From left: Sunny, Bloom, Poppy, Rosy, Scarlet, Petal.

From left: Sunny, Bloom, Poppy, Rosy, Scarlet, Petal.

Jillian Dempsey’s cheek tints are brilliant. I was already a fan of her eye khols and lid tints, but was over the moon to discover her impeccably cool aesthetic was applied to (clean!) cream blushes.

The icing pink mirror compacts are super lightweight and portable. And unlike the goopy cream blushes we often see, these finger-friendly pigments veer on the drier side. Coconut oil, yes, but also sunflower, shea, and olive oils nourish with a light hand and understated gleam. Velvety color - not high wattage shine - is what you’re getting here.

Each of the six shades are compelling enough to warrant a place in your blush wardrobe and each deserve a deep dive introduction:


A limited edition shade, created exclusively for Violet Gray. It’s both the coolest and the most transparent of the six shades. There’s a very slight iridescence to it, but zero sparkle. A dainty pale violet pink that can be used to soften a stronger blush, tone down too much warmth, use as a highlighter (anyone who’s a fan of Kjaer Weis’ Radiance highlighter will be thrilled with this one.) But also, it’s been popular used as a cream eyeshadow.


The closest I’ve ever seen a product get to capturing the heat – the color – a face gets when warmed by the sun. There’s the obvious browning component, but there’s also a muted red flush that makes it a more believable tan. However, I’m happy to report there is no orange here. Dempsey described this as a something of an uncolor, a blush to reach for if you don’t want to complicate things, but instead tie everything together. Think afternoon gardening in the sun versus poolside tanning. It’s more realistic, particularly important if you’re not sporting a tan already.


Probably the warmest, palest pink blush I’ve ever come across. Think soft roses painted on a porcelain teacup . It’s so light, it becomes almost a retro statement. Definitely a must-have if you find inspiration in 60’s chanteuses but find mod blushes too icey. It’s also the color my youngest daughter fancies, and the one I’m less embarrassed about leaving the house with her wearing.


Clockwise from left: Bloom, Sunny, and Petal.

Clockwise from left: Bloom, Sunny, and Petal.

Clockwise from far left: Poppy, Rosey, and Scarlet.

Clockwise from far left: Poppy, Rosey, and Scarlet.


This one was the biggest surprise for me. I thought it would be too dark, too red and just wear me versus the other way around. But even when at my palest, I found this to be really complementary both when dabbed lightly on the cheeks in judiciously small circles, and blotted onto lips. The staying power for this one is also something to be praised.


When I say this is the most unusual shade, I don’t say that lightly, given how much thought clearly went behind creating this range of unique shades. Dempsey herself said that she only wants to create products that folks don’t already have in their makeup bags, and I’d bet you have nothing like this one in yours. It’s an upbeat muted tang, a wearable retro peach that would make a believer out of anyone who doesn’t think they can pull off coral (and that would be me.). Peach often rings false on me, it looks odd on my my pale olive skin, and sucks the life out of me. But this playful sweet coral, breathes. If you’re going for a clean eye, it looks incredibly modern. You could wear it with a cat eye and go for a Bardot look. Or you could wear it with a navy and robin egg blue shadow and go for a 60s high street vibe. In fact, it was from a vintage blush that Dempsey found the inspiration for this color. She had held onto to it for years before taking it to a chemist to have it recreated. While she didn’t specify what brand the original shade was, I get strong Mary Quant vibes.


If you don’t know what color to get, this one is going to be your safest bet. It’s a classic pretty pink that has enough undertones to complement a broad range of skin tones. A lively pink that stays in its lane, and pressed onto the lips gives a soft almost powdery and pigmented effect.

To see the shades in action, check out Jillian herself applying Rosey to actress Leslie Mann for Violet Grey.

$28 each, available at Credo, Violet Grey, Goop and Jillian Dempsey’s website.

Kumi Beauty Co.

Kumi Beauty Co. is an indie clean beauty line created by (gorgeous) toxicologist and cosmetic chemist Kumi Gesinde, who, frustrated by the lack of clean beauty options for women of color, set out to make her own. Kumi also dealt with acne and eczema as a teenager, creating her own skincare from scratch, before studying green chemistry and starting her line. Prevention-before-cure is her creed, and she is committed to making an impact in the lives of women. 

Kumi sent me the above package containing a highlight reel of her lovely line to try out, and after getting over the initial thrill of receiving such a fun box in the mail, I was left quite impressed with the contents – and now have some new favorites.


The powder bronzer, Sunbeam, a silky powder with no hint of orange and the perfect amount of shimmer, is housed in a generous compact. It's lightly pigmented and one of the more subtle bronzers, I'd suggest it also as a finishing powder.




The powder blush (Bloom) is a cool and demure pink with a pearly mica sheen  that gives a lit-from-within effect. I particularly liked this dusted on top of cheekbones. Also infused with jojoba oil, so there's no chalky dryness.






The cream blush stick (Merlot) is incredibly easy to apply and blends quickly to a powdery finish. Plus the lightweight packaging makes it idea to stash in purse for touchups.




I particularly loved the lip gloss (shown here in Pinking of You). The lightweight tube houses a fluffy, translucent gloss with a high shine quotient. Not to mention it's sweetly spiked a with non-cloying vanilla scent, and wears like a balm.




The nail polishes come in bottles reminiscent of 90's Hard Candy nail polishes. The two colors, London and Dakar, are opaque, punchy pinks. Oftentimes, opaque colors streak, necessitating multiple coats for even coverage. Not the case here, one coat and you're done. Plus, the polishes really last – 7 days in my case, which is no easy feat. I was previously committed to my Smith & Cult polishes, but these have usurped that role since I've begun using them two months ago.


The Blueberry & Oats Exfoliating Powder is the ideal morning cleanser. It's simple, doesn't strip the skin, and does a lovely job polishing any debris or excess oil in the t-zone. Containing Geisha-approved powdered adzuki beans and bamboo powder, this cleanser restores a matte and balanced complexion. Plus the addition of blueberries smell wonderful in the morning, and oats are known for soothing cranky skin. The granules are small and round, so you get effective exfoliation but without damaging the skin.

It's suggested to mix with water into a paste, but I've taken to mixing a bit of it with apricot kernal or almond oil in my hands and using it as a mask before wiping it off with a damp linen cloth. 

And my favorite, hands down product that I'm already planning on buying when I run out is the Cheeky Cherry AHA Peel.

The first thing you notice when opening it is the scent of raw, tart cherries, and you can see the pieces of it in the mask. The mask is a cool, gel infused with cherry and grape seed extract, which you're only supposed to apply for a few minutes because it's packed with a powerhouse blend of glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids.

I loved the GOOP exfoliating mask, but this one has taken it's place. My skin is literally the smoothest it's ever been, acne scars are significantly improved, clogged pores deflated and I'm glowing. I've become addicted to it, using it nearly every day and leaving it on for longer spells because the results are so immediate and noticeable. By far, this is the most incredible exfoliating product I've used to date. If you're new to the line or curious, definitely add a jar of this to your basket.

You can discover the above products, and the rest of the line at kumibeautyco.com