I remember stumbling on the EM Cosmetics Color Drops Serum Blush years ago on Instagram and immediately being taken by the adorable genie bottle-like packaging. This was during a time when cream and liquid makeup were just beginning to regain popularity, so I was also incredibly intrigued by serum formula. Needless to say, I ordered the product and anxiously awaited its arrival. When I got my hands on it, I was impressed with the way it melted into my skin to create a gorgeous, radiant flush, but I had some qualms, like the imperfect dropper applicator and sheer pigmentation.
So, years later when the brand let me know that they were relaunching the product after making some improvements, I was ecstatic. They kindly sent me the range and I’ve been putting it to the test over the last few weeks.
Ahead, find my in-depth review on the new and improved serum blush formula.
BEST FOR: Anyone looking to achieve luminous, flushed cheeks.
SHADE RANGE: 8
BYRDIE CLEAN?: Yes
ABOUT THE BRAND:
Longtime beauty influencer and businesswoman, Michelle Phan, created Em Cosmetics to give consumers a medium for self-expression. The brand is known for its unique formulations and romantic color stories.
About My Skin: Oily
Despite having oily skin, I still enjoy some good dewy makeup. My trick to making cream and liquid products work for me is to use them strategically. I would look like an oil slick if I used an entire face of emollient products at once—so I combine these types of formulas with other matte or satin products. For example, if I’m going to use a cream blush or bronzer, I’ll choose a foundation with a matte or natural finish over a luminous one to prevent my skin from getting too greasy throughout the day. So, when testing out this serum blush, I used it on top of some of my favorite non-glowy foundations, like the Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear 5-In-1 Foundation Stick and the Dior BACKSTAGE Face & Body Foundation.
Product Improvements: Updated packaging, more pigmentation, addition of skincare ingredients
When a brand decides to relaunch a popular product, it’s often met with mixed emotions by loyal consumers. For one reason or another, brands often disregard the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” rule—but considering that I saw room for improvement in this product, I was cautiously optimistic when I heard about the relaunch.
Michelle Phan herself told Byrdie that she and the Em Cosmetics team took customer feedback into consideration when working to improve both the packaging and the formula. “We had a lot of community feedback about the hard-to-use applicator, so this time we redesigned the dropper to ensure quicker, easier application,” she said. “We also updated the formula to include more pigment and new hydrating skincare ingredients, like evening primrose oil and ceramides.”
The Formula: Lightweight serum containing skincare ingredients
Unlike cream blushes which hold their shape, or liquid blushes which tend to have somewhat viscous formulas, this serum blush holds true to its name: it really resembles a serum consistency. When I dispense a drop or two onto the back of my hand, it slowly runs. And when I tap it into my skin with my fingertips, the soft texture seamlessly meshes in while maintaining its pigmentation and dewy finish. Plus, it’s formulated with hydrating oils and ceramides to give it a moisturizing quality.
The Packaging: New and somewhat improved
One of the most common pieces of feedback that consumers had about the original product was that the dropper applicator was tricky to use. It required you to press a button at the top to load the applicator, but it was difficult to suck up enough product. The new applicator still features a dropper, but it’s a traditional dropper that’s powered by a squeezy mechanism to load product into the tube. While it’s absolutely an improvement given that it’s easier to bring up and dispense the product, it’s still a bit finicky and can be challenging to control. Because the dropper mechanism is so small to fit into the tiny bottle, you can’t fully load it up to the top, requiring you to keep going back in to grab more of the blush.
How to Apply: Use your fingertips
In my experience, applying formulas like this one is best done with your fingertips—and Michelle Phan agrees. She told us that her favorite way to apply the serum blush is by tapping it into her cheeks using her ring finger and blending upwards. Because it has such a thin consistency, a damp sponge soaks up a lot of product, and a brush seems to temper the dewy finish. Using your fingers allows you to maintain the most pigmentation and achieve a controlled application.
The Finish: Pigmented luminosity
When I tried the initial version, I found that I needed to apply multiple layers to yield my desired level of pigmentation. With the new and improved formula, that’s no longer the case. In fact, I think the updated version has the ideal concentration of pigment—not so pigmented that you need to be super careful, but pigmented enough that you can achieve beautiful color payoff in just one or two layers. Once tapped into the cheeks, it creates a stunning radiance that I can really only describe as juicy. It makes my cheeks look plump, wet, and flushed while somehow not looking greasy.
The Wear: Incredible
One thing beauty consumers are often forced to sacrifice when wearing cream and liquid products is longevity—especially those with oily skin. But to my surprise, the wear time I got out of this formula was incredible. Each time I tested it, I applied it before work and removed it before bed—and it looked virtually the same after a full day of wear. It remained pigmented, even, and glowy without turning greasy or fading unevenly.
The Value: Well worth it
The product’s $28 price tag feels like a fair value given the uniqueness of the product. The serum-like consistency is really exceptional, and while I have some critiques of the packaging, it looks really adorable sitting on my vanity. One thing to consider is that it’s currently only sold on the Em Cosmetics website, so you might incur shipping charges as well.
The Em Cosmetics Color Drops Serum Blushes is a fantastic product. The serum formulation is unique to the market, the product comes in a wide range of fun and neutral shades, and it applies beautifully and lasts well throughout the day. If you’re in the market for a dewy blush, or you’re looking to experiment with different types of formulas, I think you’ll love this one.