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TikTok's millions of makeup hacks are equal parts weird and wonderful. Take the fake tan lip liner trick, tape eyeliner hack or lube as makeup primer. Whether you purposely head to the app for makeup shortcuts or just happen to stumble across them as you scroll, many of them achieve viral status — and this month, purple blush has earned the spotlight.
If you wear makeup, specifically blush, you might opt for a variation on pink, peach or coral depending on your skin tone. But TikTokers are making a case for bright purple, claiming that the shade looks a lot prettier and more natural than pink when blended into the skin. Two products, in particular, have gone viral: Fenty Beauty's Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush in Drama Class, $33, and NudeStix Nudies Blush in Moodie Blu, $49, also a cream version.
"Why is this not hyped up more in the beauty community?" asked TikToker @yashoras when trying out purple blush. "Isn't this cute? I think this is so cute!" TikTok beauty enthusiast @mireyarios also tried the NudeStix and Fenty blushes. "This looks so pretty. Check out how beautiful. I definitely think purple blush is underrated," she says. The comments suggest purple blush is about to blow up, too. "I feel like purple blush is probably going to be the next underrated trend," agreed one, while another commented: "I was expecting it to look like a bruise but it looks so pretty."
In the name of Beauty In A Tik, I had to put purple blush to the test. Illamasqua's Powder Blusher in Katie, $24.50, is my usual go-to. It's an understated baby pink that makes my cheeks pop but doesn't look too doll-like. I've been using it (or variations on the pretty pink colour) for years, convinced it's the only thing that suits me, so I felt a little out of my comfort zone trying bright purple. Would it look too theatrical? Or as TikTokers suggest, like a bruise?
While I much prefer powder blush, I was swayed by the NudeStix version — a cream formula which looks as though it lends cheeks a believable flush with a dewy finish. The only way to tell if purple blush is all it's cracked up to be is to compare it side by side with pink. I dusted my failsafe pink blush onto one cheek and applied a small dot of purple to the centre of my other cheek. Like everyone on TikTok, I was surprised by how highly pigmented it is. Did I go overboard? I took my foundation brush and got to blending, which distributed the colour evenly over my cheeks, melting it into a convincing pink hue that looked like it was meant to be there. At first glance it was a total contrast to the pink, which suddenly made my makeup look a bit much. The purple definitely blended out to a more credible, lit-from-within flush.
On closer inspection, the two shades aren't massively different but I have to say that I much prefer using purple — and cream over powder blush, too. The creamy formula made my light olive skin look alive rather than sallow, and my face was luminous, whereas powder blush seems to soak up any trace of glow. Makeup artist Zoë Moore says that there are many more benefits to using purple blush over pink. "I love to use a purple or mauve blush on deep and olive skin tones," she says. "It gives a beautiful, flushed glow and enhances the natural undertones in the skin. It's fabulous for autumn and winter, too."
Makeup artist and beauty expert Joy Adenuga agrees: "Bright and bold colours are usually very flattering on darker skin tones, as the skin absorbs the colours beautifully. It's not a massive surprise purple blush looks amazing on dark skin." Like the TikTokers, Zoë would recommend a gel or cream blush to avoid a chalky finish, especially on darker skin. Fenty's Drama Class is also a personal favourite and a mainstay in her makeup kit. Joy suggests applying your chosen shade to the back of your hand before trying it on your cheeks. "I find warmer shades of purple are easier on dark skin, rather than very cool purple shades," erring on lilac, she says.
If you think about it, purple is just another nuance under the skin, much like pink. It may look intimidating in a palette but when lightly layered over makeup, the shade works. So much so, I've shelved my doll-like pink and will be using purple for the foreseeable future. NARS Blush in Blissful, $54.95, suits a multitude of skin tones and can be dusted on gently for a subtle, pinched colour or built up to achieve intensity.