When it comes to the correct blush application, both your face shape and the makeup tools you use matter a lot. So first make sure to learn how to apply blush according to your face shape, and do it with the best tools, using the correct makeup techniques to achieve that flawless, radiant glow. In this article, we break down some blush application tips and tricks, helping you figure out how to make blush work for you. So what are you waiting for? Get painting!
In this article:
- Your Face Shape Matters a Lot
- Choosing Your Blush Applicator
- How to Apply Powder Blush
- How to Apply Cream Blush
- Matching Blush to Your Lipstick
- Blush Makeup Tips & Tricks
Your Face Shape Matters a Lot
The most flattering blush shape for your face depends on both how prominent your cheeks are and on your overall face shape.
- Diamond & Heart-Shaped Face: For faces that are smaller and more angular, with sharp cheekbones, your blush application can help soften the face. Apply your blush a little lower on the cheekbone, and keep it centered and rounded.
- Round-Shaped Face: Blush can draw attention to your cheekbones, and give your face some angular definition. Apply it starting higher, near the temple, and have it come down in an angle towards the center of the apple of the cheek for the most flattering shape.
- Long Face: Whether you have a rectangular face or a longer oval face, blush can help break up and give balance to your look. Starting at the top of the cheekbone, drag your blush into the outer part of your face so that it’ll make a straight line.
- Square-Shaped Face: Blush can seriously soften and feminize a face with a more square shape and a stronger jawline, when concentrated in the center of the face, a little higher on the apples of the cheeks. However, blush can also be applied lower on the cheekbones, on an angle from the temples to the center of the face, which will emphasize the sharp features in a way that is very editorial and striking.
- Oval-Shaped Face: Perhaps saving this one to the end isn’t far, since most faces are oval-shaped. Oval-shaped faces are usually pretty balanced on their own, so a sweep of blush along going from temples to cheekbones, with a very gentle slope, would just help emphasize natural features. You may experiment with more severe angles, as well as with softer, rounder shapes, depending on what you would like to achieve.
Choosing Your Blush Applicator
- Round-Topped Brush: These are the classic choice for blush application. One sweep on each cheek, and you’re pretty much done! A fluffier brush will give you a lighter coverage, while a more dense brush will give more opaque coverage. Animal-hair brushes should only be used for powder blushes, but if your brush is synthetic, you can use it both for powder and cream blushes.
- Fan Brush: Fan brushes give the gentlest sweep of color, and are excellent for anyone who is a little nervous about over-applying blush. They are also excellent for highly pigmented blushes, because they will give you a lot of control over the application.
- Fingers: When it comes to applying liquid products, I simply love using my fingers. Liquid and cream blushes are no different. It’s an especially nice method if the blush you use is a little thicker, because the heat from your fingers will warm up the cream and make it spread more nicely. You apply the blush with circular motions, and it gives a light and naturally blended wash of color.
- Sponge or Beauty Blender: If you don’t like using your fingers, a damp beauty blender or a makeup sponge can also be a great way to apply cream blushes. You can first stipple on the cream blush, and then use a clean sponge-end for blending. Sponges give you a lot of control over how light or how strong of an application you will have.
- Duo-Fiber Brush: A small duo-fiber brush can give a quick and well-blended application of cream or liquid blush. You dip your brush into the blush, and apply it to the cheeks in a rounded, circular motion. If you are nervous about a very pigmented blush, you can even blend a bit of foundation into it before applying, for a more sheer look.
How to Apply Powder Blush
- Start with cleansed and well moisturized skin. You can even use a primer if you like.
- Apply your foundation as you normally would. You can read our foundation guide, if you haven’t figured out that makeup step yet.
- If you like to do cream highlight and contour, then now is the perfect time!
- Make sure to set your foundation with a setting powder! If you wear a powder foundation, you don’t need to set it. This powder step is important, because powder blush is extremely difficult to blend when it sits over a cream or liquid foundation.
- Dip your brush into your blush of choice, making sure it is well-coated in product. Tap off the excess. If you think you loaded too much blush onto your brush, wipe it gently against a dry tissue.
- The place where you begin your blush application is where you will deposit the most product, so you want to think about that before you start. If you are going for a fresh-faced look, begin at the center of the face and gently sweep the brush outwards to the temples. If you want a more angled, sophisticated look, apply the blush at the temples, and work your way to the center of the face.
- Using a clean, fluffy brush, blend the edges of your blush for a seamless look.
- If your blush is still looking a little strong, dip a fluffy brush into your face powder, and apply it lightly over the blush. This will make the blush appear softer and as though it was naturally below the skin.
- If you want a bit more definition, you can also add powder highlight to the high points of the face, and powder contour to the areas you want to make more slim.
- Finish off with the rest of your makeup.
How to Apply Cream Blush
- As always, begin with a cleansed and moisturized face. Apply some primer if you want extended longevity.
- If you want to wear a cream or liquid foundation, apply it to your skin first.
- With your applicator of choice, begin applying your cream or liquid blush. Dot it into the skin first in a gentle stippling motion, and then blend it outwards in circular motion.
- Remember that the place where you first stipple the blush is where it will appear the strongest, so for a more youthful look, begin at the apple of the cheek, while for a more sculpted look, begin at the temple and blend forward into the center of the face.
- For a longer-lasting makeup look, either set your whole face with a translucent powder, or only set your cream blush with a powder blush.
- Finish off your makeup as you normally would.
Matching Blush to Your Lipstick
Having makeup that looks beautiful is a great balancing act, and blush makes a big part in that. We’ve all heard that dark eye makeup should never be paired with dark lips, but what about blush – how do we match blush to lipstick?
When it comes to matching blush to lipstick, your safest bet will always be to match undertones. This means that if you’re wearing a purple, magenta, blue-red, or cool-pink blush, your blush should also be cool toned. If, on the other hand, you’re wearing an orange, orange-red, brick, or peach toned lip, then your blush should also be warm toned.
This doesn’t mean that you have to wear a red blush with a red lipstick, or a mauve blush with a mauve lipstick. You could pair a soft apricot blush with a brick red lipstick, for example, or a cool-berry blush with a blue-red lip. A truly neutral blush is a safe bet with almost any lipstick, so that is also an option.
To put a wrench into that, I’ve definitely seen some really great makeup looks where the undertones of the blush and the lipstick were defiantly mismatched. The key to making such a look work is having it be extremely clean and precise, since even the slightest imperfection will turn the look from artistic to messy. Your foundation, eye makeup, lipstick, and blush all have to be perfectly applied and blended.
Blush Makeup Tips & Tricks
- For long-lasting and ultra vibrant blush, pair a cream blush with a powder blush. After applying your creamy blush, simply set it with a powder blush, and it will stay put all day long.
- If your skin has an uneven texture due to scarring, acne, or enlarged pores, avoid overly pearlescent or shimmery blushes, as they will over-emphasize the uneven texture in your skin. Stick to matte blushes instead.
- Blush can be a multi-tasker! A powder blush can also double as your eyeshadow, and a cream or liquid blush can become as three-in-one, working beautifully as a lip gloss. This can give you a really lovely monochrome look.
- In a pinch, your lipstick can double as a cream blush – simply dot it on and then blend, much like any other cream blush. This is also a great way of making sure your lipstick and blush will match!
- For a cute, impish, and Instagram-ready look, sweep a bit of blush across the bridge of your nose. The effect is unique, adorable, and innocent.
Do you wear blush regularly? What’s your favorite blush? Let us know!
Photos via @sonagasparian, Instagram