Friday, 31 October 2008 | Tags: ,

For that healthy, rosy glow of youth, sometimes we need a little help. Blush, if applied properly, can give you the radiance you're looking for.

The Basics

  • Blush comes in a few different options:
  • Powder: works well on all skin types, especially oily, and gives a matte finish. Typically sold in compacts with a mirror and brush. Easiest to apply, though tends to wear off faster. Use with powder foundation.
    • Cream: better for normal to dry skin and gives a dewy finish. Many are silicon-based and are typically sold in pots or sticks. Can be trickier to apply. Use with cream or liquid foundation.

    • Gels and Liquids: give a natural look but aren’t suitable for oily skin types. Usually sold in bottles or tubes, they can also be tricky to apply (practice makes perfect). Not suitable to use if you have flaws like zits or dry patches (it will highlight them). If you apply too much, add a little moisturizer or foundation to fade colour. Use with cream or liquid foundation.

  • To finding your shade:

    • Don’t test blush on the back of your hand since hands are darker, more sun damaged, and their rougher texture won’t show you how the blush will blend on your cheek. Always test makeup on the area you’re ultimately going to apply it.

    • If you’re not sure which colour to choose, match it to your lipstick.

Other Considerations

  • Powder blush requires a special application brush. Often the one that comes in the package isn’t so great. A good brush is critical for proper application.

  • Sponges are often used for applying cream, liquid or gel blush, but your fingers work just as well, as long as you make sure they’re clean.

  • Though this isn’t a buying tip, we still feel it’s important to mention proper application since many women apply blush incorrectly, resulting in a very unnatural look, or worse.
    • Blush is best applied to the apple of your cheek

    • Line up the centre of your cheek “apple” using the iris of your eye as a guide

    • Sweep up toward the hairline

    • Blend well for a subtle natural look. You should never see a distinct line.


With the help of some veteran blush-wearers, we tested these products to see which best deliver that rosy, youthful glow without too much difficulty.

Our test products: .  
  • Clinique (powder): $24
. . The Bay Sephora
  • Rimmel London (powder): $5.79
. . Well.ca Amazon.com
  • NARS (cream): $55
. . The Bay Sephora
  • Avon “You’re Blushing” (cream stick): $11
. . Amazon.com
  • Aveda Uruku Cream (gel): $22
. . Aveda.com

(Note: prices listed above are approximate and in Canadian dollars)

Application Test

  • Clinique was the easiest to apply, with a handy compact and brush.

  • Aveda gel required a bit of practice

  • Rimmel’s brush was too small and stiff.

  • The two cream sticks (Nars and Avon) were tricky to apply without streaks.

Appearance Test

  • Clinique stayed on smooth all day

  • Aveda gave a real youthful, dewy look

  • Rimmel had to be reapplied throughout the day

  • The cream sticks became a bit streaky as a result of uneven application (perhaps even more practice was required).


The Aveda Uruku Gel came out the winner, once we mastered the application technique. If you’re not in the habit of using blush, then powder may be better to start with since it’s easier to achieve the right look.


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