Blush makeup is used to simulate a natural glow and must look subtle. However, there are many ways to apply blush so that you not only add vivacity to your complexion, but also amplify your facial structure or correct your apparent face shape.

In this article you will learn:

  • how to choose textures that work with your other makeup.
  • which are the most flattering hues for your skin tone.
  • how to emphasise or modify your face shape with blush.



Blush may come as a cream, gel (mousse), or powder. Cream or gel blush has better staying power, while powder blush comes in larger variety of shades. On bare skin or over foundation you may use any texture, according to your preference; however, if you use facial powder, then applying powder blush on top is your only choice.

Products with a dual function—such as blush and lip colour—are designed to accelerate makeup application. However, these products are more properly classified as stain rather than blush, because staining is exactly what they do. Stain as a blush may be a good choice for oily skin, but it doesn’t usually contain the oils essential for hydration and well-being of the lips.


Your choice of blush colour will firstly depend on your complexion—light, medium, or dark—and secondly on the look you want to achieve—fresh or structured, natural or made-up.

Blush pink

If you wish to add some freshness and a healthy glow to your face, choose a shade from the cool palette. Any kind of pink is a good choice for lighter complexions, while cool berries and plum shades will work for deeper skin tones. Don’t use cool blush with lipsticks in brown or orange shades.

Blush orange

Warm-coloured blush with orange undertones is best for contouring the cheeks, giving definition to the face. Choose a shade ranging from delicate apricot, for a fair complexion, to burnt orange, for a deep skin tone. Don’t use brown or orange blush with lipsticks in cool shades.

Blush neutral

Shades between the cool and warm palettes are universal; they suit any complexion, and go with any lip colour. Peachy for light skin, rosewood for medium skin, or red for dark or black skin; these are a must-have for every woman.

Natural shades such as nude, beige, or brown are mostly neutral or warm-coloured. They have a low concentration of red pigments, and are therefore well-suited to application all over the cheeks, essentially serving as bronzers rather than blushers.

If you really know what you are doing, you may use two blushers; a dark warm or natural shade for contouring, and a light pink or neutral shade to add a healthy glow. Blush with light shimmer will add luminosity to your face, and looks especially good with evening makeup, but don’t overdo it on oily skin or plump cheeks.


Liquid or creamy blush is usually applied with the fingers on bare skin or on top of foundation. Powder blush is applied with a medium-sized flat brush on top of your facial powder. You may apply powder blush on bare skin or over foundation, but be sure to take the blush sparingly on a very soft brush so it doesn’t streak. Add a thin layer and blend to see how you like the brightness, then add more if necessary (you may use a different shade) and blend again.

Blush application contour

Warm-coloured contouring blush can be used to add definition to your face. Simply apply below your cheek-apples down to (but never in) the hollow, then blend up toward the temples in the shape of a crescent. You will need to practice this technique, but the structured look you achieve will be worth the effort.

Blush application oval

To complement an oval face, apply blush on top of your cheek-apples in the shape of a slanted triangle.

Blush application short

To make a short face look longer, start an oblong stroke below nose level, finishing up at the temple near your hairline. Blush should be applied in a long and slightly curved line, away from the centre of the face.

Blush application long

To make a long face look shorter, apply blush across your cheeks starting at the mid-nose level, then blend it upward and downward. Blush should be applied in a shape of a soft triangle, close to the centre of your face.