There is a unanimous response to the question posed to makeup artists: what is the one piece of makeup that truly has the power to transform? The answer is always a firm vote for blusher. When you think about it, nothing else in your beautifying arsenal does what blusher can do quite as easily and quickly. A great base is essential but it only makes your skin look like how you wish it did all the time. Concealer is designed to hide any slight niggles, not bring out the best in your complexion. Yes, mascara can open up the eyes but would you call it transformative? We wouldn’t.
A great blusher has the power to make tired skin look more awake, a pallid complexion look more glowy and a tired human being instantly look refresh, revived and ready to go. And that is life, and skin, changing stuff. No wonder Bobbi Brown call their annual limited edition creamy blush pot Pretty Powerful. Because that’s exactly what blusher is and why we have put together a comprehensive guide to everything you have, and will, ever needed to know about this beauty wonder.
1. Tactile textures
When it comes to consistency, the world is your blushered oyster. You have powders, creams, liquids and gels to choose from. And the good news is there aren’t any rules when it comes to which one you should use. This is not a case of certain skin types should stick to one type and other skin types should only use another. “The texture of the blusher you use, comes down to personal preference and, perhaps slightly, how you like to apply your products,” says makeup artist Aimee Adams. “Obviously powders require a brush to get them on whereas you can use your fingers for creams and liquids, although you can still use a brush for them too so it’s really up to you.” Hoorah, for once there is makeup autonomy.
2. Layering up
The key to helping you decide what type of blusher you use, is thinking about the textures of the other products you are applying on top. For powder blushers to sit on perfectly on your skin, it’s best to apply them on top of another powder so that they don’t get cakey. If you favour a liquid base, then by quickly dusting over the top with a loose powder your powder blush will go on much more easily and won’t clump together in the waxes and oils of your foundation. However, if you’re opting for a cream blusher that can go straight on top of foundation and will blend seamlessly in to your base. The same goes for a liquid tint. This in turn has an impact on any further products you might want to apply on top of your blusher - bronzer and highlighter for example. If you have used a powder blush then it’s best to stick to a powder bronzer or highlighter as creams will just rub away the flush you have just created. In short, always keep powders with powders and creams with creams.
3. Perfect placement
“The mistake that most women make with blusher is where they place it,” says makeup artist extrordinaire, Sharon Dowsett. “The tip I always give is to replicate the Nike swoosh on your cheek. Start with your brush on the apple of your cheek and then take it slightly down and diagonally up.” Not entirely sure where the apply of your cheek is? Simply go to the very centre of your eye and draw an imaginary line down towards your cheek. Then go to your outer nostril and draw an imaginary horizontal line. Where the two would cross is where the apple of your cheek is.
4. Colour matching
Of course there are no rules to what shade of blusher you should or shouldn’t wear. However, if you’re trying to replicate a natural blushed and flushed look, or as makeup artist Lan Nyguen-Grealis describes it, “your most compatible blusher shade should be the colour your cheeks naturally go if you were to go outside on a cold day or the flush of colour you get after exercising,” then there are certain tones that work best on different skin tones.
Fair Skins - should look to soft pale, baby pinks to create the perfect flush.
Medium Skins - peachy toned and slightly more mauve based pinks are the colours for you.
Olive Skins - that gorgeous golden undertone in your skin means orange based corals or true rose red shades work brilliantly.
Dark Skins - Plum purples and brick red/ orange tones are ideal for darker skins.