A rosy flush. A cherub cheek tint. That “just finished Barry’s Bootcamp” morning glow. There’s something about the perfect pop of rouge on your cheeks that evokes a fresh and healthy je ne sais quoi. While you might think that little pot of pink powder in your makeup bag is a product to reach for only when you are putting on a full face, think again.
There are variations of blush and flattering ways to apply it for every face shape and skin type: bouncy gelées, baked powders, glossy sticks, luminescent loose powders, blushes with a highlighter booster, and every flattering shade under the rainbow. With that in mind, we sat down with Ashlee Glazer and Lisa Aharon to give us the lowdown on getting the best cheeks of your life.
By Face Shape
Should blush be included in your everyday, no-makeup makeup look? Celebrity makeup artist and on-air beauty expert Ashlee Glazer thinks so. “Blush is my favorite makeup product on every woman. It is the most flattering look for all ages. The universal goal is to add a touch of color, brighten up your complexion, and add softness to your overall look no matter what face shape you are,” says Glazer. We’re sold.
Additionally, when it comes to getting the perfect flush, the application process is everything. Lisa Aharon, a celebrity makeup artist whose clients include Rachel Brosnahan, Florence Welch, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Anna Kendrick, has a few tricks up her sleeve. “You can use your fingers (make sure they’re clean), a sponge, or a brush, depending on your comfort level and the type of blush you’re using,” says Aharon. “I like to tap or press in the blush so that it deposits the color evenly. If you need to blend it in further, use a foundation brush with a tiny bit of product patted on top. It becomes one with the skin this way,” she explains.
Ready for one last universal pro tip? Glazer swears her go-to blush trick will change your cheeks/face/life: “Place the two forefingers on the side of the nose and sweep up and out from the outside finger. It is flattering on everyone!”
Now, find specific tips for your face shape below:
Oval and Rectangle
“Sweep your blush higher and blend out toward the ears,” says Glazer. “You want to open up the face and end all your brushstrokes with wisps of the skin so you don’t end up with hard lines."
Round face shapes should go for a softer approach to application. “Going too close to the apples of your cheeks will look too cherub-y,” says Glazer. “Instead, apply slightly above the apples, keeping it very soft and swiping upward toward the temples to enhance the structure of the face.”
Square, Diamond, and Heart
For square and heart-shaped faces, Glazer says to aim high, explaining that you want to add more dimension to the shape of your face. "Start by using your eye as a guide and place the brush on the cheek in line with the outer eye line, and dust up," she says. "Dusting up will give soft angles to the face, and add beautiful color."
By Skin Type
Rosacea/Acne/Textured Skin: “If there’s texture on that area of the face (spots, scars, etc.), cream blush tends to draw attention to those, so I’d grab that powder,” says Aharon.
Normal/Dry Skin: “If your skin is crazy-dry, and the thought of more makeup isn't for you, use a cream. I am a big fan of the blush sticks or liquid blushes that can be used all over,” says Glazer.
Shop the Best Blushes According to Our Experts and Editors
Apply this velvety blush with your fingers for a quick pop of color.
We love a multi-use product that does it all. Huesticks add a healthy, glowy flush to your eyes, cheeks, and lips.
Bubblegum-pink and easy as heck to apply, Make’s Lip & Cheek Stick is a vegan formula that you can put on sans mirror for an effortless flush.
“I am a fan of baked blushes because they have a lot of dimension to them,” says Glazer.
These cheek tints have a velvety, dewy finish and add the perfect rosy hue. Plus, they're vegan!
For powder lovers, Tarte’s Amazonian Clay blush stays put, and the cheek shades are silky and foolproof. My go-to hue is Paaarty, a sheer nude that gives just the right pop of healthy color.
Glazer calls this a classic, the perfect pinky peach with the subtlest shimmer.
A cult-favorite lip shade, Pillow Talk also comes in a divine cheek product that’s part playful blush part highlighter. Swirl your brush around the outer shade for rosy/bronzy cheeks, and make them pop with the highlight in the center.
If a cheek stain and a hydrating gel-cream had a baby, it would be Chantecaille’s Cheek Gelée. Whether you’re going for a light wash of color or a bolder hue, this buildable formula can do it all. Also, the shade Happy is the sweetest pink.
A creamy formula in stick form. If the product name doesn’t say it all, yes, it gives you the perfect healthy glow; yes, it imparts the perfect punch of sheer color; and yes, it will make you feel like an effortlessly chic French girl.
This silky, baked blush gives the perfect hint of color, and the shade In Love is fitting. It's subtle, romantic, and pretty as heck.
Matte but moisturizing, Lilah B.’s lip-and-cheek tint is an easy, on-the-go formula to give the perfect pop to your cheeks.
A liquid formula with a light-as-a-feather finish, Armani’s Fluid Sheer is a gleaming option you’ll reach for year-round.
Ready for more Who What Wear Beauty pro tips? We've got you covered from head to toe: