Get Cheeky With Blusher

Blusher is a less is more product, main use to give your face a bit more life and a fresher appearance, if you over-do it you will look like you’ve rolled around in your make-up bag.

You can get a variety of finishes and types of blush, from powder to cream – don’t forget to keep that blusher brush clean as you’re going over the same part of your face (possibly daily) and if you wonder why your skin breaks out it could be a need to clean your blusher brush.

You can apply blush and bronzer, mainly powder with a simple angled brush, preferably sized between a big eyeshadow brush and a powder brush, the angled brush can give you a great contoured effect on the cheek-bone because it is angled slightly and you really blend out the product neater and apply it better, I would say that an angled brush is perfect for highlighting and shading the face – you can apply down the sides of the nose, forehead, chin and cheekbones to give that (forgive me as I know it sounds ridiculous) ‘dimensional’ look.

Bronzer usually goes all over the face for a sun-kissed look, and blush is kept on the cheek-bone or apples of cheek, depending on face-shape – or your preference. Bronzer mainly comes in a shimmer finish, contouring powder comes in matte (so it doesn’t attract the light, making features thinner) and blushers come in shimmer, matte, glitter and finish, I personally think glitter blush should be kept for fun events as the glitter specs look like enlarged pores, matte blush can sometimes look chalky but can look really natural too, darker skins should make sure there’s no chalk in it so it doesn’t give a dull look on application, shimmer suits pretty much all skins – gives a glow too, powder blush comes in a wide variety of colours, from neon to the palest peach.

You can get blush in the form of a cheek-stain, these ‘stains’ are a great product they give long-lasting colour – I guess hence the name, ‘stain’, usually in blood red and shocking pink – the colour should dilute a lot when applied on the skin and definitely use sparingly! Gently apply and blend with the ring finger, try to avoid touching your face repeatedly with the applicator in the bottle, the stain works very fast so please make sure to give it a test-run if you’re new to the product. Stains usually are just applied on the apples of the cheeks. This applies really well on normal, combination and mature skins.

Creme blushers are like the happy medium between a stain and powder, it’s easier to apply than a stain but isn’t as easy to apply than a powder, this is also great for a dewy complexion and really only on the apples of the cheeks, you can slightly extend up the cheek-bone – more-so than with a stain, mainly because you have more control over application. Colours come in a slightly wider variety than the stain, and more to suit darker skin tones too, these apply really well to mature or dry skin because it’s more of an emollient than a powder blush that may go chalky.

Highlighters come in powder, liquid and creme form, and possibly other new forms I am unaware of, however, these are the ones I have used – my favorite to use is a creamy liquid, these types give the best dewy glow and fresh appearance – best applied on the cheek-bone and brow-bone. Powder high-light comes in matte and shimmer – best for the brow-bone, I would say matte highlight is best in theatre/stage conditions for areas like the cheek-bone as it’s not the most natural for day looks. Highlight usually has flesh-tone colours mixed with the ‘white’ because it comes across a lot more natural than bright white applied onto the skin.

I want to keep this as rule-free as possible and let you have a play about with the different types available, I mix and match mainly between powder blush and contouring but I do love to use stains and creme blushers, I just can’t use these kinds daily because the product builds up on my skin and just can’t ‘handle’ a daily application.

Image reproduced from avonteens.com

What A Cheek!

Do you know that blusher is the most versatile product in your make-up bag. Don’t just use it on your cheeks though, there are plenty of ways you can lift your looks with artful brush strokes.

beauty blusherPowder is by far the most popular type of blusher today as it suits all skin types, but is especially good for oily skins, helping to preserve a good matt finish. Dust it on your face with a thick brush after powdering, not straight on top of moisturiser as this tends to make it look caked and blotchy.

Cream is especially good for dry skin and gives it a healthy glow. Use on top of foundation but before powdering. Apply with a damp sponge for best results.

Gel helps to give your skin a sheer transparent sheen. Most gels are waterproof so they are great for swimmers and sunbathers. Use just a dab on top of moisturiser and blend well with your fingertips for soft, long lasting colour.

When it comes to application use a soft fluffy brush to put on your powder blusher. The bigger the brush, the softer the effect. Always tap off any excess colour on the back of your hand before you start – begin with very little colour and gradually build it up – it is easier than having to wipe it off and starting again if you put on too much. Use dabbing rather than stroking movements so you do not end up with theatrical-looking stripes across your face! Professionals like to use two brushes, one to put the colour on and one for blending, to give a cover girl finish.

Wash brushes frequently, as they collect dust and bacteria that can cause acne. Leave brushes to dry flat rather than standing them upright so the bristles do not splay out and lose their shape. With cream and gel blushers use dampened cosmetic sponges for a really even, natural finish and to stop it getting on your fingers. Put a few small dots on your cheeks and blend away!

Blusher is not just for your cheeks but can also be used to give your face a touch of healthy colour too. Try it over your eyelids and brow bones but stick to soft matt shades for daytime make-up. Across the bridge of your nose for a sun kissed look-but keep it light or you may end up looking sunburnt. On the tip of your chin-this helps to shorten a long face. If you have a round face you can slim down your face with a concentration of colour on the cheekbones, fading out at the temples.

Check your profile carefully in the mirror for any hard edges on the sides of your cheeks, then blend them in with a brush. For those of you with an oval face add colour to the fullest part of your cheeks. Smile with your mouth closed to find the right starting point.

When mixing shades for your cheeks, stick to the same textures-powder with powder or gel with gel. If you have a square face add colour just below the cheekbone and blend outwards, then stroke the same colour along your jawline to soften it.

Do not forget to check the finished look with your hair styled in place. You may need to re-shade to balance the look. And finally if you have a long face apply a dark matt blusher on the tip of your chin to give the illusion of a shorter face.

Always use the lightest touch and brush outwards and downwards to prevent any fine facial hairs from sticking up.

Reader’s Questions

Q. My blusher always fades away leaving me looking pale. What can I do to make it last longer?
A. Try layering the colour by using a cream blusher first, then dusting a powder blusher over the top of your make-up once you have powdered your face.

Q. Blusher makes me look flushed. What am I doing wrong?
A. It may be the shade that you are using, the amount you are putting on or where you are applying it!

Q. Sometimes when I am in a hurry, I put on too much blusher. How can I correct this?
A. Powder blush can be toned down with a little light face powder. Dust it over the top with a brush. With cream or gel, just smooth foundation over the top.