How to Correctly Apply Blush

Just a dash of blush brings color to your face and makes you look more awake, more vibrant and even healthier. However, the wrong color or application method can end up in a cosmetic conundrum. Luckily, learning how to correctly apply blush is easy if you break the process down into steps.

Choosing your blush

The first step is choosing a product that works for you. The two most common types of blush are powder and cream. The one that's right for you depends on your skin type. If you tend to have oily skin, opt for powder blush. The powder will help absorb any excess oil, while a cream product might add to oily buildup. Cream blush is a better choice if you tend toward dry skin, but be careful: It's more likely than powder blush to settle into fine lines or other facial imperfections, so use a primer first.

Blush color 101

The next step is finding the perfect shade for your skin tone. When it comes to finding just the right shade, nothing is a better teacher than experience. However, you can start off in the right direction with a few basic guidelines. Only opt for dark blush colors if you have a dark complexion. Dark colors on light skin create too much contrast and look unnatural. If you tend to look better in cool colors like blue or purple, try rosy blush shades. If you tend to look better in warm colors such as red or orange, try peachy, coral shades.

Super-simple application

Blush application will go smoothest if you start with a good base. Use a makeup primer under your foundation to help fill any noticeable pores, fine lines or other imperfections. Then top with your favorite foundation. Now smile into a mirror to find the apples of your cheeks -- this is where the majority of the pigment should go.

If you're using a cream blush, you can apply the pigment with your fingers and blend gently upward toward your hairline. Then top with translucent powder to set the product in place.

For the best application of a powder blush, you'll need a big, fluffy brush. Dab the brush into the blush and tap it to avoid over-applying. (It's easier to build color slowly than to try to remove excess blush.) Apply the majority of product to the apples of your cheeks. Then use the brush to blend that pigment lightly upward in a diagonal path toward your hairline. If the color seems to pale, you can layer on a bit more blush.

After the initial application, use your fingers or a makeup sponge to soften any hard edges. You'll know that your blush is correctly applied if your face looks naturally bright and awake but not flushed.

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