Back To Basics: Blush 101

blush 101

A blush is a must in any woman’s makeup bag. It adds colour to the cheeks, brightens up the complexion and gives it a radiant glow. No look is complete without it. Yet, a lot of women are scared of blush and avoid it. They don’t know where to apply it, what colour to choose, what texture would best suit their skin type… Here are a few tips to help you choose the right one for you and apply it properly:

Blush Types:

Powder: the most used type of blush, it can come both in pressed or loose form. Powder blushes are most suitable for oily skin as they help absorb the shine. To make them last longer, layer them over a cream blush.

Cream: this type of blush works best for dry and mature skin as it is more moisturizing and provides a dewy finish to the cheeks. People with oily skin should avoid cream blushes, as they can make their cheeks look shiny rather than dewy.

Baked: very similar to powder bushes, they are made by baking coloured liquid on terra cotta tiles. They can be used dry for a sheer wash of colour, or wet if you want more intensity.

Gels and stains: these types of blushes tend to be very pigmented, which means they should be applied sparingly. They provide a natural flush that lasts for hours and can often be used on the lips too.


Blushes are available in several finishes:

Shimmery: they contain fine particles that reflect light, providing a youthful glow.
Satin: they contain very fine particles that impart a subtle sheen to the cheeks.
Glittery: they contain very large particles that reflect light. They should be used carefully and sparingly or they may make you resemble a discoball.
Matte: these have no shimmers at all, and can look quite flat.


The most flattering shade of blush is the one that matches the colour of your skin when you blush or after a workout. You can also choose other shades, as long as they suit your skintone. To do that, you need to consider your undertones:

If you have cool undertones: opt for blue-based pink, rose and plum shades. If you want to try warm colours such as coral or peach, opt for those who have more pink than orange tones in them.

If you have warm undertones: choose warm shades like corals, peaches and bronzes. If you like pink and plum shades, opt for those with reddish undertones.

how to apply blush

How to apply blush

First of all, always make sure you apply blush in a room with good lightening, otherwise you risk stepping out of the house without realising you look like a clown! And always use a brush for a more precise application. But where should you apply blush? That depends on the shape of your face:

Oval face shape: apply blush on your cheekbones and sweep it towards your temples.

Square/Carré face shape: apply blush on the apples of your cheeks and slightly blend it out in a horizontal direction. This will soften your jawline.

Round face shape: apply blush at a 45° angle, from the middle of your cheekbone until below your ear. Don’t apply it near your nose or it will make your face look even more round.

Long face shape: apply blush from the apples of the cheeks towards your ears in a horizontal manner. This will make your face appear wider.

Best blushes

1. Benefit Blushes: easy to apply and travel with, these blushes are packaged in cute cardboard boxes. The shade selection is natural and wearable, and is suitable for those who don’t like very pigmented blushes. Price: $28.00.

2. Illamasqua Cream Blusher: these blushes have good colour payoff and a creamy texture that imparts a lovely dewy, non-oily, glow to the cheeks. Price: $26.00.

3. Nars Blushes: Nars has a wide range of shades in different finishes and textures. Everyone will be able to find a few they’ll love and which suit their needs. Price: $29.00.

4. Nyx Rouge Cream Blushes: these affordable cream blushes have a smooth texture that provides sheer and buildable colour and a dewy look to the complexion.

5. Sleek Makeup Blushes: available in lots of different shades in shimmery and matte finishes, these blushes have a soft texture that’s easy to blend. They are all highly pigmented and so need to be used with a light hand. Price: €5,50.

6. Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush: they are available in lots of different shades, many of which are matte. They all have great colour payoff and a smooth texture that’s easy to apply and blend. Price: $26.00.

I hope you’ve found these tips helpful! What are your favourite blushes and how do you apply them?

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      • Janessa says

        Oh gosh… That’s me. I am constantly wanting new blushes even though I have ‘enough’ :) a trick that helps me expand my blush collection farther: consider using lipsticks and eyeshadow! Even layering different colors. Sometimes, I wear three colors on my cheeks.

        • beautifulwithbrains says

          Janessa, blushes are addictive, aren’t they? And that’s a great trick! Your blush collection instantly gets much bigger that way!

  1. Julia says

    Great tips!! I can’t go without blush, I look so washed out without it.
    I myself adore lavender blushes on me. Have yet to find a true lavender blush, though. :(

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Julia, a true lavender blush is so hard to find indeed. I hope you’ll come across one. Maybe some indie brands may have one?

      And blush makes some a great difference in our looks, doesn’t it?

      • Regn says

        Lavender blush sounds so amazing! I think it’s quite difficult to find a cool toned drugstore blush. And I can’t really afford those expensive ones. My favourite blue-based pink blush is Soft Pink by Alverde which is a German brand available at DM Drogerie Markt. It looks like this (it’s not my blog, just wanted to show you the shade)

        The only downside to this blush is that it has pearl finish, which looks perfect in the evening, but I don’t really like to wear it during the day. I wish I could find something similar in matte (or at least more wearable) finish.

        • beautifulwithbrains says

          Regn, that’s a beautiful blush. Pearly finishes can be difficult to wear during the day, I agree. I hope you’ll soon be able to find a matte one. :)

  2. says

    I don’t apply blush to the apples of my cheek, but rather on the sides of my cheeks. I think this looks better on me .. :-)

    I agree with Julia as well .. I totally look washed out without a bit of color to my face .. thank goodness for blush!!

    Monica P´s last blog post ..Clothing at Charming CharlieMy Profile

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Monica, thank goodness indeed! Once you try it and realise what difference it makes, there is no going back! :)

  3. Janessa says

    I have a round face, that’s for sure. I like to apply innocent-colored blushes (pale pinks, bright youthful colors) on the front of my cheekbones and more sultry colors (plums, rose, anything tan or brownish) on the sides for blush and contour in one. 😀
    I apply my blush in any way I feel like that morning even if its not going to slim my face or bring out my cheekbones. I love blush for the liveliness it gives me! That glow…

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Janessa, that glow is beautiful indeed! And it makes you look fresh and awake. I think it’s great to know the rules so you know how to better emphasize (or hide) your features, but it’s also great to break them and wear what you feel like wearing. Often, the choice of blush just depends on your mood and on the occasion. :)

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