When Glossier released its quad of cream blushes recently, the internet went bananas. Or maybe that was just my Instagram feed? No matter which way I swiped, I couldn’t escape the pint-sized tubes, nor the accompanying dreamy how-to videos. Suddenly, it seemed like everyone had blush fever all because of some very clever and enticing marketing. Well, if that’s what it takes for everyone to take note of the underutilized makeup item, then fine. (It also doesn’t hurt that the products are pretty damn good.)
Blush is an easy way to experiment with your look, but it’s often viewed as an afterthought in beauty. It’s also only associated with shades that fall into the powdered pink family. Makeup artist Tony Tulve reflects on where we went wrong with the staple, stating, “I feel that we got wrapped up in an idea of ‘too much’ or ‘clownish’ and replaced blush with neutrals which turned into contour and highlighting. Blush has done that for ages, and can be more effective when taken with purpose.”
There are so many other colors and textures out there waiting to be swiped, tapped, and buffered on. Including but not limited to red, wine, and purple. Yes, purple. Don’t click out of the story just yet. Think about how much fun we’ve all been having with colorful mascara and lipstick and eyeliner lately. Blush can be bold, too, without going campy. The key is knowing which shade works best for you—your skin tone and your way of life.
Ahead, Tulve helps us navigate the wonderful, wild world of blush. Some words of advice before clicking through: “Don’t be afraid, blush is never an end-all to your makeup. If it’s too heavy, you can always soften, and if you mess up, it can be washed off and you can start all over.” It’s why the beauty world invented makeup remover.