Blusher has come a long way since its beginnings in the time of the Ancient Egyptians when ground ochre and fat were mixed and applied to the cheeks and lips. Today blusher comes in every shade and texture. There is so much variety in fact, that it can be difficult to know where to start. With blush there is no one product to fit all, but it’s worth persevering with because when applied right, blusher can add dimension to an otherwise flat look.
There are also loads of formulas to choose from- powder, cream or tints, such as Benefit’s Benetint. These can react differently to different skin types. For dry skin creams are harder to apply but can look more natural and are less likely to crack than powders. Whilst for normal skin, powders are the most fool proof of the options although they can rub off during the day. Tints are very versatile and they can be used on the lips. They are also longer lasting than other textures, but if you overdo it it’s hard to go back. It can take some time and experimentation to find which products work for you, if you’re really struggling try asking at make-up counters for advice on your specific skin type.[pullquote]The biggest worry with blusher is picking a shade too powerful for your skin tone and ending up looking like a pantomime dame or an extra from the Wizard of Oz.[/pullquote] My rule of thumb is that for pale skin tones the perfect pick is a peachy pink or shell shade such as Too Faced Sweetie pie or NYX Baked Blush in ladylight. Both of these have a subtle gold shimmer which will also help warm up your face and make you look more alive without appearing too unnatural. For darker skin tones reddish-browns are a great choice, although if the product is pigmented enough then bright pinks and oranges can also look stunning- think Becca Luminous Blush in Snapdragon.
For an extra highlighting effect choose blushers which include shimmer to add glow but be careful with anything labelled glitter as this can often be more over the top than au natural. To bypass the danger of your blusher looking too outlandish choose red based pigments over orange. If it’s an extravagant look you’re going for however, then orange and fuchsia are great choices. If you fancy mixing up your blush without being too eccentric then draping is your answer. This is the art of contouring with blusher. Use a light ballet pink such as MAC well dressed swiped across the tops of the apples of your cheeks up past the eyeline and above the eyebrows à la Rihanna’s 2017 MET Gala look.
Recently there has been an upsurge in blush palettes which make it easier for us to sculpt our faces. The NARS Orgasm Infatuation Palette (£35) is a perfect example. It contains 3 shades; a bronzer with gold shimmer, a peachy pink blush with gold shimmer and a highlighting blush which is a few shades lighter. To make this pop apply the bronzer with light circular motions across the forehead, cheekbones and jawline and the tip of the nose. Next blend the blusher over the apples of the cheeks- any excess can be blended into the bronzer. Finally using a highlighting brush sweep the highlighting blush over your cheeks and across the tip and bridge of your nose. A cheaper alternative to the NARS palette is the Sleek Face Form Contouring Palette in light (£9.99) or Revolution Blush Palette in Blush Queen (£6) which has 8 beautifully blendable shades.
Whilst the variety and diversity of blusher and blusher palettes on the market can seem overwhelming, they are also a chance to experiment with your look and breathe a breath of fresh air into your make-up drawer.