So it turns out that I’ve been applying my blush all wrong. Not a million miles out of place, you understand, but in a recent chat with make-up artist and global beauty brand behemoth Charlotte Tilbury, she told me where I’d been going awry.
I was applying it on the apple of the cheek, but for peak blush benefits it should go higher, almost on the cheekbone itself (a rough rule is to aim for the same level as the very top of the flare of the nostril). ‘Apply it correctly and it really lifts the face,’ she says.
Tilbury was taking such interest in my cheeks to explain her new launch: Pillow Talk Matte Beauty Blush Wand (1, £30, charlottetilbury.com), which is available in four shades.
It is my favourite new blush in a long while – a liquid formula that delivers a real lit-from-within glow and no shimmer (a general preference of mine).
This blush is well pigmented and buildable if you want a stronger look, but it’s also easy to blend in so can appear very natural.
Pillow Talk Matte Beauty Blush Wand (1, £30, charlottetilbury.com), Benefit’s classic Benetint (2, £13.60, boots.com), (3, £19, cultbeauty.co.uk and spacenk.com from 20 March), Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish Divine Blush Duo (4, £42, flannels.com), (5, £9.99, boots.com), (6, £6, elfcosmetics.co.uk)
Blush is definitely top of the beauty pops at the moment. Suze College, head make-up buyer at Space NK, confirms it’s the fastest growing make-up category, up 312 per cent on last year.
It’s top of the beauty pops and the fastest growing make-up category
TikTok is also going big on it and has resulted in a boom in Benefit’s classic Benetint (2, £13.60, boots.com), a bright red stain for cheeks and lips. Vibrant shades are also de rigueur.
Zanna Roberts Rassi, founder of Milk Makeup, tells me that Werk, a universal pinky brown shade that was once her top-selling colour in the Lip & Cheek range, has been usurped by Rally, a bright pink (3, £19, cultbeauty.co.uk and spacenk.com from 20 March). Even Sarah Jessica Parker is obsessed with it, so this isn’t a colour just for teenagers.
Mac Matte Lipstick in Velvet Teddy, Mehr or Honey Love (£14, lookfantastic.com)
If you prefer a powder blush, I highly recommend Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish Divine Blush Duo (4, £42, flannels.com) – and if you’re following the trend for bold shades then it’s Venusian Sunrise for you. It is finely milled so doesn’t feel as though it sits too much on the top of skin – and also looks super glamorous.
Under a tenner
An excellent affordable option is Max Factor Miracle Pure Infused Cream Blush (5, £9.99, boots.com). Some say this is a dupe of the new Charlotte Tilbury blush, but its texture isn’t nearly as lush as hers. It’s highly pigmented, so go easy on quantities, but a good option.
Elf Putty Blush in Tahiti (6, £6, elfcosmetics.co.uk) is also a top pick. The putty-to-powder formula is idiot-proof to use.
Draw the 90s line
Anyone who lived through the 90s trend for contrast lip-liner look first time around may want to turn away now! But those who didn’t – such as Hailey Bieber, for example – are all over it like a rash.
‘Nineties lips are a thing at the moment,’ confirms make-up artist Hannah Martin. But you don’t have to be too literal in re-creating the look.
‘The modern take is diffusing the contrasting liner shade, so it’s blended and more ombré in finish rather than the hard line of the 90s.’
She also warns that it’s a look best suited to fuller lips. Her recommended tools are: Mac Lip Pencil in Chestnut or Mahogany diffused at the edge and lips filled in with a lighter colour.
Depending on how stark you want the contrast to be, swipe on Mac Matte Lipstick in Velvet Teddy, Mehr or Honey Love (£14, lookfantastic.com).
L’Occitane My Essential Hand Cream Trio (£22.40, loccitane.com)
Help? It’s at hand here
International Women’s Day is on the horizon and the charity offerings have begun. If you want to lend support, then you could look at L’Occitane My Essential Hand Cream Trio (£22.40, loccitane.com) with £2 from the sale of each until the end of March being donated to Women’s Aid, which supports building a future in which domestic abuse is not tolerated.