Everything About Blusher
This chapter is all about colour. And I love colour! You know that feeling at the height of summer when you feel like you look really healthy, sunkissed and just plain gorgeous? Well, it doesn’t have to be just once a year. Whether it’s a lick of blusher over the cheeks to give you a light flush or full-on contouring with bronzers galore, you’ll know exactly where to put the pop to look your best. This is where make-up artists can really transform a look by manipulating the base to add shape and definition to the face. I discuss strobing and bronzing and all that’s in between with a handful of looks that show off colour best.
For all you need to know about blusher, bronzer, contouring and highlighting…
The combination of bronzer, blusher and highlighter can make you look healthier, it can define the structure of your face and add a youthful glow to your look. I know you’re all flicking ahead thinking, ‘How? Tell me, quick!’ However, these are the three things that are also very easy to get wrong, but not anymore with these basics.
Types of blusher
shades of blusher
A pop of blusher adds colour and dimension to your look. There are so many colours and types of blusher to choose from so I’m going to break it down for you.
These work on the majority of skin types, apart from super-dry ones. They are fab because you can build and blend them to perfection. Powder blusher also works with all foundation types.
I love how cream blusher blends into your complexion seamlessly and how it adds a sheen to your skin. They work on all skin types apart from oily skin. They also work best with liquid and cream-based foundations.
Stains and gels
These are fab for long wear, giving a natural glow. They are more difficult to blend than the alternatives. But can look fab all day long once applied. They work best with a liquid foundation.
Shades of blusher
From pinks to purples, oranges to plum, there is a rainbow of blusher colours in different intensities that you could pick from! And there really are no rules when it comes to colour. But if you’re concerned about picking the right shade then stick to the colour chart below.
blusher for different skin
Where to put the pop
If you’re unsure of where to position your blusher to enhance your face shape then here’s a little guide. For creams, stains and gels, I recommend patting them in place with your fingers. For powders, a small–medium head blusher brush is best.
blusher on oval face
Any application works, but to keep the face balanced, start in the middle of the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temples.
blusher on heart face
To soften the look of the jawline, bring focus to your cheeks by softly blending blusher just on the apples of your cheeks.
blusher on square face
Similar to a heart shape, soften the look of your jaw by focusing the blush onto the apples of the cheeks. Blend softly with your blusher brush.
blusher on round face
Start on the apples of your cheeks and sweep upwards towards the top of the ears to create definition.
blusher on long face
Create width by sweeping blusher outwards from the apples, across the cheeks horizontally.
Always start with a smile as that will reveal the apples of your cheeks!
Hands up if you have 50 make up brushes and no idea what to do with half of them… I know this is the scenario for most of my friends. The other extreme is that you only have one brush that you use for literally EVERYTHING! Foundation, cheeks, lips, eyes – everything! Well, the reality is that you only need a handful of brushes. Here are the key types of brush with a brief description of what they do. The ones with the gold stars next to them are the ones that in my opinion, everyone needs in their make-up kit.
Fluffy eyeshadow brush
I have about 50 fluffy eyeshadow brushes. I suggest you have two or three of these. Particularly if you wear a lot of eyeshadow. They are great for applying and blending all different types of eyeshadows. I always use at least two of these brushes when creating a smokey eye: one to apply the product and a clean one to buff in the shadow, particularly when using colour as I find these need more buffing to get an even finish.
I also LOVE these brushes for applying concealer and, if I have time, foundation – buffing in small round circular motions will give you the most perfect base. Yes it takes time, but it’s worth it!
Oh and they are great for applying and blending highlighters too!
Great for smudging liners and for smudging and blending shadow under the eyes. These are fab for precision-blending on the eye. If you want a stained lip look, use this brush to softly rub in your lipstick.
Fluffy contour brush
These brushes are great for blending, particularly if you have round or almond-shaped eyes. They are not as precise as a fluffy eyeshadow brush due to the size of the head, but they are great for a smokey eye.
There are loads of different shapes and size of lip brushes and picking the right one really depends on your lip shape. I like a round, thin shape tip as I find it works well for all lip shapes and is tapered enough to define the lip line.
These are generally used for eyebrows. They are perfect for this. But they can also be used on lips and for lining eyes, perfect for multiple use!
No prizes for guessing what this brush is for! You need this brush if you prefer to use a brush to apply your base. I personally prefer to use my fingers, a beauty blender or a fluffy eyeshadow brush as I sometimes find that foundation brushes can cause streaks. Kabuki brushes are also great for applying powder foundation.
Contour bronzer brush
If you love wearing bronzer then this type of tapered brush is awesome. It really gets into the hollows of the cheeks. You can also use it for applying blusher.
A lot of blushers come with mini brushes for on the go, but for a beautiful, blended blusher look, a full-size brush is key. These also work for blending foundation.
Other tools I love
These are a type of sponge. They are amazing for applying your base, concealer, cream blusher and powders. I like to dampen them before use as this tends to give an airbrushed finish, whatever you are doing.
I use these to apply powder, highlighter and a light touch of blusher or bronzer.
I’m obsessed! I love Tweezerman tweezers as they are so sharp and precise, and come with a warranty that means you can send them off for sharpening for free.
I always carry three sharpeners in my kit as it’s one of those things you can never find when you need it!
The pointy ones are the best for precisely removing or blending make-up.
I clean my brushes every single day, as well as cleaning them throughout my working day. But that’s because I need to as I’m working on different faces and creating different looks all the time.
If you’re only using your brushes on yourself then I would try to clean them as often as possible – once a week is ideal. Or before each new make-up look (especially when it comes to applying eyeshadow).
My Sigma Spa® brush-cleaning glove is my everything! Mainly because it helps me to clean my brushes so quickly. (It costs around £30/$40 to buy.) A sheet of Lego® can also do the trick (you know the big, flat bit you build stuff on top of). Just rinse your brush and rub the head over the Lego® with a bit of brush cleaner or shampoo, then rinse! (Who knew Lego® could be so useful!)
Talking of cleaning. Using your own hair shampoo works well when picking a cleaning product. You know you’re not allergic to it and it will clean the brush well, just like it does the hair on your head. I always double clean my brush, then leave them to dry naturally on a towel overnight. Don’t put them near direct heat as the glue that holds the bristles could melt. There are also loads of brush cleaners out there. The quick-drying ones are the best as you can use the brushes again after a few minutes. Just remember, if you don’t clean your brushes regularly, you’re prone to infection. Nobody wants that, so make sure you clean those babies!
Highlighter has always been a key product in my kit. There are so many to choose from and my problem is that I love them all! I love to layer them to channel a disco ball!
Fair skin pearls and pinks
Types of highlighter
Medium to olive skin Champagnes and rose golds
This is my fave type of highlighter, mainly because it blends so beautifully. It looks great mixed with foundation or applied to the highpoints of the face.
Cream highlighters are my fashion-week faves. They are quick and tend to have a stronger glow than liquid. Cream highlighters also look amazing down the centre of the legs, on the collar bone and on the shoulders.
These give that finishing touch. I love layering a powder over a cream or liquid to intensify the glow.
Picking the right shade
There are an array of highlighter shades, you can even buy rainbow highlighters! However, if you want to look less unicorn and There are an array of highlighter shades, you can even buy rainbow highlighters! However, if you want to look less unicorn and more angel, stick to the shades here.
Black skin golds and bronzes
The MAKE-UP MANUAL
Your beauty guide for brows, eyes, skin, lips and more by Lisa Potter-Dixon