Style & Beauty
Blush, Bronzer, Contour & Highlight
1/5/2018 1:19:08 PM

Blame it on the Kardashians or the increasing popularity of cosmetic fillers, but the past few years have been all about cheeks. And as the cosmetics counter becomes almost overwhelmed with products meant to sculpt, color, and highlight cheekbones, it can be difficult to know what goes where. Here’s a guide to not only picking the right product for your cheeks, but for finding colors to complement your skin tone.

Blush has come a long way since those little strips of pink powder accompanied by a miniature fan brush were all the rage. These days, blush comes in a much wider range of colors, from dusty browns to vibrant, wine-hued purples. But the idea behind blush remains the same: it should add a colorful flush to cheeks. To avoid looking as if you’ve caught a fever, it’s important to find a blush that doesn’t overpower your skin. If you burn easily and generally need a lot of sunscreen, go with pink or peach blush in very sheer applications to avoid looking overwhelmed by color. Medium skin tones, which generally burn, then tan, can go for apricot, mauve, or berry shades. Darker skin that rarely burns can pull off deeper colors, such as sultry raisin or even fiery tangerine hues. To find your most natural shade of blush, try to match the color of your lips without lipstick, but play around with other colors too. The point is feeling great, so experiment until you find a shade that makes you feel like a million bucks.

Cheek contouring means applying a flesh tone one or two shades darker than your skin color to the hollows just below your cheeks in order to make them appear higher. Contour colors are matte and sold in powder, cream, and liquid form. To contour, suck in your cheeks and apply the darker product into the sunken parts of your cheeks, then blend back toward your hairline until no clear line is visible. Apply blush to the apples of your cheeks for a runway-ready look. 

Bronzer exists to give that just-back-from-the-beach look year-round. Think about all the places children get freckles in the summer: across the highest parts of their cheekbones, the bridge of the nose and right across the top of the forehead, just below the hairline. All of those spots are great places to apply bronzer, which can be used with blush, for a sun-kissed look no matter the season. To pick the right shade of bronzer, go for the color that most resembles the way you look when you’re lightly tanned and then go darker in the summer to enhance an actual tan. 

There’s a reason professional photographers work so hard to get the right light. Soft illumination at the tops of the cheeks and around the temples makes everyone look younger, well-rested, and healthy. That’s the idea behind highlighter, which is softly iridescent (think glowy, not glittery) and comes in liquid and powder forms. To use highlighter, apply all your other cheek products and then softly pat a bit at the very tops of cheekbones, blending up toward the temple. You can also apply a little at the exact center of the forehead and down the bridge of the nose to get a radiant, lit from within, look. 

Of course, all of these products in conjunction with one another can be a little much for everyday makeup, but any of these can be used on their own or mixed and matched to create a look that’s as subtle or standout as you’d like.
Posted by: Emily Alford | Submit comment | Tell a friend

Categories: Cosmetics

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