ADDICTION by Ayako Cheek Polish Review and Swatches

“It’s not a nail polish, it’s a blush.”

Ayako is one of my favorite makeup Creative Directors. She has lived over 20 years in New York, working with celebrities and makeup artists like Francois Nars (another favorite of mine). I love it how Ayako thinks outside the box, creating high quality product to highlight one’s individual style. She is cool, edgy and awfully chic - not afraid of colors or texture variations. Today I’m writing about on of my favorite products from ADDICTION: the Cheek Polishes!

ADDICTION by Ayako Cheek Polishes | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

ADDICTION by Ayako Cheek Polishes

ADDICTION’s Cheek polishes come in a nail polish -like bottle with a similar brush applicator. There are two available textures: non-pearl matte colors and with pearls of silver or/and gold. The cheek polishes retail 12ml for 3024 yen (including tax). As I’m typing this there are 8 permanent shades (including two highlighters) and seasonal limited edition colors.

How To Wear ADDICTION Cheek Polishes

Using a liquid blush is relatively easy. You shake the bottle with cap closed, then adjust the amount of color on the brush (similarly as you adjust the amount of nail polish). You could use the back of your hand as a palette and apply with a brush or a sponge, but I find it easiest to add about ~3 dots of the color on my cheeks and blending with my fingers. I use my middle finger to spread the color, then my index finger to blend. The Cheek Polishes set relatively quickly. If I feel there’s too much product or harsh edges I do a couple dabs with my Beauty Blender or Shaquda foundation brush.

ADDICTION by Ayako Cheek Polishes | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
ADDICTION by Ayako Cheek Polishes | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Using the Addiction Cheek Polishes

ADDICTION is one of my favorite makeup brands, I feel Ayako can do no wrong (except reformulating my favorite foundation *grudge*). I think last year she reformulated the brand’s powder blushes and created 30 permanent shades with sensible color categories, but unfortunately her Cheek Polish range remained untouched. They have discontinued some older individual shades, which makes the range in my eyes a bit incomplete looking.. as I’m typing this there are only 6 blushers and 2 highlighters available. I wish they’d tweak and expand the current range. Meanwhile, they do bring out Limited Edition shades every now and then. I haven’t tried the highlighter shades (13 Reflection and 13 Moon Dance), but 12 Emotional has very little base color and is mostly very sheer with loads of golden glitter.

What I love about this formula is how weightless it feels on the skin. I personally like to wear a decent amount of makeup every day, but I don’t want to look or feel as if I’ve piled on a ton. The ADDICTION Cheek Polishes look and feel seamless on the skin with no tacky or greasy residue. I rarely blend makeup with my fingers, but with liquid blush and highlighter I make an exception. I’ve noticed that blush - especially cream blush - doesn’t last well on my cheeks, but with ADDICTION Cheek Polishes I can get at least 5 hour of decent wear-time without touching up or setting with a powder.

I actually like the packaging, but perhaps the caps should be a different color so they wouldn’t be confused with ADDICTION’s nail polishes? The mini bottle 09 Sensually was a gift with purchase and I don’t think I can even go through this small size during one life-time. You only need a couple dots or two small swipes of color per each cheek from the applicator. I wouldn’t mind if they reduced the product size and price ~1000 yen. Luckily the product seems to last well; I’ve had my 04 Revenge shade for a few years, but hasn’t gone bad or separated.

Swatches

04 Revenge - Matte bright red with a slight yellow undertone; “sunburn red”.

09 Sensually - Soft matte muted pink rose. (My favorite!)

12 Emotional - Sheer orange coral with gold pearl (with NARS Orgasm vibes)

ADDICTION by Ayako Cheek Polishes | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Final Thoughts

While I’m in love with this product type, I do think there is some improvement in the shade range. 04 Revenge used to look a bit too much like sunburn on my face, but I’ve learned to pair it with my other makeup. I do regret getting 12 Emotional a little as it’s very shimmery with little base color - I’d prefer it to be more coral, like in the bottle. I wonder if it would suit better a deeper skin tone than mine? In order to get some use out of it I like to layer this Cheek Polish with other blushers, apply generously and skip the highlighter. Overall, I love the Cheek Polishes but I definitely prefer the matte shades. If you love easy-to-apply, quick and natural blush, these are worth checking out! xx