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Learning how to apply blush is essential for every makeup lover. While applying blush seems like it should be pretty simple—and it is with practice—finding the right way to apply it to complement your face shape takes time. With a variety of techniques and different tips and tricks depending on whether your face is round, square, oval, or heart-shaped, it can be hard to lock down the perfect method. Well, it used to be hard, anyway—we’re making it easy. Here, we’re breaking down the right way to apply blush for every face shape. But first, let’s talk about how to determine your face shape.
First things first, you’ll need to know what face shape you have—otherwise, you won’t know how to apply blush to flatter your features. To find out your shape, you’ll need to take a few measurements. Here’s what to do.
Grab a measuring tape, a pen, and a notebook.
Using the measuring tape, measure horizontally across your forehead, jaw, and cheeks at their widest points. Write down the measurements.
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 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 of a square-shaped face, but your face has gently rounded 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 longer.
Heart: If you have a heart-shaped face, your forehead is the widest part of your face. Your chin will also be pointed, and you may have a widow’s peak at your hairline.
Diamond: If you have a diamond-shaped face, you have a pointed chin and high cheekbones, with a narrower hairline than that of a heart-shaped face.
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 outward for a soft look. Make sure not to blend the product 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 toward the outside of your cheeks (a.k.a. almost, but not quite, under your cheekbones). Avoid blending toward your nose since that can make your face look rounder.
Editor’s tip: For round faces, it’s best to avoid shimmer-packed blush formulas as the reflective quality can make your cheeks look rounder. Instead of reaching for a shimmery option, use a matte blush.
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.
Since heart-shaped faces can appear pointy, you’ll want to use your blush application to soften your features. To do so, apply blush in ‘C’ shapes from the top of your cheeks to above the end of your eyebrows. You can also add a bit of blush to the center of your forehead to create a balance between your forehead and chin.
Applying blush—the correct way—to a diamond-shaped face can help draw attention to the lower portion of your face. All you need to do is apply blush to the tops of your cheekbones and blend outward toward the bottoms of your ears.
Now that you know how to apply blush for your face shape, you’ll no doubt want to actually, you know, use it. Here are a couple of our best blushes to have in your makeup bag.
L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Blush: This blush comes in 12 skin-flattering shades with options that have cool, neutral, and warm tones.
L’Oréal Paris Infallible Longwear Blush Shaping Sticks: These long-lasting cream blushes are buildable for achieving your perfect level of intensity.
Your application technique will also differ depending on the formula you chose out of the above options. You’ll still want to use your face shape to make sure your blush application is flattering, but whether you’re using a powder or cream blush—the True Match blush is a powder and the Infallible blush is a cream—plays an important part, too. Here’s how to apply each type of blush.
Known to give your skin a radiant glow with a slightly dewy finish, cream blushes are popular for a reason. Offering excellent coverage, this formula can easily upgrade your makeup look. However, one wrong move can ruin your makeup, so we’re sharing a few tips on how to apply cream blush.
Follow through with your standard skin care routine before applying makeup. Use products that will hydrate your skin like a moisturizer or face oil. Once your skin is all set, you can lay down your base. When it comes to cream blush, it’s always smart to wear a liquid foundation underneath. This is because liquid products tend to work well together.
Get ready to add some color! If you’re working with a cream blush in a stick format, swipe it directly onto your cheeks. If it’s in a small container, use clean fingers to dab it onto your cheeks. From there, use a makeup blender to blend out any harsh lines.
Look at your face to make sure that the color is even on both sides. If you use too much product, tamper down the color by going over it with a clean blush brush or makeup blender. If you’ve under-applied, apply another dab of the cream blush to your cheek and blend until even.
After applying your bronzer and highlighter, it’s time to set your face! Use an oil-free setting spray to ensure a long-lasting makeup look.
Powder blushes are likely the kind you’re most familiar with as they’re a basic makeup must-have. Great for staying put throughout the day, powder blushes provide a polished finish and can be built up to your desired color intensity. However, you will want to keep in mind that applying too much product can leave your skin with a cakey look. Here are the best tips on how to apply powder blush like a pro.
As with any face makeup look, it’s always important to prep your skin.
Grab a blush that complements your skin tone and texture. Dip a fluffy brush in the pan and sweep the product onto the spots you learned will be most flattering for your face shape.
It’s time to check out your work! Look over your face to make sure that the product is laid evenly. If you over-applied, use a translucent powder like the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Perfecte Powder and sweep it over your skin to make your blush a touch more subtle. If you applied too little, you can always go back and add more.
You’re almost at the finish line! Follow up with a bronzer and highlighter. Once your products are perfectly blended, use a setting spray to lock your makeup in place for a picture-perfect finish.
Beyond applying your blush based on face shape, there are other tips and tricks anyone can use to ensure their blush looks its best.
While certain makeup products can be applied with your fingers, blush isn’t one we recommend smudging on with your hands—especially if you’re partial to powders. For powder blushes, use a fluffy brush to sweep the product onto your face. As for creams, use a makeup sponge to apply the product and blend out any harsh lines.
If you have trouble pinpointing where to apply blush, faking a big smile can be helpful. The smile will make the apples of your cheeks more pronounced, giving you a better idea of where to apply.
For your best blush application ever, you’ll need to determine your skin type and tone in addition to your face shape. In terms of tone, you should look for blushes that mimic your skin’s undertones. If you have a warm tone, pick warm-toned blushes. If you have a cool tone, pick cool-toned blushes. Additionally, if you have skin redness, you’ll always want to opt for a cool-toned blush to avoid drawing attention to your already-rosy hue.
Speaking of lasting power, you’ll want to lock your blush in place. After all, you don’t want it to fade away for a less than lively complexion. To set your blush—and the rest of your makeup, while you’re at it—mist your face with the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Spray & Set Makeup Extender Setting Spray.
Your blush doesn’t need to match your lip color exactly—but they should coordinate. Pick a lipstick or lip gloss that’s in the same color family as your blush.
Next up: Blush isn’t the only makeup product where the 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 Eyebrow Shape for Your Face and The Right Way to Contour for Every Face Shape.
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