The best blusher does more than just warm up your complexion.
It can carve out cheekbones you never knew you had and make you look like you just emerged from a wind-whipped walk with a suggestive flush.
No wonder it’s known as the ‘magic wand of make-up.’
‘Blusher makes you feel more pulled together,’ says Mary Greenwell, make-up ambassador for Chanel, which is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its iconic Joues Contraste blushers.
‘I never did Princess Diana’s make-up without adding a bit of blush to her face. It instantly made her look fresher. A little bit of concealer to disguise any darkness under your eyes and the right colour blush goes a long way.’
But the importance of the finding the right colour, texture and placement of your blusher should never be underestimated.
Here’s everything you need to know…
How To Apply Blusher
‘I like blush to be quite high on the cheeks for a sunkissed glow,’ says Greenwell.
‘Placing it slightly above your cheekbones looks like it’s part of your skin rather than like you’re wearing make-up. It also gives them lift – which is another reason I wouldn’t put blush on the apples of your cheeks as it draws the cheekbones down.’
That said, blusher can also be versatile so don’t shy away from experimenting.
Case in point: ‘Back in the Eighties,we created a really fun look for the designer Romeo Gigli, where we did a whole face just with blush: lips, cheeks, and eyes all with the same colour,’ explains Greenwell.
‘It was monochromatic colour all over the face and so beautiful. Blush can also be a look on its own – no mascara, no lip colour, but an amazing reddish glow down the side of the face, up into the temples.’
Another favourite trick of Greenwell’s is to mix two blush shades together: apricot pink on the cheekbones and a paler shade as a highlighting powder for a more graphic finish.
Also worth noting: ‘If you’re using a cream bronzer like Chanel’s Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream, you would use that under blush,’ she continues.
‘Powders always go on last, no matter what. Besides, powder will set the rest of your make-up – foundation, concealer etc – for the night.’
What Is The Best Natural-Looking Blush?
The best cream blusher and powder blusher both have their benefits.
If you want your complexion to look particularly juicy and dewy, then a cream is your best choice. The blendable nature of a cream blusher also makes it ideal for ageing skin.
Powders on the other hand are great for mopping up excess oil and for giving your make-up legs.
‘Powder versions are easier to control,’ says Greenwell. ‘The colour will last literally twice as long, even in humidity.’
Her top tip is to choose a powder blusher that’s incredibly finely milled – ‘that way it is sheer enough to look like cream blush’.
Best Blusher For Fair Skin: Pink Blusher
Pale pink blusher is the closest thing we’ve seen to an actual honest flush on fair skin. Why? It’s almost the same colour as the inside of your lip, which is a good indicator of shade accuracy.
‘Look for a pink shade with a golden undertone to it as it can be used as a bronzer whenever you want to warm up pale skin,’ says Greenwell, who loves Chanel’s Joues Contraste Powder Blush in Elegance.
Best Blusher For Medium Skin: Rose-Pink
If pale pink is flattering on pale skin, then it follows that medium pink is flattering on medium skin. Due to its green or yellow undertones, anything too warm can make medium skin look sallow. Cool rose-pink and raspberry shades make it quietly glow-y.
Best Blusher For Dark Skin: Deep Berry or Hot Coral
Deep berry, plum and hot coral shades may look intense in the pan. But on dark skin, they’re actually pretty neutral.
‘You need to choose a heavily pigmented blush to pack a bit more punch,’ says Greenwell. ‘And avoid going too cool. The ideal shade will have golden undertones to it – anything blue-based clashes with the warmth of dark skin and is going to look ashy.’
Best Blusher For All Skin Tones: Peach Blusher
The most universally flattering shade that looks incredible on everyone? Peach.
This is because it basically contains every undertone known to man: pink, orange, red and yellow. When combined, its warmth satisfies those in both the bronzer and blusher camps.
Proof that blusher is pure upside – and less tactile than a pinch on the cheeks.