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With so many different ways and tutorials on how to apply blush—not to mention the products and tools to use—it’s easy to get lost in the ever-expanding world of creating a healthy glow. We spend countless hours contouring our cheeks, investing in new colours and trying out different brushes with no clear direction. We spoke to three expert makeup artists for their 10 biggest rules on how to apply blush to banish any rosy beauty faux pas. Stick to them—these blush dos and don’ts will never go out of style.
1. Embrace the minimalism trend
The number one rule to remember when applying blush to get a healthy glow is to start with a minimal amount of product. “When applying blush I always tell women to go light with their application and add layers if they are going for a more intense look because it’s easier to add than remove,” says Eddie Malter, Official Makeup Artist for L’Oreal Paris.
2. Create the correct colour
Select a shade of blush that matches the colour and tone of the rest of your makeup. “When in doubt of picking the right colour, choose a blush similar in colour to the lipstick or lip gloss that you’re wearing,” advises David Vincent, International Makeup Artist for Lise Watier Cosmetics.
3. Tool time: Use a small blush brush
Follow best practice and choose a proper blush brush with a small head and thick bristles for even coverage. “Applying a powder blush with your fingers is not the best tool. Be sure to use a powder brush with a light-handed approach and build the colour to your desired look,” says Ashley Manias, National Education Director for Benefit Cosmetics Canada.
4. Match blush to skin type
Pick the right type of blush formula to match your skin type for optimal results. “For women with drier skin, a cream-based blush is hydrating and blends better for a more natural look,” says Malter. “For those women with oilier skin, a powder-based blush is best as it will have better staying power and will help to diminish shine.”
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5. Explore the power of powder
Brushing on a light coat of powder before adding your blush is one of the best ways to make your makeup stick and standout. “Applying blush on naked skin can further enhance any unwanted redness or unevenness in skin. It is best to apply a foundation or powder to even out skin so that the blush appears as it should,” recommends Manias.
6. Follow the natural light
The key to ensuring your blush always appears flawless and in the right position is to step away from the light bulb and turn toward the sun. “Always apply blush in natural light. The lights in most bathrooms are fluorescent and this type of lighting can cast shadows on the face,” says Malter. That also equals a more natural, healthy glow to your cheeks.
7. Face the proper way to apply
Applying blush is all about working with your own unique face shape. “For women with rounder faces it is best to use blush to contour and sculpt the face to give the illusion of cheekbones,” says Malter. “For women with longer, slimmer faces a touch of blush on just the apples of the cheeks creates width and gives a healthy glow to the face.”
8. Rock the right angle
Steer clear of your nose when applying blush, and be sure to contour your cheeks to create depth and texture. “In general, by following an imaginary line going from the outside corner of your lips to the top of your ears you will have the right angle to apply your blush,” says Vincent.
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9. Go full circle with your brush
For perfect blush application (and to ensure a rosy, healthy glow), make sure you’re not applying blush in one smooth streak. “A smaller blush brush gives you more control and using small circular motions to apply enables you to blend it better into the skin for a more natural look,” reminds Malter.
After your initial application, buff, blend and mix the blush to soften the colour of the makeup and remove hard lines and clumps. “Blend blush past the temples and into the hairline so that there is no obvious start and end points,” says Manias.
Count ‘em up—10 vital how to apply blush rules to live by from now on.