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Blush Basics

Posted March 19th, 2014

I have naturally rosy cheeks (that also flush anytime I embarrass myself), so I've always been torn on whether or not I need to apply blush. But with spring right around the corner, and dewy, flushed skin looking prettier than ever, I did some research to figure out some blush basics that every girl should know. I went to the Nars store in L.A. (my friends who've gotten their makeup done there always look incredible) and learned some invaluable tips.

There are three main types:

Powder: Has the most pigment, but also sits on top of your skin and can make dryness and blemishes more noticeable. When applying a powder, never use your fingers, always use a brush.

Cream: Creates a more stained, dewy look with less pigment than powder. Apply cream blush with your fingers since your skin has natural oils, which helps distribute the color evenly.

Liquid: Tends to be very sheer. You can combine it with your foundation for an all-over-glow, or use it as a replacement for a highlighter. Apply with a synthetic brush or fingers.

Shimmer vs. Matte: Shimmery blushes can be a pretty way to add a little glow to your skin. But since sparkly cheeks don't occur naturally, they're best paired with minimal make-up or at nighttime. Matte will always have a more organic look. If you go matte, you can then apply your own highlighter, giving more control over the areas you want to glow.

Choosing Color: to determine your most natural "flush," look inside your bottom lip and choose a color that's closest to that. Generally these skin tone/color combinations work well:

Lighter Skin: light pinks, peaches, corals.

Medium Skin: saturated brights, deeper corals, mauves.

Darker Skin: deep reds, oranges, purples.

Picking a brush: For powder, use a small, dense brush. It helps the powder go on evenly and will also allow you to build up the color instead of accidentally applying too much with the first swipe.

Application: Don't start on the apple of your cheeks (something I used to do), instead focus on the section right in front of your ear, down to the middle of the cheek. With a light touch, sweep in an oval motion concentrating on the area on your upper cheek bone.

Highlighting: If using a matte blush, adding a bit of highlighter is a nice way to make the skin look illuminated. I apply it in a "C" shape from the top of the arch of my eyebrow around to the upper part of my cheekbone. Tap (don't rub) the highlighter. Rubbing it in will remove your other makeup. 

My favorites: I swear by Nars brushes and this one for cheeks is incredible. Its handle is made of bamboo so it's lightweight, which lets me apply my blush with a delicate touch. My favorite blush is their 'Sex Fantasy.'

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