Words by Patsy O’Neill
3 Minute Read
Share this article…
If there is one makeup product to give your complexion instant, youthful radiance and glow, it has to be blusher.
There’s no skin tone that won’t benefit from a little blush colour to create that fresh-faced look, and I’m here to tell you everything I know about blusher to help you find your perfect match!
Many moons ago, women discovered that by adding a bit of rouge to the apples of their cheeks, it gave them a gorgeous glow, showing outwardly that they were healthy and robust. And today, it’s clear that not much has changed, as appearing healthy and glowing is still at the top of our beauty wish list.
How and where to apply blusher:
The original method of applying blusher to the apples of your cheeks and blending outwards is still the most popular, but you can also take your blusher higher on the cheekbones for a lifting effect.
Applying blusher across the bridge of the nose is another method, creating a more sun-kissed, natural look. What colour you choose, also adds to the overall look, eg; an orange/coral tone blush can create a huge impact in the summer months.
If you’re still unsure on where would best for you to personally apply your blush, I would suggest you consider how your skin naturally blushes/gets flushed. Is it below the apple of your cheeks or higher on the cheekbones and temples? Then practice blending your blusher along the natural location that you blush and experiment with how that looks.
Remember, there are no rules. Place it wherever you feel it makes you look and feel your best… and just have fun!
How to know which colour blush to use:
Having spent years working with all skin tones, I’ve put together a rough guide of colours I think work well. Hopefully, having this at the back of your mind will be helpful when you’re looking for your perfect shade.
Dark skin with cool or pink undertones can come to life with potent berry or fuchsia shades.
Dark skin with warm undertones will benefit from browns and hints of orange.
Medium skin with cool or pink undertones works well with lilac tones.
Medium skin with warm undertones works beautifully with deep, peach tones.
Light skin with cool or pink undertones is good with pinks, especially pastel tones.
Light skin with warm undertones works well with peachy corals.
What’s the difference between powder, cream and liquid blush?
These days, there are many different blusher formulations on the market, which is great news, as different situations call for different applications. Starting to experiment with different products is where the fun really begins. Talk to friends about what they’re using or ask makeup counter experts for their opinions.
The powder blushIf you love using a brush to apply your makeup, then a powder blush is for you. This application enables you to easily sweep the blush across and up from the apple of your cheek to the cheekbone, giving a healthy natural flush to the skin. If you’re looking for a matte finish, the traditional powder blush is a popular staple as it can deliver a strong amount of pigment. A matte finish is better for problematic skin as shimmer can draw attention to uneven skin texture. Not all powders are matte though. Some of my favourites have vivid highlights mixed through the colour to create a luminous glow.
Two of the best powder blushers:
1. It Cosmetics, Bye Bye Pores Blush, £24.50, has been developed with IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Optical Blurring Technology, which makes the powder easy to apply without it settling in fine lines and pores, resulting in a smooth and even finish.
A good purchase if you have open pores as it’s has more of a matte finish which also helps with the light catching on any blemishes if you wish to not draw attention to them. It comes in three different shades and it’s often sold out as it’s a staple product in many make up bags.
2. I adore this Hourglass, Ambient Lighting Blush, £42. Not only is the packaging beautiful, but this blush is highly pigmented and comes in a beautiful range of colours. Unlike conventional blush powders, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush creates a vivid show of colour, meaning it’s never dull or one-dimensional on the skin.
This blush captures the light to create a soft glow on the cheeks, giving you a natural overall finish. The effect is especially noticeable in editorial and on screen, which is why it’s a favourite in most makeup artists bags. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but I can assure you the investment is well worth it!
The cream/liquid blush
Cream and liquid blushes are widely available now and the choice is vast. Whilst simple application is a draw for this blush formulation, I think it’s the delivery of a dewy glow whilst adding colour that wins over, because it feels like a 2-in-1 product (although you can get matte cream/liquid blushers too).
Applying a cream/liquid blush couldn’t be easier as you only need the warmth of your finger to apply the product onto your cheek, making it perfect for on-the-go application! When I first apply it with my index finger, I often use a blending brush to gently push it into place, but there’s no need for bushes when you’re out and about.
Liquid ‘Tints’ on the cheeks are perfect if you feel tentative when it comes to blusher but crave a youthful, healthy look. They tend to be more wet in consistency so do be aware of that. I find them especially useful when you’re in a hot climate or want to be free of foundation and look as natural as possible.
My application tip: If you find you’ve applied too much colour, I find using a blending base brush to push the colour into the cheek really helps knock it back.
3 of the best cream blushers:
1. This new kid on the block, Merit, Flush Balm cheek colour / cheeky shade favourite £30, is a new, firm favourite cream blush in my kit (it’s what I used on Holly in the picture above). The vegan and certified Leaping Bunny cruelty-free brand has a ‘simplify your routine’ ethos and this fine pigment provides a touch of colour without covering up your natural skin.
With a vast range of colours to suit everyone, the lightweight, buildable formula leaves a long-lasting glow that’s never heavy or cakey – and there are no acne triggering ingredients so this is great for blemish prone skin! The round, ball shape packaging makes application fun and easy.
2. Beauty Pie is a subscription beauty brand, which basically means for a monthly fee you get products at a cost price as they cut out the usual middleman costs that make beauty costs higher.
Their Super Cheek Cream Blush, £12 for members or £30 for non members is another winner in my makeup kit! You just can’t go wrong with these gorgeous, soft, matte shades that are super blendable, with excellent pigmentation.
3. Anastasia Beverly Hills, Stick Blush / Cream With Blending Brush, £30 is long-lasting and gives a soft-focus finish with a natural pop of colour.
This buildable creamy formula glides over the skin and has the added bonus of a synthetic brush attached to the end for easy on the go blending. ABH is cruelty-free and formulated without parabens, fragrance, mineral oil, sulphates or phthalates, meaning happy skin.
3 of the best liquid blushers:
1. Make Up Revolution, Super Dewy Liquid Blush, £5, instantly brightens the complexion with a glow. The water-light formula means you can build up the intensity and at £5, they’re good value if you want to play around with a couple of different shades.
2. Vieve have filled their Sunset Blush Balm, £21 with skin-loving ingredients, which is why it gives a luminous finish to the cheeks. This foolproof formula is becoming super popular and I can see why. It’s great for both a soft, natural flush, or can be layered up for a bold look, and whilst they only do 4 colours, they are the perfect shades to cater for all skin tones.
3. Deliah In Bloom, Radiant Liquid Blush, £22, is a hydrating liquid blush, designed to glide onto the skin to give the cheeks a dewy flush of colour. It’s great if you’re after a fresh-faced, natural look, as the hydrating formula is made with botanicals for extra skin benefits. It feels velvety in texture and is long-lasting.
2 of the best lip and cheek tints:
We all love a multitasker and that’s where a tint comes in. They can be used for lips, cheeks and eyelids making them great bang for your buck and a firm makeup bag favourite!
1. The Body Shop, Sheer Touch Cheek & Lip Tint, £12, allows you to add a quick pop of colour to lips and cheek in one hit. With 5 shades to suit all skin tones, they are very buildable and extremely moisturising. With added Community Fair Trade Aloe Vera from Mexico, these lightweight, non-sticky tints blend seamlessly into your skin. The doe-foot applicator helps deliver the product with ease and it’s a good for a multi-use product.
2. Seeds of Colour, Multi-Use Balms, £21, deliver a natural colour due to the extraction technology from coloured plant pigments and highly antioxidant botanical extracts. This lightweight multi-use balm has a soft touch that also helps to keep your skin smooth and protected. A lovely product that does many jobs…
Share this article…
Makeup Artist and Beauty Consultant