|Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee in Getaway Red - $22|
Topshop Cheek Jelly in Reign - £7
Beauty brands seem to be getting more experimental with formula's, and of course whatever happens in high end beauty usually filters down into the high street eventually. Forget jelly being a desert found at a small child's birthday party, it's now a widely-available beauty formula. Today I'm going to share two gel blush's, one is more expensive and hard to get if your from the UK, and one is under £10 and easy to find.
When Sephora finally decided to ship to the UK last January I quickly placed an order. High up on my lust list was a Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the brand, don't be surprised; it's very hard to get hold of this side of the Atlantic. After have a look round the internet at swatches I finally settled for Getaway Red, which is described as 'true red'. Not too long after Topshop also realised a smiliar cheek product, this time in the form of their Cheek Jelly. Again, I had a look at all the shades and decided Reign would be the most wearable. At the time I was so swept up in the new release that I completely forgot about my Josie Maran Cheek Gelee in a very similar shade. It was only until I looked through my stash I realized the two were very similar, so similar that I may have stumbled upon the answer to us Brit's prayers.
Apart from the obvious difference in the coloured lid, both products are pretty similar. Josie Maran has different lid colours depending on which shade you choose whilst Topshop's will always be black. I suppose this could make it a little confusing if you have a few pots with black lids, but you can see the product through the clear base so it's not too much hassle. Whilst Topshop's clear base is plastic, Josie Maran's is glass making it slightly heavier and sturdier. Both pots are exactly the same size too. The only criticism I could find is that the Topshop version isn't as clearly labelled, whereas Josie Maran can be read without titling the lid to catch the light. There's really not much more to say.
This is the important bit. You can dress things up the same, but if it doesn't work the same, it's not competition. Both products are a gel stain formula and the best way I've found is using your finger, just like you would Vaseline. I know that might not be everyones cup of tea, but it really is the only way to pick up the product.
This is where the differences start to become more obvious. On touch, Josie Maran's feels completely different to Topshop's.Whilst Topshop simply feel's like a pot of Vaseline, Josie Maran is almost bouncy. It's not wobbly like Illamasqua's Veil primer, but it does feel somewhat cushioned when you press your finger against it.
What makes Josie Maran's Cheeky Gelee stand out is the ingredients. Infursed with 50% pure coonut-water it provides a unique hydrating stain. For any of you who have ever used a lip stain before, you will know how drying it can be. The thought of a product drying out my already-dry skin isn't the most pleasant, so it's amazing when a makeup product has added skincare benefits. Topshops? Well Topshop doesn't have any natural ingredient benefits, and I did find it very slightly drying and tacky on my skin. Josie Maran had none of these quality's and was silky smooth all day.
Pigmentation wise, the swatches speak for themselves. Josie Maran (left swatch) was very pigmented and a little certainly went a long way. On the other hand, I really needed to rub my finger into the Topshop (right swatch) pot to achieve any pigmentation like Josie Maran. I also found that the Josie Maran swatch was more true to the shade in the pot but the Topshop blush seemed to be a bit different. However, what you must remember is that this is a cheek product, and will (hopefully) be blended out on application so you don't look like a doll. Both products do blend beautifully into a subtle pop of colour, with Josie Maran's surprisingly needing less work than Topshop's, despite being more pigmented.
Now onto longevity. This is a deal breaker for me, as I hate touching up my make-up during the day, I'm just too busy. Whilst Topshop makes no claims to the wear time of their Cheek Jelly, Josie Maran states you should experience up to 14 hours of skin hydration and colour. That's a very bold claim, and one that tempt me to make the initial purchase. I haven't tested these products in heat or humidity, because quite frankly those two things are rarely found in Manchester. I have, however, worn these on your typical A/W drizzly day with central heating on, which presents it's own challenges for my make-up. Without touchup, topshop lasted around 4 hours before fading completely on the 6 hour mark. Not too bad, but it did leave my skin feeling a bit tacky on application, and dry after it had faded. In comparison, Josie Maran lasted 12 hours and was still going strong when I removed my makeup at night. My skin felt smooth on wearing and after removing it, and the formula is unnoticeable throughout the day.
I think it's pretty obvious that Josie Maran's Coconut Watercor Cheek Gelee (mouthful) is my preferred choice. Whilst on first glance both products look the same, Josie's formula is truely superior making it worth the splurge in my books. However that not to say I hate Topshop's Cheek Jelly. For those of you who don't want the expensive of a Sephora haul, but want to try a gel blush, it's a great alternative. Whilst it's not as pigmented, you don't necessarily need it too be bright and bold, unless your employed as a children's entertainer. It's wear time wasn't too shabby either making it a good alternative, just not as good as the original.
Which one do you prefer? Have you tried any? I can't wait for my trip to the State in September so I can stock up on a few more shades of Josie's Gelle.