Personally, I consider blush/bronzer to be a secret weapon. I was reading an interview with Angelina Jolie's makeup artist, and he claimed that if he were to pick just one cosmetic, it would be bronzer or blush, which highlight and contour the face and give it a sensual, feminine, I-just-ate-chocolate (or Brad Pitt for breakfast!) glow.
That being said, there are lots of atrocious contour powerders and creams out there. I don't like anything with chunky sparkles or extreme shades that make you resemble a ripe, slap-happy tangerine ready for its bottle-tan red carpet moment!
|The only-if-you-are-a-pornstar bronzer and bottle-tan look. Christina honey, you're prettier than this!|
Personally, as a pale person veering dangerously close to albino territory, I have to be very careful with blush and bronzer if I don't want to look like a psychotic doll. I find that layering works best: I usually wear no fewer than 3 different products, worn over each other to give a soft, lit-from-within glow. I like to combine bronzer and blush because they balance each other, giving you a sensuous rosiness without looking either too orange or too pink. As if you were painting, it's better to apply more wispy-thin layers than one gloppy layer.
|Perfectly executed, sexy/wholesome rosy cheeks on the catwalk at Michael Kors, Fall 2012 New York Fashion Week. I also want this nummy sweater so I have a reason to travel to Europe this autumn (to wear the sweater, obviously!).|
And now, drumdroll, my own personal way to gain perfect, Gainsborough-worthy, sexy-rosy cheeks:
|Thomas Gainsborough's 18th century portrait of his beautiful nephew, Gainsborough Dupont. Put this guy on the CW!|
After I've applied a light coat of moisturizer and foundation, I always start with this cheek stain, rubbing in wide circles with my fingers and using only a small amount. If you have a round face, you will want to create more angularity with your cheekbones by using your contour in a triangle-shape. If you have a long face or a thin face, you want to give more roundness to your cheeks by using a wide circular motion over your whole cheeks. :
|Tarte Cheek Stain in Flush, $30.00, sephora.com|
I let the cheek stain settle in for a minute or two. Next I use this blush, lightly, over my whole cheeks and a little below, making round, circular sweeping motions. I use a mid-sized, big fluffy brush blush, Chanel brush #7:
|Neutrogena Healthy Skin Blends, PURE, $11.49.|
I conclude with a melon-y, warm coral. I use this as my bronzer, applying it with my fluffy blush-brush, going over the top of my cheeks, my forehead, my jawline, and my clavicles, the places where I would get sun if I were not a vampire. To open up my eyes, I also sweep it just along my eyebrows to the sides of my temples: