If you have with rosacea â€” the very common condition characterized by chronic facial redness â€” then you may avoid blush like the plague. But, while it might seem like adding fuel to a fire, using blush on a naturally flushed complexion can actually turn out beautifully so long as it's applied strategically. This is where the professional makeup artists come in: They're the ones who apply blush on clients with all different skin types for a living.
Take it from them: You have nothing to fear when it comes to blush. And to prove it, they've shared their best tips and tricks that will have you expertly applying color to your cheeks (and loving it) in no time.
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Neutralize the skin first
When you have a generous amount of redness in your skin, the best thing you can do before applying blush is neutralize your base. Now, this does not mean you have to use a full-coverage foundation or pack on the makeup â€” unless you want to â€” but of the three makeup artists ishonest spoke to, they all suggested taking a concealer, tinted moisturizer, or foundation first and using it to even out the complexion and tone down the areas with the most redness.
Use a gentle hand
People with rosacea, especially those with severe forms, have inherently sensitive skin that's easily triggered by factors such as food, temperature, stress, and more. It's for this reason that pros say it's important to be ultra- gentle during the application process itself, as not to further irritate the skin.
"There can be a lot of heat and irritation, so being gentle with the application is helpful," says Stiles. "Invest in soft brushes and clean them often." For the record, washing your brushes isn't as simple as it might seem, so read up on how makeup artists do it first to ensure your method is effective.
Avoid high-voltage hues
While ishonest doesn't believe in rules when it comes to makeup, there are still some guidelines that can be helpful to follow (for instance, steering clear of super-warm bronzers if you're very fair). In a similar vein, if you have rosacea, you may want to abstain from using bold red and pink blushes that could potentially enhance the natural red tones in your skin.
"[These shades] will amplify the underlying redness, but I never like to say there are firm and hard fast rules with makeup," says Stiles matter-of-factly. AvandaÃ±o adds that using a color that's similar to the redness in your skin can draw more attention to it, which is why he recommends soft coral and peach shades as alternatives, as he says it somehow helps to diffuse the ruddy tones in the skin.
Use bronze tones to minimize redness
Like AvandaÃ±o, makeup artist Ingeborg prefers using colors with peach and bronze undertones, as she says it gives the most natural effect and helps to tie the skin's flush in with the blush. One specific product she loves? "I absolutely adore Glossier Cloudpaint in Dusk because it's so lightweight, blendable, and tones down the red in the skin."
Ingeborg also recommends Jillian Dempsey's Cheek Tints in Sunny and Bloom, as both of them have brown undertones that she says flatter redder complexions.
Stick to powder formulations
In regards to formula, AvandaÃ±o and Stiles both prefer powder over cream blush options.
"I like powder because when you have foundation and concealer on, a setting powder will usually be used to keep that in place before blush, so it makes more sense to do powder on top," explains AvandaÃ±o, who adds, "Iâ€™m not opposed to cream but it would have to be done on top of foundation and concealer directly as not to disrupt the makeup."
Stiles says she would choose powder above cream because it helps to absorb the oil and won't contribute to any shininess that could break down the makeup.
Swap out your blush for bronzer
If you simply can't see yourself getting on board with blush, take a cue from makeup artist Robin Black and try bronzer instead. "When I'm doing makeup on someone who has rosacea, I usually reach for a light bronzer rather than blush," she says. "I apply a sheer foundation or a little bit of concealer to neutralize the redness but not cover it completely, and then I use a powder bronzer that is paler in shade with a golden undertone over the cheeks. The natural red from the rosacea comes through, and together, they create a gorgeous glowing cheek that mimics the look of a day at the beach."
Additionally, if she wants to create more dimension, Black says she'll use a slightly darker bronzer underneath the cheekbones for a chiseled effect.
Try applying with a beauty sponge
If you're not getting the finish that you want from your fingers or a brush, then using a beauty sponge could be the solution, says makeup artist and self- described "dewy dumpling," Nam Vo. "My biggest tip for applying blush if you have rosacea is to use a Beautyblender â€” for cream or powder blush," she says. "A brush is basically going to be too stiff and irritating â€” you want to take a damp sponge and gently bounce it on the cheek area, otherwise you can easily irritate the skin and cause more redness."
When in doubt, work with your natural flush
Once you're finished applying foundation or concealer to your skin, use your fingers or a damp sponge to subtly diffuse the formula where you want your rosy glow to shine through. Now there's a perk to rosacea worth sharing with your friends.
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