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Welcome to Beauty In A Tik, where each week we put TikTok's viral beauty hacks and innovative trends to the test.
How many blush hacks is too many? If you're one of TikTok's millions of beauty enthusiasts, there's always room for one more.
This week it's all about tactical placement thanks to the viral 'Douyin blush' hack. According to TikTok, the beauty trend originated in China and has since swept through Korea, Japan and now the UK, becoming the ultimate trick for achieving natural, sun-kissed makeup.
It's difficult to tell exactly where it started (it's been replicated so many times) but TikTokers like @firna.alisha, @glowyamelie and @runscay have achieved millions of views for their takes on the trend. So what even is it? Starting on bare skin or a light makeup base, TikTokers are using liquid or cream blush (and in some cases, red lipstick) to etch small V shapes atop their cheekbones, at the outer corners of their eyes and on their chin and nose. Either using a damp makeup sponge or their fingers, they blend the product into the skin. The result is seriously pretty: fresh, flushed skin that looks glowy and rosy in a matter of moments.
The #naturalmakeup hashtag has crept up to 631.4 million views on TikTok, with #sunkissedskin following behind, and in almost all of those videos blush is taking over from bronzer. The varying berry tones that tend to constitute blush are just a little more believable than the often quite orange tinge that bronzing products can lend skin. So it makes sense that this blush trick is amassing millions of pairs of eyes.
Ahead of summer, I've ditched heavy foundation for a lightweight skin tint. I want makeup that's minimal but makes my skin look healthy, plump and bright. Judging by the countless videos (especially this one posted by @_aishanuuur), Douyin blush is going to make it happen. I had to try it for myself.
It wouldn't be right not to use TikTok's blush of the moment: Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush, $27.50. It's a dream to blend and a pinprick of colour goes a very long way, making the price tag worth it. I also love Youthforia BYO Blush, $44.25, which adapts to your skin's pH to determine the colour that suits you most, and NYX Professional Makeup Sweet Cheeks Soft Cheek Tint, $20.95, which is a more affordable alternative to the Rare Beauty blush.
If you're not a big makeup wearer you can do this on bare skin but I applied a light skin tint beforehand to hide a couple of new breakouts. Sketching the little arrows was easy and diffusing them into my skin with a damp Beautyblender, $28, even easier. Almost immediately, my skin looked beautifully flushed, as though I'd caught the sun ever so slightly (wearing a high factor sunscreen, of course). Something was missing, though, so I looked to TikToker @heydohee. She finishes off her look with a touch of highlighter over the blushed areas and a slick of lip gloss to enhance the juicy skin effect.
I'll admit that I was fully prepared to be unimpressed by this hack. If Beauty In A Tik has taught me anything, it's that what looks cute on others doesn't always work on me (looking at you, lipstick contouring). But it gave my otherwise dull complexion a rosy, radiant pick-me-up. Even the blush at the outer corners of my eyes looked good as it blended into the product on my cheekbones and pulled everything together. And forget nose contouring. A dab of blush accentuated mine but it looked super cute in a way I can't really explain. It gave uniformity to my makeup and the youthful, rosy tint earned me lots of compliments.
What is it about the blush placement which makes this such an adorable trend? Saffron Hughes, resident makeup artist at FalseEyelashes.co.uk, says that these points are where the sun might hit our skin naturally. "So many people are enjoying a more natural, sun-kissed makeup look lately, and this offers a soft, flushed finish," compared to something like bronzer or self-tan. "Blush brings the colour back into the face and the placement on the cheeks and eyes ties the makeup together, lending more dimension." You may have noticed that nose blushing is huge on TikTok, too. You don't have to go overboard. Dusting on the blush left on your makeup brush will lend features a charming, sunlit effect, says Saffron.
The type of blush you use matters. Saffron recommends cream or liquid versions, which are highly pigmented and melt seamlessly into both bare skin and a makeup base. She rates The Beauty Crop's Juice Pot Lip & Cheek Tint, and Made by Mitchell Blursh Liquid Blusher, $23, as well as Rare Beauty. "Start by using a minimal amount of product and build it up," says Saffron. "Rather than going in with too much product from the start, work in layers until you reach your desired look and use either a makeup sponge or your fingers to blend this out. Both give a natural, lightweight finish to the skin."
With this hack, you can dial your blush coverage up or down as you see fit. For example, try sketching smaller V shapes or even tiny dots of product if you don't want it to appear too much. If you'd rather not splash out on a new liquid blush, there's nothing to stop you washing your powder blush over your face to pull everything together. But in my opinion, cream or liquid products make skin look dewier and the flush more plausible.
If TikTok is anything to go by, bronzer is out and blush is well and truly in. I, for one, am here for it.