Makeup Artists Share New Ways To Wear Your Blush


wearing blush

You switch up your eye look all the time, play with different foundation finishes, and even experiment with your lip game. What about your blush, though? Blush lends itself to different application techniques, and you’d be surprised at just how much of a shift one method can make for your face compared to another! Ready to dive into your blush compact and level-up your makeup game? Consider trying one of these new ways to wear your blush.

Blush Draping

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There’s a good chance you’ve already heard the term “blush draping.” This retro-inspired look has totally made a comeback.

“This technique was created in the ‘70s by makeup artist Way Bandy,” says Bryan Cantor, a celebrity and editorial makeup artist in New York City. “It consists of blush applied in a C-shape from the temples to the apples of the cheek, with the color often connecting onto the eyelids.”

What You Need: Cantor says that bright, vivid blushes work best for this look. “If you love a cream formula, try ILIA Multi-Stick Cheek & Lip in A Fine Romance, $34, a bright berry shade that is flattering for any skin tone,” says Cantor. “Gel blushes are [also] a great option for this look, as they do not crease. Build a beautiful, draped glow by layering it to your desired intensity.” Try any hue of Glossier’s Cloud Paint, $18.

How to Pull It Off: Start at the temple and sweep your blush around the eye area and onto the cheekbone. “It should look very diffused while still having a heavy concentration of color,” says Cantor. “You may stop here, or build the look by using an eye brush to blend blush on the eyelid and into the crease, sweeping the color out to meet the blush at the base of your temple.”

If desired, you can add a deeper shade of blush in the hollow of the cheek to create dimension with a gradient. “For extra staying power on the eye area, layer on some translucent powder or a coordinating powder eyeshadow,” advises Cantor.

Blush as Contour

Let’s just saunter right into a new decade, shall we? Blush as contour hails from the color-drenched ‘80s, but today’s version puts a more modern spin on the look.

“Unlike the ‘80s version, which saw a harsh stripe of color under the cheekbone, today’s contour blush is softer and more diffused,” says Cantor. “This is great for adding depth and dimension to a ‘no makeup makeup’ look without using a traditional contour, or for bringing color and dimension to any makeup look.”

What You Need: Cantor says to reach for deep or natural-toned blushes with a matte finish for this look. One of his favorites is Laura Mercier’s Blush Color Infusion, $32, in Rosé for lighter skin tones and Kir Royale for deeper complexions. If you prefer a cream or liquid version, try Stila Convertible Color in Magnolia, $25, or Maybelline Cheek Heat Blush, $6.

How to Pull It Off: The blush contour method is similar to applying traditional contour. “[First, suck in your cheekbones to determine where the hollow of your cheek lies,” says Cantor. “Then softly buff your blush into the hollow of your cheek for a diffused contour. Start light and build the color until you are satisfied with the level of intensity.”

Bronzer Blush

This is a similar concept to contour, only we’re putting a blush spin on bronzer. “Instead of reaching for a bronzer, try using a peach or neutral-toned blush in its place,” says Cantor. “This works especially well for porcelain and fair skin tones as a bronzer can often look too orange and sometimes even dirty.’”

What You Need: Reach for a peach or neutral-toned hue with a matte or satin finish. Powder, liquid, gel, or cream blushes all work well for this look, so choose whatever formulation you like best. Cantor says CAO Cosmetics Cheek Color in Just Peachy, $14, is a gorgeous shade that has a silky, blendable texture. He also recommends Kosas Color & Light Palettes (cream), $34. Helios is a pretty, peachy shade and Tropic Equinox is a neutral, bronzy hue.

How To Pull It Off: There are two options for the placement of the blush.

Option 1: “For a ‘fresh from the beach’ look, apply blush at the hairline, on the chin, and in a w-shape from the apple of one cheek over the bridge of the nose and ending at the apple of the other cheek,” says Cantor.

Option 2: For a more elegant approach, he says to frame your face by placing blush along the hairline. “Then create the standard 3-shape starting at the temples, sweeping the blush around the eye area to under the cheekbone, and then back along the cheekbone,” says Cantor. You can also apply blush down the perimeter of the face and along the jawline, ending just before the chin.

For more tips, check out blush hacks everyone should know.

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