Of all the amazing beauty products out there, you might underestimate the power of blush the most. Just a few swipes on your cheeks can make your complexion look healthier, and make you appear more youthful. When you use a cream blush, it adds a lit-from-within glow that bronzer and highlighter just can’t mimic. However, there isn’t only one way to apply blush.
You see, as with lipstick and eyeliner, blush can be used to achieve different effects depending on how and where it’s applied. For instance, you can easily fake a sun-kissed look with blush, though you wouldn’t apply it the same way you would if you were going for the classic, apples-of-your-cheeks flush that most of us are familiar with.
Ahead, we’ll show you six ways to apply your blusher to get the specific results you’re after. Plus, how to make it work according to your face shape. We’ve also included helpful diagrams, courtesy of a user on RED (Xiaohongshu). For the uninitiated, RED is China’s version of Instagram and it’s become a very influential social shopping platform regionally.
Where to apply blusher: Achieve 6 different looks
Popularised by Japanese girls, the sunkissed blush creates an adorable, youthful look. Apply it in a triangular shape, starting from the bottom of the eye to the corner of the eye. This technique helps to soften your facial contours.
You may also want to try applying your blush on top of bronzer, which acts as a base layer to diffuse the blush’s pigment so it doesn’t look too harsh against the skin.
2. “Hangover” blush
“Hangover makeup” or “igari makeup” has been trending in Japan for years now, and it’s even popular with many Korean celebrities, including singer and rapper HyunA. It’s exactly what its name suggests – a “hungover” look with puffy eyes and a wash of pink right below them.
This technique works for all face shapes, and it’s really easy to achieve the look. Simply buff the blush right below your eyes and swipe the colour down towards your cheeks. This creates a youthful, playful look. Make sure you don’t overboard by extending the blush out and past the corners of your eyes.
3. On the apples of your cheeks
This is the classic and most common method of applying blush. Its popularity stems from the fact that it gives an ultra-natural effect, like you just got back from a light jog, and it couldn’t be simpler to do. Use a pink blush for a brightening effect, or opt for a coral shade to create a healthy flush.
You can create a healthy, natural-looking glow by swirling a small dab of colour onto the apples of the cheeks and buffing it out in circular motions. This technique both widens and brightens the face. Place your blush two fingers away from your nose and two fingers away from the bottom of your eye – this keeps it from looking unbalanced.
4. On your cheekbones
If you want to create definition without contouring, blush is an excellent alternative that will still give you a chiselled effect. The best way to achieve this sculpted, sophisticated look is to buff your blush directly onto the cheekbones, and just above – almost where you would normally place highlighter. Apply it with small circular strokes, blending outward and upward.
This technique can help you create a smaller, more contoured face. It works best when blended in with bronzer to accentuate your bone structure.
5. Do the figure-eight
If you’ve been blessed with high cheekbones, this blush technique is for you. It creates a fresh, innocent look that goes well with the popular puppy eye makeup look.
All you have to do is imagine that the apple of your cheek and the top of your cheekbone are connected, and then trace a figure-eight shape with your blush brush. Make sure you extend the blush past your nose, otherwise, you might pull the look of your cheeks down and appear older.
6. Across your face
For those who have slightly longer, oval-shaped faces, this blush technique can help shorten the look of your face. Similar to the aforementioned sunkissed blush, this technique can help you achieve that just-been-on-holiday look sans sun and trip.
Starting from the apples of your cheeks, swipe your blush across horizontally and dust a little of it on the bridge of your nose. It ties your whole look together and lends a youthful, radiant glow.