How to apply blush – the right way

Blush is an indispensable part of your makeup routine.  But when it comes to applying blush so you look fabulous can be a challenge.

There are lots of ways to apply blush, lots of colors to choose from, and a wide range of products to try.  Unfortunately, all these choices make blush confusing!

But not to worry – today, I’m here to share my top tips for applying blush the right way.  Bring on the youthful glow you’re looking for!

apply blushGet Prepped

The first step in applying blush is prepping your face.  As always, start with a clean face and add moisturizer and sunscreen.  After that, blush should always be the top layer of makeup – the perfect final step.  As you plan your foundation and blush, remember that you can always apply a powder on top of a cream, but you can’t put a cream on top of a powder-based product.  You can layer a cream on a cream, but you’ll need to spend extra time blending to polish the final look.

Choosing a formula

There is a dizzying array of blush choices in the cosmetic aisle.  Pressed powders, creams, gels, use-everywhere-crayons, and even liquids.  While a lot of people start with powdered blushes, they aren’t always the best option.

Like powdered foundations, powder blush can settle into fine lines and skin imperfections, detracting from your face.  Plus, powders have a flat appearance on the skin, which can make you look cakey, rather than glowing.

While somewhat intimidating, I always recommend cream, gel, or liquid blushes.  Once you get the hang of how to apply them (not too much!) they’re incredibly blendable and easy to use.  Plus, they give you a natural glow!

Determining your face shapeface shape

The key to applying blush to the right area of your face depends on your face shape.  The goal behind blush is to add a natural flush to your cheeks and add definition to your cheekbones.   The exact spot this magic happens depends on the overall shape of your features.

Birchbox offers a fantastic guide and video to help you figure out your face shape once and for all.

Once you have your shape in mind, you can hit the blush.

Applying blush correctly

Blush was meant to add a rosy glow to your face – think of the light flush you get when exercising lightly or setting eyes on someone special.  But how you do this depends again on your face shape.

To find your starting point, smile in the mirror.  This will help you identify your cheekbones, and the points you want to start applying blush.

If you have a long, round, or square-shaped face you should apply blush to the apples of the cheeks and pull the color outwards towards your temple or the outer corner of your eye.

Heart-shaped faces should start at the cheekbones and pull upwards along the upper cheeks to the hairline in a soft C shape.  This helps balance out the sharp contours of heart-shaped faces and makes your face appear rounder.

Oval faces, on the other hand, can get away with small circles of color right on the cheekbones.

applying blushBlend well

The last stage of applying blush is to blend well.  You want a soft subtle color when finished – nothing too harsh – for a natural look.  Using your trusty finishing or blush brush, be sure to blend till the color is soft and consistent, and not bleeding into non-cheek areas of your face.


There you have it!  Blush is the perfect accent to your made-up face but learning to apply blush can take a bit of practice.  Follow these steps till you’ve perfected your look, and you’ll be ready for anything that comes your way.

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