Blush. The theory behind a good strong cheek is said to be achieved by a flush of color rooted in high-tech pigments. Placed smack-dab on the center of the apple to induce that “hey, look alive” mug which transports me back to my younger days where my grandmother boldly deposited a generous dollop of her pinkest of pink blush onto her olive cheeks without blending or even so much as tapping off the brush before taking it to her face – forever instilling a slight fear of colorful anything for me. Despite of how pretty her olive skin was the overall projection of her look resembled that of a kabuki actor wildly cooking about large pasta dinners to feed two armies. It was quite the scene. Also, forgive me nonna.
Personally, for a good strong cheek it’s not about how hyper pigmented the blush itself is, or what undertones it has so it pulls into anyone direction – to me it’s all about how the blush marries with my contour + bronzer, and of course, my highlight. For the sake of my automated fear towards color and for the sake of my face, I try to avoid blushes that are straight blush. Doesn’t make sense, does it? What I desire out of a blush is a delicate transfer from natural skin to just enough of a healthy dose of rosiness to where it looks like I’m wearing blush, or am I? More specifically, I like a blush that is sheer but has buildable potential, neutral, and works as a luminizer all at the same time. Not to mention, is foolproof. Not that tall of an order if you know where to look, and all of this is what I have found in the Lorac Baked Matte Satin Blush ($24) in the shade Exposed.
This is a soft, luminous peachy pink with a touch of sheen that brightens the complexion with both a flush of color and a luminescent but matte finish rolled into one. It’s an insane mix. The baked texture has a almost silk feel to it but is not powdery like some baked products tend to be. Making this super easy to blend into the skin for a natural look without that unflattering chalky or powdery texture. The overall formula is sheer but can be layered for more dramatic effect or if you prefer more punch of color on your cheeks. If you want to amp up the color even more, you can use this blush wet – trust that the result won’t disappoint if you prefer bolder apples. In the compact the color looks bright but applies as a sheer pink. There’s enough color in the first swipe for me that it shows up on my skin, but beware not to over-apply by deep dipping your brush into the product. You want to concentrate on building layers with blush in general, but this one more so because it starts off as such a beautiful soft neutral-cool toned pink that almost needs nothing else more besides a first swipe. The finish compares to that of a luminous soft pinch without looking shimmery or too matte. On the cheeks it has a lightweight feel and lasts well beyond the 12 hour mark. No joke, this stuff sticks.
To apply it, I use my absolute favorite blush brush by Real Techniques ($8.99). With its half rounded, almost dome shape the bristles perfectly define and contour cheeks to perfection. I take the brush and lightly swipe it across the center of my cheekbones, no I’m not a fan of the apples, and gently flick the brush across to disperse any extra product. Once I catered to my cheeks I dab any extra blush on the bristles on the tip of my nose, and any other areas where the sun naturally tends to hit (or where sunburns tend to originate first) for the ultimate rosy glow.