Blush // Tag

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20 Sep

When it comes to learning how to apply blush perfectly, it’s all about the tools and pressure used! How heavy-handed you are will often dictate how natural or how intense the blush will appear on your skin. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to apply your blush easily, keep reading for these tried-and-true makeup tips!

Apply Blush in Layers

Build up coverage gradually, rather than applying more to blend out later.  Buildable coverage is not a bad thing; pigmentation is not everything!  By applying sheerer layers of product, it is easier to achieve diffused edges, even coverage, and avoid disturbing your complexion products because you had to blend too much!

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Sonia G Face Two Brush

What Tools to Apply Blush With

Use the right-sized tool for your cheeks!  Depending on the size of your features, a smaller or larger brush might better.  You’ll want to adjust the size to suit your cheek bones as well as the types of products you use.  If you use sheerer products, smaller and larger brushes work just fine, but if you use more pigmented products, you might find more precise brushes do a better job of placing without overdoing.

For more pigmented formulas, use a softer, feathery, less-dense brush.  My personal favorites are to opt for brushes marketed for highlighting (often tapered and are moderately dense) or a fan brush, which is more feathery and less dense.

For sheerer formulas, use a medium-sized, denser brush.  More typical blush brushes–wider brush head, some doming on the edge, more tightly packed with bristles–do best with sheer to medium pigmented formulations as they can pick up more product on the larger surface area and can also get more product off the surface of a stiffer formula.

Blush Brush Recommendations

  • Sonia G. Face Two ($48) — flatter edge, great for really buffing and diffusing blush onto the skin
  • Sonia G. Cheek Pro ($46) — traditional, moderate-dense brush, not too big or too small
  • Sonia G. Fan Pro ($32) — small, precise application with a less-dense brush
  • Chikuhodo Z-8 ($111) — luxuriously soft for feathery, diffused blush application; best with more pigmented products or those preferring sheerer coverage
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Kaja Beauty Hella Azalea & Poppy Champagne | Look Details

Where to Apply Blush

Apply to the apples of cheeks, just above or below, and diffuse toward the ears or temples.  Experiment with placement to find the right blush placement that suits your facial features and your style.  Some general guidance on face shapes and blush placements:

  • Heart-shaped faces do well with blush that starts closer to the ear and extends to just below the apples of the cheeks
  • Longer faces do well with blush pulled more upward, applied just below the apples of the cheeks
  • Squarer faces do well with blush applied just below the cheek bone to help add definition
  • Oval faces do well with blush applied on the cheekbones and/or just above

How to Blend Blush Like a Pro

Cheat the blending by using the leftover foundation on your brush/sponge to blend.  Most of us apply foundation prior to blush, which means that there’s some residual amount still on our brush or sponge (and if you use fingertips, then just go back and get a smidgen more), and this can be used to diffuse and soften the edges of more unblended blush.  It’s also really useful for when I’ve diffused and spread the color too far beyond where I want my blush to be, so I can make the area look skin-like again.

Use small, circular, buffing motions.  To really even out and blend out more intense blush, I like to use small, circular motions–buffing–which help to soften, even out, and then gently disperse blush slowly but surely.

Always use gentle pressure!  Not being heavy-handed has always been a tough lesson for me to learn and practice, but the gentler I am, the less mistakes I make.

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Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

How to Fix Blush Mistakes

Total failure?  First, breathe; it’s okay, it’s makeup and it washes off. We all have off-days and better and worse application. Re-apply your foundation over top, whether by using a residual amount that’s leftover on a brush/sponge (like the first tip under how to blend above) or if it just feels like abort-mission-level mistake and you just need to get a blank canvas all over again.

Help! I’ve overapplied my blush!  See cheating the blending–a sheer layer of foundation will reduce the intensity quite a bit.  Similarly, you can also use a skin-hued loose or pressed powder blended on top, which will have the same effect.

My blush is too shimmery!  Apply translucent powder (I prefer loose), which will help to tamp down the shimmery finish of your cheek color.  You can also try using a matte blush of a similar hue, but this can often result in less-shimmery but more-intense coverage so it doesn’t always work as well!

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18 Sep

Liquid blush can be a tricky beast to master, but if you use our tips on how to apply liquid blush, you will have a much easier time of it!  Liquid blush is worth the effort, because once you learn how to apply liquid blush, it becomes easy enough to apply on days when you have only a few minutes to get ready–but that pop of color and natural finish can create a beautiful, natural look that wears all day.

Best Tools for Applying Liquid Blush

Fingertips are efficient, fast, and free!  My favorite tool to apply liquid and cream blush are my fingertips.  I use the flat side of my fingertip to initially apply color to the apples of my cheeks (see my post on how to apply blush for tips on blush placement).  I use the edge of the same fingertip to gently spread the color outward (usually more upward) to diffuse and soften the edge to create a seamless blend.

Use a beautyblender or sponge

Or use a feathery, synthetic brush if you’re not keen on fingertips, try synthetic stippling brushes–they’ll often have fibers of different lengths–that work well for applying and blending our liquid and cream-based products.  Synthetic brushes work well with cream and liquid products because they don’t absorb product like natural-hair brushes would.  They are also tougher, more robust, and faster to clean (because they are far less temperamental!).

Example: Liquid Blush Applied

How to Apply Liquid Blush Naturally

Always build up in layers for gradual color intensity.  I like to lay down an initial layer of color and diffuse it across my cheeks so I can get a good idea of the placement.  If I want greater intensity (say on the apples of my cheeks), I’ll go back and gently dab on a little more product right there without spreading it as far out so I can keep the intensity there but not everywhere.

Use lighter-weight, more luminous base products.  Your liquid and cream blushes will play best with more emollient base and complexion products, so starting on very powdered, very matte skin is a more advanced maneuver.  For anyone just learning how to apply liquid blush, I recommend starting over just-moisturized or just-primed skin or over a tinted moisturizer/sheer, liquid or cream foundation.  This will ensure that there will be more minimal disruption to base products and avoid potential to cake.

Use a beautyblender or sponge

How to Blend Liquid Blush

Use a dampened sponge to soften edges.  Dampen a a clean sponge (like a beautyblender) and gently dab and roll along the edge to help getting a more diffused edge.

Use the remnants of your foundation brush/sponge to tamp down the intensity of the color if it is bolder than desired.  I like to take whatever tool I used to apply my foundation and what’s left on the tool (usually a brush but a sponge works well, too) and dab gently over the area(s) that are too intense.  This always mutes the color to a degree and often brings it to the desired intensity for me so I don’t have to worry about blending furiously and risk disturbing my base too much!

Use a pore-filling or smoothing primer even if you aren’t wearing foundation.  This is particularly useful for someone who feels they have more noticeable pores, as it can help minimize the appearance of liquid blush settling into the skin and looking dotted or patchy.

Work quickly–work on one side at a time.  A lot of liquid formulations set or dry down so they start more liquid than they end up, so it’s important to work on one side at a time and making those adjustments before a product sets too much. With some formulations, once it sets, the product can be quite locked in place and become difficult to blend out and fiddle with.

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12 Sep

My Day One

Coloured Raine My Day One Highlighter and Blush Duo ($25.00 for 0.32 oz.) is a new, limited edition duo featuring a bright, coppery highlighter and a slightly muted, cooler-toned blush. The two shades definitely played well off of each other. Both shades had rich pigmentation and were fairly blendable, easy to use, and lasted for at least eight hours on me, though the blush took some extra time to blend out (workable but not effortless).

My Day One (Highlighter)

My Day One (Highlighter) is a brighter, light-medium copper with stronger, warm undertones and a sparkling, metallic finish. It was richly pigmented with a smooth, dense, and more cream-to-powder (in feel) texture. It took a denser brush and a moderate hand to pick up product well, and it seemed to get a bit more yielding after a few uses, almost like the top layer had to be worn away. The powder applied evenly to bare skin and blended out best with small, circular motions. This shade stayed on well for eight and a half hours before I noticed signs of fading.

My Day One (Blush)

My Day One (Blush) is a medium-dark, reddish-plum with subtle, cool undertones and a matte finish. The consistency felt velvety, smooth, and wasn’t at all powdery–almost a bit firm but not stiff in the pan–so it applied evenly and blended out fairly readily. It was a deeper, richer shade, so it tended to pull pink when diffused along the edges, and it did take some extra patience to really soften the edges entirely. It wore well for nine hours before showing signs of fading on me.

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07 Sep

Damage Control

Coloured Raine Damage Control Highlighter and Blush Duo ($25.00 for 0.32 oz.) is a new, limited edition duo that features a sparkling, peachy gold highlighter and a bright, deeper pink blush with a matte finish. Both shades had semi-opaque or better pigmentation that lasted between eight and nine hours on me, but the blush was on the thinner side and worked better over more matte skin (or matte/powdered base products) or else it was more challenging to blend out.

Damage Control (Highlighter)

Damage Control (Highlighter) is a brighter, light peachy gold with strong, warm orange undertones and a sparkling finish. If you’re not keen on sparkle/glitter in your highlighters, you’ll want to give this a miss. The texture was denser, more cream-like and a bit heavy in the pan, so it required a moderately dense brush and a heavier hand–a fan brush won’t pick up much product–to get an even amount of product to apply. It had opaque pigmentation that applied evenly and blended out nicely on my skin. It wore well for eight and a half hours but had some sparkle travel while worn.

Damage Control (Blush)

Damage Control (Blush) is a bright, medium-dark pink with subtle, cool undertones and a matte finish. It had semi-opaque pigmentation that was buildable to full coverage with a second layer. The texture felt thin, a bit drier in the pan, though it wasn’t overly powdery when I pressed my brush against the surface. It darkened slightly after it was initially applied, and it was a little harder to diffuse and blend out seamlessly over bare skin. I’d highly recommend dusting some translucent powder on top of your skin or your base products to give it a drier finish, which helped the blush blend out better. It stayed on well for nine hours on me before fading visibly.

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07 Sep

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07 Sep

Perk Up

Colour Pop Perk Up Pressed Powder Blush ($7.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a light-medium brown with warm undertones and a matte finish. It seemed to lean ever-so-slightly rosy in its undertone, but it wasn’t truly rose or red-toned either. The texture was soft, a little powdery to the touch, but it was blendable and easy to work with on bare skin. I had no trouble applying and blending out the edges for a seamless application. It had opaque pigmentation in a single layer, though a lighter hand could be used to achieve more buildable (which is how its marketed) coverage. This shade stayed on well for eight hours on me before fading visibly.

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31 Aug

Call the Shots

Coloured Raine Call the Shots Highlighter and Blush Duo ($25.00 for 0.32 oz.) is a new, limited edition duo that features a muted copper highlighter paired with a richer coral-red blush. Both shades had good pigmentation and sat well on my skin, while the textures were creamier but a bit thicker/denser, which made them a bit harder to pick up with some brushes.

Call the Shots (Highlighter)

Call the Shots (Highlighter) is a light-medium copper with moderate, warm undertones and a soft, frosted finish with peach-to-pink shifting micro-sparkle. It had opaque color coverage in a single layer with a moderately dense, slightly cream-like consistency. I preferred using a more rounded, denser brush to pick up product, which helped grab product more readily and distributed it more evenly onto my skin. It didn’t play well with more feathery or tapered highlighting brushes due to it being a little stiffer/firmer in the pan. The powder blended out nicely and seemed to “melt” a bit after a few minutes of wear. It lasted well for eight and a half hours on me before I noticed any fading.

Call the Shots (Blush)

Call the Shots (Blush) is a rich, coral-red with warm undertones and a fine, golden sheen. It had a denser, creamier consistency that took a heavier hand/denser brush to pick up evenly, though it was incredibly pigmented where a little went a very, very long way. It looked a bit pinker when applied and blended out and had a soft glow to its finish without appearing noticeably shimmery. The color blended out without too much effort, but between the denser consistency and actual pigmentation, it can be hard to correct once over-applied. It stayed on well for nine hours on me before fading visibly.

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29 Aug

Frisky Business

Colour Pop Frisky Business Pressed Powder Blush ($7.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a light-medium peach with warmer undertones but leaned slightly pink. The texture was soft, a little powdery in the pan, but felt silky and smooth to the touch. It had semi-opaque pigmentation–though the formula markets itself as buildable–in a single layer, which could then be built up to full coverage. The powder applied fairly evenly and blended out without too much effort, but it could have been easier to work with overall. It wore well for seven and a half hours on me before I noticed fading.

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28 Aug

Fresh n Peachy

Colour Pop Fresh n Peachy Pressed Powder Blush ($7.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a brighter, medium coral with stronger, warmer orange undertones and a matte finish. It had opaque pigmentation in a single layer with a smooth, silky consistency that felt a little thin. I’m often worried when a blush is both thin and matte, as it can often lead to a product that adheres too strongly wherever it’s initially applied and then doesn’t blend out as well, but I’m happy to report that this shade applied evenly and diffused easily along the edges for a seamless lay down of product. The “downside” to this product (which is reflected in the rating) is that it was far more pigmented than marketed (“buildable”). It stayed on nicely for eight hours on me before fading visibly.

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27 Aug

Warm Pink

Smith and Cult Warm Pink Flash Flush Powder Blush ($24.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a light-medium pink with warm undertones and a luminous sheen. The drier consistency made the shimmer seem more frosted when swatched, but the powder seemed to blend and “melt” a bit in practice, which gave it a very luminous sheen that was flattering on my skin. While it was intended to have buildable coverage, it was mostly opaque in a single layer, so a lighter hand was necessary to achieve more buildable coverage. It stayed on nicely for seven hours before showing signs of fading on me.

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