BY DANICA SMITH
Let’s get pinched with blush! Known as a sign of flirtatiousness, rosy cheeks have been a symbol of communication since forever and used as a sign to keep the bashful compliments coming. This occurs by the reddening of one’s face particularly in the cheeks and is mainly caused by adrenaline, however due to the essence of romance associated with blushing, it is said to make people more attractive. This is why for centuries women have been adding artificial colour to their cheeks to emulate the act of romance with an added hint of innocence.
Blush is an important component to even your simplest makeup regime. By adding a touch of colour to one’s cheeks believe it or not, brings the full face makeup application together. For instance, many years ago when I first started experimenting with makeup I could not understand why my face looked dull and bland like count Dracula after finishing my makeup. I’d do everything possible, at least I thought I did. Some liquid foundation, then powder, a little eyeshadow applied with a q-tip and gloss and was I good to go.
It wasn’t until the first day I went into the brand new Sephora store inside Downtown Toronto Eaton Center that I knew I had a long way to go in the makeup world. I was utter in shock as what I refer to as makeup heaven, I couldn’t get over how bright the store was with fully stocked shelves in huge aisles and how the makeup displays looked so glamorous with makeup I had never seen nor heard of before and was in my presence and I could actually touch and play with it! Not to mention how the store lit up with colours and under those colours, lights and under the lights, makeup, I wanted in and bad. After flagging down a sales associate in excitement I looked up paralyzed at how polished his face was, I was shock and explained my dilemma. That’s when he looked at me straight in my eye and said “well duh, you’re not finished” while shaking his head. As he led me straight to the blush section I refused and debated with him how I didn’t need blush and how women of colour don’t wear blush and our cheeks are never that rosy, etc., etc… He explained to me that no matter the tone nor colour, all people receive a hint a colour to the cheeks whether you can see it or not it’s there, but just very light, all while applying what I can describe now as a gentle baby pink powder to my cheeks. He explained to me “you’re applying the foundation only, which is muting out your face completely, not allowing the flush of colour to come through”, (mind you, this more than a decade before the contour and highlight phase became mainstream). Nevertheless, while I turned and looked at myself in the mirror I was in awe, as he looked over my shoulder and said “if your gonna do it, you gotta do it all”. It was at that point I realized every cosmetic product used in the makeup application process cannot be complete without the other and that this makeup thing has steps, layers, levels and techniques that I knew nothing about, so I quickly ran to the cash and purchased my first blush (Nars blush, Angelika cotton candy $38).
The point of sharing my experience is to understand the importance of applying blush in your everyday routine. The sales associate in Sephora had a great point, in the sense that when you apply foundation to your face you’re actually making a clean canvass, meaning you’re making your face one colour and one tone, taking away your natural glow and definition. With added steps such as the application of highlighter, bronzer, contour and most importantly for this week blush, adds the colour we lost with foundation back into one’s face. Ultimately emulating a rush of artificial colour to the cheeks, making one’s appearance more attractive.
It important when choosing a blush that you choose the proper texture as they come in various forms such as, cream, gel, stick, spray and powder. Although, cream and sticks tends to provide a dewier glow and can be applied gently with the tip of the fingers it is important to blend extremely well. The pigment in spray, creams and gel can be highly concentrated, meaning a little goes along way, this why you must blend, blend and blend again, as if it were a facial cream but, only on the cheeks going as far as the temples if desired (Benefit, Benetint Cheek and Lip Stain $30). The most preferred of the bunch would be the powdered blush which provides a natural healthy glow to the cheeks and may also help with oily skin, however some formulas can be extremely pigmented. Therefore, it is important to dust of the excess colour by tapping the brush before applying to the cheeks (Sephora Collection MicroSmooth Baked Blush Duo $21)
When choosing a blush pick a color that is complementary to your skin tone and one that gives a refreshing look, such as a poppin peach or bright pink (MAC Mineralize Blush Peaches and Peony Petal $26). As the seasons change, so should your blush, with deep berries and subtle browns for colder months (MAC Mineralize Blush Raisin and Blunt). Both tones for the season will give cheeks a sexy rush of colour as you want your blush to stand out, but also to look natural at the same time. The most effective way to apply a natural application of blush is to avoid a sweeping motion, instead use a circular motion along the apples towards the temples in a gradient effect, where the deeper colour fades out from the highest points of the cheek, providing a very feminine look for your romance.
Below are a list of affordable drugstore blushes for you to sample and if none of these tickle your fancy there’s always the good old fashioned grandma pinches, come here you cute little thing you: Revlon Cream Blush, $13, Revlon Powder Blush, $10, L’Oréal Paris True Match Super Blendable Blush, $11,CoverGirl Instant Cheekbones Contouring Blush, $6 and NYX Cosmetics Rouge Cream Blush, $6.