Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Sana Maikohan Blushes

I've been lemming Maikohan Cheek blushes since March when they were first released in Japan. Maikohan is a geisha-inspired line of base and colour makeup by Noevir, the same company that owns Sana and Excel. When I read on Cozycot that the Maikohan blushes were available at my local Sasa stores, I didn't waste any time in snapping them up. There are only two shades available, Benisakura ("Deep Cherry Blossom", the pink version) and Akane ("madder flower", the peach version). Sasa sells them for S$31.90 but currently there's a 20% discount on them (until the end of July), so I got them for $25.50, which is just a dollar more than the retail price in Japan :-) I was extremely chuffed about that!

The Maikohan blushes are virtually identical to the Excel Gradation Cheek blushes in terms of the plastic packaging. The only difference is that the Maikohan blushes come with a thin plastic film that can be used to separate the brush from the blush surface, a thoughtful and much-appreciated touch for people like me who are germ-phobes. The Maikohan brush also has a slightly larger handle but otherwise, the texture of the bristles is identical to Excel. And of course, the Maikohan's red packaging and cherry blossom motif on the lids beats Excel's ugly gold packaging hands down.

Here're some photos showing the Maikohan blushes with my Excel blush G2 Strawberry Pink. In terms of price, both retail for 1890yen each.

Of the two, I prefer Benisakura as it shows up better on my skin (I'm MAC NC20). I like to use the most pigmented red strip first followed by a gentle sweep of the paler shades on top for an added glow. The color payoff is pretty good and I got a nice pinkish red glow on my cheeks with just a couple of brushes. It is easy to apply too much at one go so my advice is to go easy on these at first and sweep the brush lightly across the surface of the blush and tap off the excess before applying. The wide surface of the brush helps to ensure an even application, unlike the too tiny brushes that are included by other Japanese brands such as Kiss and Gransenbon. But if you have a lot of redness in your cheeks, this may accentuate that unless you apply foundation and concealer beforehand to cancel out the redness.

Akane looks lovely in the pan but on my skin, it shows up as mostly a nude shimmer without much red. From a distance, it's hard to tell that I'm wearing any blush at all. This would be suitable for people who prefer a more natural or nude look.

Overall, I would rate these a good buy, especially if you like glowy shimmery blushes that are easy to wear and not too over-the-top. The texture is silky and easy to blend. The color payoff is less than Bobbi Brown's Peony Shimmer Brick and Nars blushes but considering the affordable price, they're pretty decent. I like the fact that there are four shades to play with in each Maikohan blush, whereas Gransenbon blushes (which also cost 1890yen) are single tone although the texture is also extremely similar to Maikohan. If you want greater color payoff with a similar texture, go for the Excel blushes if you don't mind the ugly gold packaging.

Check out the official Maikohan website here!


Pink Sith said...

I have been eyeing these blushes for a while now too. Your post has made me want them even more! Thanks so much for the review! You didn't happen to get a glimpse of the liquid liners (Black & Red)? If you did, were you able to tell how thin of a line it could draw? I'm wondering if it's as line as Lavshuca's liner.

Vanessa M. said...

those are soo pretty! how do you find all this stuff? whenever i look i never catch anything lol

Anonymous said...

So pretty!!!!

Kathi said...

I had the Sakura blush and it's really pretty but was allergic to it unfortunately =( This rarely happens with Japanese brands so I was really pissed =(

Haru said...

Hey Kathi,
sorry to hear that you were allergic to it! That's such a pity. Have you tried Excel before too?

Hi Elvira, I haven't tested the liquid liners. Will check them out and post a review :-)

Hey Vanessa,
I don't usually shop at Sana in Singapore but they do carry an eclectic selection of Japanese and Korean makeup and skincare.

Anonymous said...

omg yeah!! I love my pink maikohan blush!! I bought this in HK for 20plus too! this and kate glam trick and line spicy n and sony cp glosses were my fave hauls!! I'm soo lemming the peach one now!!!~

makeupmag said...

These blushes are really pretty and it's a pleasant surprise to find out from you that they're close to the JP retail price. :) I particularly like the unusal combination of colours (the raspberry paired with the medium peach-pink is a lovely contrast) and the feel of the flat, wide brush. I'm contemplating the peach one - didn't buy it at first glance because it looked too warm and dull. I didn't test it though - your feedback about it imparting a natural look might change my mind! ;)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the lovely review of Sana Maikohan blusher. I love the pink one, i think sakura, much better than the peach one. I have gotten it through someone's friend to cp for me but it was quite expensive....i didn't know few months later, sg will bring it in....and having 20% discount, it's like cheaper $5 but still i didn't regret once i got it. I just didn't expect it to be so beautiful in reality because it is and it is on the website pictures.

makeupmag said...

Oh, I also wanted to tell you that I've shifted my makeup posts from LJ to makeupstash.com. I've linked your informative site! :) It's all very raw at the moment as I've only just started working on it but I'm thrilled. :)

By the way, if you have the SANA powder, do review it. I've been reading the raves but am not sure if it's as good as the KP Sheer Micro Powders (shimmer and non-shimmer).

Haru said...

Hey Mag,

The peach bluhs is neutral toned, not warm at all but my main beef with it is that I don't get any color payoff from it, just mostly shimmer. So I was disappointed with that one but just couldn't resist buying it thanks to the 20% discount, you know?! I haven't tried the Sana powder yet, will check it out soon!