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How to Apply Blush

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As someone who firmly believes that blush is the most important complexion makeup item over primer, foundation, or concealer (fight me), I own an obscene amount of powder blushes, cream blushes, and blush palettes, and you know what — I use them all. There is literally no makeup look (in my opinion) that could not benefit from a little bit of blush.

Why? It can transform your face completely, change the vibe not unlike personal mood-lighting, and can be as whisper-subtle or as disco-glam as you wish. It's got range. That doesn't make it any more helpful in knowing how to apply it, but it does mean that more ways to wear it means less ways you can mess it up. That's the good news. The bad news? There is none.

Depending on your formula of choice — the two biggies being powder vs. cream — your choice of placement is the main blush agenda. Here are some basics to find your placement:

  1. To look freshly flushed: Find the the apples of your cheeks by smiling and dust or blot your blush onto the parts of the cheek you'd pinch on an adorable young niece or nephew. Now you look like the romantic version of just coming inside from the cold.

  2. Try your hand at draping: In the most basic breakdown of draping is that it's blush that's used like dramatic contour and highlighter. So your cheekbones and temples get a blended swoosh of color, as deeply pigmented as you want it to be, and you end up looking like a Studio 54 disco goddess. Win-win.

  3. To softly sculpt: Swiping your blush on from the apples and all along your cheekbones is a quick way to brighten up your face while also sculpting your angles a bit. I find this to be the most conventionally flattering blush application but that's up to you and your face shape. Honestly, the "rules" for where to place blush based on face shape are made to be broken because wearing blush is all about the color impact rather than conforming to your assigned face shape at birth (also so many magazines say different things about what these shapes even are, so it might face shapes might be fake news, tbh).

Cream blush is a bit more low maintenance, if only for the reason that you don't really need tools. I always think your fingers are the best blending tools with cream makeup because the warmth from your hands helps to melt the product into your face for a more natural finish.

Whichever your preference, show us all how YOU wear blush — what's your fave blush and where's your favorite place to wear it on your face?


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