Sunday, October 12, 2014

Blush, blush, blush

Nothing brings a great face of makeup together like some well placed blush, but with so many types out there it can be hard to choose the right one for each situation. I'm going to give you some basic information on the 3 main types of blush out there and when each is best for each situation. With this knowledge hopefully it will help you navigate the work of makeup with a bit more confidence.

All the blushes I own plus the two brushes I use with them
Blush essentially comes in three different forms: powder, cream, and stain. Sometime you have a little bit of overlap between the groups, like a cream that dries to a powder or also stains, but essentially there are just these three groups. I'm counting mousse blush as a cream, since I view it as whipped cream blush. Each type has it's pros and cons, like anything else, so it really comes down to what you need.

My powder blush collection
Powder blush is probably the most well know and is probably the most popular type out there. These can range from very cheap ($1) up to super expensive ($50+), but there isn't really a correlation between quality and expense. My favorite blush I bought for $3, so there are definitely really nice blushes out there for less than a cup of coffee. One of the nicest things about powder blush is it comes in the widest range of colors, from the palest pinks to deep purples and even browns. There is literally a color for every skin tone and every occasion.

Powder blush, very subtle
Powder blush is also the easier to apply and its easy to apply lightly and build up the color to the intensity you want with lower risk of clown face than the other type out there. The downside is that powder blush doesn't last as long as the other types, so you will have to reapply during the day. And if you drop it you risk shattering it, though you can fix it if you want but, that puts it out of commission for a day or two.

My cheek stain, this one is a gel
Next up we have cheek stain. This can come in either a liquid or a gel form, and does exactly what it says it does, it stains your skin. These are typically more expensive, the most popular brand out there is the Benefit ones (Benetint, Lollitint, Chachatint, and Posietint) and they are $30 each. The one I'm currently using is by Elizabeth Mott and is $22.99, so not cheap. I think with stains you tend to get what you pay for, so if you see one for a decent price check online for reviews before you purchase it. Stains are more of a wash of color, though you can do more layers to increase the intensity.

Stain on my cheek, just one layer for a gentle wash
You apply them with your fingers so no brushes to wash, which is a plus, but you end up with one stained finger for a while. Stains do not come in a variety of colors, typically all you get is red, though the Benefit ones are in 4 distinct colors. The pros are the lasting power, these can last you all day and even in hot and humid condition just depending on the stain. I had the Lollitint at one point and that thing would last me all day including teaching Taekwondo and working out afterwards. I've yet to have a bottle leak on me, so they are a little saver for traveling in that instance, but are not something you can apply quickly on the go.

Straight gel stain on the left, blended out with my fingers on the right
Most of these set very quickly so if you aren't paying close attention you can end up with unevenness, harsh edges, and blotches. There is a definite learning curve here so I can't recommend these for beginners. Stains are my favorite during the summer for their staying power but once I don't have to worry about sweating it off I typically don't wear them very often.

My two cream blushes
Last we have cream blush, which is blush in a super thick liquid form. Think cream eye shadow but blush. It comes in lots of different formats, from pumps to twist ups to pots, there's a format for everybody. Creams are like powders in that they run from cheap to expensive, my favorite ones are the ELF HD Blush (which I talk about in depth here) which are only $3 a piece. Most of the time you can find them in cakes or in a twist up like a tube of lip balm.

Cream blush stippled onto my cheek
With all but the twist up you should apply it with a stippling brush for the best look, with the twist up you'll smooth it out with your fingers. Cream blushes are like the stains in that they take a bit more practice and time to apply. They melt into your skin, giving you a dewy, more natural look. I like cream blushes for more special days because of this. Some will dry into a powder, some will stain your cheeks to help with lasting power, and some are just a straight cream blush and will fade like your foundation does. The cake ones can be pretty travel friendly, but cream blushes aren't a great apply on the go product unless you really use them a lot.

In it's cream state and blended out with a stipple brush
Hopefully this gives you a better understanding of the different types of blushes out there and you can decide what type you need. I personally think one or two of each type is a good idea, but I like options. Give each a try and see what works best for you, good luck!

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