MAC Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre (Isabel and Ruben Toledo Collection) Review & Swatches

I consider myself very lucky that I'm not a die-hard MAC makeup fan! Can you imagine how much money you would be spending every year if you were to buy every collection they come out with?! Having said that, I do buy their products occasionally, normally when I see something unique or something I have missed in the past collections. For example the Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre that I am reviewing today. I missed it on previous releases so I made sure to not miss it this time! It is one of the most prettiest blush ombre I have seen especially for me who likes pink and purple makeup! :)

MAC Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre
MAC Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre

Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre has returned with the MAC Isabel and Ruben Toledo Collection. The blush is housed in a white packaging with Ruben's illustrations of black lines and red lips to make out a person's face. It's a nice-sized, square plastic compact but it lacks a mirror inside (I know, for the price it should have a mirror!).

MAC Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre
MAC Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre

Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre is a gradient power blush. It has a pale, cool-toned pink at the top of the pan that gradually fades into a pale pastel purple at the bottom. You can definitely angle your brush to apply each color separately, or you can emphasize your brush more towards the top or bottom to customize the shade. I generally just swirl my brush in the center of the pan to get a good mix of both. When swirled together, you get a healthy mix of purple-tinged pink flush on the cheeks that I think looks very pretty and youthful. I love it and I think it will be a perfect color for Spring! :)

MAC Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre
MAC Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre

The formula has some sparse, ultra fine shimmer in it that becomes almost invisible once the blush is applied on the skin. It will basically look like a pretty matte powder on the cheeks. Sounds great so far right?

MAC Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre
MAC Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre

However, to get Azalea Blossom to show up properly on the skin, it needs some type of mechanical peel to remove the top layer off the surface first! When I opened the compact for the first time, I couldn't get over how pretty it is but my excitement was cut short because when I went to apply it on my cheeks, nothing, and I mean nothing at all showed up on me even after multiple layers! The best was a light sheen on the cheeks and that's it, no colors at all! The blush is extremely poorly pigmented and the stiff texture only makes matters worse.

MAC Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre
MAC Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre

But I was not to lose hope. LOL! I really wanted it to work so I grabbed a clean Q-tip and started scraping off the top layer. It broke my heart to ruin the smooth surface but I had no choice. I tried swirling the blush with a really dense and scratchy brush first but it didn't help at all, so there goes the Q-tip! :D

MAC Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre
MAC Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre

Once the top layer was removed, Azalea Blossom became like a new person, full of color and happiness! I only have to dip my brush back into the pan a couple times to get a good color payoff on my cheeks. It's not going to become super pigmented all of a sudden but it certainly swatches and applies so much better without the hardened top layer. The consistency underneath feels somewhat softer, too, which aids the powder to adhere to the brush better.

Now let me show you what the colors look like individually and together:

MAC Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre; L-R: top shade, bottom shade, and combined
MAC Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre; L-R: top shade, bottom shade, and combined

Isn't it the most pretty purple pink blush or what? :) Here's how it looks on me when the colors are swirled together and applied in a few layers:

Wearing MAC Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre
Wearing MAC Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre

When applied lightly, the finish is very lovely and feminine (I actually might be wearing this on Valentine's Day!) and lasts all day surprisingly! You can certainly pack it on more to increase the coverage but in my experience, the more you apply, the chalkier the texture becomes. It is best to keep it to a few layers for the most natural finish. :)

So if you bought Azalea Blossom and found the pigmentation to be poor, try the scraping method! The beautiful color underneath will be more than worth the extra effort! :)

Purchase

US$32 at NordstromMacy's

At MAC counters

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38 Comments

  • I really like the sound (or read) of this! I don’t care much for the packaging though, but the ombre blush itself is beautiful!! It also looks super soft and romantic on you.. perfect for Valentine’s Day indeed :) do enjoy!x

    • I like the design on the packaging but I don’t like the fact that there is no mirror! :( The beautiful ombre blush inside makes up for it, though. I’m definitely wearing it this Saturday. ;)

  • It’s looks really nice when applied. Can you think of a good dupe? I don’t buy mac and I’m not sure I’d spend that much for something I have to scrape :(

    • I can’t think of any, Erin! Sorry! This is my first pink-to-purple ombre blush. Yeah, I don’t like scraping either but I kind of had to. :(

  • so pretty! yet so disappointing with the quality. have you tried benefit lollitint? similar purple/pink… but obviously very pigmented!

    • Oh yes I have tried the Lollitint! That thing just stays and stays! LOL! It’s not too difficult to remove from the cheeks but when I put it on my lips, the stain stays on for the next few days! So, there IS such thing as too long-lasting. Haha.

  • Oh my God Jaa, this is so your shade! I really love it on you! Thanks for sharing the tip as well. Kinda wish companies would stop making powders with a hard surface, but at least once that’s out of the way, it’s a good blush :)

    • Right? I knew the instant I saw it that it had to be mine! A little disappointed at the poor color payoff but oh well! At least I found way to make it work!

  • Interesting that you had to remove the top layer of the blush! I once had to do the same thing with a Boujois baked blush.
    It is rare to see a purple/lavender colored blush from the U.S. market. Honestly I’d look first in the Asian brands, but it is a nice option and good to know.
    The color looks beautiful on you. And did you get your hair done? Looking so pretty! :)

    • I curled it myself, Lena! Thanks so much! I’m still very new to this whole hair curling thing but I guess it didn’t turn out too bad! ^_^

  • Beautiful blush but having to scrape off the surface? Gosh… good thing is, it looks great on you. Makes you look really fresh :-)

  • This is fabulous on you! You look so beautiful in the portrait photo, all chic and winsome like Audrey Hepburn. I bought this one online after seeing it in-store and it’s set to arrive tomorrow. I’m not excited about the scraping but very thankful you shared this insightful information! I agree, the resulting color is worth the work! I’m most excited about the Cinderella collection. If I were to create my own makeup line, I’ve always envisioned the packaging to be baby blue. So you can imagine how many pitter pats my heart gave when I saw promo images of Cinderella!

    • Oh Kristen! You have to tell me if yours has hardened surface as well and if you’re having problems getting the color to show up on your skin. Well, I am the opposite… haha… I’m not too crazy about baby blue. ^_^ I think I can easily skip the Cinderella collection! What item are you looking forward to the most?

      • My Azalea Blossom does need to be built a bit, but I didn’t have a hard surface to scrape through. So strange how there’s such variance amongst things, but in large batches of makeup, it’s bound to happen. Ha! That’s so funny how divided people are on the MAC Cinderella collection! People are either in love with goo goo eyes or completely passing on it. I’ll definitely be picking up the lipsticks (fingers crossed that they don’t sell out) b/c they’re sheer and easy to wear (for me) and probably one of the beauty powders. Have you seen the upcoming summer MAC X Giambattista Valli collex? Need. http://www.vogue.com/4544597/giambattista-valli-mac-cosmetics-collaboration-lipsticks/

        • Oh thanks for the link, Kristen! Looks interesting! I might pick up the coral shade! :D

          Ahh.. I feel a pang of jealousy to hear that you don’t have to scrape your Azalea Blossom. LOL. You, lucky you! :D

  • It does look gorgeous on you but isn’t it terrible you spent so much money on this blush and you have to ruin it in order to make it work? I wonder if anyone else had this problem. I skipped this whole collection. I am looking forward to the Cinderella collection though.

    Btw, did you use your Beach Waver to create the curls for this photo?

  • I’m glad you shared this information. I’ve been wanting one of the ombre blushes but Ripe Peach sold out when I blinked. I hope this one will still be available, I love this type of cool pinks.

  • It breaks my heart that one has to do additional work to get this beauty work. My press sample of Ripe Peach was rather in a good shape, there was no layer to be removed. It seems there are different batches. I am hoping my Azalea doesn’t come with a layer :-(

    Oh and it look soooo beautiful on you! Seriously!

  • Such a pretty blush! Looks amazing on you as well, Jaa!

    It’s weird that it doesn’t have a mirror, I have a ombre blush from the Proenza Schouler collection and it does bring one! I had exactly the same problem as you, though; it didn’t pigment so good. I tried a stiff brush but didn’t think of the cotton bud trick, will definitely give it a go and see if it improves pigmentation even more!

    I’m not a die hard Mac fan, but I’ve decided to collect the Limited Edition lipsticks, because I just LOVE the different packagings with the same shape! I will only get the ones I do like, though, don’t need to get every single collection or every colour in the same collection.

    • Yep, same here. I only buy the color I like, never the entire collection (well, unless it’s an entire collection of the Pearlglides, then I WILL buy every single color! LOL!). My Proenza Schouler blush has weak color payoff, too, but it’s still much more pigmented than Azalea Blossom. :-/ Thanks, Carla!

  • I have an older version of this shade and had exactly the same issue. I did scrape off the top layer and now it’s fine, but yeeeesh MAC, what’s the deal?! It looks AMAZING on you, so I guess it’s worth the trouble!!! :D

  • Omg it’s beautiful! Bit unfortunate about the stiffness but it looks great!
    Btw, if you’re into lavender blushes, I spotted one from Anna Sui on beautybay. It’s so gorgeous, it has blue in it! I’ve never tried them so I’m not sure of the quality.

  • Hm….I am surprised with need-to-scrape-off feature for this blusher. It must be due to baked formula. Cold pressed blusher doesn’t have this problem.

  • So pretty, Jaa! The blush in the pan, the purple colour, and especially you wearing it! I wish I could get that coquettish look in full face photos all the time – I’ve achieved it maybe once, the rest of the time I just look like I’m trying to read the fine print on something from 6 feet away, while feeling smug about something, LOL!

    MAC seems to have a bit of a thing with stiff-sealed powder products. I know Christine seems to have to bust out the metal spatula on occasion!

    • Hahahahahahahahaha! Keep practicing! ;) It didn’t come easy for me, though. I had to take several shots to find a decent one! :)

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