Blush 101 - The Ultimate Guide To Blushes

You Don’t Know Everything About Your Blush

A lady applying blush to the temple of her cheeks

What are Blushes?

Rouge, popularly known as “blush” and also known as “blusher” is a cosmetic used for adding a flush of color to the cheeks in a variety of shades. You might think it’s a new addition to makeup, but as a matter of fact, rouge (or blush as you know it) has been in existence for decades now. Let’s go a little back in time.

Brief History Of Blush

As with many beauty routines, the ancient Egyptians were the first to embrace blush into their beauty routine. Both men and women blended fat with red ochre (a natural clay earth pigment) to create a red stain (to add color) to their cheeks and lips.

Greek men and women began to mimic the look (You know!). Instead of red ochre, they used crushed mulberries, red beet juice, crushed strawberries or red amaranth to create their rouge.

While China (during the Shong Dynasty) made their blush from red and blue flowers. They sometimes add bovine pulp and pig pancreas to make the product a little denser.

In ancient Rome, a mixture of lead (red lead) and cinnabar was used as blush. This was found to be toxic, as it caused cancer, dementia, and eventually death.

Due to this, the use of blush was reduced but was revived when the England Queen herself – Elizabeth I included it in her beauty routine. Wow! And that’s how blush has survived to be an important part of the beauty routine, one which we can’t do without even if we are going for the simplest makeup look.

Today, blush has been modernized and made from FDA-approved colorants or dyes such as Red 33, Red Lake 6… to make it safer for use.

Blush comes in varying shades including brown, pink, red and orange. The reason blush has grown to be so popular is due to the fact that it symbolizes a kind of youthfulness.

Types of blush

Currently, blush comes in four textures:

  • Cream
  • Powder
  • Liquid
  • Gel

Cream blush – Cream blush has a smoother texture, it melts into the skin and gives a natural flush. It is recommended for dry skin as it is more moisturizing than powder blush. It also works for people with acne or bumps. Apply using your fingers or blend with a sponge. Give it a minute to set in once applied (you want to be sure you’ve applied enough as cream blushes can be tricky).

Cream blush

2. Powder blush – Powder blush has a sheer texture. It can be shimmery or matte. If you are going for an elaborate look, then powder blush is your best bet. It lasts longer and stays in place than cream blushes. It is recommended for oily skin. Apply using a blush brush.

powder blush

3. Liquid blush – If you are looking for something natural that will also last long, then you can’t go wrong with a liquid blush. It is usually more pigmented and provides a fresh natural finish to your look. You can easily blend it with your fingers or makeup sponges. It is great for dry to normal skin.

Liquid blush

4. Gel blush – Looking for a more sheer and glowy look? Pick that gel blush. It is light and glides with ease leaving a refreshing (jelly-like) feeling on your skin. Dab with your fingertips to apply. This works on all skin types.

Gel blush

Other Creative ways to use your blush - What else can you use your blush for?

If you thought blush was just meant for the cheeks, you’re not alone but give it a second thought. Blush can be used to create different beauty effects depending on how and where it’s applied. Blush can be used as a:

  • Lip color – apply a lip balm as a base, dab a little bit of blush and blend with your finger onto your lips. Finish the look with lip gloss.
  • Color corrector – You can use blush as a color corrector to neutralize unwanted complexion tones like dark under-eye circles.
  • Eyeshadow – You can sweep on that beautiful blush shade you love as an eyeshadow. Be careful to use an eyeshadow primer as a base because the blush formula is meant for the cheeks and it hasn’t been tested if it meets the sensitive area of the eye.

How to apply your blush

  1. Choose the right shade of blush that matches your skin tone. Using the right shade will help you create an even-toned natural appearance. 
  2. Consider your skin type. If you have dry skin, you can opt for liquid or cream blushes. Powder blushes will work well on oily skin types.
  3. The type of blush you use also depends on your other makeup formula. If you are using a liquid foundation, use a liquid blush. You don’t want to use a powder blush over a liquid foundation to avoid caking. If you want to apply cream blush and a powder foundation, apply the cream blush first, then your powder.
  4. Apply with your fingers, sponges or brushes depending on the blush formula you are using.
  5. It’s a common myth to always smile when putting your blush. You don’t need to at all. When you smile, your cheeks go up and once you relax your face, your blush ends up far too low, which gives you a tired or sometimes terrible look. When applying your blush, make sure to relax your face. Apply to the center of your cheeks and blend it up towards your cheekbones and temples.
  6. Less is much – Don’t pack too much product on your face. Your blush should look natural and not like clown makeup. But if by chance, you end up putting too much on your face, don’t use the makeup remover as this can wipe off your foundation or concealer as well. Instead, tone it down by dabbing a bit of liquid foundation over it. Then, use a wet makeup sponge to evenly blend it. This will tone down the blush color, leaving a natural rosy glow.
A lady with too much blush on her face

Different blush shades with matching skin tones

  • Peach – It’s a “never go wrong” shade. It’s a fantastic pick for multiple skin tones. On fair skin with yellow undertones, it’s a flattering match. Whether a red carpet look or a normal date look, you can never go wrong with peach.
  • Baby pink – Most suitable for fair skin.
  • Apricot – Suitable for medium skin tones
  • Warm Peach – For olive skin tones
  • Berry – The pink for medium and dark skin tones
  • Plum – Suitable for fair skin with purple or blue undertones and darker skin tones.
  • Brick Red – Flattering on dark skin tones
  • Tangerine – Fiery orange look for dark skin

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *