Thursday, February 20, 2014

blush basics

my friend teri asked me to write about blush, because she has a lot of trouble choosing the right color. blush wasn't something i ever really had an interest in wearing. my primary concerns when i started wearing makeup were make my eyebrows and eyelashes visible and correct any redness on my fair skin. i felt like wearing blush was unnecessary because i was trying to cover redness, not add more. i was always kind of afraid of looking like a clown!

i actually received benefit dandelion (the really light pink blush) as a type of 'free gift with purchase.' i was impressed when i put it on because it is not super noticeable, but it really brightens my complexion. it makes me look more alive, rather than monochromatic.

nars orgasm does a similar job to dandelion. it is a pink blush as well, but it looks almost coral-y because it has a slight gold shimmer to it. it isn't 'glittery'- the shimmer gives it a nice 'lit from within' kind of glow. i like it because i feel like it adds dimension to the face. it is universally flattering- everyone i know who has tried this blush has really liked it. both nars blushes are actually a lot more sheer than the way they look on my arm. i built them up so that you could see the color.

out of all of the blushes below, those two are my definite favorites. i use them almost exclusively. 
but why?
what both dandelion and orgasm have in common is that they are colors that do not look out of place on my face. aside from the shimmer, they appear very natural on my face and don't distract or detract from the way i look. 
my #1 rule while choosing a blush is to pick something that looks natural and flatters you. you don't want people to say 'your blush looks nice!'- you just want your skin to look like it is glowing and have a little 'more' to it. there are different shades, of course- you aren't strictly limited to one shade, but if you don't have naturally occurring magenta or bubblegum pink pigment in your face, that color blush will look unnatural. AGAIN- i am writing this from the standpoint of a person who likes to appear (fairly) natural. if i do play with color, it will be either a bright lip color (i am actually wearing a bright color below) or some kind of eyeliner.

i am not going to write in detail about the other blushes, but they are all very nice. dandelion may not show up if you aren't extremely fair; many other bloggers complain about that. coralista and dallas are both very popular, and both nars blushes are 'best sellers' as well. i actually received the duo in a 'best of sephora set,' which definitely backs that up. the other blush is by tarina tarantino. it is a beautiful, bright corally pink. if i apply it VERY lightly, it looks nice on me, but it definitely borders on clown-y if i'm not careful, so sadly it doesn't get a lot of wear. it is definitely worth checking out if your skin tone is at all darker than mine, though, as a lot of things look too bold on me.

in the picture below, i am wearing no blush on the left, then dandelion on the right. i am making a silly face, but the color is just barely noticeable.

blush application is something that can make or break the way your blush looks as well. i don't highlight and contour, which is a way of using bronzer and a highlighting powder in addition to blush in order to give a more sculpted look (think kim kardashian's cheekbones). i find that to be extremely time consuming, and i don't like the finished result; i feel like i am wearing too much makeup.
a lot of people go by the rule that the 'apples of the cheeks' is where you should apply blush. however, if you were to actually flush, it wouldn't only be on the parts of your cheeks that stick out when you smile. what i do is sweep the blush along my cheekbone, almost to my temple (see the yellow area outlined below).  if the lines look too harsh, take the brush (this time without any blush on it) and go over the area again. this will help blend the blush in and remove any excess.

so remember, if you want your blush to be subtle try to pick something that looks natural for you. go to a makeup counter or sephora and check out a few you have your eye on. if you're really unsure, ask someone for help! and don't just decide you like or dislike it based upon what it looks like in the pan. try the blush on and check it out in different lights- go outside, go in the bathroom, wear the blush around before making a decision. sometimes what looks good inside the mall is super dark or strange in daylight, so it is always important to see face makeup in both indoor and artificial light.

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