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Applying blush seems like it should be pretty simple. All you have to do is dab some blush onto your cheeks, blend it out, and you’re good to go, right? Wrong. We all know applying too much blush can make us look more like a clown and less like a supermodel. But, what you may not realize is that there are different techniques for how to apply blush, depending on the shape of your face—and they can make a world of difference.
Blush can do more than give your cheeks a nice, rosy glow. (Speaking of rosy glows, here's How to Add Radiance to a Dull Skin Tone.) Dusting on some color to certain parts of your face can soften harsh angles and complement your features as a whole. So, it’s high time you stop thinking of blush as just a pop of color that can be added to your cheeks and start thinking of it as a tool to accentuate your best features. Here’s how to apply blush, based on your face shape.
First things first, figure out what your face shape actually is by getting your measurements before applying blush. These measurements will help determine your face shape so that you can use the right blush technique. Here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Gather supplies. Grab a measuring tape, a pen, and a notebook.
Step 2: Measure width. Using the measuring tape, measure horizontally across your forehead, jaw, and cheeks at their widest points. Write down the measurements.
Step 3: Measure length. Then, measure the length of your face from your forehead to chin, right down the center. Once again, keep track of the measurements in your notebook.
Now that you’ve done that, it’s easy to figure out what type of face shape you have.
Square: If you have a square-shaped face, the width of your forehead, cheekbones, and jaw will all nearly be the same.
Round: If you have a round-shaped face, all your measurements are equal like those with a square-shaped face but you have rounded gentle corners.
Oval: If you have an oval-shaped face, your forehead is larger than your jawline and your face length is larger than the width of your cheekbones. Also, the angle of your jaw is rounded.
Long: If you have a long or oblong-shaped face, your forehead, cheekbones, and jawline are similar in size but your face length is the largest.
Those with a square face shape should stick to the basics. That means going for a classic blush application and putting some color on the apples of your cheeks. This can help to soften angular face shapes. Focus on the apples of your cheeks and then blend outwards for a soft look. Make sure not to blend too far out horizontally because this may cause the opposite effect and give the illusion of a wider-looking face.
Your goal, when you have a round face, should be to make your cheekbones pop. Applying blush in circles to the apples of your cheeks can make your face look even rounder. Instead, make your face look more angular by applying blush slightly lower down and towards the outside of your cheeks (a.k.a. almost, but not quite, under your cheekbones). Just remember to avoid blending towards your nose since that can make your face look rounder.
If you have an oval face, you’re in luck. You can pretty much get away with anything when it comes to blush. One thing you should definitely avoid though, is applying blush under your cheekbones—that’s actually where you should contour. When you apply blush under your cheekbones, you can end up looking like you have windburn instead of a rosy glow. Yikes!
Having a long face means you have more room for blush. Start under the pupils and blend to the middle of your cheeks. Apply it in a slight semicircle or a straight line to make your face appear shorter.
Now that you know how to apply blush to your face shape, you’ll no doubt want to actually, you know, use it. Here are our best blushes to have in your makeup bag.
L’Oréal Paris Visible Lift Blush: This illuminating blush is available in six shades that each give off a radiant-looking finish and can be used to contour cheekbones.
L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Blush: This blush comes in 12 skin-flattering shades ranging from cool to neutral to warm tones.
L’Oréal Paris Infallible Paints Blush: This blush kit contains four powder shades that you can wear alone or mix together.
Guess what? Blush isn’t the only makeup product where application should be dependent on your face shape. To be sure you’re really in the know when it comes to face-flattering makeup, read our articles, How to Find the Perfect Brow Shape for Your Face and The Right Way to Contour for Every Face Shape.