Sweeping on a colour to my cheeks is that little extra je ne sais quoi that my face needs not once, not twice, but every day of the week. I think out of all the basics in my makeup routine, blush is the essential that I cannot live without. Ok, fine, I say that about a lot of products, but woman to woman, who can live without that blushing pink cheek?
When I think about the fundamentals of makeup I think of how women all that way dating back to Ancient Egypt used to wear liquid liner to protect them from the desert winds. Makeup had multiple functions, pragmatically it worked to fend off sandstorms and aesthetically it defined the eye and gave a feminine mystique. Well blush has the same history and double function. Although blush made its debut in Ancient Egypt, I’m going to bet that the theatre is what made it the star it is today. In order to give contour, colour, and character to stage actors, blush was used to define and accentuate the cheek. Today, in my daily wear, I brush on a light layer of colour to replenish a soft glow and give my face the depth that blush so seamlessly provides. Incidentally, whenever I’m getting ready for a photoshoot, I tend to add on a little extra so that the camera (and lighting) don’t fade out the colour that my face naturally has. Ok, so enough for the history lesson. Here are my top 5 blushes:
The Marc Jacobs Air Blush Soft Glow Duo palette comes complete with two shades—for those who are in-the-know, it’s all about layering colour to reproduce the natural depth the skin has—blending together a lighter and darker pink for a natural-looking glow. What I love about this compact is that I know that when I apply it in the morning, it’s still on when I’m ready to wash my face! It truly does the trick. I use my angle blush brush to sweep the ultra-lightweight colour along the apples of my cheeks, my temples, my jawline, and my nose. The Air Blush soft Glow lives up to its name: a quick sweep and my face looks silky soft.
Sometimes I switch out of my comfort zone and move away from the pinks. The perfect blush to carry me toward the corals is Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector Luminous Blush. Ok, so it’s a mouthful, but, Becca has curated the perfect collection of colours for that glowing, sun-kissed look, and is also a cruelty-free brand (yess!). It’s subtle yet radiant, it’s balanced yet shimmery. Basically, it’s perfect. I layer the snapdragon colour with a bronzer for the perfect vacation look. I also mix things up depending on the colour palette of my makeup look – so if I’m going more golds or bronzes, I might reach for coral rather than pink. But, I’m wild like that (lol!).
By adding a sprinkling of earth tones to the pink, Lise Watier achieved a winning colour: the aqua terra. The Blush Powder Duo by Lise Watier is the perfect combo of velvet and silky – allowing the skin to maintain its natural texture even after having applied a full face of makeup. There are two shades in this compact as well which allows for added definition to the cheekbone. Supporting local enterprises is just an added bonus whenever I purchase a Lise Watier product, even though she is an international sensation.
The Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic blush is famous for its “swish-and-pop” powder blush duo. I use the shade “pillow talk” and boast about it to anyone who will listen. I am a serious Tilburian (yes, I made up the word, but it totally works!). Her formulas are rich and last for hours, so I know that when I use the two-step application blush, I’m good all day. I sculpt my cheekbones with the outer shade and dab the inner colour on the apples of my cheek; it’s the ultimate in blendability. Blush gives a youthful glow, that rosy cheek colour that our kids naturally get and we try our damnedest to reproduce. Well, try as we might, it’s only with the help of a little blush that we will succeed. So, thank you Charlotte Tilbury ;)
I love the glitter effect that the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Colour (I wear “peaceful”) gives off. Tarte developed a formula that is super-soft and silky that allows colour to layer and blend without looking chalky or caky. The even infused a moisturizing element (I mean, come on!). I love brands that go the extra mile, and Tarte is one such brand. Did you know that shades are removable? Just pop out the colour from the compact and pop in a new one to create your own custom palette. Smart. I kind of love it
If you haven’t picked up on a theme, here’s a hint: each one of the blushes I mentioned are powder. I’m not a fan of cream blushes (although I linked a great one here). I know they do the trick and some women swear by it, but the truth is, I have oily skin and the cream not only feels sticky, but it doesn’t blend as well into my skin as powder does. What I do when I’m done applying my makeup (and often the blush is one of the last steps), is I routinely finish with a setting spray. What setting spray does is remove that powdery look that blush might leave (on my face and my clothes), and blends each element together for a more natural look. So there you have it, my top 5 blushes!
Photography by Patricia Brochu