Get Cheeky With Spring’s New Blush Trends

Spring has always served up pops of vibrantly hued makeup, and this year is no exception. Lids are getting crazy colorful, lips are going bubble-gum bright, and after seasons of piling on the bronzer, the simple flushed cheek is finally back. But finding your perfect fresh-faced look can be daunting—overdo it and you look clownish, contour too much and you've single-handedly brought back the '80s supermodel. Not to mention, high-octane brights can be intimidating to the color-shy. But according to makeup artist Raychel Wade, intense shades of blush are actually just the pick-me-up your face needs. "Trust me," she says, "bright blush is a surefire way to make your face look radiant, and in turn, younger." To help you get the job done, we've rounded up three runway-inspired blush options—all equally flattering—that can be turned into gorgeous, wearable spring looks.
Sweet Cheeks
Channelling the caught-in-the-sunshine-without-sunscreen look, a pop of blush on the apple of the cheeks is all you need to fake a natural flush (and still get your SPF). Celebrity makeup artist Joanna Schlip shares how: "Using a blush brush, smile and apply your blush in swirl motions to the apple of the cheeks. Remember, it's just a pop of color, so if you do pick a bright hue, you can always blend it out."
Above, from left: Michael Kors spring '11 images courtesy of Shiseido; Sonia Kashuk Beautifying Blush in Sunset, $8.99, available March 1 at Target; Sonia Kashuk Bamboo Chic Powder and Blusher Brush, $11.99, available March 1 at Target.
Above, from left: Physicians Formula Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Blush, $11.99, available at Ulta; Maybelline Fit Me Blush, $4.99, available at Target; Marc Jacobs spring '11 images courtesy of NARS.
The Shape of Things
C-shaped blush definitely had its moment on the spring runways, but a toned-down version of the look is easy to achieve and pumps up a healthy, all-over glow. Just follow NARS makeup artist, Janice Daoud's sound advice: "First, make a pouty mouth, which will suck in cheeks and give you the perfect outline along the cheekbones. Apply a contour shade like NARS blush in Zen with a Kabuki brush in the “hollow” (the area that gets sucked in a bit). Making a 'C' shape, brush outward and up toward the temples. Follow with a pop of color on to the apple of the cheeks like NARS blush in Desire, which will give your cheeks a naturally flushed and slimming effect. Finish off by applying an illuminator on the cheekbones for a fresh and radiant highlight.”
Above, from left: Carolina Herrera Spring 2011 image courtesy of MAC; Topshop Loose Powder Blush in Rosy, $16, available at Topshop; Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Natural Beauty, $25, available at Sephora.
Above, from left: NARS Illuminator in Copacobana, $29, available at NARS.
Smooth & Creamy
Don't let cream blush or tints scare you off: Their sheer coverage and easy, blot-on fingertip application make them the perfect options for those prone to beauty corner-cutting (basically all of us). La Prairie's makeup artist, Raychel Wade, gives us the how-to: "Cream blush gives you a fresh and dewy glow, and is perfect if your skin tends to be on the dry side. To apply, smile and lightly focus the blush onto the apples of your cheeks (directly under your eyes) while smiling. Then blend softly back and up toward the hairline. If you apply too liberally, don't start rubbing. Instead, use a sheer, luminizing powder to diffuse excess color. The blush then looks like it came from within the skin versus sitting on top of it."
Above, from left: Proenza fall '11 image courtesy of Fekkai; Hourglass Aura Sheer Cheek Stain in Flush, $45, available at Sephora; MAC Cremeblend Blush in Posey, $19.50, available March 3 at MAC.
Above, from left: Urban Decay Afterglow Glide On Cheek Tint in Crush, $24, available at Sephora; La Prairie Cellular Radiance Cream Blush in Mauve Glow, $70, available in May at La Prairie; Rachel Roy spring '11, photo by Dan McMahon.

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