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I Tried TikTok’s Blush Hack & Realised I’d Been Doing My Makeup All Wrong

Welcome to Beauty In A Tik, where each week we put TikTok's viral beauty hacks and innovative trends to the test.
There are some TikTok beauty trends that most of us can either take or leave. Using lube as makeup primer? It never really got off the ground. Enlisting a jade roller to apply foundation? Hard pass. But every so often, one trick comes along and convinces the beauty-obsessed TikTokverse that their skin, hair and makeup routines will be better off for it.
Lately those TikTokers are particularly sold on the foundation-free, smooth skin hack (it works!) as well as cutting split ends at home (no salon appointment, no problem). But not much is conjuring up hype quite like the five-second blush trick. Whether you're a seasoned makeup wearer or apply just a little every so often, one thing is clear: there are many ways to apply blush but this is probably the quickest — and most smart.
@helloimsharon Reply to @exercisewithextrafries had this for ~1 yr and it’s my #1 blush #makeup #koreangirl #GetReadyWithOldSpice #ThisorThatSBLV #blush #fyp #grwm ♬ original sound - shrn
The hack was popularised by TikToker @helloimsharon, whose video has amassed 754.1k views and 60.3k likes so far. Applying blush can be hit and miss. How much is too much? Which brush should you use, if any? And where exactly should you apply the product for a lifted look? Sharon makes it easy by switching to liquid blush (NARS Liquid Blush in Orgasm, £25, to be exact) and ditching all makeup tools for the palm of her hand. Dotting a small amount of product at the base, she rubs her palms together to distribute the product evenly, brings her hands up to her cheeks and gently presses them to her cheekbones, transferring the product without fuss. Sharon then blends the product using her fingers and the result is a believable flush that lifts and sculpts rather than pulls the face down (one of the most common makeup mistakes, according to pro artists) or appearing doll-like (this often happens when blush is concentrated on the apples of cheeks). It's so good that other renowned TikTokers are jumping on the bandwagon, like the very funny @seekingalexandria.
The comments on both TikTok videos echo that the blush technique is a 'game-changer' for those who struggle with makeup — but it's not brand-new. Just like popular TikTok trend 'skin icing', Sharon revealed that the blush hack was influenced by Victoria Beckham, who likes to use the Cheeky Posh Cream Blush Stick, £36. So does it work off camera? I love makeup and like to think I get it right — but I find blush placement incredibly tricky. Should I blend it up to my temples or will that make me look like an '80s throwback? And why is it always patchy? Not long ago I met with a New York makeup artist and complained that I can never get my blush to look right. "I can tell," she quipped. Ouch. That's exactly why this hack was high on my list of things to try.
The key to nailing flawless blush is in the formula. It might be obvious but this won't work with powder. Choose a cream or liquid version with similar staying power like Hourglass' Vanish Blush Stick, £45, which requires the tiniest dot of colour to make an impact, PIXI's On-The-Glow Blush, £18 — a TikTok favourite — or Morphe 2 Perk Up Cheek & Lip Color, £12, if you're on a budget. My personal favourite at the moment is Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush, £44, in shade Dou Dou.
I swiped two layers of blush directly onto the base of my hand, starting from my thumb and extending to the outer edge, and pressed (rather than rubbed) them together to ensure a seamless transfer of colour. Without even looking in the mirror (it's that easy) I printed my blush-laden palms onto my cheekbones and used my middle finger to tap and blend the colour into my foundation base.
Where has this trick been all my life? The placement tweaked the shape of my face, elevating and enhancing my cheeks instead of dragging them down — something that always ends up happening when I let loose with powder blush and a brush. Plus, it took a matter of seconds. The Westman Atelier blush is highly pigmented but silky so it glides across the skin without making holes in your base. Some might argue that this hack is a waste of product (as you'll need to wipe the rest of the blush off your hands with micellar water) but doing it this way lends cheeks just the right amount of colour so that the finished result looks truly believable.
The hack doesn't stop at blush. You could give it a go using a stick bronzer or contour shade (I love L.A. Girl's Velvet Bronzer Contour Stick, £3.50, and Fenty Beauty's Match Stix Matte Skinstick, £21, which is available in multiple shades), or even highlighter to enhance your bone structure. All I know is that this tip isn't one of TikTok's countless makeup fads — it really does work.
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