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How To Apply Blush The Right Way: The Best Shades And Techniques For Your Face

by Beverly Hills MD

July 23 2020

You may have been using blush for years, but are you applying it the right way? It may not be rocket science, but knowing how to apply blush properly can help to accentuate your favorite assets.


Discovering the right blush formula and shade for your skin tone is also key. Reason on to learn more.

First, Prep Your Skin The Right Way

Blush isn’t usually the first step in a makeup routine, so it’s fair to say that you’re going to have some kind of base beneath it. One fantastic benefit of blush is that you can brighten up a bare face by just swiping a little across your cheeks.


When applying blush as part of your makeup routine, you’ll want to ensure that your skin is prepped the correct way. This should help your blush to stay put longer.


  1. face cream | Beverly Hills MDFirst, make sure that the skin is well moisturized with your favorite anti-aging face sculpting cream.
  2. Wait for a few minutes, then apply a makeup primer to create a barrier between the makeup and your skin.
  3. Next, apply your favorite tinted moisturizer or liquid foundation.
  4. Now it’s time for your regular makeup products including your blush.
  5. Finally, set with translucent powder.

How To Apply Blush For Your Face Shape

You may know that blush is usually applied to the cheeks – but that’s a pretty broad zone. Where you apply blush on your cheeks matters greatly. It can mean the difference between flattering your face or drawing attention to features you may be trying to offset.


Here’s where you should apply blush on every face shape.


A heart-shaped face has a wider forehead, prominent cheekbones, and a narrow chin.1


Applying blush: Your aim is to accentuate those beautiful cheekbones, so you should extend your blush even higher. To do this, think in terms of a “C-shape.” This semi-circular motion begins on the temples and curves out and down your cheekbones, finishing just below the “apples” of your cheeks. Be sure to blend well, so that the majority of the blush is on your cheekbones.

applying blush | Beverly Hills MDRound

A round face has softer, curved angles, and a rounded chin. The cheeks are the fullest part of the face.2


Applying blush: Start with a smile. Then, swipe the blush a tiny bit lower than the apples of your cheeks, diffusing it back and up toward the temple. Avoid sweeping blush in the direction of the nose, as this makes the face look more round.


Square faces tend to have straighter sides and a flatter jawline. The face is almost as wide as it is long.3


Applying blush: Your aim is to soften the angles of a square face. Sweep blush across the apples of the cheeks – but closer to the nose, so your cheeks appear more rounded. Lightly diffuse the color to the tip of the brows; this helps to further soften the angles of the face.

applying blush | Beverly Hills MDRectangular

With a rectangular (or oblong) face, the forehead, cheekbones, and jaw are about the same width. This is similar to a square-shaped face but it’s slightly longer than it is wide.4


Applying blush: Just as with a square-shaped face, you’ll want to start on the apples of the cheeks and blend toward the nose. Bring the blush out to the tip of the brows and toward the hairline. Finally, add a little more blush on the lower portion of the forehead to help shorten the face.


If you have an oval face (or curved rectangle), you tend to have a taller forehead, and your cheekbones are the widest part of your face. The face is also longer than it is wide.5


Applying blush: Start in the real middle of the cheek (not the apples) and sweep and blend blush down toward the earlobes and up toward the temple. This helps to create more width.

Pick A Shade That Works With Your Skin Tone

variety of makeup | Beverly Hills MD

Just as with clothing, jewelry, and other makeup, different skin tones look better in different blush colors. So you’ll want to choose the right shade to compliment your skin tone.


If you have a fair skin tone, seek out:


  • Pale pink – Closest to your own “flush,” pale pink is a great natural blush choice. Avoid anything too red.
  • Peach – Peachy tones are renowned for being flattering on every skin tone.
  • Golden peach – For a healthy shimmery, summer glow, try a bronzier peach.

blush swatch | Beverly Hills MDIf you have a medium skin tone, seek out:


  • Soft Berry – A medium shade of pink on medium skin ensures the color doesn’t get lost. Look for a cool-toned, rose-pink blush. This shade will also help to neutralize yellow tones in your skin.
  • Apricot – Orange-toned blush can make medium skin look too pale, so try out shades of apricot for a fresh look.
  • Mauve – For more depth, rich shades of mauve look wonderful on medium-toned skin.

If you have an olive skin tone, seek out:


  • Rose – Shades of rose help give a beautifully warm and natural rosy glow. Rose is the perfect “neutral” for olive skin.
  • Warm peach – A warmer peach blush is virtually guaranteed to make olive skin pop.
  • Bronze – Brighten olive complexions with a shade that’s very close to the natural summer tan of olive skin types.

getting makeup done | Beverly Hills MDIf you have a dark skin tone, seek out:


  • Bold red – Darker skin tones look great with more intense, colorful hues. But anything too dark can look “bruised”, like plum or burgundy. Bright red will look far more natural once it’s applied to the skin.
  • Rich raisin – This bold shade is highly pigmented for plenty of pop.
  • Terracotta – Bring the warmth to dark skin and pack a punch with shades of brick red.
  • Bright Tangerine – Once applied, this vibrant shade will actually look fresh and subtle.

Pick The Right Blush Formula

Now you have a shade in mind, what’s the best mode of delivery – cream, powder, or liquid?

right blush formula | Beverly Hills MD

Cream Blush – Cream formulas are best layered on top of creamy foundations. They’re very buildable and blend seamlessly as they easily “melt” into the skin.


Powder Blush – Powders play best with other powders. They also work well for oily skin types. A powder blush is ideal when you want something a little more long-wearing or to feel more “done up” for that cocktail party.


Liquid Blush – Also known as a “cheek stain,” liquid blush appears heavily pigmented but it actually comes off looking the most natural. It spreads incredibly easily and ultimately ends up looking like a natural flush of your very own skin.

Pick The Right Blush Brush

Finally, let’s take a look at working with the right applicators to ensure your blush goes on seamlessly.


  1. makeup brush | Beverly Hills MDMakeup brushes intended specifically for blush tend to be shaped for the most ideal application. They also have the right mix of fluffy and firm bristles to make blending effortless. Some are also angled, so they hit your cheek at the best angle for blending.
  2. A makeup sponge can also blend blush well. Start with the sponge a little damp (this works for both powder and cream blushes). Dot the blush onto the cheeks using a light pressing motion. You can also apply your cream blush directly to the cheek and then blend with the beauty blender.
  3. Using your fingers is still an effective method for cream or liquid blushes. The warmth from your hands helps to blend the product. Just make sure you wash your hands before touching your face.

Apply Blush Like A Makeup Artist

Blush can really pull together a look by adding contours and warmth, or by simply making you look more awake.


Now that you know the right blush formula and shade for you – and how to apply it – you’re well on your way to using blush the way it was intended.


Learn More:
Summer Makeup Tips: Your Makeup Guide For Hot Weather
How To Apply Sunscreen With Makeup On: Smart Skin Care
Different Types Of Makeup Brushes (And How To Use Them)


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