Let’s Talk Blush: The Most Underrated Makeup Product

For years, blush flew under the radar of the beauty industry. Due to the utter lack of innovative blush formulas and shade options, beauty enthusiasts became comfortable with always using the same old products or excluding it from their routines completely. This all changed in 2020. There have been exciting new launches that have finally made blush a vital step in people’s makeup routines. So whether you’re a beginner who is just starting to dabble with makeup or a seasoned pro who has a long-established makeup routine, here’s my introduction to blush: the most underrated makeup product, and one that should be a staple in your cosmetics collection. 

Blush should be easy – all you have to do is apply it to your cheeks, right? Not necessarily! What makes blush such a fun product to experiment with is its versatility. Although it’s often only  applied to the cheeks, blush can be adapted for many different looks and purposes. The popular Japanese “Igari,” or “Hangover Look” beauty trend for example, uses blush to create a glowy look by targeting the under-eye area and inner cheeks. This technique has also been used by famous artists like IU and Red Velvet in their music videos to mimic the look of naturally flushed skin. Applying blush over the bridge of the nose is also an extremely popular way to create a sunkissed, fresh-faced look.

Blush technique has long been explored in the YouTube beauty space as well. Snitchery, a beauty YouTuber and influencer, has a great video on using different blush techniques to fit your face shape and create different facial dimensions. Focusing product on your cheekbones, temples, cheeks, or nose can dramatically alter the look and effect you’re going for. My personal favorite way to apply blush is to concentrate it on the apples of my cheeks, cheekbones, and bridge of my nose. That being said, there are absolutely no rules with makeup – use your blush in any capacity that works for you! 

There’s also an array of blush colors to play around with.Companies like Fenty Beauty are offering unique color options beyond the classic pinks and reds. Their Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in the color Chili Mango is a vibrant orange that works beautifully with a range of skin tones, and their Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush in the shade Drama Cla$$ is a soft violet color – it’s much more wearable than it initially appears. Experimenting with different shades that work with your skin tone can be helpful in finding your go-to blush. 

Now that we know how to use our blush, what products do we use? Here’s my breakdown of the three most common blush formulas, as well as some good starter products (all cruelty free!) for each category: 

  1. 1. Powder

    Powder is the most popular and easily accessible blush formula. Although it typically works best for those with normal-oily skin, not all powder blush products are the chalky, ultra-matte formula you’re envisioning! Many newly-launched powder blushes on the market have a satin-like finish and are compatible with drier skin types. The Milani Baked Blushes, specifically in the shade “Luminoso,” are a great option for beginners who want a satin to glowy formula. The Buxom Wanderlust Primer Infused Blushes and Juvia’s Place blushes are also known to be both extremely pigmented and long lasting. Apply these with a blush or powder brush for a buildable finish!

  2. 2. Liquid

    Liquid blushes are a relatively new formula, but they’ve become more popular in the mainstream makeup industry with the launch of Glossier Cloud Paints. Liquid and gel blushes are great for folks with normal-dry skin. I recommend the Flower Beauty Blush Bomb Color Drops for a glowy, sheer to buildable formula. The Em Cosmetics Color Drops Serum Blushes are an innovative twist on the traditional liquid formula, a skincare-makeup hybrid that looks beautiful on the cheeks. You can apply these with your fingers or a beauty sponge for a “no-makeup makeup look” or set them with a powdered blush for a long-lasting makeup combination. 

  3. 3. Cream

    Now onto my personal favorite blush formula: cream! Cream blushes can work for all skin types, depending on whether they settle down matte or stay glowy. Cream blushes also have an emollient texture and are often more pigmented than liquid. The Tower 28 Beauty BeachPlease Tinted Lip + Cheek Balm is a newly-launched product that can be used on the lips and cheeks. As, in my opinion, the quintessential cream blush, the Tower 28 Tinted Balm can be used for a dewy, monochromatic look. Another option, the Colourpop Blush Stix, are a more user-friendly option with a satin-matte formula. These can be blended out with your fingers or a beauty sponge for a natural, healthy flush. 

Blush has easily become my favorite step in my makeup routine. It brings life to the face and adds a special touch that simply can’t be replicated by any of my other products. I am always happy to see makeup brands expanding their blush collections – in both their colors and formulas – to make blush accessible for people of all skin tones and makeup preferences. If you haven’t already added blush to your makeup routine, what are you waiting for?