Hey! Gosh can you believe it is the first of October tomorrow!? It seems like two minutes ago we were talking sun creams, travel sized miniatures and holiday must haves- boo! Mind you the weather this week has totally confused us all, I did pack away any trace of summery clothing and said goodbye to summer altogether only to have to haul them out again-not that I am complaining of course!
Todays little nugget of knowledge is one that applies rain or shine, but especially so coming into the colder months when our tans begin to fade and we run the risk of looking a little washed out.
BLUSHER- Now for me it is an absolute must have, I might even go so far as to say it would be the one make up product I couldn't be without and yet I meet so many women who skip on blush. Absolutely everyone benefits from a little blusher. I have heard it all but one of the most common reasons women give me for as to why they do not wear any are that they prefer to wear bronzer, to which I cannot stress enough how they are two totally different products, they work amazingly together and enhance each others effectiveness but one definitely doesn't cancel out the other particularly bronzer over blush. Bronzer will provide your skin with added warmth and can be applied to the majority of the face, apply anywhere the sun would naturally hit first, this is going to be all the high points of the face and any prominent features on the face ie- nose, jawline. Bronzer applied solely to the face can look a little flat, if the skin is predominantly one shade nothing looks lifted. Blush should mimic the colour the skin naturally flushes, everyone will blush naturally most commonly when we are hot, embarrassed or excited, it shows our emotions through our skin and whether we love that or loathe it none can dispute it shows that we are alive and so as you can imagine without it the complexion looks dull and in some cases a little lifeless. Blushing also has a real innocence to it and so we associate a blushing face as a youthful one and so just a swish of blush can instantly make you appear younger. I have a met a lot of ladies who fear blusher or cancel out its use if they have natural high colouring or skin sensitivities such as rosacea, this I can totally understand- it makes sense if you are already red why add more? In this case finding the right shade of blush is more important than ever, mostly I would opt for sheer, light weight consistencies such a cream blush formulas and choose less pinky shades and more fresh peaches. This will have the opposite effect, your skin will look like it is deliberately flushing rather than a sore, redness with all the benefits blush offer as mentioned previously.
Where you apply your blush is very important and also completely personal. Face shapes play a vital part on where best to apply, now this could get really technical so to keep things simple: generally for rounder original square shaped faces applying your blusher directly to the apples of the cheeks draws the eye in meaning the face appears narrower. Longer and heart shaped faces should apply blusher in a less round fashion and more so in a straight, horizontal direction, well blended of course to draw the eye outwards and balance the shape of the face. I would recommend that everyone apply a natural blush in the suggested application for their face shape and those who want to really lift and brighten their face then in addition apply a ‘Pop’ shade in a brighter tone to the apples of the cheeks. Using this two tone method creates a very natural looking flush and also makes blending so much easier as the natural blush shade will blur the difference in intensities softening the blush against your skin tone.
The best way to pick your natural blush colour would be to take a good look at your skin and how it changes colour wise throughout the day, see what colour your skin flushes when you are at the gym or just generally throughout the day and do your best job to match this. Take into account also your hair and skin colouring, very fair skins may wish to opt for peachy tones to be slightly softer while black skins will need to look for deep plums and berry tones. Choosing your ‘Pop’ shade would be to take your natural blush and pick up the amped up version of it, it needs to be bright and may sometimes even a little scary in the pan. These blushers you will use the teeniest amount and so while the pigment may look terrifyingly Aunt Sally in the pan on your skin it will work wonders.
I have used lots and lots of blushers over the last few years and use a big variety in my kit of blusher offerings from various brands but detailed below are my real blush crushes, the ones I can totally recommend and personally go back to time and time again. The colours mentioned may not suit all skin tones and so take my recommendation and then go on and check out the counter to pick your perfect shade, also don't be afraid to ask for advice on counter and try some on.
Now a lady who just never disappoints ever in the product department is of course Charlotte Tilbury and her blushers are no different. They have revolutionised the idea of applying natural blush with a pop and her dual ‘Swish and Pop’ Cheek to Chic Blushers provide a blusher that looks a little like a target with a natural blush to swish your brush around the outside and a small circle of a more intense ‘popping’ blush to finish with last thing. This makes using this blush technique easy and also much more affordable. I have the Cheek to Chic Ecstasy Blush, £30 and have been using this in my personal make up bag ever since I brought it back in January and I have to say its showing no signs of running out anytime soon. It’s intense pigment means I need the smallest amount. It is a peachy natural blush with a hot pink centre. I would totally recommend the Charlotte Tilbury blushers and have my eye on the ‘Love Glow’ one when mine eventually runs out. I apply mine with a Laura Mercier Travel Cheek Colour Brush, £39 which is my absolute favourite blush brush. Its perfectly rounded bristles make application a breeze while its super softness blends and applies brilliantly, an expensive brush but mine is nearing 4years old and still in fabulous condition.
I couldn't talk blusher without mentioning the iconic NARS Orgasm Blush, £21.50, A favourite among Kim K, J-Lo and many more celeb glamazons it is a gorgeous wash of peachy pink with gold flecks running through it that suits pretty much everyone. This blush is perfect for days when skin is looking dull and for those who need a little shimmer fix in their cheek product. . I spent a good few years giggling every time someone asked for this blusher during my SpaceNK days..”The one beginning with O…” they’d say, oh how very English of you.
Those of you who maybe are a little weary of blush and want something sheer and uber natural I would suggest opting for a cream or liquid blush. These can be applied simply with fingers and well blended into the skin. Cream blush will have a more dewy finish and so great for mature skins or anyone with a dryer/dehydrated complexion. A total winner in the natural cream blush department is the Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Fresh Melon, £19. This soft peach adds an extremely subtle brightness to the cheeks while remaining totally inoffensive to even the biggest blush phobe. Another cream blush favourite is the Illamasqua Cream Blush in Zygomatic, £21.50 a naked browny pink. Still too much!? For a product even lighter again opt for a cheek stain, these are very fluid and so give the lightest wash of colour. I recommend the Benefit cheek stains, they do loads now but the original Benetint, £24.50 is still a classic blush while a newer favourite for a cute barbie pink flush is the Lollitint, £24.50. Note these dry very quickly and so best applied in small doses with fingers and built up, apply to the apples of the cheeks and quickly blend in an upwards motion.
I hope that helps, if you don’t already get cheeky and add a flush of blush to your make up routine.