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Three Hot, Hot, Hot Cheek Palette Gifts for Holiday 2014 + A Consolation Option

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NARS holiday 2014_Virtual Domination Cheek Palette_limited-ed

Just when I'm feeling all smug that I don't need separate blush (let alone powder blush) because I dab my lip colour on my cheeks, three makeup brands have to muddle things for me. That's the thing about special-edition, giftable makeup -- temptation, even when you thought you were safe. And if these cheek palettes are hollering to me, they're great choices for blush enthusiasts. In fact, two of these limited-editions are sold out online because blush junkies bought them for themselves (you know who you are)!

holiday 2014 blush palettes: nars virtual domination

NARS holiday 2014_Virtual Domination Cheek Palette_limited edition kit

Yup, I'm about to start wearing powder blush again, and I blame the Nars Virtual Domination palette of blushes and bronzer. (Do you need to see the lid more clearly?)

NARS holiday 2014_Virtual Domination Cheek Palette_left side clockwise_Miss Liberty_Deep Throat_Final Cut_Sex Fantasy

The shades on the top are Nars Miss Liberty Highlighting Blush Powder and Deep Throat Blush (I am not letting my sweet 13-year-old niece near this palette. #inappropriatenames). The shades underneath from the left are Sex Fantasy Blush and Final Cut Blush.

NARS holiday 2014_Virtual Domination Cheek Palette_clockwise names_Deep Throat_Laguna_Final Cut

That's Deep Throat again, above Final Cut; the bronzer is Laguna.

NARS holiday 2014_Virtual Domination Cheek Palette_close-ish look

This Nars Virtual Domination Cheek Palette ($75 at and $65 at is sophisticated. Elegant. Stunning. I'll be all three if I use this Virtual Domination palette, right? Plus a side of naughty. *wink*

holiday 2014 blush palettes: tarte pin-up girl

Tarte Holiday 2014_Tarte Pin-Up Girl Blush Palette_limited edition_hairpin bonus

Despite minor grumblings about its similarity to last year's version, and mixed reactions to the packaging, the Tarte Pin-Up Girl Blush Palette ($50CAN and $42US) seems to have been the hottest cheek palette this season. It's sold out online at Sephora thanks mostly to blush fans keen to add it to their own makeup collections.

Tarte Holiday 2014_Tarte Pin-Up Girl Blush Palette_limited edition

If your heart's set on this palette, though, there's still a chance you can get your hands on one. I'm told by Tarte's press associate in NYC that you might still find the Pin-Up Girl cheek palette in Sephora physically -- as in you'll have to call to find out if it's still in stock then haul ass to get into the store.

holiday 2014 blush palettes: tarte dream come hue

Tarte Holiday 2014_dream come hue set

Let's just call this Tarte Dream Come Hue collection the consolation prize for anyone who misses out on the Tarte Pin-Up Girl. At $210 at and $175 at, the price point doesn't appear wallet friendly in the least. But a little quick beauty math reveals it's excellent value, especially if you buy it in order to give gifts to more than one person. 

Tarte holiday 2014_Tarte Dream Come Hue or Sephora Wow set

One Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush on its own is $31 at and $26 at; each Lipsurgence Lip Tint sells for $29 at and $24 at Let's say you break the set into six blush + lip-tint combinations. Bought individually, you're looking at $57CAN or $53US per person. Splitting this set into six =  $35CAN/person, or $29.15US per person. Hey, math is fun!

holiday 2014 blush palettes: benefit cheeky sweet spot

Benefit Holiday 2014_Cheeky Sweet Spot blush palette_limited

This Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot blush palette ($43 at and $36 at is the brand's most successful holiday limited-edition this year. It's already sold out online pretty much everywhere in North America. But if you're smart, you'll call your local Shoppers Drug Mart, Murale or Sephora to see if they've got any left in-store. For instance, Murale at The Shops at Don Mills in Toronto is cleaned out. But the Shoppers Drug Mart across the street still has stock (416.444.4445). Oh, and I've just found out Sephora in Canada reports only 16 units left (the new store at Georgian Mall in Barrie has five).

Benefit Holiday 2014_Cheeky Sweet Spot blush palette_limited edition palette

The cute flip-open tin contains Dandelion, Bella Bamba, Sugarbomb, Hoola, Coralista, Rockateur, and a little capped well of Watts Up highlighter. It's the first time all the Benefit blushes have been put into a single set; of course it's a hot item.

Benefit Holiday 2014_Cheeky Sweet Spot blush palette

Clearly Benefit will have to do something like this again next year.

Benefit Holiday 2014_Cheeky Sweet Spot blush palette_limited edition how-to

Bonus: the enclosed booklet has application tips. And you know, I bet there won't be many Cheeky Sweet Spot palettes under Christmas trees despite its sold-out status -- more likely the same blush fiends who bought Tarte Pin-Up Girl for themselves bought this for themselves too.

In fact, confess: how many of you picked up the Tarte and Benefit cheek palettes for yourselves instead of as gifts? (No judgement, I swear!)