One of the new lines that really piqued my interest this season is Ashunta Sheriff Beauty. Sheriff, an Emmy-nominated celebrity makeup artist who’s worked on famous faces like Taraji P. Henson and Alicia Keys, says she started her collection to fill a need in the makeup market: offering highly pigmented products that work on all skin tones.
“I’ve literally worked the gamut with all types of women, so I wanted to create a product line that was by me, yes, a Black woman, but that also encompassed my experience as a makeup artist on women of all races, shades, tones, and sizes,” says Sheriff. “I also believe that as a Black woman, I’ve used products created by white people or non-Blacks for decades, so why shouldn’t white people use products created by a Black woman who actually has real, solid makeup artistry experience for over three decades in the industry?”
With that in mind, I decided to try the line’s new Thermal Blush ($26), a clear oil that promises to adjust to individual Ph levels and deliver a pop of color—Sheriff calls it “universal flesh color”— to flatter every face.
“Most people are looking for something that looks like their own skin tone if you were to pinch their cheeks, so it’s really a natural color for all,” Sheriff says. “It really gives you that natural, flushed look.”
It’s been a while since I found a spring blush that could deliver lasting color to my mature skin without getting cakey when temps rise, and was curious to see if this trendy blush oil could fit the bill. Because the product appears clear in the packaging (it changes color once it interacts with the warmth of your skin), I was admittedly skeptical. But as soon as I used the sponge-tip applicator to dot the invisible oil under my cheekbones, a pretty, pink hue emerged. It was practically magic. Though the shade initially looked a bit brighter than I typically like, after a few blending sweeps my cheeks took on the natural-looking tint Sheriff promised. It gave my complexion a sort of fresh-from-a-workout flush, and the more I used it, the easier it became to customize the shade intensity to my needs—a little to run errands, a little more for a night on the town.
And the gorgeous color isn't all this blush has to offer. The formula includes hydrating, antioxidant-rich botanical ingredients like neem leaf, vitamin E, sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil, and peppermint, an anti-inflammatory that improves circulation. I was afraid all the oils might make my face look or feel greasy, but even in 85-degree heat (a March perk of living in Florida) the product stayed soft and smooth, and never looked oily.
It may still be early in my spring makeup hunt, but I already feel like the kid who’s found the golden egg.
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