Beauty Basics: Blush


Hi Everyone!

I’m back today for a quick post about blushes.  This will be part 1 of my Beauty Basics series wherein I will focus on my 5 beauty staples.  By “staples” it means the bare minimum makeup items that I always use unless I’m going to workout, swim or wakeboard.

Just so you know what to expect, these are my 5 Beauty Staples:

1. Brow Pencil/Powder

2. Brow Tint

3. Mascara

4. Blush

5. Lip Balm/Lipstick/Lip Stain

So today, we’ll talk about blushes.

This is a simple guide on ways to apply certain blush formats, how to wear “odd” shades and what you should look for and avoid when picking up new blush products.

Blush Basics

So let’s blush up on the basics

There are 3 Blush formats: Powder, Cream and liquid/tint.

Honestly I’m not a big fan of tints or cream blushes, though the latter is starting to grow on me.  I avoid using cheek tints whenever I can though, so even if I have a couple of tints in my stash, I won’t include them in this post just yet.

All About Blushes

Blushes, Brushes & a Beauty Blender

In my makeup stash, the number of cheek products are neck and neck with lip products.  I have no bloody idea why I feel compelled to buy new blushes or highlighters in varying shades all the time (I am baffled, really) but yeah, I end up buying a lot so I have a lot of blushers.

I tend to favor shimmery powder blushes because they are easier to work with compared to matte blushes.  They tend to be softer in texture and easy to blend to the skin.  Shimmer blushes are also “glowy” on it’s own so using one eliminates the need for a highlighter.  Well, most of the time.

powder blush

I. Powder Blushes x Angled Contour and Blush Brush

I favor angled blush brushes for powder blushes because it follows the natural contour of the cheeks and the tapered tip makes it easy to create blurred edges that makes the blush look natural.  If you’re a makeup newbie, I suggest that you start with shimmery blushes from mid-range brands (e.g. MAC, Tarte, L’oreal) as it is easier to work with the texture and pigment of their blushes.

If you’re moving up to more pigmented blushes (e.g. Sleek, La Femme, The Balm Instain) these are trickier to apply because they are very pigmented.  If you have a heavy hand with blushes and find it hard to adjust using an angled blush brush, I suggest using a stippling/duo fibre brush until you get used to the level of pigmentation of the product.

Duo Fibre brush ends are less dense compared to angled brushes so it picks up less product.  The softness of the brush tip also makes product application smoother.  You can’t go wrong with this brush, just remember to start light and use circular brushing strokes especially when you’re using matte blushes.

A. Shade Selection

As you can see in the photo above, I do not stick to any particular color family.  Forget the notion of sticking to a certain blush shade for your skintone.  There are blushes that will not seem wearable to you, but trust me, you can use any blush shade you want as long as you can match it with the look you have on.  Layering shades also work if you’re not good with coordinating your makeup looks.

This summer I skipped out on the standard peachy/flushed cheeks and opted for a bronze-y and berry-toned blushes.  I usually layer the shades to make bright blushes look more natural.  Check my previous post to see my favorite blushes.

I’ll make a separate post for my blush/face routine this week so watch out for that one.

B. Finish

There are three blush finishes: Shimmery, Satin and matte.  I’m sure shimmer and matte is pretty self explanatory.  Satin is a cross between the two.  It’s not quite matte but it’s not very glowy either.

Purchasing matte and satin finish blushes is pretty much foolproof as what you see in the pan is pretty much what you can expect upon application.

But for shimmery blushes, make sure that the shimmer leans more towards warm and golden tones or the shimmer/glitter matches the color of the blush.  I’ve bought a couple of blushes with shimmers that’s either silvery or, in the case of a purple La Femme blush, bluish.  I am yet to wear those blushes outside the house as it is difficult to make it look wearable.  I’d probably find a way to wear those eventually.  I’ll let you know when I do.

cream blush

II. Cream Blushes x Duo-fibre brush or Beauty Blender

I don’t really hate cream blushes, but if you’re used to powder blushes, it takes a bit of adjusting to work with a cream blush without getting totally frustrated.

In the photo above I selected several cream blushes in different formats.  Pot rouge by Bobbi Brown and Flower Beauty, Multi Stick by Nars and HD Cream blush in a pump bottle by Make Up For Ever.

For applicators, you have three options.  One is the Duo Fibre brush, which is the most commonly used medium for this blush.  I have my most treasured MAC 187 in the photo for that.  It’s my HG brush and I can’t sing enough praises about it.

MAC 187 is available in all MAC stores for P2750.00

It is expensive, yes, but boy you won’t regret spending your hard earned cash on this baby.

The second, less preferred choice would be the Beauty Blender.  Or any of those dupes that you can get your hands on.  It almost hurts me to say this because I love the MAC 187, but I prefer the beauty blender when it comes to applying cream blush.

Why?  Well, since using the BB (beauty blender) means you’re stippling the pigment using the round end, it makes the pigment blend to the skin seamlessly.  This method also ensures that you won’t displace your foundation or concealer if you choose to wear your blush over it.

But if you’re just looking into adding a pop of color on your cheeks and don’t actually wear a lot of makeup, you can get away with applying cream blush using your fingers.  Swirl you ring and middle finger over the pot and lightly dab the color on your cheeks until you cover desired area and get the color intensity that  you prefer.

A. Shade Selection

Since I’m a cream blush noob, I stick to staple colors I am comfortable with.  Peach, pink, coral, and earth-tone red.

I find it easier to work with cream format when I don’t have to sheer the product out so much.  Heavy blending can displace your makeup base, which is a pet peeve of mine.  I also notice that cream blushes tend to mix with whatever foundation you have on and the color changes.  I really hate this. -_-

Clearly, I still have a lot of cream blush practice to do.

B. Finish

There are 2 cream blush finishes.  The usual finish is that it stays dewy even as it sets.  Some cream blushes have cream to powder finish where in sets and appears matte and dry.

I’ve tried a lot of cream to powder blushes lately and I really prefer them to the ones that remains tacky. Try Boujois cream blushes or Revlon cream blushes.  They’re pretty good for cream blush noobs. 

I usually reach for my cream blush on weekends when I just want natural flushed looking cheeks.

Most cream blushes do not have shimmer as they are glowy even without the shimmer, so if you’re trying out this format, look for a shade that you are comfortable with and work your way to bolder and deeper colors as you get used to it.


So that’s my guide to powder and cream blushes!

I hope I didn’t make you dizzy with all the details.  Let me know if you’re up for an tutorial or demo on blush application.  I’m thinking of working on a separate post for that. 🙂

Let me know what you guys think in the comments.

Talk later!



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