Has your application method for blush or highlighter changed over time? How?

I’m a lot better at applying less and building up gradually. I actually think I tend to go heavier now than I used to since I’m more used to applying for photos and testing (it’s easier to judge how much something has faded if you actually start with more visible about) vs. real life application. I have to be more conscious to go lighter if I’m planning on a “real” look, LOL.

— Christine
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!
Explore Temptalia

We're here to help you make better beauty purchases that you'll enjoy and love! We recommend signing up to take advantage of personalized features like tracking products you own, viewing dupes that you already have, and more!

Here are some useful resources for you:

Compare Any Two

Curious how two shades compare to each other? Type in the shades below to get instant side-by-side swatches!


Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Leave a Reply

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

It has! I used to wear exclusively powder products and they would fade/wear completely off by the end of the day, but now I start with a light layer of cream blush/highlight, and set with a light layer of powder blush/highlight or glowy blush, and it not only stays all day but looks pretty natural and not at all powdery/cakey on my cheeks.

I no longer apply blush to the apples of my cheeks. It doesn’t work at my age. I place it high on my cheeks and blend up and out. I also apply it with my glasses on so that I hit the spots where the color would be visible. And I barely apply any to my right cheek because I have some rosacea there. A heavier application on my left side evens things out. I don’t wear highlighter at all anymore. I don’t count shimmer at the inner and outer corners of my eyes as highlighter.

Applying highlighter *before* blush. Huge game changer. It gives everything a more well blended appearance and looks more “natural”. Wish I could recall which YT video I watched where I first saw this technique shown in practice so that I could give credit where credit is due. Unfortunately, I just don’t remember.

I’m definitely a bit heavier with application lately – I also apply it much further back on the cheek and ‘sculpt’ a more with it.

Blush is still not necessarily a must for me (I mostly just use a sculpting shade or a little bit of bronzer to define my cheeks) and I’m still not into highlighters, my application techniques changed a lot.

One important change were brushes, for me fluffy big brushes don’t work. For blush I need something more sense (but not too sense) and definitely with an angled cup (like the discontinued Sephora Blush angled brush or MAC 168). It’s both because I have a small face and because I’m very light with my powder application, so I need something that builds up color).

The other major thing was placement, I would just slap blush or highlighter (on those very rare occasions) wherever I saw in tutorials. I have learned a lot about blush placement appropriately for my face shape from Wayne Goss.

BLUSH: Back when I started wearing blush in the early 80s, we were taught to smile and put it on the apples of our cheeks. By the late 80s, I realized going further back on my cheek bone toward my temple was more flattering for my face. By then, I was contouring, applying blush, and highlighting my cheekbones with three variations of the same blush color. Mid-90s through mid-2000s, I wore BareMinerals All Over Face Color in Rose Radiance almost exclusively. Partly because really natural blush was in style, and partly because I was raising kids and it was fast and made me look less sleep deprived. At first just using it on my cheekbones. Soon I was also applying it near my hairline, across the bridge of my nose, and on my chin. After my kids were older and I had more time and money, I started branching out with different colors and went back to only applying on the cheek bones. I still stuck to really light blush shades because I’m pale. I stuck with applying it further back and up to my temples, and gradually got more adventurous with colors and intensities. Now I like to apply blush on my temples as well, and I apply blush more boldly than ever. I’ve really gotten into blush this year, and I’m having more fun with it than ever.
HIGHLIGHTER: In the late 80’s and early ’90s I highlighted my cheek bones with light shades of blush. I dropped that by the mid-90’s. I didn’t start highlighting again until it came back in style several years ago. I strobe, as it’s more flattering on my pale skin than heavy contouring. For a while, I was just using a white HL with a lavender shift. Now I change up my HLs daily, prefer more intense HLs, and love all the colors.

Bronzer applied minimally on my cheekbone, back towards my ear instead of a swirl on my whole cheek. I’ve gone for a lighter color as well.
Blush goes on higher cheek points and further back, more of a triangle than a circle on the apples, now.
Matte highlight (Laura Mercier Matte Radiance 01 or MAC Emphasize) goes in a little circle at the highest point of my cheek. I love highlighter and recently realized that it looked fabulous applying it but when I would catch myself in the mirror throughout the day, I just looked like a big greasy stripe. Strategic spot (literally a spot) placement at the top of my cheekbone means I can still wear it and look radiant without it looking so artificial. Sometimes after the matte highlighter is laid down, I top it with another highlight with a bit of color or a bit more glisten, same spot. I’m not ready to not wear it anymore.

I used to apply it to the apple of my cheeks when I was younger, now I apply it higher and back further as many others do. I’m not afraid to use cream blushes now. I also use a touch of highlighter in an area where it doesn’t highlight any fine wrinkles. I am going to try Nancy’s application method of highlighter before blush it sounds lovely.

Yes, my application of blush has definitely changed over the past several years. The difference is, firstly, getting a dedicated angled blush brush, which I never had before.
Secondly, working out my preferred shade – coral – a bit of a journey here. And thirdly, correct placement on my apple cheeks – much higher than previously too.

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!