First impressions: Cargo Key Largo blush

Hello there, friends!

This swatch post requires an introductory rant. I was psyched about this month's Birchbox because one of the items was an Instain blush sample from TheBalm. I've longed to try one of those blushes, but had never even seen any items from TheBalm in person.

So you can imagine my fury after how excited I'd been, and how I positively squealed when the box arrived, when I opened up the quarter-sized sample to reveal a thumbnail-sized blush. Dub. Tee. Eff. Really now, how did you want me to apply this blush sample, with an eyeshadow brush?

I was so pissed that even though I did like the actual product, I couldn't bring myself to give Birchbox or TheBalm money to encourage such insultingly small samples. My sample shade was Swiss Dot, but I was in love with the swatch images of Toile, a hot pink and orange hybrid with zero shimmer and tons of attitude. I became obsessed for days with finding a doppelganger for the shade.

And here it is.

Look at this freaking insane beauty of a blush.

I've tried one blush from Cargo before, Ibiza from the water resistant line (irony of ironies, it was a Birchbox sample, in a size that did not make me want to write an angry email and switch to Ipsy). When my Web search for a dupe yielded nothing, I specifically looked to see if Cargo had a comparable shade. Cargo Key Largo is a dead ringer for Toile and is a vibrant hot pink in the pan that blends out to a coral that is equal parts pink and orange. A postcard sunset in a pan. It rocks.

Heavy swatch
Blended swatch. See how it leans more orange?

Here's a quick and blurry shot of me wearing the blush. I used a stippling brush and layered three or four times, using as little as I could each time and building until I got a lovely flush. I think it's a very pretty and fun color, and I can't wait to take it for a test run!


  1. Thumb sized blush, lol.
    Anyways, wow, that's a stunning pink xx

    1. Every time I put it on, it's an instant mood boost!