A bare-cheek contouring standby | MAC Harmony Powder Blush (Matte) review, photos, swatches

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The product: MAC Powder Blush in Harmony (Matte)

After seeing Harmony (one of my first MAC products) on Makeup and Beauty Blog this week, I had to put up a proper post about it. I love being able to see the same product on a range of different skintones, and I thought this was the perfect example.

I know a lot of you read MABB, but for those of you who don’t, here’s a quick primer: it’s written by a lovely terrifyingly awesome crazy cat lady named Karen, whose skin is about an NC42 (though sometimes here forearms are a little lighter). By contrast, I sit somewhere around an NC15, and despite absolutely adoring cats as long as they’re not kittens, I’ve never owned one.

Or even cat-sat for one, to be honest. I’m not the best at keeping things alive.

The shade: What’s cool about a blush like Harmony is that it can span a really wide range of skintones, but it’s quite different on them all. On Karen, it’s a really natural, bare-cheek blush; on me, it’s a warm, dark contour shade.

While I love the depth and pigmentation of this one, I find that it’s best to use a light hand with it, and I find that I’ll often mix it with a matte grey shade to cool it down a bit. That said, though, it’s not unwearably warm, the way some bronzers can be — it’s just not quite perfect on cool skintones.

(Read Karen’s MAC Unsung Heroes post on Harmony, where the below swatch has been sourced from, too!)

The verdict?

Despite the fact that Harmony was my first MAC blusher, and I still use it on a pretty frequent basis, I can’t see myself re-buying it — for what I want it to be, it’s too warm to be perfect. That said, though, if you’re looking for an easy-to-find contouring shade (for fair-to-medium neutral-to-warm skintones) or a matte natural-nude blush (for warm medium-to-dark skintones), it’s definitely worth a look.

While I think $20 US/$24 CAD (less for the pro pan) is a touch high for some of MAC’s sheerer blushes, the formula and amount of pigment in this one makes it well worth the price. There are far too few easy-to-find contouring shades out there, and at the very least, this one doesn’t have Chanel Notorious’ $42 price tag.

(And for an even more affordable contouring shade, try NYX Taupe — I’ve heard quite good things about it, at least for fair to light-medium skintones!)

MAC Harmony Powder Blush (Matte)

MAC Harmony Powder Blush swatch

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10 Responses to “A bare-cheek contouring standby | MAC Harmony Powder Blush (Matte) review, photos, swatches”

  1. This was one of my first MAC blushers, too. To add to your point, I'm NC20 and much warmer than you – it's still too warm to be a contour shade for me, and actually pulls more like a muted rose on my skin – much like Tarte Exposed. Less brown, more pink. Very interesting, no? I find that most "contour" shades are too warm – which is why I'm terribly, terribly disappointed that Notorious isn't paraben-free… :(
    My recent post The Thursday Post

  2. Hmm, interesting! I'm horribly confused by how Harmony sits on my skin, because it does look much more like Exposed on… everyone else. (I thought it might have even been a batch error, but I've swatched my pan on my own skin and then right onto my sister's, and it looks like a different blush altogether.)

    [ I wonder if I could use this to justify owning Exposed, too. ]

    Have you tried just using grey eyeshadow, Larie? I use Smashbox Smoke most days (post), and it's been discontinued, but I'm sure you'd be able to find something similar!

  3. Hi! I'm around NC20 with golden undertones, and my favourite contouring product ever is NYX blush in Taupe :) Have you checked it out? I think I'm on my third one already, it's just that good (and affordable)!

  4. I've tried using gray/brown shadows before, yep! Those seem to work the best so far.
    My recent post The Thursday Post

  5. Oh, good! Sorry you can't find a good actual-contouring shade, lovely. :(

  6. I definitely agree that Nyx Taupe works well on my pale skin for contouring :)

  7. Whoa that really is crazy how different the 2 swatches look. I was thinking about checking it out after reading Karen's review, but I hope it pulls a little pinker on my skin like it does on hers. I've been looking for the perfect pinky-nude blush for months now!
    My recent post Mini Sample: Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer in 340 Go Go Green

  8. I'm NC25-30, and I think I'm going to head to a Mac counter to swatch this, just because yours and Karen's swatches are so intriguing – hopefully, I'm the lucky middle shade!
    My recent post First Impressions: Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè

  9. Okay, okay, I'll keep an eye out for it! :p (Really, though. I'm trying to track it down, but I have yet to find it — it'd be nice not to have to mix two or three shades for contouring.)

  10. Let me know how it goes, lovely! It might work well blended with a softer pink blush, too — something like Pink Swoon or Dame, maybe.

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