PP12: NYX Powder Blush in Taupe PB11

Happy Halloween! I hope you get sufficiently spooked today and also eat enough candies for a nice sugar high. 😛
Today’s Project Pan item is the NYX Powder Blush in Taupe #PB11:
It was not by accident that this item is featured today – if you’re in a pinch for ghoulish looking hollowed out cheeks for a costume, perhaps a contouring shade like this could help! 😉

This is the old version of the NYX Taupe – there is a new version when NYX replaced the whole blush line with the HD Blushes. It was a source of heated discussion when NYX reformulated this particular colour since it’s a much beloved shade. There are lots of opinions about which version is better: this video shows a comparison between the old versus new versions. She found the new one less pink, and another person found the new one warmer, another person found the new formula drier, but yet another person found the new powder to be much smoother.

Not my photo – she found the HD powders not to blend as nice as the original. Source.

Who to believe? Unfortunately, I do not have the new HD one to compare here for you (maybe one day).  What I do know is that the original version, the one I own, has a nice cool undertone for contouring. Remember: contouring products should mimic natural shadows which is greyish in tone.  Bronzers in gerneral are not good for contouring, they’re usually too orange. You want something with a taupe / grey rather than orange / brown tone.

Both the old and new version calls this a blush but it’s definitely a contouring colour. NYX now also offer a whack of contouring products (including the Highlighting and Contouring Pro Palette which I won from Sandie’s Stash giveaway a while back – still need to review that!) so I’m not sure why they kept this product as part of the blush collection. It’s confusing. 😕

There is a slight sheen to the powder but it’s not shimmery.

This powder applies smoothly – it’s not too highly pigmented but I don’t mind because I want the contouring effect to be subtle. It’s very easy to blend out so there are no harsh lines.

Of all of the beauty routine “extras” such as highlighting / strobing, bronzing, etc, contouring is the thing I rarely do (I mentioned this in my 7 Deadly Sins Tag!).  I do have naturally high cheekbones (not a boast, just describing my face structure) so I don’t need to contour. But, since contouring almost daily, I do think that doing this extra subtle step adds a nice definition to my face.  I’ve been using my trusty Anna Sui Face Brush each time:
Since many of you asked about various contouring brushes in my Nars Kabuki Ita brush post, here’s a bunch that I own for comparison.  I categorize contour brush into 2 types:

Flat contour brushes

These are great for creating a straight line, especially for the hollows of the cheeks.
Ecotools Deluxe Fan Brush – before the availability of actual flat contour brushes, fan brushes made for a nice soft diffusion of contour colour in the cheek hollows. This one is super large and has medium density.

Anna Sui Face Brush – my favourite brush for cheek contouring – the perfect mix of firm bristles and diffused edges to lay down precise placement and to blend.
Everyday Minerals Itahake Brush – way too dense and can’t blend worth crap. Makes a harsh line and then you’re stuck with it! This brush is slated to be purged.

Nars Kabuki Ita – not worth the money! See my review and comparison to a $2 knock off here.

L to R: Anna Sui Face Brush, Nars Kabuki Ita, Illamasqua Brush Up

Illamasqua Blush Up Brush – it’s the most compact, blunt and has the shortest bristles of all the ones I own. This creates a sharp line and is really good for blending out cream products (I own the Illamasqua cream blush in Zygomatic, which is a gorgeous contour shade).

Round contour brushes

These are great for contouring around the forehead, hairline, jawline, etc. I think these would be too large for nose contouring – you’re better off using an eye shadow blending brush for that purpose.
Quo Contour Brush – this was my first contour brush and it was fine for what it is. Now that I know better, it’s quite scratchy and it sheds a lot.

Charlotte Tilbury Powder & Sculpt Brush – the newest addition to my contour brush stash. It’s a bit floppy to do targeted contouring but the pointed tip with the bulbous shape is great for diffusing colour. I like it for forehead contouring.  It’s also very soft so it’s better served with very pigmented products.
Real Techniques Contour Brush – this doesn’t pick up powder pigment too well. I only use this for high pigment powders – mostly blushes.

MAC 109 Small Contour Brush – it’s too blunt for precise placement of contour, and it feels scratchy on the skin. I use this for powdery blushes that have low pigmentation.

Back to the NYX Powder Blush in Taupe – I won’t rate it since it’s not available any more, but I do really like its cool undertone as a contour product.  And based on what I’ve seen online, I would recommend checking out the new HD Blush in Taupe. It’s an inexpensive option for a contour powder that’s not too orange or ashy.

It’s made in China (P.R.O.C. = People’s Republic of China) like most of NYX’s products.

In the interest of trying to use up this product for Project Pan (as if I’ll ever hit pan on this thing! I’ve had it for more than 5 years and the waffle pattern hasn’t even worn flat yet), I’ve started to use this as a contour for my eye shadows, blending out deeper shades in my crease. It also works wonderfully for that purpose, but I haven’t made a dent in the weight:
I’m still dutifully using every single item in my Project Pan, 5 days a week for my work face. I’m not sure why the Cargo powder didn’t change last week! 😦

Please check out my Project Pan Pals for their updates:
• Ingrid of Curly.Spring.Blossom
• Jodi of A Brash Attitude
• Chanelle of Chanelle Hayleyyy

Do you contour? What’s your favourite contouring product and brush?

60 thoughts on “PP12: NYX Powder Blush in Taupe PB11

  1. As if it hasn’t even dropped 0.01 yet, so frustrating! I’m still having the same problem with my Estee Lauder blush, 5 years of pretty much beinig the blush I’ve used exclusively and it’s still not used up! What’s with that?!
    This looks like a really nice shade and once I’ve heard good things from in the past, I think I might actually prefer the slight different tone in the newer version, not sure if it might be too pale for me for contouring though, think it might be a very subtle one on my skintone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It IS frustrating. I’m telling you, we own enough makeup to last the rest of our lives and then some! I wouldn’t complain if the standard size eye shadows and blushes get halved (along with corresponding price reductions, of course).
      Yes, I think the newer version is lighter and would be great for fairer skin tones. In fact, NYX now offers a whole host of contouring products with different shades, you can probably find a good option there.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love that blush for contouring my face and in my eye crease. I’ve had it a year now and it is now only starting to lose the bumpy pattern. I think it will last forever lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to know it’s not only me… I wonder if I will ever lose the bumpy pattern lol. I have a couple of other contouring products (high priced ones) but I still prefer this NYX one best.


  3. I’ve always been pleased with the NYX blush shades. I have religiously used Benefit Hoola for contouring. Like EVERY DAY. I have a spare just in case too. It’s a total dupe for the Kevin Aucoin contour med shade as well. I really love Hoola for contouring. Brush… IT Cosmetics. Love their brushes and they have an amazing Contour brush!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t have the Benefit Hoola bronzer – it doesn’t look too orange, I suppose it would be fine for contouring. I just have such a personal pet peeve when I see all these girls walking around with strong orange streaks as contour… no no no, it doesn’t work! Taupey grey, and blended out, is where it’s at!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Contouring is always a step I skip, although I definitely need it as I don’t have a very strong face bone structure 😦 I like the idea of those contour kits that were really popular last year, but feel like they’re better suited for makeup artists – ain’t nobody need three different shades of contour and highlight for their own use! Nor would I use the matte highlights that come in those palettes.
    The texture of this looks so smooth! A really nice tone, too. So weird that everyone has such a distinctly different experience with the new version vs. old version!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What are you talking about your face bone structure? SILLY.
      But I agree, contouring kits aren’t necessary for the average makeup user. You pretty much only need 3 shades and you’re set – not the 10 or 12 those palettes come with.
      Why don’t you like matte highlights! I find them so useful, to blend out, tone down or create a subtle highlight. Highlighting doesn’t have to be about SHIMMER! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL, you know what I mean! Lacking them high cheekbones and jawline.
        I do use matte highlight shades on my eyes for the reasons you named, but I don’t know, I don’t see myself using it on my cheeks! Haven’t actually tried it though, so maybe I shouldn’t knock it 😛 Maybe I’ll pick up a contour shade in the Sephora sale!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The matte highlight might be good for under eye and that triangle area near the nose. I find that area benefits from being highlighted but shimmer doesn’t work well there.
          Do you have your eye on any particular contour product from Sephora? I just had a glance and this AHB refill pan looks good, in the shades Fawn or Ash Brown:
          $18, it’s not a bad price.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You’re right, matte highlights would be good under the eye/triangle area. I love that look, but I try not to touch that spot with any powder product because it tends to be a dry area for me!
            Yes, I was thinking of the Anastasia refills! Will have to go in and look at colours. The contours from the Sephora line are also a contender.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. I have the HD version of this and I like it. But the new HD formula of the blushes are so fragile. If you drop one, unless it lands on carpet, it will SHATTER. I lost both my original of Taupe and Amber that way. Glad they’re inexpensive to replace! I don’t use my Taupe one much anymore. I should start using it as an eyeshadow.

    I currently contour using the Lorac contour palette. The light contour shade in it is perfect for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh good to know about how fragile the new ones are – that sucks! I feel like HD type powders are so finely milled and not always packed tight so that could be why they’re prone to shattering.

      Good to know about the Lorac – thanks for sharing!


  6. From the image you included, I like the look of the ‘old’ blush more but both look nice for contouring as you say. Contouring is still a mystery to me, I kinda know where it’s supposed to go and how to do it but my face is so round so I don’t bother haha 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to think that about my face too but with practice, I learned where to place the contour. It was some trial and error for sure! 😆 It’s similar to blush placement, once you figure it out, you just know where to contour.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the old pattern-topped NYX powder products. I have a bunch of the blushes (I think I have Taupe…) and a few of the eyshadows, too. I have to say I kind of prefer the look of the new Taupe blush (less red) but both look excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did really like the old style NYX. I haven’t been feeling the new ones too much, I’m not sure why.
      Now I’ve got myself really curious about the new version just for comparisons’ sake – you know I love comparing stuff!


    1. I don’t know if I’d keep up the contouring daily but now that I can pretty much do it with my eyes closed, it’s a quick step to add in for a polished look! Do you have a go-to contour product?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t contour everyday but when I do I prefer Too-Faced Park Ave Princess, it’s the perfect subtle shade for me. I’m not into harsh lines, I love a blended out more polished look.


  8. I don’t contour. It’s not for me. I’ve got very dry skin and I have semi-permanent eczema patches on m face – I can’t even use regular powder. I’m glad that, despite my skin issues, I’ve found a foundation that makes my eczema disappear and makes my face look dewy (which I never thought was possible…) – it’s the Max Factor Pan Stik. Yes, it’s tinted grease on a stick, but it’s The One foundation for me. 🙂

    Oh, and it’s true, there MUST be a make-up or cosmetics fairy that refills products when you sleep. I just emptied a toner – and it took me more than six months to do so even though I use it every single day. And it wasn’t a jumbo bottle, it was a regular 200ml…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, yeah if skin issues prevent you from using powder, it’s probably best to stay away. There are cream contour products out there (Illamasqua). That’s amazing you found The One from the drugstore! I always wish MF was still available here – I never did appreciate it when it was around and now I pine for it!

      I guess I’m not opposed to a makeup fairy refilling on things that I love or are discontinued – but at least let me choose which products they refill while I sleep! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Just play around with contouring – I was never convinced of it but now that I’ve been doing it as part of my getting ready routine, I find it a quick step to add more definition to my face. And I only really notice the effects when I’ve stepped back and see my full face / head. 😛
      Oooh are you going to show me up in your PPI update! 👿 😆

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I contour every single day since discovering KA cream contour and for my round face it makes such a difference. I used to wear NYX Taupe back in the day and it was doing the job quite nicely. I should use my Anna Sui brush more often 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I kind of feel like this is the contour powder that started it all. When I first started watching beauty youtube channels and reading beauty blogs, this was one of those things that EVERYONE was obsessed over. And contouring wasn’t really a thing yet. I love contouring. I don’t do the nose contouring or anything but I just like the way it adds that subtle little extra something to my cheek bones 🙂


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