How To Apply Blush: Exactly Where It Goes and Why

Fancy lady? Wind-swept Highlands maiden? Be. Them. All.

Photos by Kathryn Wirsing, Design by Mike Stillwell

Blush is one of those beauty products we have piles of but never seem to use unless it's a fancy occasion or our faces really aren't working for us for some reason (we *know* you know what we're talking about). But it shouldn't be that way–blush is actually pretty great/useful for a few reasons:

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  • It only comes in happy colors
    • It's laughably easy to create a different mood by adjusting where you apply it

      Here, we analyze two classics plus two more, shall we say, *editorial* options. Note that, for the purposes of you actually being able to see the differences between them, we've gone significantly more heavy-handed than usual with the pigment. For non-demonstrative situations, make sure to keep blending the edges until you can't tell where the color begins. (Do as we say, not as we do.)

      Kathryn Wirsing

      1. Apples

      Ah, the ol' smile and swirl. There's a reason this is the standby, meaning the effect is cute, youthful, and subtle (when you're not packing it on for a photo shoot). You've heard the "advice" that round face shapes shouldn't attempt this one? Phooey.

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      2. Cheekbones

      Another deserved standard. To reinforce the face's angles and give a fashion-y effect, concentrate the blush high on the cheekbone. Chic.

      3. Low on the cheek

      Now we're moving into more unusual territory. For Topshop's Fall 2015 show, makeup artist Hannah Murray layered on an earthy red gel formula followed by two lip products (really) to give models ruddy, almost-wind-burned cheeks. Doesn't it make you want to wear plaid and adopt a Wheaten Terrier just so you can take him for moonlit walks on the moors?

      4. Near the eyes, AKA Chanel Couture Spring 2011

      You don't have to look like Julia Nobis.
      Getty

      Right now, you're either like, "Whoa." Or "WHOA." If you're keen to attempt this balletic, Bar at the Folies-Bergère kind of look, 1) be very deliberate in your application and outfit choice, 2) use a small brush to place the blush under the outer corner of your eyes, and 3) adjust how far down the cheekbone/toward the temples you extend it. This one can look very pretty or very stupid. But you got this.

      Blushes to Try

      1. The cult-classic orange-y pink hue: Blush in Orgasm, $30; narscosmetics.com.

      2. For rosy red cheeks: Powder Blush in Malice, $45; chanel.com.

      3. To get a subtle pale pink glow: Dandelion Face Powder, $28; benefitcosmetics.com.

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