Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Blush 101 and Some Insider Tips

Blush is such an underdog when it comes to makeup. Sure everybody owns quite a few. Even applying it doesn't seem like rocket science. But carefully applied blush, along with the right color and texture can amplify your entire makeup look and transform it.

Blush immediately adds a flush, a radiance and makes you look younger and more wide awake...unless it doesn't, and then you end up looking like a clown.

On a personal note, I love blush application even more than eyeshadow or lipstick application. There's just something so feminine about it. In this post I will go through lots of stuff you probably already know but still when you read it, perhaps it will help you improve on the technique you are currently using.

1. Pick the right color:

So generally speaking, girls with fair skin look nice in light to medium tone pinks and light coral shades.

Ladies with medium skin tones will fare better with slightly deeper pinks and corals and mauve or berry colors.

Lastly darker skin tones look amazing with bright orange and fuchsia and deep pinks.

2. Choose the right texture:

Powder Blush: Great for all skin types, especially oily skin. Most easily blendable, provides longest lasting finish and is easily corrected by blending face powder if over done.

Cream Blush: Better suited to aging skin or skin that is dry. It gives a luminous finish and dewy look. Besy blended out with you fingers.

Gel Blush: These usually come in stick forms and are sheer so they let skin show through. You have to act fast  with these.

Tints: These come in liquid form and have staining properties, so they have to blended out pretty fast or they may leave streaks.

NOTE: A more longer lasting finish can be obtained by using a combination of cream and powder. Just let both belong to the same family. A darker tone on the bottom with a lighter powder of the same family on the top give a radiant long lasting finish.

3. Choose the right finish:

Shimmers/ Glittery Blushes: Best pulled off by younger skin since shimmer and glitter particles have a nasty habit of settling in fine lines. Otherwise best used after sundown.

Mattes: Just an overall great finish for more natural looks. Especially appropriate for work or day time looks.

Satins: These lie in between the above two finishes. You can experiment with them and see how they best suit you. This is my personal favorite finish since it just gives that little bit of extra glow without going too over the board.

NOTE: Sometimes it helps if you apply blush before eyeshadow and lipstick. It can help you get out of a rut and do more creative looks.

4. Choose the right tool:

Blush brushes should be tapered to the top. The logic behind that is that the tapered bristles pick up the blush and the shorter hairs around them help to blend it out. 

Fingers, as mentioned earlier are great with creams, gels and tints, although your foundation brush with which you had applied foundation can help blend in cream blushes more thoroughly.

Sometimes a stippling brush can do wonders with creams. Just dab the flat end in the cream and stipple where you want the maximum color to be and then blend it out.

My most coveted and favorite blush brush is the Real Techniques Blush Brush and I have used Makeup For Ever, Sigma and others but after using this one, I can't use any other:

5. Take into account your face shape:

For round/ oval faces: Young ladies in the teens or early twenties can get away with placement of blush on the apples of the cheek (the part that balls up when you smile) but when you enter your mid to late twenties that technique can drag your face down, because when you smile the apples of your cheeks are lifted and when you unsmile, that part comes down and hence the blush comes down giving you an older look.You want to work against gravity and lift everything up. So for that, just feel the cheek bone and apply the color along that bone outwards and upwards toward the temple. If your face is quite plump then adding contour (a darker browner shade) under the cheek bone helps create a shadow.

For elongated faces: Apply blush on the cheek bone but instead of lifting upwards, extend outwards towards your ears. This will give an illusion of a rounder face. Never bring the blush inside towards the nose.

6. My personal favorites:

Just a shout out to my favorite brands that make brilliant blushes: MAC satins, Sleek trios, Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes, The Blam Instains (the only powder formulation that stains also), NYX and Rimmel.