There are myriad ways to apply blush depending on the look you want to achieve: to create lift, add fullness and volume, contour your cheekbones…you get the point. But these days, people are focusing less on sculpting their face shape and more on applying a burst of color on their skin. It’s less structured—and way more fun.
And because of the product’s buildable nature, there’s plenty of room to experiment: “Unlike something more precision-based like graphic eyeliner, taking a fluffy brush and swirling blush over your nose or temples is freeing,” says Donni Davy, head Euphoria makeup artist and co-founder of Half Magic. Makeup artists have told us time and again that makeup has no rules, and it seems like folks are finally starting to agree.
For the record, I’ve always been a blush-first kind of gal. It’s, hands down, my desert-island makeup product, but even I have caught myself venturing into new territories. While tapping my favorite creamy formula over my cheekbones, I’ve recently felt inspired to sweep it all the way up my temples and across my lids in an obvious, exaggerated way. I want people to know I’m making a statement with my blush, similar to that of a bold lip or crisp cat-eye.
“It’s always been that eye makeup gave you the most room to play, but now with blush in the mix, I’m so excited to see all these new looks and trends come about,” adds celebrity makeup artist Kirin Bhatty. I do suspect the new “cold girl makeup” trend has something to do with this shift, which involves using only blush to mimic a chilly, frost-bitten beat. Again, rather than adding fullness or lift, the blush simply ignites the complexion, and it’s placed everywhere the wind would kiss.
We’re also seeing a welcome shift towards makeup that feels more undone; you might think sweeping a hot pink hue across your temples would be, well, the complete opposite of understated, but it’s actually more in line with the trend than you think.
You see, the move towards exaggerated blush is surprisingly low-lift: Rather than blending and blending and blending to achieve a pristine “no-makeup” makeup look, you can strobe your cheekbones (and temples and lips and lids) without worrying it won’t appear “natural.” Isn’t that the epitome of effortlessness?
And people aren’t just experimenting with placement; they’re pushing the norms of typical shades, too. Rosy pinks, deep berries, and soft corals make way for bright violets, true reds, and sunny yellows. Snag a cream or liquid formula, and it becomes the true definition of finger painting.