Makeup artist says you’ve been applying blusher wrong – here’s the foolproof fix

Makeup artist says you’ve been applying blusher wrong – here’s the foolproof fix


It’s been a summer of surprises when it comes to the weather, and there’s been a matching climate change in our makeup too. Bronzer is usually our seasonal sizzler, but this year there’s been a different hot topic: blusher. A whole #BlushTok trend of “sun-flushed” cheeks has gone viral, and suddenly this background product has taken centre stage.

“I think blusher is having such a moment because radiant skin is really in right now,” says Vincent Ford, global makeup artist for NARS, who’s worked with celebrity names like Beyoncé and Anna Friel.

“Blusher just really enhances that whole trend. When you’re creating a perfect dewy base, that flattens the face a bit. What blusher does is put that healthy pop of colour back in to complete the look.”

Pick your product

Liquid, cream or powder? “I’d say liquids and creams are the easiest, they blend so well they look like your own natural flush,” says Vincent. “They’re beautiful for older skin which naturally loses colour with age. Powder is great for a long-lasting finish, but it can highlight texture.”

His tip to avoid this is to layer your products: start with cream blush and then finish with a little powder blush to set. The cream acts as a cushioning layer, so you get the staying power of powder without it settling into pores or lines.

Choose your shade

In terms of colour, pinky rose shades tend to suit most skin tones, says Vincent. Plums and burgundies really suit deeper skin but can look a bit bruise-like on paler complexions.

Perfect your placement

Trends come and go, but a flush on the apples of the cheeks is always gorgeous. “It’s healthy and youthful, and it’s also good if you have either a square face or not much fullness in the middle of the face,” says Vincent.

To find the perfect “apples” spot, he advises you forget the old tip about smiling. “It doesn’t always work because everyone’s face shape is different,” he says. “Instead, look straight ahead in the mirror, see where your pupils are, and go directly down from there to the middle of your cheeks. That’s your perfect starting spot.”

Ditch the doll face

To avoid your blusher looking “dolly”, blend the outer edges of colour until you can’t see where the colour starts or ends. “I love to use fingertips for this – the heat melts cream blusher so easily into the skin – or you can use a big brush to fade it out,” says Vincent.

Multi-task your blush

Why should cheeks have all the fun? “You get a really beautiful monochromatic look by applying the same shade of blush over cheeks, lids, crease of the eyes and lips,” says Vincent. “Try it with a neutral shade like NARS The Multiple in South Beach,£30 here, I haven’t found anyone this doesn’t suit.”

Perfect the sunburn blush

This trend is all over social media and it’s actually more wearable than the name might suggest. “The look you’re aiming for is ‘first day of holiday flush’, not actually burnt,” says Vincent. It’s achieved by swooshing blusher over your cheeks and bridge of the nose for a just-off-the-beach glow.

“The colour you choose is really important, it has to be warming pinky-red,” adds Vincent. “If I’m doing this trend, I’ll use either NARS Exhibit A [£27.50 here], or Orgasm X [£27.50 here] which has a shimmer that looks great on darker skin. These shades both have the perfect undertones.”


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