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Blusher 101

The power of a good blusher is undeniable; the right one can lift the complexion instantly. It can add youth and radiance to the skin and I think is a must in every makeup bag!

What type of blusher is best for you?

There are so many different types of blusher to choose from, how do we know which one is best for us?

Cream blusher

My personal favourite texture of blusher is cream. I find that these are very versatile; you can use them straight onto a bare moisturised skin or over a foundation. I find they are great for a really natural ‘flush from within’ effect. You can apply with fingers – I always warm some up on the back of my hand rather than applying straight from the pot. You can also apply with a brush if you prefer. They are great to add instant radiance to a tired skin!

If you put too much on, they are really easy to blend away; you can also soften by applying some foundation or concealer over the top. I often do this anyway to soften any edges and melt the colour into the skin.

Cream blushers are great for dry and dehydrated skins as they can help to moisturise that bit further and add radiance. They are also my chosen texture for mature skins for the same reason. Oilier skins can wear them too, however a cream blush doesn’t tend to have the same longevity as a powder blush so think about setting with a setting powder to help with that.

Some of my favourites are Ere Perez, Manasi 7, Kjaer Weis and RMS Beauty.

Cheek stains

This is another texture that I like a lot. These have great staying power as the name suggests. Use them on a bare skin or over foundation but work quickly as the formulations dry quite quickly, and you can be left with hard edges if you don’t blend them fast enough. Apply a little at a time to build up your desired look. You can use these on their own or as a base under other textures to create a long lasting look.

I love the Ere Perez Beetroot Stains and also Tropic’s Lip Stain which I use on the cheeks as well.

Liquid blush

These sit in-between creams and stains. I really like the fluid texture and love the natural finish. Apply these with your fingers or a brush again to a bare moisturised skin or over a foundation – most of the time I’d apply before setting powder but you can gently press over a powder to help bring back radiance. I’m a fan of Delilah’s Radiant Liquid Blush (these are not natural and do contain silicones however I do have a few bits from the brand in my kit as like them as a brand and sometimes need those extra bits).

Powder blusher

Powder formulations tend to last longer than creams so these are great for more oilier skin types. As a general rule, apply with a brush over a powdered foundation to help with blending. Cream textures tend to blend better on creams and powders on powders – if the skin is quite sticky/dewy and you apply a powder blusher, it can stick where you first touch the product on and then be hard to blend, (of course rules are made to be broken so experiment).

Drier skins can use powder formulations as well however powders can sometimes get ‘caught’ in dry patches so prep skin well beforehand. I often layer products – apply a cream blush first, set gently with powder and hen apply a powder blush afterwards. This can be great for long days and also to add dimension to the face if you use varying shades.

In general I prefer to use more matt blushers and then add my shimmer afterwards. I find that shimmer and sparkle in blushers can often go ‘rogue’ and get caught in skin texture, highlighting the wrong bits.

Some of my favourites are the Kosas and I’m also enjoying the new RMS Hydra Powder Blush which is a cross between a cream and powder – almost a gel like texture that then blends to a powder. This does have a shimmer however it is really fine particles so I find applies well. I find the application can be quite flexible – use with a brush to apply and experiment with textures.

Top left is Kosas, then RMS (refills), Manasi 7 in white pots, Kjaer Weis (refills in white envelope), Ilia colour sticks, Tata Harper in green pot, Ere Perez colour pot.

What colour blusher?

Blushers come in a myriad of colours so choosing the right one can sometimes be tricky. It depends on your natural skin tones and also what kind of look you are trying to create. For me personally I go for pinks to complement the natural pinks I already have in my complexion. I find that I reach for pinks for many of my clients too – pink is a very youthful colour and adds a lovely radiance to skin – great for more mature skins. A pink can brighten a sallow complexion, deeper skin tones can wear pink as well – look for richer and brighter pinks rather than pale pastel tones that can end up looking ashy. I often use lipstick as cream blush for deeper skin tones as the lipsticks tend to have more pigment which can give a more vibrant effect.

If you’re prone to redness in the skin, I know that blusher can sometimes not appeal – why not try more bronzer tones.

Warm colours such as peach and orange make great blushers – again choose richer shades for deeper skin tones. Peach and orange are brilliant to bring out blue eyes, and great choices to create that summer vibe. Winter tends to lend itself to more berries and plums. However there are no set rules – experiment and have fun.

A good way to try blusher is to apply the colour to your face and then look in a few different lights – does the blush lift your complexion and brighten your eyes? If yes go for it, if not so much try some different shades.

Blusher application

There are many ways to apply blusher and each will have a different effect on the face. A common technique is to smile and to then apply the product on the ‘apples’ of the cheeks, I find that this technique can actually apply the blusher too low on the face and can pull it down, which isn’t so flattering. I like to use blusher to lift the face so will apply it a little higher, using the cheekbones as my guide. Here is a little video I did that you might enjoy.

Are you a fan of blusher? How do you apply yours?

Main image by Karin Berndl, makeup by me.

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