Lipstick and eyeshadow shades come in and out of favour, but we don’t talk much about blusher—most women go for a generic pinkish-brown tone without really thinking about it. This year, though, Pinterest says that orange blusher is trending in Japan, and when it comes to beauty, where Asia leads, the rest of the world follows.
Vancouver makeup artist Oz Zandiyeh reckons the last time the look was popular was with the club kids of the ’80s. These days, art directors are asking her to use it on editorial shoots, but it hasn’t hit the mainstream in Canada yet. What’s so great about orange blush? “It can brighten the complexion without being super obvious, but the tone of orange is really what matters the most,” says Oz. “A pure bright orange likely only looks good on the darkest of complexions and as a warmer colour, it tends to complement warmer undertones.”
Does that mean that cool-toned people should avoid it? If they’re going for a natural look, then yes. “It won’t look like it belongs on your skin if you have very pink or blue undertones,” says Oz. That means it’s something to wear if you want to stand out, not blend in.
In terms of formulation, Oz likes liquids and creams. “They are more blendable and you can control the amount you apply much more easily than with a powder-based product,” she says. “Use a light touch with powder-based blushes—with a fluffy blush and soft application, you can build to a shade you like.”
Here are eight blushers to try with options for both natural and bold looks.
This powder blush is extremely finely milled, which means it feels lightweight and silky, and can be built from a fine tint to an impactful pop. According to the brand, the Cheek Pops are currently the best-selling blush in Asia. The shade leans towards coral, so it’s more a safe bet than a statement shade.
Kate Moss is creative director for this Japanese beauty brand, which has recently launched in North America. Its cream blush is light and easy to blend, with a touch of shimmer, and this peachy shade is pretty easy to wear.
Find it at Saksfifthavenue.com.
Stick applicators are easy to use, easy to travel with, and offer minimum mess. This is an intense orange shade that looks ideal on warm, dark skin tones.
Find it at Sephora.
Tap a dot of this liquid blush onto the skin for the perfect amount of flush. All the colours in the collection are inspired by the New York City sky; Dawn is a sunny orange shade that gives a beachy blush to medium, golden complexions.
Find it at Glossier.com.
This bright orange powder blush builds to an intense colour, has a satin finish, and lasts for hours. It comes as a refill with cases available separately.
Find it at Sephora.
Wear this liquid blush alone for a sheer wash of colour or layer under powder blush for more impact. This shade is a warm golden apricot with a matte finish.
A peachy apricot shade, this goes on like a cream but dries like powder and feels completely weightless. Apply with fingers or a brush.
Find it at Shiseido counters and Shiseido.com.
Mist some water onto your blusher brush before you apply this true orange powder for strong and vibrant colour. Use it dry if you want a subtler finish.
Find it at Yves Saint Laurent counters and Yslbeauty.com.
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