As helpful as coverage from a concealer or sheer base can be, blush is no doubt one of the most transformative makeup items in your beauty bag for pepping up the skin. And now that dewy skin is everyone’s go-to, blush that mimics a natural flush is firmly in the spotlight. Powder blush is great for a lasting look, but liquids and balms are the ones to add to your beauty basket right now to complete a youthful glow. Here’s how to get the look…
Take baby steps with your blush
If you’re used to applying powder blush, look to liquid blushes that set like a powder, but look more natural and balmy when applied with fingertips. Products like Rose Inc Blush Divine Radiant Cheek & Lip Color present a great in-between: the finish is almost semi-matte and mimics real skin without sheen. Pat the formula into cheeks and blend upwards with your fingertips for a natural look that will last.
Make use of the multitasker
“Cream blushes are great multitaskers for adding a pop of color to eyes, cheeks and lips,” says makeup artist and founder of Westman Atelier Gucci Westman. This will make your look cohesive and bring out luminosity. Use your fingertips to pick up the color and blend it in to ensure application isn’t heavy-handed or cakey – balm and stick formulas are easier to blend without a mirror for this look. Meanwhile, liquid stains often pack more pigment, so they set quickly, making it more difficult to achieve that wash of color on the eyes.
Discover what lies beneath
“Think about your undertones,” advises Westman. “It’s really nice to offset them with your blush.” If you have a warm undertone, you can play with blue-toned shades, while orange-red hues will counterbalance cooler undertones. Then, have a think about the intensity of color. “On paler skin, I like to give a bit of a rosy flush,” says Westman. “Peachy nudes, like my Chouchette, look so great on everyone. And I love a bright flash of Poppet on darker skin – it delivers a super-healthy, flushed look.” For deep skin tones, it’s better to opt for a highly pigmented, brighter shade of blush. Although it feels counterintuitive for a subtle look, going for a fainter color and building up pigment will often result in a heavy finish that jars against a dewy base.
Application is key
Feel like you have to choose between a bronzed or blush look? Don’t: you can do both – it’s just about clever application that ensures your look isn’t overloaded. After applying your bronzer (cream is best to mesh textures well), apply your blush in a targeted spot. “To amplify the sun-kissed look, I’ll dab cream blush in an oval shape in the middle of the cheekbones,” says Westman. “I go for a nude peach that picks up on all the bronzy tones and brightens skin.” A gentle sun strip across the nose cheats a beach-bronzed finish, and adding a touch of cream blush to this will only accentuate it. For this look, Westman suggests opting for a peach hue, or, for deeper skin tones, a reddish-orange will bring out your natural flush. Swipe the blush across the bridge of your nose and softly blend outwards for a realistic sun flush. If you worry about your face looking long, or blush placement emphasizing slack skin, RMS Beauty founder Rose-Marie Swift has this tip: “Never place blush below the nostrils,” she says. “It creates the ‘puppy-dog’ jowl and visually drags the face down. We want to lift the face, not pull it down.” Instead, focus on the center of the cheek, and avoid smiling when you apply, as this then drops placement when you neutralize your expression.
The foolproof hack to making it last
For oily skin, the dewy-makeup influx can pose a problem when it comes to staying power. But powder often looks less natural, which presents a quandary. “My pro tip is to really work a cream blush into the skin, creating a well-blended synergy, without it floating on top,” says Swift. Alternatively, a feather-light dusting of talc-free powder will lock your cream in without it looking matte. “The RMS Beauty ‘Un’ powder is a well-thought-out formula – it is virtually invisible and does the job without looking dry or adding any powdery build-up from filler ingredients.”