Contrary to popular belief, few products in your makeup bag will convey a sporty, healthy vibrancy like a megawatt bright blush. But here's the thing about this season's saturated hues of neon pink, hot red, or fiery coral: The shade you see in the case isn't a reflection of the one you'll be wearing on your face.
"You are in control of the color," says makeup artist Lucia Pica of tailoring how strong (or how soft) the pigment will ultimately be. With that in mind, even
in Tech-Orange-a shade not unlike the glow emitted by your MacBook charger when it's plugged in-can become an everyday shade.
For a fail-proof execution, she adds, the first and most important step is creating an even base-exfoliating will smooth your skin's texture, and for blending cream blushes, moisturizing is key. To pick your shade, consider the natural undertones of your skin. "Paler complexions are generally suited to softer pink colors, whereas olive, darker skin tones can take stronger colors like magenta or orange."
Maybelline's Master Glaze in Pink Fever comes in a stick form that makes slicking a line across your cheek, war-paint style, tempting-but according to Pica, it's easy to correct over-concentrated color by applying to the apples of the cheeks, then "buffing the edges down with a little concealer and a blending brush," Pica says.
If you're using a powder formula, she suggests tapping a large, soft brush against your hand to loosen excess powder before you swipe it on your cheeks. You want to create the look of a vibrant flush (NARS's Desire and Kevyn Aucoin's Myracle hot pink blushes will make you look like you're in the midst of a springtime romance)-without any concentrated patches of color.
As for the rest of your face, "If you decide to go for a strong blush, it should become the main focus," Pica says. "Pair it with balmy skin, groomed brows, and a slick of mascara." Then, all you need is to play with the colastyleor, and remember who's the blush boss.
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