The ladies are left with red cheeks

Brighten up your blush as the lighter months ar­rive, says Sarah Caden, with five of these cheeky num­bers

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - CONTENTS -

While mas­cara is al­ways cited as a must-have make-up item to open up the eyes and make you look awake, blusher is the prod­uct that can make you look alive. On a made-up face, it lifts the flat­ness of a full-foun­da­tion com­plex­ion, and even if you’re go­ing for a nat­u­ral ef­fect, it gives the face def­i­ni­tion and, well, a bit of colour. Colour­less cheeks can make you look a bit wan, but still, be­ware of overkill that strays into Coco the Clown ter­ri­tory.

As a blusher rule-of-thumb, pale com­plex­ions should stick with shades of pale pink and peach, while the berry shades are strictly for darker skin­tones. And this re­mains the case even if you have a tan, real or oth­er­wise. Even if you’re kissed with gold, your un­der­tones re­main pinky or olive-y and, so, your blusher spec­trum doesn’t change. You can move around within it, into more strik­ing corals or plums, but the ba­sic rule is un­al­tered. Come sum­mer, too, you can ex­per­i­ment that bit more with blush tex­tures. Pow­der is a good fit for win­ter, but sum­mer al­lows for cream and gel blush­ers that are more dewy. And, if you must drag con­tour­ing into the sunny sea­son, go lightly, please.

BEST OVER­ALL Bour­jois Aqua Blush 12hr in Pink Twice, €10.49, avail­able na­tion­wide

The most com­mon com­plaint about cream or gel blushes is that they don’t last. Hence the 12-hour prom­ise is in­cluded in the name of this prod­uct, while the ‘aqua’ bit in­di­cates its sheer­ness. In truth, get­ting 12 hours out of any blush is a tall or­der. As colour, tex­ture and tenac­ity go, this is a lovely prod­uct, with a very pretty dewi­ness. A tiny gripe is that too much can shoot out if you don’t press the pump care­fully. “It has a trans­par­ent qual­ity that suits sheer foun­da­tion and even a ‘no make-up’ look,” said one pan­el­list. “Per­fectly sum­mer-ap­pro­pri­ate.”

BEST TRIO TREAT Ca­trice Blush Artist Shad­ing Palette in CorAll I Need, €4.95, Dunnes Stores; Pen­neys, se­lected phar­ma­cies na­tion­wide

It bears re­peat­ing ev­ery time this brand ap­pears on this page: it’s very good value. But it also bears re­peat­ing that the prod­uct is gen­er­ally good, too. If you’re af­ter a zingy, sum­mery look for your cheeks, one that you’re only go­ing to use for the sunny months, then this palette is worth con­sid­er­ing. Noth­ing spoils a pur­chase like wor­ry­ing about waste. “I like that you get colour and shim­mer and matt op­tions, par­tic­u­larly at this price,” said a pan­el­list.

BEST CHEEK CLOSET Ur­ban De­cay Gwen Ste­fani Blush Palette, €42, House of Fraser, Dun­drum Town Cen­tre, D16; Deben­hams

If you are a blush devo­tee, then you will die over this palette. But it’s no ex­cuse for brush­ing it on un­til your cheeks re­sem­ble over­ripe peaches. This com­pact con­tains a bumper se­lec­tion of six shades, from a sweet pink to the shades that are closer to bronzer. The range means you can — if you must — get con­tour­ing, but it also means there are shades for day­time, night-time, hol­i­day time, any­time. “I love a good blush,” a pan­el­list said. “And six in one place — what joy! A blush wardrobe.”

BEST CON­TOUR COM­PACT Sleek MakeUP Cream Con­tour Kit in Light, €13.95, see

Go lightly if you con­tour in sum­mer. You don’t re­ally want to do the wax­work-like Kar­dashian pro­duc­tion, do you? Or maybe you do. Ei­ther way, this is a good cream prod­uct for cre­at­ing con­tours and cheek­bones. There are six shades in this palette, and an en­closed leaflet gives ut­terly fool­proof in­struc­tions on how to use each and ev­ery one. In ad­di­tion to this Light ver­sion, the palette also comes in Medium and Dark, so all skin­tones are cov­ered. “This is a very de­cent price for a do-it-all kit,” said a pan­el­list, “and the prod­uct is lovely and creamy.”

BEST NIGHT LIGHT Chanel High­light­ing Blush in Coups de Mi­nuit, €40, Chanel coun­ters na­tion­wide

If a big pop of colour is not for you, this may be a prod­uct to con­sider. It’s a very pale pink, so it’s low-key, but high on vel­vety shim­mer. So it is what it says it is: a high­light­ing blush. You’ll get gleam, and it’s lovely with pale and with more olive skin tones, but if you want that pop-out blush ef­fect, you’ll want to put some­thing vi­brant on the ap­ple of your cheeks. “This is the def­i­ni­tion of vel­vety,” one pan­el­list said, “It gave me creamy, glowy cheeks.”

Pic­tured, from left, Bour­jois Aqua Blush 12hr in Pink Twice; Ca­trice Blush Artist Shad­ing Palette in CorAll I Need; Ur­ban De­cay Gwen Ste­fani Blush Palette; Sleek MakeUP Cream Con­tour Kit in Light; Chanel High­light­ing Blush in Coups de Mi­nuit Email...

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