Lipstick may complete any make up look, but cheek-colour is the true love of my life; using just a bit on your cheeks can make you look so fresh! My love affair with blusher, bronzer and highlight might have come a little late in life but it is honestly the one make up product that I will always wear if I’ve got my game face on.
Like most people, I started off using mostly powder cheek products because I have oily, acne-prone skin — and that’s what all the magazines tell you to use with this skin type! — but I’ve since moved on to using more cream products on my face because it just looks so much more natural, gives you a glow and literally can be applied with fingers.
I’ve listed down nine of my favourite cheek products in this blog post from my ginormous pile of other cheek products, but these are definitely the ones I gravitate to the most.
There are a few tricks on how to ensure that your cheek make up remains at its top form throughout the day. First, using a pore-filling primer will make sure that the texture of your skin won’t be enhanced by any cheek make up you use. Second, layering a powder blush over a cream blush will double its pigmentation and lasting powder. Third, you can always dab over too much colour on your cheeks with a damp sponge.
Finally, just experiment with colour, formula and application! My skin has a pretty neutral undertone so I can usually get away with most colours except for light pastels and let me tell you, changing up your cheek colour to suit your mood or look is pretty damn satisfying.
Cream cheek products (swatches from top to bottom):
Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Blusher in Berry Jamm is a vibrant berry colour that absolutely blends into your skin to give you the perfect winter flush. This blusher is also great when you want to make your cheeks the focal point of your make up and also looks great with both pale or dark skin tones.
Topshop Glow Stick in Heat is a beautiful cream bronzer with a warm sheen to it. Although you can’t use this to contour, you can definitely swipe this all over the high points of your cheeks to fake that I-just-came-back-from-holiday glow. This cream bronzer is a little on the stiff side, so make sure that you use your fingers to blend in the product as the warmth will help it melt right in.
Stila Convertible Color in Poppy is a bright red that needs to be used sparingly. Used right, though, and it instantly perks you up, especially when you haven’t had enough sleep and are still looking for that first cup of coffee. The Convertible Colors are very creamy and stay tacky and dewy after application — unlike the first two products I mentioned — so be aware of that before you buy it.
Stila Convertible Color in Camellia is the blusher that truly converted me to cream cheek products. This nude colour goes with everything, and the slight sheen and dewiness the product offers makes you look super fresh and youthful. This is the blusher I usually carry around with me when I travel or when I know I have a fun after-work dinner.
Powder cheek products (swatches from top to bottom):
BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop (pressed) is simply divine. It really is more a sheen than anything — though an intense one, at that — and doesn’t look glittery on the skin at all. I usually love applying this on the tops of my cheekbones, before spraying my whole face with a setting spray and dabbing over the highlight with a damp beauty sponge to up the dewiness factor and make sure it sinks into my skin.
Sleek Blush by 3 in Lace (colours: Crochet, Guipare and Chantilly) is a handy set if you like to mix and match your blusher. Although I don’t go for Crochet that often since it veers almost on the pastel side, Guipare and Chantilly are always a dream to use, whether together or separately. Guipare is said to be a dupe for the infamous Nars Orgasm blusher, while Chantilly is a great bright orange that helps intensify any tan without any shimmer.
NARS Blush in Taj Mahal, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Although I said that cream blushers are what I’ve been using recently, this blusher is my all-time favourite, and for good reason. I can only describe its colour as a pigmented rusty orange with super fine gold shimmers running through it and, yes, it looks scary as hell in the pan. However, if you use a light hand and focus this blusher on your outer cheeks and cheekbones, it will give you the most beautiful, soft focus, sun kissed glow. I’m wearing it here, need I say more?
MAC Powder Blush in Melba looks so-so in the swatch above, but is honestly so much more. This is the blusher I typically reach for when I want a powder product that goes with everything. It’s a neutral blush with peachy undertones and it’s sheer enough that you won’t ever accidentally have crazy clown-face, but it’s also build-able in a way that doesn’t make it look cakey.
MAKE UP FOR EVER Sculpting Kit in 2 (Neutral Light). I don’t use the highlight shade in this too often as I’m not into the super matte-highlighted look. However, the bronzer in this set is another story. Although it looks super cool-toned in the pan, it actually has slight red undertones in it that mimic real sun kissed skin, which is great if you’ve been stuck in the office all week and want to look like you’ve seen some sun the past few days. I can also get away with using it as a contour shade — for the times I do bother to contour — as it’s not too orangey and is dark enough for my skin tone.