Beauty Lessons: Blush Basics
What is blush? What is blush for?
Blush is any color makeup product that adds or changes the color of your natural cheek. It can brighten up your entire face by giving you a rosier, healthier glow and complexion. Blush can come in a variety forms, including cream, gel, liquid, or powder (loose or pressed). Similarly, blush can come in different finishes–they can be matte (meaning they’re flat or have no shimmer), shimmery (fine particles that reflect light), glittery (larger particles that reflect light), or satin (ultra-fine particles that impart more of a sheen). The intensity of a blush can vary from brand to brand and shade to shade; some blushes apply intensely even when used gently, while other blushes require more product in order to achieve richer color.
Best Brands for Blush
For POWDER BLUSHES, consider NARS ($26), MAC Cosmetics ($18.50), Smashbox ($24), and Benefit ($28). Both MAC and NARS blushes come in a wide range of shades, with several textures available, which makes them both solid brands from which to choose from. Smashbox makes exceptionally wearable shades with varying degrees of shimmer, and I’ve found it’s hard to go wrong with one of their shades. Benefit’s Boxed Powders are easy to use and travel with, plus the shade range is natural and wearable for even those who tend to be more heavy-handed.
For CREAM/GEL BLUSHES, consider Tarte Cheek Stains ($30) and Make Up For Ever HD Blush ($25). Tarte applies effortlessly and always looks natural with a subtle sheen; they’re excellent for those with drier skin and find powder blushes look cakey. Make Up For Ever is a creamy blush that is extremely blendable before it sets and gives a luminous, natural look–but it can also be layered for a deeper hue.
What color blush should I choose?
- If you have cooler undertones, light blue-pinks, pastel pinks, roses, and plums naturally suit you best. To venture into warmer shades like apricots, corals, and peaches, choose shades with more pink tones than orange tones. You can also offset a warmer blush shade by pairing it with cooler eyeshadow or lipstick/gloss.
- If you have warmer undertones, apricots, bronzes, corals, and peaches lend themselves well to your skin tone. For cooler shades, try more yellow-based pinks, red-based plums, and orange-based corals. If you wear a naturally cooler shade on your cheeks, you may find that wearing warmer eyeshadows or lipstick/gloss can work to create a more cohesive look.
What finish of blush should I choose?
- For drier skin, try cream and gel blushes, which will blend easily into skin without adding any additional dryness or powder to your skin.
- For oilier skin, consider a mixture of face primer, cream/gel blush, and powder blusher. Oilier skin will pair well with cream-to-powder or powder-based blushes, but a primer or cream/gel blush can be used to build a better foundation so blush lasts all day and fading is minimized.
- For combination and normal skin, all types of blushes are suitable for you. It becomes more a matter of preference on what you like and enjoy using.