Let’s talk blush! We’re all aware of its role in the makeup world as the finishing touch on any freshly done up face, and for lots of ladies, that’s the breadth of their grasp on getting rosy cheeked. But there’s actually a lot more to this little compact that meets the eye! So consider this post the way to boost your 101 knowledge. From types of blush to go-to shades to how to apply it to suit your face shape, scroll down for a deep dive into blush basics.

  1. Powder VS Cream VS Stain

    Three types of blushes, three (or more!) ways to use ‘em:

    Powder Blush: This should be your go-to blush for daily wear. It’s light on your skin and easy to apply — invest in a solid brush like Paula Dorf’s Perfect Cheek Brush ($31) to help make the blending process easier.

    Cream Blush: Cream blush is synonymous with longevity, especially on days or at occasions when you’re outdoors. The formula is extra hydrating — a bonus feature you’ll love in dryer conditions — apply it with tinted moisturizer for an even more nourishing boost. Apply this blush with your fingers and seal it with a matching powder blush to make sure it’s color doesn’t fade.

    Stain: Cheek stain is formulated to oxidize when it hits your skin and blend into your natural undertones, creating a fresh-faced, rosy look. Plus, this product pulls double duty as a lip color as well! To create the best depth, apply with your fingers (or a brush if it comes with one!) and then add a similar hued power on top.

  2. Choosing Your Color

    Real talk: This topic is completely up for debate. There are many makeup artists and experts out there who believe wholeheartedly that there is THE blush for you. And while *I* agree that everyone has a preference for what color looks best on their skin tone, I mostly firmly believe that just about anyone can wear just about any color blush… if applied correctly and in the right balance with the rest of the makeup they’re wearing. More on this when we move into a more advanced approach ;) But so you can see the differences, I’ll apply three totally different colors of blush and then you decide when and where to wear ’em on yourself.

    Orange: Applying an orange-tinted blush gives you a bronzy complexion like you’ve been soaking up the sun for days. Sport this natural-looking color at the office with a subtle smokey eye so your skin will glow even indoors.

  3. Purple: One word: Drama! Rock this shade on your cheeks with just a touch of mascara to strike the perfect balance. This look would stun on a night out with the girls.
  4. Pink: Look at how those cheeks pop! Wear this bright color with a cute cat eye to every wedding you’ll attend this summer.
  5. The Right Place to Apply For Your Face Shape

    The bad news: You’re probably applying your blush COMPLETELY wrong. You’d think a brush across your general cheekbone area would cut it, but actually there are different zones on each different face shape where blush looks the best. The good news: We’re breaking down the proper places for blush application right here. The better news: Our blush beauty tips come in the form of a printable cheat sheet that you can keep on your vanity until you master your look! DL and find your face shape below:


    Oval Face: This long and lean face shape is the most versatile for blush application. But as a general rule of thumb, apply to the apples of your cheeks and sweep back towards your temples.

    Round Face: Apply blush slightly below the apples of your cheeks and sweep it back toward your earlobes — this will help to help elongate your face.

    Square Face: Gals with a square face should apply their blush directly to your cheekbones, and sweep it toward your ears to make a thick horizontal line. The angular application will soften the angle of your face.

    Heart Face: Apply blush just below the apples of your cheeks and blend it downward towards your ears and your jawline to give your face a stronger angle.

    Oblong Face: This elongated face shape generally has a little more room to go heavier with your blush application. Apply it directly to the apples of your cheeks and blend in a circular motion towards the outside of your face to refine your features.

  6. Remember, you can always apply more or less blush to suit your situation — for daytime wear, stick with less pigmented blushes to keep your look refined, and when the sun goes down, any shade’s fair game!

So what blush basics are you brushed up on? Which shades are your favorite for day wear, for nights out or for special occasions? Share any of your blush or makeup tips in the comments below.