I never used to wear blush when I was younger. 'Blessed' with irritated acne-prone skin as I was, I doubt applying some would have helped matters. But now that my skin has calmed down somewhat, I absolutely love blush for adding some life into my zombie-like complexion first thing in the morning!
When I first started out with blush, I only ever wore the pressed powder kind since I felt like creams only added to my oiliness and loose powders just seemed like an accident waiting to happen. While I still haven't figured out how to avoid spilling half my loose powder blush before it even gets onto my face, I have diversified my blush collection quite a bit! And in doing so, I've learned a few thing to pass on to you, from formulas to application tips.
1. Pressed Powders
This is what I started out and it's still what I grab when it's way too early in the morning and I have five minutes to get ready. My favourite way to apply these is to tap my brush into the blush and then blend it onto my face. I usually start on the outer half of the apples of my cheeks and blend up and out. As far as blushes go, if it's a super pigmented blush — or you're a beginner — then try a stippling brush. If not, then just a regular blush brush will do the trick. My absolute favourite is this Tarina Tarantino Dollskin Cheek Blush in 'Neopolitan Lane.' It looks absolutely boring in the pan but when applied it just livens up my face and makes me look like a human being.
2. Loose Powders
I'm not going to lie, I'm still not the best at applying these so I usually save this for days when I have lots of time to get ready. I like to use a stippling brush for this kind of blush because I find that I pick up too much product with a regular one. To apply, I gently dab my brush into the blush and then swirl it in the lid to evenly distribute the product. Then, I tap off any excess and then gently sweep it onto my face, starting at the outside of the apples of my cheeks and blending out. If I feel like I've applied too much, then I take my powder brush and buff away at the edges to blend. The only one I own is this long discontinued Annabelle Mineral Powder Blush in 'Au Naturel' which isn't even sold outside of Canada, but I absolutely love this shade in the summer when I have a tan. If you're looking for loose blushes, both E.L.F. and Bare Minerals have a wide range for you to choose from.
While initially I wasn't a big fan of these due to the oiliness of my skin, I've grown to love these as my skin has mellowed out somewhat over the years. To apply these, I take a small stipple brush like the MAC 130 brush and dab it into the blush and then stipple it onto the outer half of the apples of my cheeks. Then, I wipe off the brush before blending the blush up and out. You can also apply them with your fingers in much the same way but I found that the brush worked better when I was starting out. I love cream blushes for days when my skin decides to imitate the Sahara Desert because they don't accentuate the dryness as much. If you find that cream blushes don't last on you, make sure to set them with a powder afterwards. You can use either a powder blush for a brighter colour or a translucent powder for maximum oil absorption. One of my favourites is this Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush in 'Coral Reef,' which I've already pulled out in anticipation of a summer tan. I also love the Tarte Cheek Stains and I personally find them the easiest to blend of all the cream blushes I've tried.
I love these because they're a great mix of all the best qualities of powders and creams. They're easy to smooth on with your fingers but they dry to a powder finish like a powder and stay put even on oily skin. I apply these with my fingers just the same way I would a cream blush. This one is the long discontinued Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush in 'Peach Satin' but I know Smashbox has their own version that I've heard great things about, though I've never tried it myself.
These used to terrify me. I was always scared that I wouldn't be able to blend them out fast enough and then I'd be stuck with a weird smear of colour on my cheeks. And that's just not cute. But fortunately for me, I got over the fear and I now love liquid blushes! I like to apply these with my fingers by dabbing a dot of colour onto my finger and then patting it onto the outer half of the apples of my cheeks. I then quickly blend it up and out, making sure to blend out the edges perfectly. I love the way that these stay on all day and that they double as lip colours. Benefit's 'Cha Cha Tint' is the only liquid blush I own and yep, you guessed it, I absolutely love this one for summer too!
Finally, for a quick note on blush colours. I firmly believe that anyone can use pretty much any blush colour as long as they vary the intensity. That being said, darker skin tones might find that lighter shades look ashy or just don't show up on them while overly vibrant colours may look clown-like on very fair skin. Generally, I feel like the best indicator of what shades will look the best on you is your skin's undertone. People with cool, pink undertones tend to look better in cooler pinks and may find that peaches and more orange-based corals turn muddy or orange on them. Those with warm, yellow or olivey skin undertones tend to look better with warmer pinks or peaches and orange-based corals. As you'll see above, there are no pink blushes featured because I have warm undertones and turn quite olive toned in the summer, hard as that is to believe now. Pink blushes make me look nervous and overheated and emphasize my already greenish-grey skintone. That all being said, everyone is different and if you think a blush looks good on you then ignore me and wear the heck out of it! Ultimately, the most flattering blush is the one that makes you feel good.
Do you love blush as much as I do, Lovelies? What's you favourite blush formula?