When it comes to creating a healthy complexion, blush can work miracles—but it also doesn’t take much to overdo it. Blush is one of those rare products that is incredibly easy to use when you know what you’re doing, but very easy to mess up while you’re getting there. To help you reach your true rosy cheek potential, we’ve rounded up the most common blush mistakes—and how you can stop making them for good.
Blush Mistake #1: Being Too Heavy-Handed
Unless you’re walking on some couture runway with a particularly avant garde look, use the “less is more” approach to blush. Lightly sweep your blush brush over your palette to pick up a modest amount of product, tap off the excess, then gently apply it to your skin. Remember: you can always add more color, but it’s very hard to subtract!
Blush Mistake #2: Using the Wrong BrushWell, of course you’re going to have a blotchy, unnatural-looking flush if you apply your product with an eyeshadow brush. Blush brushes tend to be slightly larger, about two-inches wide, dome-shaped, plush, and rounded at the top, giving you just the right amount of coverage.
Blush Mistake #3: Not Focusing on the Apples of Your Cheeks
The apples of your cheeks are the chubby parts when you smile, and that’s where you should be applying blush to recreate a natural flush. Apply in light strokes, blending a little up towards your temples—and avoid applying lots of color below your cheekbones. This will just make you look like you’ve just come from a too-intense cardio session, or are disguised as an 80s supermodel.
Blush Mistake #4: Incorrect Blending
Blush needs to be blended. Natural rosy cheeks don’t look like two random red circles sitting on your face. Apply the color on the apples of your cheeks and some on you cheekbones, and blend outwards on an angle towards the outer corner of your eyes or your hairline.
Blush Mistake #5: Picking the Wrong ColorIt’s not that you can’t experiment, but if you want to play it safe, stick to colors that flatter your skin tone. If you have a fair skin tone, try a pale pink. Those with medium skin tones can totally work corals, while those with dark skin tones might consider bright berries with slightly more pigment.
Blush Mistake #6: Relying Only on BrushesIf makeup brushes still give you trouble, don’t forget your fingers—especially when it comes to cream blushes. They’ll give you a lot more control when it comes to where the color lands, and they’re superlative when it comes to blending. Just make sure you wash your hands well before and after application.
Blush Mistake #7: Only Using Powder Blush
Cream blushes tend to create more natural-looking rosy cheeks because the consistency of the product melds well with your skin. Another plus? They often last longer on your skin than powder blush does. Apply it in the same spot and with the same technique as powder (though as we said, it may help to blend with your fingers instead of a brush) and marvel at your natural glow. Ah, the convenience.
Blush Mistake #8: Getting Too Matchy-Matchy With Your Lipstick
You can (and should!) keep your blush and lipstick in the same color family, but it shouldn’t be the same exact shade. If you’re going for a deep, bold lipstick color, pick a lighter, slightly tamer shade for your cheeks—and if you’re picking a bright lip color, go slightly more subdued on the cheeks. Balance and harmony is everything in makeup, after all.