Monday, April 19, 2010

Bring on the Blush

This was Bare Face Week -- well, my version of it. I did my lightest, lightning-fast make-up to get out the door and to the playground, appointments, meetings, etc., in a flash. Truth be told, I've been working very hard these past months to retune and rebuild things in my life surrounding what happened to my family back in the fall. Having a child brings immense challenges into one's arena in terms of your marriage or relationship, and your general sense of the world starts being measured upon completely different standards -- there is a lot of adjustment, transition and evolving, which takes time. And time, which may have been precious before, becomes liquid, and you can't ever seem to have a enough of a grip on it. What this means for me and the mirror is two-minute make-up that takes me from beat-up looking to bright in a blink. And the simplest trick to the achieving that happy nod in the reflection is bringing on the blush.

Color on the cheek is youthful, pretty, and as easy as PB&J. Every morning this week, I threw on tinted moisturizer (a post coming up on T.M.s soon, so stay tuned!), filled in my brows, dabbed on blush and finished with a sheer lip color and mascara.  The last two, lips and mascara, may or may not have happened depending on the grade of the interruptions. If you can imagine, these were my two minutes between handling A's morning potty "situations", the babysitter arriving, and trying to field my over-eager daughter from distributing a week's worth of folded laundry all over the apartment floors.

Ever notice how your child's cheeks gently flush in the winter with the cold or sun? A's does, when I've forgotten (oops!) to apply her sunscreen, or need to reapply. That little bit of natural flush is exactly why blush can be so flattering. It symbolizes vitality and instantly sketches youth onto your face. A medium peach, or apricot shade is a good universal shade to consider when picking out a color.  And as a general rule, the deeper your skin tone is, the more pigment your face can handle showing off safely.

With a brush or your fingers, apply up, down, on, and around the apples.

When applying blush, you can use a blush brush (I use Shu Uemura's Natural Brush 20, $50, but another option is Kashuk Tools Blusher Brush, $18) and/ or your fingers -- simply use the third and fourth fingers of your writing hand simultaneously. If using a brush, gently sweep the brush up and down, in an elongated circular motion, along the apples of your cheeks/cheekbone a few times. With your fingers, do the same, making sure to use gentle pressure, up, down, on and around to get a nice, even flush. Blending, is always key. The color should never be a distinct dot. It should subtly dissipate, as it moves away from the apples in the sheerest way.

Blush everyday keeps the weary away.

Blush-ing 1-2-3:

1. To find the apples of your cheeks: Smile and hold in a mirror. See where the round areas of your cheeks rise to high points? Those are the precious apples where you will apply color.

2. Try a sheer, cream or liquid blush, as it has almost a no-brainer application, and is great for warmer weather. This Flower Child Natural Cheek Stain by Tarte ($30) is a great, all around color, and has the added benefit of antioxidants. There's also CoverGirl & Olay's Simply Ageless Sculpting Blush ($12), also with antioxidants and vitamins, which I like in Plush Peach and Lush Berry.

3. For traditional powder blushes, try Nars Blush in Deep Throat ($22) for a light touch of spring. To make a bit more impact for the night, add a touch of gold to the mix and try the Nars shade, Super Orgasm ($22).  You can also opt for Cover Girl's uber budget, but great Cheekers Blush ($4), which I recommend in Pretty Peach or Natural Rose.

For my readers:

Have a story to share about what you're going through in your life with your kids, family or relationship?

Or maybe you have a go-to item in your vanity that can take you from blah to almost beaming? I/we want to hear! Please write in and share.


Disclaimer: Nuy Cho has no affiliation to any of the beauty companies mentioned on


Rachel said...

Hi Nuy, What do you think of solid blush sticks like Nars The Multiple? Any tips for using those?

On tinted moisturizers, I was thinking of trying Olay Total Effects. Heard anything about it? Especially for sensitive skin...

Rachel said...

Hi Nuy, What do you think of solid blushes like Nars The Multiple? Any special tips for use?

On tinted moisturizers, I was thinking of trying Olay Total Effects. Any recommendations on it? Especially for sensitive skin...

Anonymous said...

I like to apply my blush on the fronts of the apples, along my own natural blush zone. I just feel like it's a more natural effect.

Of course, this comes from a woman who has had a lifetime aversion to makeup. ;)

A couple weeks ago, I invested in a Clinique eyebrow stick - I've never used eyebrow color in all my 31 years because I already have dark, thick eyebrows. But I like what this one does for my brows!

(Stopping by from SITS)

I am Harriet said...

Hi there.
Enjoyed your post.

Stopping by from Saturday SITS fest to say hello.
Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

I usually only apply lipstick or gloss if i'm rushing. i never thought to use blush. but these quick tips make it sound so easy i'm going to give it a try this week and hopefully i'll look like i've had more than 3 hours of sleep.

Nuy Cho said...

Hi Rachel! Sorry my response is a bit late but here are your answers: I think the Nars Multiple sticks are fantastic. In general, cream blushes are great because they can be easier to apply and blend. You just swipe a one-inch diagonal on both apples, then blend well. They're also moisturizing, so overall, a great option for a dewier look or skin in your 30s and beyond. As for tinted moisturizers - if you have sensitive skin, and want a drugstore product, I would try out Physicians Formula Mineral Wear® Talc-Free Mineral Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15. Mineral make-up is a great option for sensitive skin because they have far fewer ingredients. Thanks for tuning in! I hope this helps. - Nuy

Christy said...

Hello I am here from SITS! I go most days makeup free, but I do like to wear it when I want to look good. Thanks for the tips.