Monday, April 2, 2012

How to Apply Blush & Highlighter



One of my very favorite makeup items in all of existence is blush. Isn't it funny that we try so hard to cover up our rosy red cheeks when we become embarrassed, but then try to mimic that flush with makeup? I think there's something quite charming and attractive about a beautifully applied blush that can't be replaced by anything else in a makeup routine. Even with no other makeup on, it brings a liveliness to the face that I really adore.

There are plenty of techniques used to give us that effervescent, lit-from-within glow that we all seek but I've found one which is easy to master while helping to slim and contour the face at the same time...




PRODUCTS MENTIONED:

Sigma F40 Angled Contour Brush
Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed
Dior Diorskin Shimmer Powder in 002 Amber Diamond
NYX Mosaic Powder in Highlighter
Sigma F35 Tapered Highlighter Brush

ON ME:

Shirt is from Forever 21 last year (similar plain/PINK)
Tank top is from J. Crew (similar/similar)
Nail polish is Revlon Whimsical

I'm sure we've all seen the tacky, overdone pink cheeks of plenty 'o club-going collegiates, right? That is something that I personally try to avoid when applying blush. Makeup can be a lot like clothes and hairstyles in that you want the makeup to enhance you, not be the star of the show itself.

Coming from an artist's perspective, the key to a effortless blushed look is to understand the natural highlights and contours of the face and enhancing it. This way, your natural beauty shines through.



Here you can see the gradient of blush application from the highest concentration of color near my ear and softly coming forward to curve under the cheeks. Tarte's Exposed blush (swatch here) is the perfect pinkish touch-of-brown color on my NC30 skin to use as a hybrid blush/bronzer for my contoured blush technique.


Obviously, you can experiment with different blush shades to achieve this natural flush to match your own skintone as well. Paler skinned ladies might want to try pinks and mauves while I find tanned and deeper skinned women to generally look great with peaches and bronzes.

You can also see the sheen at the top of my cheeks from where I used my Diorskin Shimmer Powder which catches the light in a really flattering way. It's golden with very small shimmer particles that I can see being quite flattering on warmer skintones especially. Again, highlighters aren't about people seeing a disco ball on your face but instead giving others the impression that your skin is really radiant and healthy.


Another favorite highlighting product of mine is my NYX Mosaic Powder in Highlighter which is a product I've loved for years. You can see my first swatch of it in an old 2009 post here. There are no shimmers in it but it imparts a lovely iridescent glow without looking frosty or chalky. Obviously, at $8 (currently on sale at Ulta for under $5) it's a great choice for those who are budget-conscious as well.


I know that applying blush seems like it's a very basic concept, but I hope that my technique might help some of you to find your own perfect blush style. :)

Since I'm always down for finding a new favorite, let me know in the comments what your favorite blush and highlighter are!



75 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tutorial of this. I tend to apply on the apple of my cheeks and never knew how to contour my face. My favorite blush is the nyx in shade peach and my highlighter is the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Rose.

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  2. thanks for the tutorial! I can never get the blush part right.

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  3. Great tutorial. Definitely found it helpful :)

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  4. still yet to watch the video tho but looking forward to it xx

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  5. I love your look! You are totally gorgeous to start with, anyway, but this look totally highlights your cheekbones. LOVE IT! I will definitely try it. Thanks for the tips and I love how you compared highlighters to a disco ball on your face. Hilarious! lol.

    www.theShopaholic247.com

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  6. Thanks for posting on blush application! My blush application seems to be hit-or-miss and I'll keep these tips in mind while practicing. My favorite blush is by Clinique in Pink Posy (it's a pretty pink-coral color) and Lancome's Touche Eclat is my favorite highlighter.

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  7. beautiful! i'll keep the triangle shape in mind. my main problem is applying blush after i've concealed my blemishes with concealer and foundation. whether it's powder or cream blush, the concealer always seems to rub off with my brush or fingers. how could i avoid this problem? because applying brush over dark marks just makes them darker. :(

    my favourite blush for a while was nars orgasm (what a surprise!), then i really got into tarte exposed as well! right now my favourite is the cream blush by mufe in nip slip. it's a cute pink that looks very natural yet youthful! but, like i said, applying it (or any other blushes) just seems to emphasize my blemishes! what to dooo?

    tonight at noon

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    Replies
    1. Sometimes concealers (especially creamier ones) tend to grab at pigment in blush so what I would do is after concealer, set with a translucent powder first. Then, when you apply the blush on top it doesn't soak into the concealer. Instead of swiping powder, gently tap it from the side of the brush onto your face so it doesn't move the concealer around. Hope that helps!

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    2. i do put powder but i guess maybe i unconsciously swipe the blush brush so i'll remember to tap it. thank you! :)

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  8. Very nice makeup, it's natural and looks like you've got sun tan.

    wytane.blogspot.com x

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  9. The balm's Mary-lou highlighter works great! Pretty glow without being too shimmery:D

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  10. I'm going to try this out w/a highlighter since my face is naturally red. Not a good thing. haha but I was wondering for your next video if you can do something for concealer. I would get like 1-2 zits once in awhile and I can never hide them well. I'm not sure if its b/c its dry or what but it cakes up so I just ended up leaving it alone w/o concealer =(

    Love the glow from this look btw! <3

    www.sheerloving.blogspot.com!

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    Replies
    1. I'll try to do a concealer overview covering the different types and how I use them.

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  11. Love all your videos, and this one helped me a lot!

    I've been reaching for tarte's exposed all the time now and ignoring all my other blushes (which I have a lot of!) For a highlighter I've been using MAC's MSF in lightscapade but I also have the Dior Amber Diamond but haven't been able to break into the pot yet. ;)

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  12. can you contour and have the same effect using a brighter blush? the one you used was more brownish so i can give a shadowy effect. how does it compare to use a bronzer for contouring and then a pinker blush on the actual cheeks? thanks for sharing this

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    1. You can use the same technique but I would bring it just slightly higher on the cheeks and use a light hand so you can build the gradient. You still want it darker at your ears and fading in. :)

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  13. Great tutorial! Dior face shimmering powder are too expensive for me, but I do like the shimmers. Any other suggestions?

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    1. I really like the NYX highlighter I mentioned in this post, and also Kevyn Aucoin's candlelight highlighter. Too faced also has a great highlighter!

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  14. Would love a tutorial on how you conceal! I have oily skin, acne prone...similar to yours based on how you describe your skin in past posts. So blemishes plus I scar easily and have lots of hyperpigmentation (boo...). You cover your spots so nicely and it looks flawless..how do you do it?!

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  15. I love the MAC blush in Melba, I use it as a contour color sometimes. I also love Strawberry Pink and Marshmallow Purple from Candydoll!

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  16. Great tutorial! You look very pretty!

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  17. What kind of false eyelash are you wearing ? What are your favorites?

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  18. Very helpful! Yes I'd like to see concealer video/tutorial as well please!

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  19. what kind of eyelashes are you using in this video? they are so pretty and natural but make a statement. love em!

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  20. Thanks for the tutorial, it was great. :) I like your videos and I find them really helpful. You're really pretty too!
    I was just wondering if you could do a review on the Maybeline master shape eyebrow pencil? I was thinking of getting it. I'm asian too and I have the same shade eyebrows as you except its a little lighter. I was just wondering what worked for you because I am in Korea at the moment and the Maybeline counters here don't sell the Master Shape eyebrow pencil! I wanted to order from America but it takes a long time and it will take a long time to reach me (and I don't think Maybeline ships to Korea), so I was wondering if I could see if it works out for you first?
    Thanks a lot! :)

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  21. do more videos like this Jen! its very informative, straight to the point and in-layman's term for makeup beginners like me.. :)
    i know u already have a video about eyebrows, but could you do a tutorial for almost-no-eyebrow/barely-there/just-a-line eyebrows? thanks so much!
    http://elinessete.blogspot.com

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  22. Another basic can be how to conceal pimples or pigmentations!
    I know i have trouble concealing them so i think it'll be helpful and informative :)

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  23. Love these basic videos Jen! They're very useful :) I was thinking if there was any highlighter/bronzer you would recommend for super fair (asian) skin? I have a hard time finding products that aren't too dark for my pale face ;/

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  24. Omg your lashes are stunning! Can you please tell me what they are?

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    Replies
    1. I layered 2 types of natural lashes (I think Darkness WXOS and a pair of random criss-cross ones) :)

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  25. Thanks for the product recommendations! I'm doing a friend's wedding makeup and I've been looking for a matte highlighter; I will definitely check out the NYX one.

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  26. I think the way you always make a point in showing how to apply techniques to various
    face and eye shapes is awesome.
    Really helps people to observe and get to know their own characteristics.
    Many thanks for that! :)

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  27. Wow, this is #amazingly# useful to me. Thanks so much!

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  28. Hi! I've never commented before but I read your blog a lot. :)

    With that said... I've been doing highlighting wrong all this time, lol. I would put a bunch of highlighter underneath my eye and my mom would always tell me I looked so funny! I chalked that up to her not knowing anything about makeup, guess I was wrong, eeps. :x I'm glad you made this video!

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  29. Hi Jenn ,
    I think I'm around the same skintone as you but dryer and I'm chinese. I know you love tarte's exposed but do you have any of the other shades? I would like a pink and a peach but I can't choose from tipsy, blissful, amused or dollface. Everything I search up has such difference reviews from each other >< also have you tried thebalm's down boy or tarino's dollskin blushes in charm or napolean?

    Anyone else can help me please answer too! thank you!

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    Replies
    1. I haven't tried any of the ones you mentioned but I've had my eye on Tarte's Tipsy before. Hopefully a commenter can help out!

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    2. I got exposed and blissful yesterday 15% off :O
      I find I like blissful more at first glance but because exposed doesn't really seem to be showing up on my cheeks > <

      I'm using ecotools blush brush. do you find you have to swirl a lot to get the blush on? (because I heard all the tarte blushes were really pigmented and to be careful lol n__n; )

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  30. Could you do a tutorial on how to stick two fake eyelashes together & still can beautiful lashes?

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    Replies
    1. I'll try to include that in a false lashes video :)

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  31. Been waiting for this one, thanks Jen!! :)
    What about the "apples of cheeks" method peonyinlove mentioned? I've heard about them a lot.
    Also searching "how to apply blush" on Google Images had me thinking there were specific ways to apply blush to different face shapes. What do you think?

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    1. Also! What do you think of the Mrs. Bunny Vegan Sigma brush set? I was going to get the Sigma travel kit you suggested from your brush posts, but seeing the Mrs. Bunny one, which is all synthetic, made me wonder which I should get :)

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    2. Generally, applying blush on the apples will give a more youthful, cute look while giving your face a rounder appearance which would work well with longer faces or if you want a more dolly look. I personally prefer the more chiseled effect of contouring my blush, which is flattering on most face shapes. The best thing is to try out different techniques to see what is most flattering for you.

      Also, I do own the Mr. Bunny vegan set (black & chrome version of Mrs. Bunny set) and they are really nice, especially the face brushes. I prefer my natural bristle brushes for eyeshadow but the face brushes are SUPER soft and don't have any fallout.

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  32. I am not sure if you know, Dior have discontinued the highlight powder :(

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  33. I really liked this tutorial! I never use blush, I haven't experimented with it much other than the apples of the cheek thing which I don't like that much. This look is awesome to do everyday but makes a huge difference in how you look. Please do more basic tutorials for people who are make-up ignorant like me!

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  34. Great tutorial. Now I know how to hold the brush. I was doing it wrong :)
    http://happychinadoll.blogspot.ca/

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  35. Jen, you are a great tutor. Thank you! I like your basic tutorials. I learn a lot :)

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  36. Thanks for the great video, Jen! Would you use a similar technique (at least WHERE you would apply the blush) for cream blushes like the stila ones or the dream bouncy blush?

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  37. I've always liked the way you applied your blush and it's great to see a tutorial on it. Thank you!

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  38. Hey Jen! That was very helpful! Would love to have a tutorial on eyelid tape application as I've always had trouble applying it without everyone noticing! Thanks so much!

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  39. Hi Jen,

    This is such a helpful video. I didn't think I'd learn from this video, but I did. Thanks so much!

    Do you think you could do a blush video for the different face shapes? It would be neat and similar to how Wendy did a video on how you could wear a scarf 25 ways. What do you think?

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  40. Lovely, I might just try the Tarte! looks gorgeous on you!

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  41. Jen, we seem to like the exact same blush colors, because every time you post a favorite blush its always my favorite too, or I pick up the blush you're loving and I love it too! You really need to check out Le Metier de Beaute's cream blush in Ginger Lily. The swatches online are a little misleading, except Cafe Makeup's swatch is spot on: http://cafemakeup.com/tag/le-metier-de-beaute-ginger-lilly/

    It lasts forever on my face, as long as the Tarte blushes, much much longer than any Mac blush!

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    1. Oh interesting! Is it a cream blush?

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    2. Yes it is! It was the first cream blush I ever purchased, super easy to apply. You need just the littlest amount. Le Metier is pretty high end (I've discovered it wandering through Neiman Marcus) but this blush is surprisingly well priced at $28, since you need just a touch, it'll last forever.

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  42. First of, huge admirer of your blog. I live in the tropics, so I'd love to see a 5 minutes and go to the beach sort of tutorial. I would also like to see you use some models with other skin tones since not everyone has that gorgeous skin that you do.

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    1. Thanks so much! To answer your requests, I have a beach tutorial that I did previously! You can check it out here: http://www.frmheadtotoe.com/2010/06/beach-bronze-copper-monolid-makeup.html

      Also, I know it's not a ton of videos but I did do a tutorial on my friend Hannah who has quite fair skin here: http://www.frmheadtotoe.com/2010/04/purple-copper-tutorial-video-with.html

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  43. Hello Jen! I love so much your tutorials! I've watched all of them. I'm asian too, but from France, and it help me a lot because I don't really know how to maked up them.... I want to know what is your favorite favorite mascara?

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  44. Thanks for this tutorial Jen! Hi I'm Ploy (ur Thai Fan)
    I usually apply blush on my cheeck quite darker than I need becoz I'm afraid the color will fade during the day which I'm not sure it's the right way to do. With ur technique, will it last long til end of the day?

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  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  46. Hi, thanks for your videos. They are incredibly helpful!

    1. What are your favorite fake eyelashes?
    2. What lipstick/balm are you using in this video?

    Thanks!
    Sara

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  47. Hi Jen, I like your video. It is very useful!

    I looked at the Sigma website for the F40 angled brush but they don't seem to have them. Do you know if they are discontinued or whether there is a replacement (ie F84)? Thanks

    Karen

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  48. Ah! You are so pretty! Anyways, my friend recently recommended this highlighting powder called 'albatross' by nard and it is this amazing white sheer powder in the pan, but when you actually apply it or put it on your finger it turns unto this really gorgeous golden color! You should check it out :)

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  49. hi jen!
    i've been following your blog for a while now and i have to say i am in love with your posts! i have a similar skin tone as you so your tutorials help me out alot! i get so many compliments thanks to you :)
    i was just wondering if you have any suggestions for a drugstore highlighter or at least a cheapish highlighter product that would look great? im still in highschool so i dnt have that much money :P Thanks so much! and cant wait to see your next post/tutorial :)

    Mia

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  50. Hi Jen, I have difficulty in trying to have a flawless make up on my face due to fine hair on my face. The powder or foundation I apply doesn't sink well into my skin face and it made my make up is not smooth. Do you know how to overcome it? Thanks Jen. I always like to watch your tutorials.

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  51. Hi, Jen :D
    My cheeks get white-ish red(if you know what I mean)-well, red during the day without no reason. Should I use blushes or not? Also how can I cover it up?
    Thank you Jen. As another Korean American monolids, I love your makeup tutorials so much!! I was never able to find anything like your tutorials before, and I alsolutely love it <3


    Michelle

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  52. This definitely helps me improve my blush technique thank you so much!!
    Cherry
    www.cherryberrypoon.blogspot.ca

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  53. Hi Jen, I remember you mentioning you have benefit coralista. I have a similar skin tone to you. Which would be better Coralista, Tarte exposed or Nars orgasm? :) And as of for highlighter, should i go with Dior's or NYX's? Thank you so much!!

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  54. thank for the great tips!! love your eyes make up too! is there a tutorial on that?

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  55. Love the look in this picture! :) Very polished and elegant!

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  56. thanks for the tutorial! it's super helpful!

    I have similar skin tone to you and I LOVE the Tarte exposed blush! Are there any other Tarte blushes that you would suggest trying out? Thanks! :D

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  57. Hi Jen, I love the video, so much so that I linked back to it on my own blog. Thanks for posting!

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  58. This tutorial is one of the best available on the internet!!! That is why I included the link to this article to my guide on Top 10 Beauty Products To Splurge On. You can check it out here: http://stylesprinter.com/midweek-beauty-top-10-beauty-products-to-splurge-on/

    ReplyDelete

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