The mercury has dropped, winter is arriving and it’s already dark by the time you leave the office. If you’re anything like us and your complexion is looking a little lacklustre from the shorter days – don’t panic. Happily, there’s no need to succumb to the gloom, with a few clever makeup application techniques you can fake a beautiful rosy flush that will instantly add a warming glow to your complexion. Our aim? That fresh, lit-from-within rouge that comes after a crisp winter walk. We’ve spoken to top makeup artists, NARS Cosmetics UK Makeup Artist Ambassador Andrew Gallimore @andrewgallimakeup and Makeup Artist and Instagram sensation Nikki Wolff AKA @nikki_makeup to discover their best tips for perfecting a healthy, rosy winter blush that’s suitable for the season…
Winter Blush Skin Prep
Mastering beautiful blush application should always begin with a smooth and even base, particularly in winter when the majority of us suffer from dry or dehydrated skin that’s exacerbated by the cold temperatures and low humidity. After cleansing and moisturising as normal Nikki recommends applying a primer with a brush to keep your foundation and concealer in place for longer during the day. We love this light-reflecting version from Becca Backlight Priming Filter.
Be careful not to over apply your moisturiser, as heavily layered product will make the skin feel too dewy, make blending difficult and can even lead to piling. To mimic a natural rosy flush, clever placement is key. ‘Don’t automatically apply to the apple of the cheek,’ advises Andrew, ‘instead look where you flush after going to the gym or exerting yourself and make a mental note so you can recreate it with makeup.’ For a sporty, just-stepped-out-of-the-gym look the apples of the cheeks are best, if you want something more natural think of an embarrassed boy, advises Andrew and dust colour into the hollows of the cheek.
Choosing The Best Blush For Your Skin Tone
The right shade of blush can lift and brighten your complexion and even make you appear more youthful. Start by taking a moment to consider your natural tone and whether you’re fair, medium, olive or dark. For fair skin a pale, baby pink revitalises a dull complexion, just choose a sheer formula that you can wash on to prevent it looking stark. For olive skin, rose works to offset any underlying sallow green hues and for medium tones coral is perfect for adding a subtle pop.
Brick and terracotta shades add a firey glow to dark skin complexions and help ward off dullness; or for something more vivid go for a bright red. Not sure where to start? Peach is a failsafe shade that suits most complexions thanks to the subtly warming orange undertones.
What Blusher Texture Should I Use?
Cream, liquid or balm are the three most common families of blush. Cream and balm-like formulas are brilliant for dehydrated winter skin as the emollient texture is easy to blend and won’t exacerbate dryness. If it’s particularly chilly you can warm the product between your fingers before application to help it glide on and melt into the skin. We love NARS Liquid Blush that diffuses an enlivening pop of colour to cheeks, or the soft jelly formula of Becca’s Beach Tint, which melts into skin.
Powder blushes are best for buildable colour, just layer them on to intensify tone depending on your mood; Laura Mercier’s Blush Colour Infusion imparts a pop of colour that blends out seamlessly and won’t end up looking cakey come 4pm. When applying your winter flush Nikki ‘always recommends using an angled brush as this will hug cheekbones and help accentuate the natural dimensions of the face.’
Winter Blush Finishing Touches
To bring the whole look together you may want to add a couple of finishes touches to your look. Andrew swears by an illuminating product for adding radiance during the colder months. The flat, low light of winter means good blending and buffing of your highlighter is essential to prevent it looking stripy. ‘You want it to look luminous like the sun is hitting you so be cautious of anything with too much shimmer or glitter,’ says Andrew. Remember, the aim of highlighter is to add shape and dimension to the face by tricking the light says Nikki. Dust over your cupid’s bow, temples and down the bridge of your nose for flattering effect.
Two of our favourites are Kevyn Aucoin’s The Neo Highlighter and NARS The Multiple in Copacabana to instantly lift the complexion. To take your look up a notch for date night, opt for a lipstick slightly deeper than your natural tone and finish with a slick of mascara, Nikki recommends applying to both the top and bottom lashes to ‘frame your eyes and make them look bigger.’