A word about…Blush

I love blush. I collect blush. But something hit me the other day whilst acquiring another beauty for my collection (Posey Creamblend blush if you must know πŸ˜‰ ). You see, despite my penchant for hoarding acquiring blush, I believe I’m a total dunce at its application.

Quite simply, I don’t know where to apply…and I don’t apply enough.

Part of it is fear of looking like a clown, and the other is fearing like I’ll make a makeup faux pas. I have many childhood memories of blush-gone-wrong. I remember thinking how scary my aunts and mom’s friends looked in the 1980s and 1990s when they wore streaks of red or pink on their cheeks. As a preteen, I remember the horror I felt when my entire cheek was covered, and I mean covered, by blush. God bless the friend of the family who was only trying to help and thought I looked cute. I could show you a photo…but I don’t want to scare you too.

Instead let’s focus on today.Β  I’m determined to learn how to apply blush properly for my face shape.Β  I’ve been scouring blogs and YouTube for videos and how-tos. What I discovered is that there are many schools of thought on the best way to apply.Β  Some say apples of cheeks, while others like Goss Makeup Artist, say no to the apples.

No one is right or wrong so essentially it’s about finding a technique that works for me.Β  I also have to learn to embrace colour.Β  I have a light hand and know I won’t go overboard so I need to get over it….right?

Above is one attempt to look flushed. Not bad but I think I still have work to do.

Tell me, what are your tips on how to best apply blush? Are you a high on cheekbones kind of girl or apples of the cheeks?


  1. says

    Perfectly said! I tend to go with pinkish peachy colors and give just a hint of color with a little highlight above…but I know it would be so much fun to explore them more fully and love that you are going to try to focus on blushes for different face types! πŸ™‚

  2. says

    Hey Michelle, this post made me laugh!

    I agree that blush isn’t the easiest thing to apply (but then again if you think about it nothing ever is), and I too am perceptually scared of overdoing it (and as a result I probably don’t do enough either. But hey, don’t they say less is more?).

    I’m actually a believer of Goss Makeup Artist when it comes to applying blush. It is true that the apples of the cheeks drop when you’re not smiling, and you might risk having your blush a bit too low. I find that when I go with the indicator of my cheekbones, my cheeks are instantly more sculpted, and it slims my face down as well. With that said however, I think everybody has a different facial structure, so no trick works for everybody. I guess we can all play with different technique, snap some photos so that we could see what turns out to be the best? I think you look GREAT in this pic! I don’t think you don’t have enough/too much blush. It’s just lovely πŸ™‚

    • Michelle says

      Hey Sunny, Glad you liked πŸ™‚ Goss’ technique was an eyeopener for me. This week I’ve placed my blush higher on my cheekbones — what a difference!

  3. says

    I don’t follow rules much when it comes to where you should apply blush cause everyone has different face shapes. My face is round so I apply it on my cheek bones to help slim or add more angles to my face. I personally think it looks more flattering that way especially on round faces. For those with a slimmer faces, I think they can get away with blush on the apples on the cheeks. I guess it’s just about application technique and working with your features that will compliment you.

  4. says

    I really believe, for me, applying blush on my cheek bones works best, because I find it really looks like a more natural flush, rather than roundly cartoonesque applied blush. But that’s just me and my face, and maybe someone DOES have the awesome capacity of pulling that off beautifully.

    As Krystle and Sunny said, there are so many different types of faces and bone structures, you can’t really rely on rules that apply to everybody!

  5. says

    Yay a Lipstick Rules rambling! Love this kind of post from you.

    I’m an up and out towards the temple kinda blush girl. But I also quite like a low blush, but I think it’s a “young” look. I probably wouldn’t attempt it when I get closer to my 30s. πŸ˜›

  6. says

    Hi lovely! Great post! The application of blush really depends on the occasion and if you’re going for a desired effect. For example, for everyday I would use a lighter hand with blush unless your skin just absorbs blush. If that’s the case, keep layering and by the time you’re out the door for work it should settle to a more natural state that is still noticeable. If you’re going to be photographed, apply a little more than usual.

    As for location, it all depends on the desired effect you’re going for. Apples of the cheeks are naturally where you flush so it makes sense to apply blush there. But say someone has round cheeks, don’t apply it right on the apples as this will only accentuate that. Apply it more mid-cheek and towards the hairline. If you want a girly feminine blush, use a pink blush right on the apples for that playful flush.

    The best way to get that glow from within sort of deal is to either use a cream blush or buff the blush into your cheek using a circular motion. You can also blend edges with a sponge. And if you’ve applied to much you can use a sponge to “erase” or soften or take your powder brush dipped in translucent powder and brush over top to soften.

    Sorry for the long ass comment but hope those tips help!! xo

  7. maggie says

    I’m always striving to find some happy medium between looking like a clown, and having my blush disappear before I even get to work. If it’s a bit too noticeable, I like to take a clean fluffy brush and buff it in a bit. I find a cream blush in a stick, like a Nars multiple, is the easiest to apply consistently.

    I tend to apply pinky/mauvey blushes on the apples of my cheeks, and peachy/bronzy blushes to the cheekbones. I have a round face, but am not too worried about this idea of it looking ’rounder’ if I put blush on the apples. I actually like my face shape. And it’s not like I’m drawing bright pink circles there, just a dusting where I naturally flush.

  8. Kristin says

    Apples work for me. And I’ve always gone by the rule of applying a bit more blush than I think necessary. It rarely looks clownish unless truly overdone, and honestly I think most women are more likely to underdo it.

  9. says

    Apples of the cheeks work for me and then I extend it to the cheekbones. For bold blushes, I use a light hand and if I apply too much of it, I use my MSFN to blend it out and apply a tiny bit more of it to get the results that I want.

  10. says

    I do a Goss higher up on the cheek look-always have even before I started watching YT. And I used to be scared of using too much of my fave product too, but now that I have the NARS Yachiyo I feel way more confident in wearing pigmented blushes!

  11. says

    I wear my blush high on the cheekbones starting under the outside of my pupil, and then bringing it up around toward the edge of my brow and blending out toward the temples. Sometimes I wear it above the crease of the eye and in the middle of my forehead up near the hairline. Even in the 80s, I never went for that below-the-cheekbone sculpted look.

    Depending on the blush’s pigment and how wide I want the color, I use either the Bobbi Brown blush brush, MAC 187, or Suqqu cheek. I like using Suqqu the most because it is exquisitely soft and small enough to let me really control where the color goes. It also does not pick up a ton of pigment, so I can layer, and the softness of the bristles do not temporarily redden my skin the way many other brushes doβ€”forcing me to wait for my skin to calm down to see if I applied enough color. Of ALL my makeup products, blush is the only one that needs reapplying midday. And, well, of course lipstick, but I’d expect that.

    I prefer bright, clear pinks, like Chanel Pink Explosion, NARS Desire or Gaiety, Bobbi Brown Pale Pink, Edward Bess Island Rose, Clinique Iced Lotus, and Shiseido Carnation. My favorite is a tossup between Gaiety, Iced Lotus, and Carnation.

  12. says

    Right there with you, girl!! I like a duo fiber brush for anything bold. It keeps things from looking clowny. And the more intense the shade, the more likely I am to go in with a kabuki after and buff away after.

    Lately I’ve been letting my blush brush land on the outer apples of my cheeks. I don’t let it come in more than the pupil of my eye and don’t go out further than the inner edge of my temple. Such a small area! But it seems to be working πŸ™‚

  13. Susanne says

    Awesome post, Michelle! I’ve been watching Goss makeup videos all morning. I’ve never even heard of that guy, but I love him!

    By the way, do you remember what lipstick you’re wearing in that photo? It’s so pretty!

  14. says

    I think blush placement varies with the type of look you’re doing, but I agree with Arianne- blush applied very low works best with girls in their teens and early 20s.

    I’m an apples kinda gal.

  15. says

    apples all the way baby, no backwards stripes towards the ear with your blush color- waaay too 80’s for me. i do forward and backwards C shapes on my cheeks with my blush brush to create the perfect rosy cheeked flush. i use a very heavy hand with blush- it even accentuates your eye color if done correctly and bright enough!! you look pretty as always.

  16. Ines says

    I concentrate on the apples, but blend sideways and down into my hollows, and then upwards towards my temples. I tend to be a bit heavy handed with my blush – but if it’s too much I just go over it with a very fine-grade foundation sponge, like a beauty blender or a deluxe sponge from MAC (or a tissue if I don’t have anything else). I don’t rely on blush for contour, I’ll use a contour powder for that – so I like the natural pinched cheek look I get. Lately I’ve been obsessed with MAC Mocha for a subtle and natural flush.

  17. Kristin says

    Oh… and as far as shades go… all my other blushes have been seriously neglected since I got Smashbox O-Glow a few weeks ago. Surprisingly (to me), it doesn’t have great reviews on MakeupAlley, but I love it.


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