Finally, the age of blusher reigns again.
A mainstay in the world of editorial and fashion make-up, our collective love for blush waned as the neutral, bronzed taupe-age ruled supreme. But now, in the big year of 2022, she’s back – and I, for one, am exceptionally happy to see her.
Worn high and tight on the cheekbones, lower in the buccal area, across the nose or swept over the lips, chests and temples, blusher adds an injection of vitality to the skin. Here are the nine trending ways we’re wearing it this year.
1. Gentle stripe
The closest (and healthiest) thing to a natural sunburn, sweep blush over the centre of the nose, travelling from temple to temple, following your cheekbones. The colour should not be “even” the whole way across – a natural sunburn does not form a singular, compact stripe.
Instead, start lightly at the outer apex of your cheekbone, bringing more colour into the centre of your cheekbone, and lightening up again as it moves over the bridge of your nose and across.
2. Buccal blush
This year we’re trying new things and that includes eschewing the traditional advice to not apply blush to the lower half of the face. While it can pull make-up down, creating a drawn or slack appearance, it can also create a natural-looking flush – reminiscent of post-facial massage erythema (the technical name for when the blood comes to the surface of the skin).
Softer, more diffused products and formulas – think finely milled pressed powders and sheer liquid or balm blushers – will work best for this.
3. Oval apples
Queen of our hearts and social media feeds, Tracee Ellis Ross wears youthful blush on the apples of her cheeks – concentrating the pigment in the upper centre of the cheek.
Slightly wider than it is tall, the blush should form a tilted oval shape, following the natural curve of your cheekbone. Avoid sweeping past the outer corner of the eye and beyond your natural smile lines.
An eye-catching alternative take on a natural sunburn, this blush trend is more concentrated and applied higher on the face. In one uniform motion, you’ll create a horizon-like effect on the face working in a soft straight line.
Keep the blush above or on your cheekbone and extend to each edge of the face. For a more subtle effect, choose a shade closer to the natural flushed colour of your skin.
5. High and tight
Another placement that mimics the natural skin-heat of time in the sun, lay your blusher one width of a pinky finger below your lower lash line, starting under the midpoint of your pupil and working out over the very tips of your cheekbone.
The idea is to create an organic-looking “heat” rather than something reminiscent of an allergic reaction. Careful, controlled application is paramount.
6. Temple heat
Create a striking effect by continuing blusher up and over your temples, working slightly into the hairline. Slightly less natural-looking, it’s a simple way to add dimension and depth to the face.
After you’ve applied blusher above the neck, take whatever product is left on the brush and sweep evenly (key) over the centre of your chest for a summer-looking glow.
8. Lip flush
Multipurpose sticks, balms and liquid blushers can be gently pressed or swiped onto the lips for a fresh, gently flushed look. Best practise: focus the colour in the centre of the top and bottom lip, diffusing out towards the edges.
9. Border blush
Create a blurred border of radiance by melting blusher and bronzer into each other over the cheekbones, temples and centre of the forehead – with a sweet sweep over the bridge of the nose, too.
Main image: Tracee Ellis Ross