(Trial Run)

Makeup By Mario's New Cream Blush Gave My Cheeks A Luminous Pop Of Color

It looks so effortless.

Courtesy Of Vanese Maddix
makeup by mario's soft pop plumping blush veil review
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In our series Trial Run, TZR editors and writers put the buzziest new beauty products to the test and share their honest reviews. This week, beauty writer Vanese Maddix is testing out Makeup By Mario’s Soft Pop Plumping Blush Veil.

With the year halfway over, blush continues to be hailed as the makeup product of 2023. Since a buildable berry blush is my personal desert island beauty must-have, I’m completely on board with the bold flushed cheeks taking over fashion week runways, red carpets, and TikTok. Not only does arming yourself with the right rouge have the power to add a youthful pop of color to the cheeks, it leaves skin with a beautiful glow that stands out in the sun. But while many are loyal to their formulation of choice, whether it’s cream, liquid, or powder, I’ll happily give any product a chance — no matter the price point or brand.

So when Makeup By Mario teased the launch of the Soft Pop Plumping Blush Veil, I knew I had to try it out for myself when it officially launched at the end of last month to see if the formula lived up to my expectations (along with the rest of the internet). While the celebrity makeup artist already has full-coverage stick cream blushes in his namesake makeup line, this product is said to be “weightless with a luminous finish” and comes in six shades.

As a self-confessed blush connoisseur, would this new blush be an instant hit or miss for me? Below, I share my honest thoughts on a few of the shades.

Fast Facts

  • Price: $30
  • Size: 17 oz/ 5g
  • Clean/Cruelty-Free: Yes
  • Best For: Cream blush lovers, those that love a standout flush of color on the cheeks
  • Ingredient Highlights: Hyaluronic acid, pearlescent pigments
  • What We Like: Lightweight; not drying; buildable color; lasts for hours
  • What We Don’t Like: Lighter shades might not show up that well on deeper complexions
  • Rating: 4/5
How TZR Keeps Score: 1/5: Making a return; 2/5: Keeping as a backup; 3/5: Finishing to the last drop; 4/5: Recommending to my group texts; 5/5: Already on auto-replenish

The Formula

With over 20 years in the industry, celebrity makeup artist and brand founder, Mario Dedivanovic, prides himself on creating  purposeful products crafted with intentional formulas using the highest-quality ingredients, as stated on the brand website. When it comes to the Soft Pop Plumping Blush Veil, you’ll find an infusion of hydrating hyaluronic acid to plump and smooth the skin and pearlescent pigments for a luminous finish.

Formula-wise, there has been a lot of comparison to the brand’s beloved SoftSculpt Transforming Skin Enhancer, as both products boast a creamy base with a radiant finish and packaging-wise, they’re almost identical. The six Blush Veil shades consist of Barely Flushing (natural flush), Pinch Me Pink (pale pink), Just Peachy (peachy coral), Perfect Pink (cool pink), Rose Crush (spiced rose), and Berry Punch (soft plum). Despite the initial sheer coverage, it is still super buildable.

Courtesy of Vanese Maddix

My Typical Blush Routine

For me, no makeup look is complete without mixing and matching various blush formulas and shades. There’s rarely an occasion where I don’t want my blush to stand out, so I do like to go a little overboard. Products on my current rotation include the Patrick Ta Major Headlines Double-Take Crème and Powder Blush Duo because I love the color payoff and the fact that you get a powder and cream formula in one. Rare Beauty’s Soft Pinch Liquid Blush is another go-to for me as a little really goes a long way. Plus, it’s guaranteed to get you a compliment or two. And the MERIT Flush Balm Cream Blush continues to be one of my top five creamy formulas as it glides on like butter across the cheeks.

I’ve also found myself reaching for the rhode Peptide Glazing Fluid as my primer before makeup as it leaves my skin plumped and dewy and my blush, along with my other complexion products, applies seamlessly over top of it without any pilling.

My Experience & Results

As with literally all new beauty products I’m testing, I like to head over to TikTok first to see creators’ reviews and application tips. In the case of this blush, people recommended lightly dusting your brush into the blush as it picks up quite a lot of product. Taking my super soft and fluffy Youthforia Blush Brush, I tried out shades Just Peachy and Berry Punch. Starting with Just Peachy, despite the luminous glow it left on my cheeks, I didn’t find the coral tone to come through that well on my complexion; it was just a bit too light. However, as a big fan of the glow it left behind, next time I’ll layer it with another trusty powder orange blush.

Wearing the shade Just Peachy.Courtesy of Vanese Maddix

Berry Punch on the other hand couldn’t have been a better match. Plum shades and darker skin tones go hand in hand, so it’s really no surprise that I was obsessed with the results. On a recent dinner outing, I applied Berry Punch before leaving my house, and seven hours later my cheeks looked like they had been freshly applied with blush.

Wearing the shade Berry Punch.Courtesy of Vanese Maddix

Despite the lack of color payoff with Just Peachy, I’ve found myself constantly reaching for the hydrating formula because I love how comfortable it wears and the nice glow it provides. Upon my first trial of the two shades, I was pleasantly surprised at just how lightweight and creamy the blush felt on my cheeks. Plus, I love how well Berry Punch shows up on my skin both in photos and in real life.

Is Makeup By Mario's Soft Pop Plumping Blush Veil Worth It?

At $30 each, I would say the price tag is pretty on par with the single-shade blushes you’d find at Sephora. So if you like a weightless cream formula, this isn’t a launch you want to pass up on. After over a week of thorough testing, this blush has easily made its way into my roster of favorites. While Just Peachy wasn’t what I expected, I’d quite like to try out the other four shades and see if they pass the test like Berry Punch.