NYX HD Studio Photogenic Grinding Blush Makes Me Want to Twist and Shout

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Makeup, Product Reviews

NYX HD Studio Photogenic Grinding Blush
NYX HD Studio Photogenic Grinding Blush in English Rose

Ah, to be a bored teen without wheels in the Easy Bay suburbs circa 1992 again… When you live in a town where the most exciting thing to do is get an ice cream cone at Thrifty’s, you figure out ways to amuse yourself.


On Friday nights my friends and I loved to watch The Grind on MTV. Remember that dance show? We’d crank up the volume and electric slide around the living room as the show’s host, Eric Nies, who was almost always shirtless for some reason, introduced the hits.

It wasn’t the most exciting way to start the weekend, but it was either that or ice cream at Thrifty’s…

We sure could have used something like these new NYX HD Studio Photogenic Grinding Blushes ($16.50 each; available in eight shades) back then. Dang if these things wouldn’t have kept us busy.

New for spring, they have a cheese grater-like contraption similar to the one Smashbox uses with their Halo powders. By turning the rim of the jar, the grater shaves off a small amount of blush into the pan.

NYX sangria in madrid
Sangria in Madrid

nyx hd grinding blush english rose
English Rose

nyx hd grinding blush menage a trois
Menage a Trois

NYX HD Studio Photogenic Grinding Blushes w phone

NYX HD Studio Photogenic Grinding Blushes

NYX HD Studio Photogenic Grinding Blush box

NYX HD Studio Photogenic Grinding Blush box

NYX HD Studio Photogenic Grinding Blushes ingredients

NYX HD Studio Photogenic Grinding Blush swatches
Swatches from left: Menage a Trois, English Rose and Sangria in Madrid

NYX HD Studio Photogenic Grinding Blush
NYX HD Studio Photogenic Grinding Blush in Menage a Trois

NYX HD Studio Photogenic Grinding Blush
NYX HD Studio Photogenic Grinding Blush Sangria in Madrid; Additional makeup worn in this by NYX: Nude on Nude Palette, NYX Eyebrow Push-Up Bra Pencil and Doll Eye Mascara on eyes; Soft Matte Lip Creme in Milan on lips

I don’t mind having to use a little elbow grease in the name of beauty, but I cannot seem to find the sweet spot with these blushes. With all three of the ones I tried, I ended up dispensing more product than I needed, every single time.

And re-sealing the jar with any excess inside doesn’t rectify the situation. The extra product floating around in there gets up all over the place, on the counter, the floor, my favorite pair of Pajama Jeans, etc.

I’ve spent a LOT of time this week cleaning up after this blush, and I’m kinda cranky about it…

But apart from my packaging woes, I actually like this blush. I like how pigmented it is, that it’s easy to blend, and that it manages to last the entire day. I also like how good it looks in photographs and that it doesn’t look heavy on my skin.

NOTE: They also get the Tabs Stamp of Approval for being cruelty-free.

It’s a big improvement in terms of texture and wear time over NYX’s $6 powder blushes, which are also pretty good, but these are considerably more expensive.

Sure, $16.50 isn’t expensive compared to a $40 Chanel blush, but it’s not inexpensive for drugstore either. Price is usually one of NYX’s strong points, and it feels like they may have drifted away from that here.

Overall, I still think the NYX HD Studio Photogenic Grinding Blushes are good, but gimme simpler packaging (please hold the bells and whistles!). If NYX can find a way to get the same formula into a basic blush pan and reduce the price…WOOT! I’d hoard all eight colors!

PRICE: $16.50 each
AVAILABILITY: Available now at select drugstores, Ulta and also online


Speaking of the ’90s

Remember this song? Groove *is* in the heart. πŸ™‚

Onward to Friday!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 40 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Amber says:

    Did you really get some Pajama Jeans? πŸ˜€

  2. Instant Karma (formerly L) says:

    Aw, man, I had been wanting to check these out because I’m a sucker for new blush! I’m a real klutz, and I don’t want to get blush all over the place, lol.

    Tigger is howling right now. He has a special howl for when he’s playing with his “pet” at night. He has a little stuffed gerbil that he’s spent years moving around all over the place, but I’d never actually seen it with him. Then one day, I heard the howl, and looked up to see him with the toy in his mouth. He loves it! He’ll bat it around, but what he really likes doing is carrying it around with him everywhere like a little kid with a security blanket. If you give it to him while he’s sleeping, he’ll tuck it under his chin or hold it up to his chest. πŸ˜€

  3. BeautyMaven says:

    omg i love the packaging!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    BeautyMaven recently posted … No worries!!

  4. Vijaya says:

    I really want to try this. It’s a bit expensive for a nyx product, though.
    Vijaya recently posted … Zapzyt Pore Treatment Gel

  5. Suzanne says:

    i was waiting and hoping for your assessment of these. Menage a trois actually looks like it might be pale enough for pasty celtic blushophobes like myself. Speeeend!!
    Suzanne recently posted … Haus of Gloi – Valentines Day 2011 limited edition

  6. The Sangria one looks fabulous on you! Also, your posts just make me want to run and buy a macro lens, right away!..

  7. Rae says:

    Eeee! Okay, so I’m not loving the price & (like you,) would probably prefer simpler packaging, but these look *super* cute! Absolutely loving the look of English Rose, of course πŸ˜‰

  8. english rose looks like quite a bluey pink swatched, but it looks warmer on your cheeks. it’s LOVELY πŸ™‚

    and i think like a lot of people, i was shocked at the price. $16.50 for a drugstore blush? Uhhh…
    dani@callitbeauty recently posted … Collection Spotlight- Jason Wu – Resort 2011

  9. Angela says:

    Love the novelty of the packaging and love the colours (though English Rose is a little too cool for me). Not sure how I feel about having to constantly clean up after this blush–for the pricetag I would expect packaging is that mess-free.
    Angela recently posted … eucerin calming creme experiment

  10. The Angel says:

    i really like the idea. But what is the use if you cannot grind just enough

  11. Kimmi says:

    Despite the negatives you mentioned I still think I really want these. The packaging problems sound pretty nasty but I seem to get blush everywhere even when it is a solid, so I think I could look past it. Decisions, decisions.

  12. Nicole says:

    I like the English Rose color BUT I don’t think I can feel good about paying $16 for a drugstore blush.

  13. Kate Williamson says:

    The price is a little steep for a drugstore blush, but they DO look beautiful on you. I am especially liking English Rose. “Pink Blushes, I just can’t quit you!” I so remember Thrifty’s ice cream. I wonder if they still have it, or Thrifty’s for that matter. Thrifty’s ice cream always reminds me of visiting my cousins in Foster City. There was one nearby and we would ride our bikes over the bridge to get some 50 cents ice cream from there. I loved that weird ice cream scoop contraption that they had. It made the ice cream come out in this cylindrical shape that was so fun to eat. Thanks…I haven’t thought about that in a long time.

  14. gio says:

    Sangria looks beautiful! But the price is steep for a drugstore blush specially considering the packaging problems… I’m not keen on having to clean up every time I apply blush…

  15. Tiffany says:

    These look so great on you that I might have to look past the drawbacks and try one anyway!

  16. kalcedon says:

    I love Sangria in Madrid, Apricot, Georgia Peach and Meneg a Trois! <3

  17. Marie says:

    Ha yes! That’s supposed to be Ménage à trois, but accents aren’t supported by the font they used.

  18. Kim says:

    We make one of my best friends do the Groove is in the Heart dance all the time. Love it! Wow, The Grind. That is definitely a great blast from the past. I’m sure younger readers are like “MTV had music?”. πŸ™‚

    I think the NYX package is cool (especially the outer carton, where a picture is worth 1000 words), but I can see how you’d always be grinding too much. I feel like my pencil-liner sharpener is a pain, so this is totally not for me.

    PS You’re kidding about the Pajama Jeans, aren’t you? If not, I’m waiting for the full review!! πŸ™‚

  19. Fieran says:

    I really, really, want Sangria in Madrid – the colour and the name are both getting to me. I picked up MAC’s Fever blush yesterday. Holy pigment, batman. Just one swipe and I have a red splotch on my cheek. Spent more time sheering it out than applying the product. But I cannot complain. It does make me look alive and happy πŸ™‚

    These blushes look really good on you. I’ve never used any of these grinding products before so I might have to pick one up just for the experience πŸ™‚
    Fieran recently posted … Shall We Go To Venice- Madam

  20. Susan says:

    Karen, this is completely off topic, but watching the news this morning and praying for safety for your family in Hawaii, as well as you and your family in California. Hugs and love from Indiana!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Susan,

      Thank you. We got a few phone calls early this morning; our fam is okay. A few people had to be evacuated but otherwise everyone is okay.

  21. Nina says:

    its a smart and nifty concept but i was worried about the excess blush and what it would do. the OCD in me cannot stand product on my counters/vanity/any other stuff.

    i hope everyone in your family stays safe, Karen. πŸ™‚

  22. Lilly says:

    No way im spending $15 on a drugstore blush. Might as well buy MUF HD blush cream.

  23. Stef says:

    Oh, I’m sad these weren’t all you (or I) were hoping for. I so excited at the thought of hand grinding my blush every morning. It sounds like something my Grandmom would have said “In my day, we had to grind our own blush, and WE LIKED IT!”

  24. Mandy says:

    Totally depressing that they are $16.50!! …

    …at that price I might as well just shell out a couple extra bucks and get my favorite NARS blush (in “Amour”), especially since I know NARS blushers are triple-milled, with fabulous pigmentation and — most convenient of all? — no mess to worry about.

  25. Kim says:

    I felt the exact same way! I have the blushes in 3 colors and I love everything about them, except the packaging and price! If I could, I would rip off the grinder!

  26. Erika says:

    What makes grinding your blush fresh any better?

    Also- Where in Novato do you go to get all the NYX stuff I cant find any in Rohnert Park, ack!

    Also where in the East bay did you grow up?!

  27. Sarah says:

    You take the best pictures of products!

    I love the Menage a Trois Blush! Very pretty.
    Sarah recently posted … Perfume Review- Rihanna Rebl Fleur Eau de Parfum Spray

  28. Cassie says:

    Menage a trois looks sooo pretty! The shimmer’s gorgeous!

    I’m rather shocked at the price though. Like you said, Nyx normally is fantastic on pricing, so I’m really hoping they’ve jacked the RRP up simply because it’s a new fangled product. I’m not looking forward to paying an arm and a leg to fund a Nyx addiction over the pond here!
    Cassie recently posted … My mini haul- Mac and the 7 magazines

  29. Paige says:

    This cheese grater-liked container is nothing new. YSL already has this kind of device for their ‘semi-loose’ powder. The purpose of it is to make carrying loose powder on-the-go more easier. But for blushes, does it really make a difference using a grinded version vs. the solid version?

    • Karen says:

      Nope, it isn’t. Both Smashbox and Elizabeth Arden have powders with similar contraptions.

      I don’t really see a significant difference in terms of blush effectiveness in this product.

  30. Elizabeth says:

    Have you tried the HD Grinding Powder? I wanted to get Smashbox Halo, but the NYX powder looks similar for over half the price. Just wondering how they compare to each other…

  31. Ana says:

    I am waiting for my Ulta to carry more of the new HD line! So far I’ve only seen the lash/brow growth serums and a couple other things but not the things I really want! Definitely hoping Ulta will carry these blushes and the new NYX HD foundation. Karen, do you know of any drugstores/Ulta stores in the Bay Area that carry them already?

  32. I just wanted to post & tell you that I was having a really hard time choosing between Menage A Trois and Sangria in Madrid and this post really, really helped. =] Thank you so much!!

  33. Hazel says:

    I bought this as soon as it came out in 2011. I’ve hit pan last year, December 2012. Availability here in my locale is unfortunately poor. Online sellers who buy things from NYX, Urban Decay, Tarte, Sephora, etc. and resell it here don’t have it… So I’m going to have to suck it in and buy one from eBay, though the waiting time is going to be torture. (The ones in Sangria, Menage a Trois, and Apricot took over a month to arrive as the Philippine Postal Service is quite slow.) Anyway, I will still do it. This blush is my HG blush. I know longevity isn’t anything special but it’s the only blush I’ve owned you can’t go overboard with and produces a natural, soft flush on my skin. All others look powdery, sitting on the top of my skin, or just too bright and flashy.

    In the meantime, I purchased the Tarte Amazonian Blush in Dollface, hoping it’s a good substitute blush.

    Need to buy two of Georgia Peach as my mom loves it as well.

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