How To Apply Blusher Like A Pro

How To Apply Blusher Like A Pro

We all know blusher is key for a healthy-looking complexion, but where do you start when it comes to shades and application? Rose or coral? Cream or powder? Apples or cheekbones? We sat down with make-up artists Emma Day and Lillie Russo to get their golden rules. Consider this your blusher cheat sheet...

Why should you use blusher?

“If you want a radiant complexion, nothing beats the glow of a pretty blusher. However, it’s often overlooked – it doesn’t have the same appeal as a red lipstick or smokey eye, but finding the right shade will instantly brighten your skin. It’s a beauty game-changer.” – Lillie Russo

What’s the secret to finding the right shade?

“Coral, peach and rosy shades work well on the majority of skin tones so you can’t go wrong with them. If you have darker skin, you can get away with a more intense or browner shade.” – Emma Day

“It’s really about trial and error. I would say any skin tone can suit different shades of pink. But as a general rule, the paler you are the more baby pink or pastel pink you should use, and the darker you are the more pigmented pinks you should use, like a red or magenta.” – Lillie Russo

Can those prone to redness still use blusher?

“Whether you have naturally red-toned skin or perhaps suffer from rosacea, there’s no need for you to not wear blusher. My top tip would be to start with a green-toned colour correcting primer under your foundation where needed, before using a warming coral or peach shade instead of a pink-toned one, and stick just to the apples of the cheeks.” – Emma Day

Should you mix up your blusher in the summer?

“Not necessarily, but switching to a more coral or brown-y blush can enhance your tan. I love Hourglass’ Ambient Strobe Lighting Blush in Brilliant Nude during the summer.” – Lillie Russo

Cream or powder?

“Cream formulas are perfect for oily skins or for those that want a delicate flush of colour. I tend to find powder blushers last longer but it really depends on your preferences and skin type; I always carry both in my kit. For red carpet work I tend to use long-lasting powder blushes, while for editorial work I use cream blushes, which mimic the natural flush of skin.” – Emma Day

“I don’t necessarily think one is better than the other. Powders are easier and quicker to apply while cream blushers require more precise application; you really have to use your fingers to make sure the product is properly blended, and some can be too heavy so always opt for a sheer formula which you can build up.” – Lillie Russo

Does where you apply blusher really matter?

“Absolutely. The most common mistake I see women making with their blusher is the placement – always apply blusher to the apples of the cheeks; any lower can drag the face down, while stripes of it along the cheekbones can look dated. Remember that shaping a face is done with contouring, not blusher.” – Emma Day

What kind of brush should you use?

“Use an angled blusher blush, which ensures precise application. Anything too oversized will make your cheeks look overly flushed.” – Lillie Russo

What are your go-to formulas?

“I’m obsessed with Chantecaille’s Cheek Gelees – they guarantee a beautiful, subtle flush of colour – while Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Calypso Coral looks amazing on everyone. Bare Minerals’ Powder Blush in Pink Me Up, NARS Fervor Dual Intensity Blush and Suqqu’s Pure Colour Blush in 107 are also must-haves in my kit.” – Emma Day

Finally – what’s your ultimate blusher hack?

“To create the illusion of killer cheekbones, use a highlighter on the upper part of the cheekbones, a light contour on the lower part of the cheekbones and a blush on the apples – creating cheekbones is all about manipulating light and shade on the face.” – Emma Day

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