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How To Wear Red Blush

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There’s a lot of real estate on your cheeks, and you've probably noticed that the shades meant for the hollows have no business on the apples. The success of perfect cheekbones or that flush that feigns coyness very much relies on placement. But since the system failed us by not making blush application part of the standard junior-high curriculum, we asked makeup artist Suzy Gerstein to help us make a hard-and-fast guide to where to put what colors—and why. Today we're talking reds.

The Effect: Red blush gives the impression of innocence, health, and romance. It doesn’t look sophisticated, mature, or cosmopolitan. It mimics the effect of running in the cold, or the way you look after making out with someone—it’s like bringing blood to your face.

The Placement: Concentrate the color on the apples of your cheeks and blend it out toward the edges of your face. The boundaries will depend on your face shape. If you have really high cheekbones, you can blend the color a little lower, but it should really stop an inch above the jawline. I always recommend looking at yourself in profile, because it shouldn’t go all the way to the perimeter of your face. You can also apply it on the tip of the nose so it sort of looks like you ran around the block. You can use your fingers or a big, fluffy brush to get a more diffused look. Even when I’m using a powder blush, I’ll finish the application with my fingers to kind of bring the makeup back to life.

The Products: In the case of such a bright blush, cream colors can be more forgiving because they don’t streak, and you can blend them away with your fingers. RMS Lip 2 Cheek in Rapture and Shiseido Orchid are really good reds.

—Suzy Gerstein

You can follow Suzy on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Here's her website. Illustrations by Suzy Gerstein.