How to apply blush

Chanel's Innocence

Chanel's Innocence

Blush, at first glance it's fairly innocuous, but when placed in the hands of a blush newbie, things like this..

Blush headlights, a.k.a. The Kewpie Doll effect : colour is placed directly on the cheeks and not blended out very well. 

Blush headlights, a.k.a. The Kewpie Doll effect: colour is placed directly on the cheeks and not blended out very well. 

And this, can happen.

The Robert Palmer : Might as well face it, bad makeup can happen to good people. Talk about blush and lippie overload!

The Robert Palmer: Might as well face it, bad makeup can happen to good people. Talk about blush and lippie overload!

Choose your blush

Where to begin? Let's start with blush colour selection -- use this as a guide, and feel free to break the rules depending on the occasion, time of year or even your mood. Just be sure to tweak the rest of your makeup, so the blush doesn't become a blinding focal point (see above).

  • Know your tone, e.g. fair, light, neutral, medium, olive, and dark.
  • Temperature check - are you warm, cool or neutral? Don't know? Here's the best tip I learned from former L'Oreal expert, Bronwyn Fraser: hold up a blue blouse and then swap it for an orange one. Does your skin sing with blue? Well, you're cool toned. Orange? You're warm toned, babe. Look good in both, lucky you! You're as neutral as Switzerland. The same theory applies to jewellery: silver = cool; gold = warm; silver and gold = neutral.
  • Cream or powder: this all depends on your skin type (dry, oily, or peachy keen normal), and chosen application method. I like to use my fingers whenever I apply a cream blush as this approach warms up the product while blending. Powder and a brush is a match made in heaven. Heck, layer powder blush over cream to prolong staying power.
Print me out: A very small sample of blush colour options based on various skin colours

Print me out: A very small sample of blush colour options based on various skin colours

Choose your brush

Once you've selected at least two hues, think day to night, etc. -- grab a brush, but please remember no two brushes were created equally.

Blush Brush rush Options

Blush Brush rush Options

The Domed Blush Brush: Rounded head, medium in size, designed to leave a subtle touch of colour behind. 

The Pointy Domed Blush Brush: Tapered head, medium in size, which also functions similarly to the domed blush brush.

The Petite Angled Blush Brush: Angled/tapered head with dense bristles; perfect for executing a sculptured cheek, and defining the cheekbones.

The Large Angled Brush: Angled, fluffier head to shape cheeks.

I selected these four brushes as they're all great multi-taskers: highlight, contour, define, and finish.

Blush + Brush = Time to apply, but where?

The go / no go zones

The go / no go zones

Depending on the shape of your face, blush application may fall a little higher, lower, centred and farther up the cheek toward the temples. The triangle-shaped area is a rough guide for you to begin working in, however, this face chart from the blondeshell provides specific areas for blush application.

If you're uncertain where your cheeks begin and end, smile wide, and work to apply blush from the most prominent place, the peaks of your cheeks. Work in a sweeping, outward motion when applying blush. Tapping while moving the brush toward the ears is just as effective.

As for the white areas, think of them as no man's land; under no circumstances does the brush ever enter this territory. Blush creepage often leads to blush overload, thus closing in the the shape of your face.

Applied too much colour? Use your foundation brush to dial down the intensity.

More tips..

Suck in your cheeks

Suck in your cheeks

This method helps to pronounce the hollows of your cheeks. If your blush dips down into this area you've gone too far. To fix this simply buff the blush away in these areas with your foundation brush.

Order of Operations: Apply lipstick first (wearing NARS Annabella on my lips)

Order of Operations: Apply lipstick first (wearing NARS Annabella on my lips)

Then apply blush. By applying your makeup in this manner you can then gauge how much blush you really need.

Go forth and blush, my friends. Just don't make yourself look like a Kewpie Doll.

//image sources: Kerry Washington, Nimrat Kaur, Rashida Jones, Natalie Portman, Jennifer LopezAmy Poehler, Christina Hendricks, and Nicole Warne.

Swatchophile: NARS Limited Edition Final Cut Collection

NARS Final Cut swatches from left to right: Love, Final Cut and Sex Fantasy

NARS Final Cut swatches from left to right: Love, Final Cut and Sex Fantasy

Earlier today I snuck over to Mecca to take a closer look at NARS' Final Cut capsule collection.

For some reason I'm a huge sucker for NARS blushes. Comes with the territory, I suppose.

Which colours intrigue you? My personal favourite is Final Cut, a soft peach/coral.

Mecca also has the following in stock:

  • Illuminator in Adelaide (comes in a squeeze tube)
  • Satin Lip Pencils in Descanso, Stourhead, Torres del Paine and Villa Lante. These shades are almost an exact match to the blushes. 

There's a fourth blush called New Attitude, but it was nowhere to be seen.

Nordstrom also has the Final Cut collection available for purchase.

Happy hunting :)

Edit..

So, I went back to Mecca Cosmetica and swatched the Lip Pencils and the Illuminator. I've officially fallen for Descanso and Villa Lante.

Harumph.

Swatches from top to bottom: NARS Illuminator in Adelaide and Satin Lip Pencils in Torres del Paine, Descanso, Villa Lante & Stourhead

Swatches from top to bottom: NARS Illuminator in Adelaide and Satin Lip Pencils in Torres del Paine, Descanso, Villa Lante & Stourhead

Close up of NARS Satin Lip Pencils in Torres del Paine, Descanso, Villa Lante & Stourhead

Close up of NARS Satin Lip Pencils in Torres del Paine, Descanso, Villa Lante & Stourhead

Pretty in pink with Bobbi Brown's French Pink Blush Set

French Pink Set (Mini Face Blender brush not pictured)

French Pink Set (Mini Face Blender brush not pictured)

I've always been a pink girl. Ballet slippers, lips, cheeks, nails, bedroom walls -- I'm pink through and through. And I don't think I've ever come across a shade of pink I didn't like.

Bobbi Brown's offering for Breast Cancer Awareness month is a cotton candy sweet blush and guess what, a portion of the money spent on this set will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Swatch of French Pink

Swatch of French Pink

Wearing French Pink

Wearing French Pink

French Pink gives you a rosy, healthy flush. For a soft touch of pink, tread lightly, because French Pink can come on strong.  The delicacy of the texture allows for ease of use. 

I am smitten. 

The Bagful breakdown:

Total amount for the Bobbi Brown's French Pink Blush Set:

Value for money spent (performance and quality):

  • 10 out of 10 bags — the blush alone retails for $26.00 USD and the full-size brush costs $48.00 USD. This set is a steal.

Would another purchase be on the horizon?:

  • I splurged earlier this month and bought a shimmer brick. Whee!

Chanel Spring 2012 - review

In order to get an up close and personal look at Chanel's Spring 2012 collection, I did what any girl would do, I booked an appointment to have my makeup done.  Am I right?  I paid a $50 booking fee which went towards my purchase for whatever tickled my fancy.  Upon arrival, I was placed in Marina's capable hands; I let her do what she pleased because I was pooped from the work day.  To be quite honest, I didn't fully enjoy my time due to being so tired - I've been dragging and probably don't make for the best company in the world right now. But as my trainer Casey told me last week after an early morning work-out, "fake it 'til you make it."  And that's exactly why I bought Blush Horizon de Chanel.  

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The great thing about Blush Horizon de Chanel is the fact that it's a three-in-one blush.  There are varying shades of pink bands and illuminators which helps to create a cool pink, a warm coral and a hybrid of both - see above.  To boot, this blush feels as soft as silk. Marina went with the top half for my cheeks; as for my eyes, she played them up with Les 4 Ombres in Eclosion and then lined my lids with Long-lasting Eyeliner in Grenat, a merlot/bordeaux wine colour.  And finally for my lips, we went with Rouge Coco Shine in Candeur and topped it off with Glossimer in Bagatelle.

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Am I faking it until I make it?  I took these photos after an insanely long day at work - I went back to the grind that same evening in order to tie up a few loose ends and also happened to shock a few co-workers with my made up face.

For those wondering about the evolution of my brows, it really has been a work in progress.  I finally went to the wonderful Romina in South Yarra.  Every third week I go see her to whip them into fighting shape; tinting has certainly helped to define them even more so. Karma is definitely a you know what - I skipped an appointment last Friday and they're getting a tad unruly.  Hopefully she'll take me back, please?  Until then, I'll be using my new Chanel eyebrow pencil to keep them in check.

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The Bagful breakdown:

Total amount for Chanel's Blush Horizon de Chanel and Sculpting Eyebrow Pencil in Blond Clair:

  • $135.00 AUS - this included the booking fee as well

Value for money spent (performance and quality):

  • 8 out of 10 bags - Ouch, Chanel is expensive, but I guess you get what you pay for.  QUALITY.

Likelihood to purchase:

  • Soon.  In two weeks time I'll be heading back for this experience all over again.  Scott felt so bad about my having to go back to work, he went to Chanel and booked me in for another appointment.  I really don't deserve him.

* For those wondering about my headband, you can buy it here.