Makeup trends from the ‘70s and a love of blush have both made a massive resurgence lately, so it’s no surprise that blush contouring — a popular ‘70s blush technique — is cool again. Also known as blush draping, this trend is all about creating definition on the face using, you guessed it, blush. Recently, it’s been seen in countless TikTok videos as well as on the models at fashion week, but its origins date back to the ‘70s when famous musical artists and actresses wore it.
If your love of blush is as strong as ours, then there’s no doubt that this is a makeup trend you can get behind. So ahead, we’re sharing what you need to know about blush contouring and how to master the technique for flushed and defined cheeks.
What Is Blush Contouring?
While it sounds simple — contouring the face using blush instead of bronzer or a contour product — there’s a bit more to it. You see, the action is the same as if you were to take a bronzer or sculpting powder and carve out your cheekbones.
However, the result is different and it all has to do with color theory. Contouring is about sculpting your cheekbones and the structure of your face to give it a more chiseled and slimmer appearance. This is usually done with cool toned shades because cool tones replicate shadows.
Most blushes are not nearly as cool in tone, meaning they won't create quite as sculpted of a look. If you use blush to contour, the result will be more softly defined features, a flushed complexion and an overall more natural appearance.
How to Blush Contour
If you’re game to try it out, keep reading to see how to nail the trend.
1. Select Your Shade Wisely
The shade you select will heavily influence the outcome of your look. If you want a sculpted makeup look, select a blush shade that leans more cool or neutral in tone rather than a warm pink or orange. Again, the cooler the color the more chiseled the results.
The L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Satin Blush with Camellia Oil in Rosewood is a great choice if you have fair or light skin because it’s a neutral shade that will add warmth and definition. For medium and darker skin tones, blushes in berry shades work beautifully for this trend. We recommend the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Satin Blush with Camellia Oil in Berry.
2. Apply the Blush In Targeted Areas
Rather than applying the blush on the apples of your cheeks like usual, you’ll want to apply it right in the hollows of your cheeks and slightly onto your cheekbones. It’s best to use a small, slightly fluffy blush brush for this so you can place the color in the targeted areas. Then diffuse the color by blending it upwards towards your temples to create a lifted look.
In addition to making your features appear more lifted and defined, applying blush higher up than on the apples of your cheeks helps it to appear visible even while wearing a protective face mask.
3. Balance Out the Color
The goal of blush contouring is to create more definition than your average blush application, but you don’t want it to look stark. To give your complexion a more natural overall look, apply a light layer of the same blush color around the perimeter of your forehead and across the bridge of your nose.
Adding just a little bit of blush to these areas ensures that the color is balanced while not taking away from the focal point of the look — your accentuated cheeks.
4. Set the Blush With Setting Spray
If you notice that your blush is the first part of your makeup to fade throughout the day, you’re not alone. Throughout the course of the day, blush tends lose its intensity and saturation.
To give it some staying power, apply a setting spray, like the L’Oréal Paris Pro-Spray and Set Make-Up Oil-Free Setting Spray. It’s a lightweight spray that helps to ensure your makeup doesn’t slip around, smudge or fade. Hold it eight inches from your skin and spray to evenly coat your face.
Written and photographed by: Alyssa Kaplan
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