Erin from Scandalous Beauty recently posted about the “mysterious” Parisian brand Black Up Cosmetics, wanting to know more from those who have tried it. The only other recent post on the brand has come from Yinka of Vex in the City, who didn’t have the best experience with the customer service at Debenham‘s in London. I thought I would do a brief post about my experience at the Black Up counter and how satisfied I am with the blush I purchased from them.
First, let me say that I hate the name “Black Up” especially when the word “cosmetics” follows it. I am reminded of the history of minstrel acts during the Vaudeville theatre days in the US. White actors “blacked up” their faces and performed on stage lampooning Black folks during the latter half of the 19th and early 20th centuries. France, of course, does not have the same history and for the Paris-based brand, the name probably translates as something more empowering. Black Up is the #1 cosmetics company for women of color in France and have worldwide presence in over 200 locations, including many African countries. Kudos to them.
On to my thoughts on the blush I purchased from Black Up. I first heard of the Black Up two years ago when my partner and I were on holiday in Paris. I just HAD to go to the cosmetics Mecca that is The Galeries Lafayette . It was summer and I was looking for an everyday blush that would give me a nice warm, bronzy glow with a bit of colour. The usual suspects were there, plus some specialty brands, but I was instantly drawn to the Black Up counter because of the name. I admittedly approached the counter wearing a mental eye roll. Shame on me because what I found were fantastic and stunning colours. I didn’t get to play around much because my partner has zero interest in makeup and gets really impatient. I just focused on the blushes, which are gorgeous. The color BL11 seemed to be the best fit for that everyday bronze summer goddess look I was going for.
All of Black Up’s products can be purchased online and are only listed in $USD for some reason. Black Up’s blushes retail for $24 (don’t remember how much I paid in euros) and contain 3.5g of product. As you can see, after two years I’ve barely made a dent, but then again I have other blushes in rotation. Blush BL11 is a burnt sienna meets coral colour studded with flecks of gold. Don’t worry, the flecks are not chunky and do not make you look like glitter exploded on your cheeks. It’s very subtle. The shade is VERY pigmented and because of that, I often choose to use the white synthetic bristles of a duo fibre brush to stipple this on then blend it out. I’m wearing it fairly lightly here in this recent FOTD:
It’s the kind of blush that instantly gives my complexion a bit of warmth and life. While I love the texture, pigmentation and finish, I don’t feel like the colour is unique enough prefer it over other brands. However, they do have a couple of pink and magenta blushes that I am lusting over and will swatch next time I’m in Manchester or London. And one of the two tangerine coloured blushes they carry looks like a dupe for NARS‘ infamous Taj Mahal, but less shiny.
Parisians are notoriously known (by Americans at least) to be rude, but I did not find that to be true for the sales woman at the Black Up counter. She was friendly, spoke great English and was helpful with my purchase. So from my limited experience with the brand, I would be inclined to make other purchases. I hope you found this helpful and I definitely recommend checking out their products online or at a counter near you.