I love hearing people’s answer to the ‘desert island’ makeup question, or what makes up their ‘bare essentials’ list when putting on a true three minute face. Among the most common seem to be mascara, concealer, lipstick and blush. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a pink flush to the cheeks brings youth, health and good old fashioned pretty to the face. Nothing perks up the complexion and makes the eyes whiter and brighter, like blush, and I have a little sad inward head-shake anytime I hear someone say they don’t wear blush (@theannaedit – I’m looking at you).
Yes, powder blushes are abundant and easy (if in doubt, use Hourglass or Nars) but I love the way cream blush melts into the skin and looks completely natural as though you’ve come in from the cold to stand by the fire. Some people forgo blush in place of bronzer, but while bronzer can give you J-Lo sexy, blush can give you feminine, timeless pretty. Kate Bosworth, Natalie Portman, Grace Kelly, Cate Blanchett anybody? My personal, absolute go-to shades are all firmly in the cool-toned pink family. Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in pale pink is an absolute classic and I need so little that I’m not sure I’ll ever see the bottom of this pot. The compact conveniently has a mirror and doubles well for lip colour in clutch-bag scenarios, despite being ever so slightly chalky feeling on the lips. Glossier Cloud Paint is a hero product among some of their other much hyped but a tad wanting products. The texture is light and sheer but somehow packs the perfect punch in terms of pigment, requiring only the tiniest squeeze of the tube. The shade puff is the definition of ‘pretty’ on fair skin tones. For a slightly warmer toned, rose pink, Kjaer Weis Blossoming is a joy to use while Chantecaille’s Happy is an amazing candy pink but may be a touch light for olive complexions or deeper. Stila’s Convertible Colour is another slimline compact with mirror that’s perfect for cream blush beginners thanks to it’s foolproof texture and blendability – in fact, this is where my cream blush love began.
For anyone out there thinking they can’t use blush because they have pesky redness in their face that they’re fiercely trying to conceal, not enhance – listen up. You too can use blush; it’s all about selecting the right tone that will lift your complexion, not draw back into the rusty red tones of rosacea. Neutralise your base well, and then sparingly apply a cool toned, blue based pink to the high points of your cheeks. For those in need of a product detox, there really is no need to rush to the beauty counter. You’ve been carrying around perfect cream blushes in your handbag for years – your trusty lipsticks. Portable, creamy, just swipe a little on the apples of your cheeks and blend for instant pretty.