Thoughts on 12 BLUEPRINTS Cosmetics

by Cate Linden (Kentucky)

After a Personal Color Analysis, the very first thing most of my clients do is this:

They buy makeup.

They stop at the drugstore on the way home, or they wait for my makeup list to show up in their inbox so they can carefully craft a shopping list.

So when Christine Scaman announced 12 BLUEPRINTS Cosmetics (made in Canada), I was pretty excited.

My clients are generally more enthused to shop for makeup post-PCA than anything else, especially if they’ve spent their lives wanting to wear it but not knowing what to buy.

I was also extremely skeptical. I’m makeup picky. I want great colors, great pigment, great staying power, and great packaging. I had no interest in using, selling, or recommending makeup I didn’t care for. I had the opportunity to play with my fellow analyst, Rachel Nachmias’ 12 BLUEPRINTS makeup when we traveled to Asheville together, and I was impressed. I went home and placed my own order.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This isn’t Guerlain we’re talking about here. I’d put the quality ahead of MAC but below Estee Lauder, for example.

Here are my completely honest thoughts on the 12 Blueprints Cosmetics, divided by Color, Quality, Packaging, and the Bottom Line.


Surprise! The colors are top notch. There have been a couple duds, normal in the first stages of launching anything. A Light Spring lipstick was pulled because it looked like chalk on the lips, etc. Color is clearly the main draw here, and Christine hasn’t disappointed. Some of these products are colors I’ve wanted to add to my studio kit for ages, but haven’t been able to find easily, or haven’t been able to find in formulas that are even remotely cost-effective. I’m particularly impressed with True Summer’s Centre Stage and Supreme lipsticks in this regard. A lot of things swatch True Summer on paper but look like dust on a True Summer woman’s lips, for example.

For my personal use, I’m 3 for 6 on the Dark Autumn lipstick options. Love two, like one, and the other three I would never purchase, simply because they aren’t *my* most flattering lipsticks. I have seen my least favorites look fabulous on other Dark Autumns. Always remember: no two women within the same season will wear their makeup exactly the same.


I’m a blush fiend and the blush is, simply put, pretty amazing. They’re extremely pigmented, extremely finely-milled, and extremely creamy, without being powdery. The color payoff is scary good and I find them easy to blend.

Lipsticks come in several finishes and the quality is somewhat variable, depending upon your personal lipstick preferences. Some of the matte lipsticks can be quite dry, while others are so creamy it’s hard to believe they’re matte. The creme finish is lovely and, well, creamy, and the same with the high gloss.

As for staying power, the range goes from good to awesome. I wore a 12B lipstick recently from about 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and that’s with eating, drinking, chatting, and probably biting my nails. It wasn’t at full-strength that entire time, but nonetheless, I was impressed. I’ve had others wear off a little faster, but it just depends. In any case, they won’t disappear quickly.


The packaging is quite cute, actually, black with a nautilus motif.

Lipstick comes in a semi-matte bullet which bears a striking resemblance to the standard NARS lipstick packaging. The bullets are lightweight and streamlined, also similar to the standard NARS, with a nonmagnetic closure. They look perfectly adorable when you whip one out of your purse to reapply.

Blush comes in a little plastic pot with a clear screw top. The screw top is a touch aggravating if you’re used to snap containers, but it doesn’t mis-thread. My main issue is that it’s quite bulky. The pot is similar in diameter to the Clinique Cheek Pop line, but a fair bit thicker with a slightly domed lid, and that makes storage bulkier than I’d like. I do appreciate that the top is clear, because I like to see my blush.

The Bottom Line

I’m clearly a fan. However, I will still continue to use other brands personally, as well as in my studio. I’ll still be out swatching, 

If you’re really into the whole package of luxury cosmetics, these might not be what you’re looking for. They’re not intended to rival Tom Ford, no one’s going to resell them on eBay for $50/pop, and the packaging isn’t particularly thrilling.

If you’re looking for tried and true seasonal colors, a nice, reliable formula, and a reasonable price point, you’re in the right place. Mine have found a comfy spot in my mid- to high-end makeup stash.

In addition to lipstick/lipgloss and blush, you will also find brow products and eyeshadow palettes in the 12 Blueprints store.

Cate Linden is located in Kentucky. In addition to in-person Color Analysis, Cate also offers an on-line service of personalized Image and Style Analysis. Please click the link buttons below for more information.
Cate Linden