A make up basic, blusher is one of the constant stumbling blocks where women repeatedly get it wrong. The fashion for applying blusher seems to change so rapidly that many get trapped in a salad days’ application, which may have looked great in the 1960s but does not quite feel right today. Fuchsia rouge accompanied by pearlized highlighter only looks good on a trendy fashion spread, and Aunt Sally’ circles look simply comic, unless brilliantly applied by a professional make-up artist.
When it comes to color, you cannot go wrong with a pink or a peach. These hues enhance the natural skin tones and are more forgiving if you aren’t a dab hand with your blusher brush. Do not be put off by colors that look vivid in the container. Often a whisper across the cheek results in a fine, subtle finish. While curt brands Nars, MAC and Stila offer a superb array of colors. I personally always stick to the traditional houses of Chanel. Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior when it comes to blusher – the Purity of color they offer, combined with the silky texture, is hard to beat.
The key to successful application is knowing your own face. It is vital to flatter the bone structure, or at least create the illusion of having a bone structure. The best way to successfully apply blusher, whatever your age, is to keep it simple. A superlative graduated-bristle brush is worth the investment and Shu Uemura makes the Manolo Blahnik of blusher brushes.
1. Stand in front of the mirror and smile. Touch the rounded ‘pillow’ area created on each cheek and envision this as the starting point.
2. Whip the color round in circular motions, remembering to blow excess color off the brush first.
3. Stop smiling and move the brush up and down.
4. To create the illusion of looking younger, dab the blusher across the forehead, down the nose and on the chin to reflect light.
For those who feel that powder blush is something they will never master, product advancement means that cheek color is now available in cream and fluid textures. One of the great things about these is that they are applied with the fingertips – though it is vital to blend, blend, blend to avoid the zebra effect. Most importantly, after applying a creamy blush, finish off with the sheerest whisper of translucent powder on top to create the illusion that the blush itself is coming from within.
As with any area of make-up, remember that you do not need to be limited by labelling. Multipurpose blush sticks, like those made by Francois Nars, contain subtle, glittery particles that reflect light and create a youthful glow. These can be used just as successfully on the decolletage or shoulder blades as on the face.