Is Stila Custom Color Blush a Karma Chameleon?

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

stila custom color blush swatches review

Makeup resolve weakening…


Stila resistance futile…

I went to bed last night thinking about Stila’s lovely hot pink Custom Color Blush ($20). I heard it calling to me from Sephora (I live just five minutes away).

“Karen,” it whispered in my ear.

“Karen, come play with me.”

Um, okay. ๐Ÿ™‚

Like a mood ring for cheeks, Custom Color Blush reacts with skin pH (a measure of acidity or basicity), changing color based on the wearer’s body chemistry.

Part of the company’s fall collection, it’s one of the more sci-fi products I’ve seen in a while. With what Stila calls a “spherical silicone elastomer treated powder,” it supposedly also diffuses incoming light, resulting in a soft-focus effect that, according to Stila, softens the look of fine lines and wrinkles.


stila custom color blush swatches review
Swatch of Stila Custom Color on NC35 skin

stila custom color blush swatches review
Wearing Custom Color on cheeks

stila custom color blush swatches review

Does it work? Well, I can’t really tell. It looks much the same on my cheeks as it does in the pan, which isn’t to say it’s not pretty (I think it is!). And I didn’t notice the color changing at all over the course of the day.


As for a soft-focus effect, I couldn’t really tell that either, but then again, I don’t think I have many fine lines on my cheeks (they live elsewhere, LOL!).

Missing Hypercolor factor aside, it’s a good pink blush. The texture and pigmentation = off the chain! It blends easily, and one or two swipes does the trick.

I’m not totally sold on the color changing or soft focus claims, but I think Custom Color Powder Blush is a good basic hot pink blush with great color and blendability. Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: B+

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 35 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Melissa W. says:

    In junior high, I wore a Hypercolor t-shirt to school exactly one time. The boys thought it would be funny to try put some hand prints where they don’t belong.

    Ahem, anyway. I love me some hot pink blush! I will be buying this even if it isn’t as magic as it claims to be. It looks super cute on you!

    • Karen says:

      I was in jr. high when those were all the rage. All the kids had them!

      • meimei says:

        Oh, crud, HYPERCOLOR. That was the big middle school craze during my day, too. Then I read in a magazine that someone was coming up with Hypercolor underwear, and… well, that’s when the fad died for me.

        Topic: Hot pink blush doesn’t always look good on me, and neither does any of the “color-changing” cosmetics I’ve tried (from “mood” lipsticks to Smashbox O-Glow… and does anyone remember Coty coming up with a stick called Nature’s Blush that supposedly worked the same way?) Looks like I’ll sit this one out. ๐Ÿ™
        meimei recently posted … Stop and Smell the Existentialism

    • Deb says:

      I had shirts like that, too! People tried to breathe on me to make it change colors, and I gotta say, it freaked me out. I only wore it once.
      Deb recently posted … Ishiya Shiroi Koibito

  2. can you imagine your blush changing colour as the day goes on? that would be a tad freaky.
    dani@callitbeauty recently posted … What Saved My Skin

  3. Paris B says:

    Would you say its meant to function like Smashbox’s O Glow? As in the colour might look different on everyone but not quite change throughout the day? But then, imagine if it changed according to body chemistry and you get angry or sad and your cheeks go pink and red and pink and red…
    Paris B recently posted … Raving over the Guerlain Essence de Gloss 462 Violine and Guerlain Fall 2010 Collection

  4. Tiffany says:

    LOL, I have only tried this once so far and I accidentally put way too much on! I need to try again with far less product!

  5. Kim says:

    Hmmmm, very scientific for Stila! ๐Ÿ™‚ I think it looks much nicer on you than in the pan though. And I thought the same thing as ParisB. It would be funny if it worked like that!

  6. Amber says:

    The whole pH color-change thing is so gimmicky and so many companies seem to be jumping on that bandwagon. I want my blush to look good with my skin *color*, which as far as I know is not related to my body chemistry! Reminds me of the ‘eating for your bloodtype’ nonsense.

    That said, this looks awesome on you!
    Amber recently posted … Doughnut muffins

    • Karen says:

      It seems Smashbox’s O-Glow has really helped fuel the popularity of the “color just for you!” concept.

      Happy Friday, btw! Got any weekend plans? I’m headed into the city for some photography classes.

      • Amber says:

        I agree. And that one is even shadier in terms of gimmicks, since it depends only on moisture. Don’t sell me a party trick for $20+ and tell me it’s science. It really emphasizes for me that we need to constantly educate ourselves as consumers.

        Happy Friday to you, too! I am home alone tomorrow with nothing I have to do, but Sunday we are going to our favorite brunch and then hopefully filling our sad, empty fridge with good food for next week.
        Amber recently posted … Doughnut muffins

  7. Kymberlee says:

    Pretty color but if it’s really “custom color” based on your pH then why is it pink already? Why can’t it be white, clear, etc? Hmmmmmmm

  8. Lisa S. says:

    This color is wonderful and since I’m already a Stila fan (just bought some stuff at their warehouse sale this morning) I’m sure this will soon be mine.

    For Kymberlee above, your way to young to remember (or you might be to young to have even been around at the time!) when in the late 70’s the whole fad was nail polish, blush etc. changing color in exactly the same way. Most of those WERE white or a tannish color, only problem is they all pretty much turned a nice glaring orange. So what was will be again….. ;0)

    • Kymberlee says:

      Yeah you’re right.. I am a little too young to remember (born in 1981)! But wow, yeah I would not want an entire face of orange. Not my favorite color.

  9. Trinidad says:

    Oh, living that close to Sephora would be so dangerous for me! I just saw a lip gloss that is supposed to be custom as well… The same PH deal. I’m digging the custom products!

  10. Trisha says:

    At the very least, it looks super pretty on you. And the color looks awesome in the pan. Super pretty!
    Trisha recently posted … Enter to Win RAW Minerals Mineral Glow Blush

  11. Pinch says:

    Magic color-changing or no, it looks very pretty on you! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Pinch recently posted … Review- Eyeko Graffiti Eyeliner Pens

  12. Ranyah says:

    Oh gosh Karen, the color looks lovely on you! Will head to the Stila section at the local mall ASAP to get me this… Super addicted to blushes!
    Ranyah recently posted … the things i did to make my blog look what it looks like now

  13. ace says:

    it looks kind of intimidating in the pan, but it looks beautiful on you!! ive ordered the long wear lip color, in fiery- has anyone actually tried it yet?
    ace recently posted … Exciting News on A Brush With Beauty!!

  14. Nina says:

    I like the color … but does it really do what it says it would? I have very limited experience w/ Stila blushes (the only ones I have are those that come in some palettes) …

  15. Dawn says:

    Do you think its the same product as Diors awakening blush? Its supposed to change color as well. Both of these blush are in my cart while I go back and forth whether to buy them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge