Blusher: Why You’re Doing It Wrong

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  • It's the simplest way to perkify but where you place it matters more than you think...

    Blusher is the most transforming piece of kit you own. It stops you looking tired, gives the illusion of a healthy flush and even brings out the whites of your eyes. The trick is to make it to look like it’s coming from within, not colouring in. 

    99.9 per cent of us apply it on the apples of our cheeks which, unless you come from a genetic line of dolls, is not doing you any favours. When you’re in your teens, the apples of your cheeks are the highest, most pronounced part of your face but as you age (we’re talking hitting 25, not 55) the volume evens out around your face.


    1. Blusher should never have a definite shape, instead it should be blown out and blended.

    2. Powder blush lasts longer than cream and is good for touching up over the top of your existing makeup. 

    3. Apply powder blushers with the widest, fluffiest brush you own. 

    4. Stains are good for holiday make-up because they sink in quickly and are also waterproof.

    5. Liquid blushers give a dewy appearance so avoid them if you have spots because the sheen will draw attention.

    6. Cream blushers have lots of slip to them – perfect for blending into dry, dehydrated skin types. 

    7. Mature skins tend to be more sallow so choose a blusher that’s brighter to add life to skin.

    8. Olive and yellow skin tones should choose tawny, peachy shades to warm them up without too much contrast. 

    9. If you have a tendency to redness, an apricot blusher won’t add to the problem. 

    10. Apply liquid on liquid, never on powder. Creams, stains, liquid blushers should go on top of your moisturiser or foundation.

    Take inspiration from the AW14 catwalk looks to choose the right blusher style for you:

    At Ashish, Sharon Dowsett UK Make-up Director of Maybelline NY, applied her signature ‘Nike tick’ shape under the cheekbones for a contoured look. She tells us: ‘Round blusher is what depressed people do! It’s not the natural place for flush, it must be what we’ve got from paintings. This sculpting flush cups the cheekbones for definition and leaves the top part of the cheek open for highlighting. I used a mix of Maybelline Dream Touch Blush in Berry and Apricot and spent time blending all the edges.’ This is great if your natural angles need a helping hand. 

    At the Topshop Unique AW14 show, Hannah Murray applied blusher low down on the models’ cheeks to look like a natural youthful flush of naughty school girls. Instantly youthening and v. cool indeed.

    Florrie White chose a high-up-around-the-temple flush for the girls walking the Nicole Farhi show to make them look healthy and naturally peachy clean. This sporty blush is super low maintenance and looks effortless. 

    Lisa Eldridge created a grown-up glamour blush at Matthew Williamson, working only on the cheekbones and taking the pigment right up to the temples, leaving the cheeks almost completely clear. Zero school girl here. 

    For loads more beauty, hair and skincare tips you’ve got to check out our MC beauty section…

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