Blush… it just may be the one beauty item we would take to a deserted island. But why exactly do we love it so much? To get to the bottom of our love affair with cheek colour (hint: it might have something to do with that fountain of youth), we asked make-up pro Josh Stark of Sephora to fill us in. “Blush is a great tool for adding colour into your complexion,” says Josh. “It can add a youthful glow back onto the skin and will complement your natural skin tone.” What’s not to love about that?
We all grew up with classic powder blush – it’s easy to apply and we know it well. But these days, how do you decipher all the new and different blush formulas at the makeup counter? Are they better? Josh helps us break down the pros and cons of each:
Blush type: cream
How to apply: Use your fingers to warm up the product and press it onto the apples of your cheeks, blending the colour backward toward your temples.
Pros: Can easily be layered for more “pop of colour”; good for drier skin; good colour pigment
Cons: Can get cakey if over-applied; not as long-lasting as liquid; can be tricky on oiler skin
Looking for the versatility to go from beautiful and natural to bold and dramatic? Cream blush is just the ticket, and it’s super easy to apply. This blush type has a nice dewy sheen that we love, and is a great option for those with drier skin types because of the creamy, hydrating texture. The downfalls? For those with oilier skin, it can get a little too shiny and won’t last as long as a liquid. A light touch is also important. “Be careful about applying too much,” says Josh. “It can get cakey.” If you do find yourself with a little extra, use a sponge or foundation brush to pat over the colour until it softens. If you’re looking to amp it up, build a layer at a time for a more dramatic look.
Blush type: liquid
How to apply: Use the applicator or your fingers to apply two dots of liquid on the apple of the cheek and just up the cheekbone, then immediately blend in a swirling motion with your fingers. Blend quickly for the best results, and start with a small amount and build from there.
Pros: Long-lasting colour; good for oilier skin; can look very natural
Cons: Challenging to apply; can stain the skin in the wrong place if not blended quickly
We love a product that does double duty, and this one does just that! “With most liquid blushes,” says Josh, “you can double up and wear them on the lips as well.” Liquids are a great option for those with oilier skin, since they are usually water-based and will stay put longer on this skin type than a cream or powder. Practice makes perfect when it comes to applying this type of blush; beginners will need to take a little extra time to get the hang of the stained texture. But once it’s on, count on this blush to last all day.
Blush type: stick
How to apply: Smile, and dab the blush onto the apple of your cheeks. Use your fingers to blend the colour upwards, trying not to go below the apple.
Pros: Versatile; easy to apply; good for drier skin
Cons: Easy to over-apply; not as long-lasting as other blushes
There’s a reason those stick blushes resemble kid’s crayons…because they’re so easy! Just open, twist, and dab it on. The formula is similar to cream blushes, in a stick format that’s easy to carry with you, a cinch to apply, and can also be used to contour or highlight, or even dab on the eyelids or lips. But Josh warns about overdoing it, as too much can tend to look greasy, and it’s easy to over-apply. “Always start off with just a little bit of product and build from there. Remember, it’s easier to add more than it is to take away.” Once you’ve achieved your look in the morning, throw this product into your purse for convenient colour touch-ups on the go.
What are your blush secrets? Do you have a go-to blush type? If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, pop by Sephora at St. Vital Centre, where we guarantee the amazing staff will get you set up with all the tools and tricks you need to master your blush game.
Shop all the products used in this post at Sephora at St. Vital Centre (check the store for availability)!
Cream blush: Make Up For Ever, HD blush (shade 510) – $31
Liquid blush: Yves Saint Laurent Kiss & Blush Lips & Cheeks (shade 5) – $45
Stick blush: Nars The Multiple (shade Portofino) – $46
White ¾-sleeve top: Gap, $29.95