joy.
Astra wears Soft Pinch Luminous Powder Blush in Joy. Astra
Elana Fishman wears Soft Pinch Luminous Powder Blush in Hope.
Elana Fishman wears Soft Pinch Luminous Powder Blush in Hope. Elana Fishman

Elana preferred using a brush to test out her shade (Hope), and loved the subtle shine and soft glow it delivered.

“I was a bit nervous to try this, since TikTokers have noted the shine accentuates any skin texture and I’m already self-conscious about some residual acne scarring I have on my cheeks,” she says.

“Happily, I didn’t find that this product exaggerated texture any more than my beloved Soft Pinch Liquid Blush. In fact, as someone who appreciates a dewy, glowing finish, I loved how it looked.”


The bottom line

While we found both products to be long-lasting and highly pigmented, the brand’s best blush truly boils down to personal preference.

Hannah and Astra both preferred the powder formula for ease of application, as it felt easier to blend seamlessly (and perhaps a better choice for a blush newbie or someone who prefers a more subtle, natural look). 

“I’m more of a fan of this powder brush over the liquid, and that’s because I can control the amount that I’m putting on,” Astra explained, before noting that she ultimately likes both blushes.

“I think I’ll be sticking to the liquid for everyday,” says Elana. “It’s such a great value, and I love that it’s meant to be applied with your fingers; I’m lazy when it comes to washing makeup brushes and sponges, so products that negate the need for tools get automatic bonus points in my book. That said, I could absolutely see myself reaching for the powder for times when I want a little extra shine.”

The liquid blush also may be a better pick for those who shy away from a shimmery look, given the powder formula is designed to do double duty as highlighter.


How we tested

To find out whether Rare Beauty’s blush is truly a rare find, three of our staffers tried out both the original liquid and new powder formulas in a total of six different hues. Throughout our testing, we evaluated the product for staying power, pigment, ease of application, shade range and more.


Why Trust Page Six Style Shopping

This article was written by Hannah Southwick, Commerce Writer/Reporter for Page Six Style. Hannah spies deals on actually affordable celebrity-worn styles, puts Hollywood’s favorite labels to the test and finds the beauty products that keep stars red carpet-ready. She consults stylists and industry pros — including celebs themselves — for firsthand product recommendations, trend predictions and more. In addition to writing for Page Six since 2020, her work has been featured in USA Today and Parade.


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