We’ve laid our foundation, or perhaps we’ve decided we don’t need to because we have flawless skin. We’ve learned that those bad little spots can be spot treated like laundry so the foundation can just to it’s work of evening things out. We have the blank canvas, what do we do now?
There are a number of steps to doing basic makeup. It’s sort of like doing art, or maybe it’s more like house painting – like house painting it’s the preparation that pays off.
- Priming is putting on the foundation, concealer and there really are products called primers that go underneath foundation and eye makeup to make it last longer. In this metaphor the concealer is like patching the woodwork.
- Painting is putting on eye makeup, blush, lipstick, filling in brows, and sculpting the face with highlighter and bronzer
- Finishing is putting on finishing powder that softens and sets the makeup
In this article I’m just going to talk about blush, so it’ll be short. I probably won’t talk about more than lipstick and eye makeup past this. If you can get good at the basic versions of all these things you’ll get about 90% of what makeup is going to do. At least in everyday or office situations.
Why do we blush, um what I mean to say is why do we need blush? The first reason is that if we’ve used foundation, especially heavier foundation, we’ve covered up our natural color as well as evening out the blotchy stuff. It creates an even surface, but it’s also a very neutral surface that needs some life.
Even if we didn’t use foundation we might have very little color naturally because of genetics or age and pallor isn’t such a great look. Blush brings warmth to your face.
Blush comes in two basic forms, powder and cream. The general wisdom is for younger to use powder and older women to use cream blush. Personally I use both and I’m in my late fifties – I suggest trying them and seeing what looks good.
Either kind of blush should be applied very sparingly. You are not trying to make yourself into a clown with big pink circles. You’re trying to emulate a subtle coloring to the apples of your cheeks. Take just a little sweep of powder on a blush brush or a tiny amount on a fingertip of cream blush and sweep it on aiming up toward the outer corner of your eye. Don’t be like me, I kept aiming too horizontal until a few weeks ago. (you sure you want to read advice from *me*?)
I have no real insight into picking blush but it needs to work with your skin tone. It should not contrast highly, the idea is a subtle effect. Just keep saying subtle to yourself. Bring along a girlfriend or look for a salesgirl you think you can trust and try out one or two or ten.
If you get too much on, you can reduce it with a piece of paper towel or a tissue. Another option is to just clean off that area with a makeup towelette and reapply foundation there and try again.
It’s worth saying this over and over again. Putting on makeup is a skill. If you’ve never done it before it may not come out so good the first couple of times, or you might need to adjust it. Practice makes perfect. Keep doing it, you’ll get better.