theBalm Instain Blush – Houndstooth Review

TheBalm Instain Blush – Houndstooth

I’m glad that theBalmInstain Blushes were marketed as long-wearing and even staining, because I had a reason to get it aside from the cute packaging!The shade names of Instain Blushes are pattern names, and incidentally, my favorite pattern among themis the shade that I have, Houndstooth.


the balm houndstooth blush

From TheBalm’s website:

Instain – Long-Wearing Staining Powder Blush
theBalm’s long-wearing, STAINING powder blush is a fashion must have! With six shades, perfect for all seasons and skin tones, it will give your cheeks color that won’t quit.


22 USD

TheBalmInstain Blushes are packaged like miniature fashion magazines, with a ‘cover’ that’s an obvious nod to Instyle magazine, but with a retro twist. Houndstooth has the profile of a 20s girl on it. I find it all pretty charming. The packaging is made of cardboard, but it’s thick and sturdy, and it has a magnetic closure. It comes with a sleeve with the exact same cover, but which I don’t use because I find it inconvenient.

instain blush
Houndstooth is described on TheBalm’s website, simply, as ‘mauve’. That’s pretty much how the blush looks in the pan, although it also has these tiny, berry-colored dots that become more pronounced the more the blush is used. The dots remind me of chicken pox, unfortunately!

This is one of those blushesthat are quite pigmented, whichis both a pro and a con. On one hand, it can last for ages since you’ll only need a little for each application, and there won’t be any problems with chalkiness, but on the other hand,it can be hard to get just the right amount and it needs to be applied carefully. A duo fiber brush is always useful for pigmented blushes, and that’s what I use with this. One or two sheer layers are enough for natural-looking color on my cheeks.

pink blusher
As for the staining effect, I get what they mean by that…it’s like a highly pigmented eyeshadow that even when smudged off the eye leaves color and stays and stays there. The InstainHoundstooth Blush lasts well over seven hours on my cheeks. It does wash off with water though so it doesn’t truly stain, but the lasting power, for powder blush, is impressive.

the balm houndstooth swtach

On the skin, TheBalmInstainHoundstooth is a medium mauve pink with a silver sheen to it. On my medium, yellow-toned, MAC NC 30-35 skin tone, it can look natural when applied sparingly, good as an everyday color and safe for the office or school.However, if I use a little too much, it can look frosty. I find that I don’t reach for this blush very often…perhaps due to the additional time it takes to keep it looking even and not overdone. And while the color doesn’t look bad on me, I just don’t loveit.

Pros of theBalm Instain Blush – Houndstooth

• Fun, cute packaging.
• Highly pigmented.
• Truly long-wearing.
• The color can look natural and is office/school-safe.
• It’s buildable, so it can look sheer or dramatic.
• Feels silky.
• Has a mirror inside.
• Comes with a sleeve to protect the product.
• Reasonably priced.


the balm houndstooth OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cons of theBalm Instain Blush – Houndstooth

• Can look frosty if overapplied.
• Needs extra careful application to avoid going overboard with color.


If you like pigmented blushes—and cute packaging—you’ll probably like this. It’s long-wearing and I can see the color working for most skin tones, as well as for daytime or nights out. I think perhaps it’s my personal preference for corals, peaches, and pinks that leavesHoundstooth somewhat neglected in my stash.

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12 thoughts on “theBalm Instain Blush – Houndstooth Review

  1. It’s soooo beuatiful on you ida. I checked the balm counter in bangkok but their testers were so disgustingly dirty, I was totally put off. :(( I will def check out the stuff again. good review. :))

    1. Thank you, Rati! Extra dirty testers can really dampen any excitement for swatching..hope you find some relatively clean ones. 🙂

  2. you carry the shade beautifully IDA…the balm’s quality is praise worthy. i got a palette and a blush after they were reviewed. they were so tempting to resist….though expensive here…. *clap*

    1. Thank you, Sumera. 🙂 thebalm does have some pretty good products. I want their chocolate palette. *drool* High international price markups suck.

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