4 non-basic ways to wear blush

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If you’ve always thought that there was just one way to apply blush, you’re not alone. However, blush – like eyeliner – can actually be used to achieve different aesthetics, depending on where and how it’s applied.

Want a more sophisticated look for work? Makeup artist Clarence Lee says to apply your blush from the area just beside the ears in a downward manner, towards the front of the face along the cheek bones.

Need to make your blush pop visually? Makeup artist Larry Yeo recommends layering two blush shades – one in a traditional blush colour that you like, along with a pale lilac shade as a soft highlight.

Desire cherubic cheeks? Makeup artist Ginger Lynette Leong says a more rounded blush application, focusing on the front of the face, will not only make cheeks look fuller, but also give you a more youthful appearance.

Inspired to try something different yet? Here are four unconventional ways to wear blush. The best bit: They’re easily replicated for real-life wear.

Look 1


A popular look in Japan, this is affectionately known as the “hangover” blush, and is centred around applying colour across the cheeks and nose bridge for a truly flushed appearance, like how you would look if you had one drink too many.

It’s also a great way to replicate that post-beach holiday sun- kissed glow – just choose a peach, coral or rose hue.

How to

It’s versatile – go subtle with a light wash of colour or bold with a vibrant hue. Clarence cautions against using a blush with too much shimmer as “you may end up looking oily, especially when the colour goes across the nose”.

Texture-wise, Ginger says to opt for a powder blush because “it looks more natural and you can control the amount applied”. She also suggests dusting off the excess product before using the brush on the face to give a softer finish.

Dior Diorskin Rouge Blush in #520 Feel Good, $75

Nars Blush in Orgasm, $52

  Rose Hermes Silky Blush Powder in Rose Pommette, $115


Look 2


A look favoured by Korean celebrities like Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon, as well as the members of Twice and Red Velvet.

With monochromatic makeup, products of the same colour family are used across the whole face, meaning your blush matches your eyeshadow and lip colour.

How to

The experts agree that you need to pick a shade that complements your skin tone. For instance, a pale pink will be too faint if you’re tanned or have an olive undertone.

How you match the rest of your makeup is important as well. “With red lips or purple eye makeup, your cheek colour shouldn’t be too matchy, as you can end up looking bruised,” explains Clarence.

ALSO READ: 7 affordable multi-purpose products to step up your makeup game

According to Larry, the trick is to ensure that the colour chosen is applied in different intensities to create depth: “An easy way would be to divide the chosen colour into three intensity levels, with one being the softest and three being the most intense.

Keep the eyes and cheeks to levels one or two, and use three for the lips.” Alternatively, you can do level three for the eyes with heaps of mascara, level one on the cheeks, and level two on the lips.


Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Blush in Latte, $48

M.A.C Glow Play Blush in Cheer Up, $49

Bite Beauty Daycation Whipped Blush in Watermelon Marg, $50

Look 3


Riffing off the “igari” trend, the under-eye blush, also known as the “me no shita chiiku” or momoko blush, is another trend that hails from Japan.

What started as a look that made Japanese women appear under the weather, and hence more in need of protection, has evolved into a mark of youthfulness and innocence. In fact, Larry says that it’s actually “a great makeup style to soften an edgier OOTD”.

How to

Clarence recommends applying blush from right below the eyes, before blending till it fades out towards the cheeks to give the impression of bashfulness.

He adds that there’s another benefit to this look: Instead of the pink tones favoured by Japanese women, choose a warm rose or redder shade as it can cancel out the blue tint of pesky dark circles.

Always remember that less is more, says Clarence. “Start with very little blush, and build up the colour until you think it looks good on you.”


Decorte Powder Blush in RD401, $70

Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush in Grateful, $3

Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush in Daiquiri Dip, $3

Look 4


Seen on Molly Goddard’s Fall/Winter 2021 catwalk, this look is essentially a wash of blush in coral, peach or pink, draped across the eyelids, cheekbones, and even up to the temples.

How to

To make it wearable, Larry says to keep your blush as washes of colour on the eyes and cheeks, but in varied intensities. “Keep the colour more intense along the cheekbones, but fade it out as you move up towards the eyes and out towards the hairline.

ALSO READ: How to get a sun-kissed flush like Blackpink's Jennie

And stay away from strong eyeliners,” he adds. For shades, Clarence recommends dusty pinks, peachy coral tones or warm nudes, but “avoid pastels as they can wash you out”.

When it comes to application, Ginger suggests using fingers, especially if you’re working with a cream blush. If you prefer using a tool, she advises using a beauty sponge or a kabuki brush that will allow you to blend and get that diffused wash of colour.

Drunk Elephant O-Bloos Rosi Drops, $5

Tom Ford Beauty Shade & Illuminate Blush in Aflame, $10

Nudestix Nudies Matte All Over Face Color Blush in Nude Peach, $50

This article was first published in Her World Online.

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