The Beach & Blush—That's It

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Every time a model stops by the office, I've taken to asking her which product she uses most frequently. The one answer I never get is blush. But why? I wonder. I understand the cliché—that when the modern woman considers blush, it is for some “too grandma' and for others “too infantile.” Couple that with the summer heat, and it all starts to feel like an unnecessary additional layer. No doubt it's a challenge to try out new makeup just as summer starts to feel its hottest.

Hear me out, though—when you wake up and want to look alive, what (other than a strong coffee) can make that happen quicker? A clean face with a bit of a tan is great. Add to that a healthy flush, and you're golden.

I'm sure a lot of you know this already—natural blushing feels good and looks beautiful. Recreating it is actually fairly easy and surprisingly effective in offering a brand new version of pretty when all else feels lackluster. The color for summer is tawny and peach, sitting high on your cheekbones—and it is perfectly demonstrated on our model, Heloise, who Tom and I took to the Rockaways to shoot wearing a few super-malleable cream and liquid cheek tints.

The inspiration for the shoot came from a familiar place—Steven Meisel. More specifically, the shoots he did at a New York beach in the early 2000s with girls like Angela Lindvall and Maggie Rizer— the ones Loewe picked up and republished. Blush, like these images—doesn't have to be the finished, perfect, prissy, girly thing. It can be cool and weird and different. Instead of a grand California landscape with clean sand, big cliffs, and crashing waves, it can be a beach 40 minutes outside of Manhattan looking across to Coney Island in the midst of some iffy weather. With the right lens, though, it's beautiful.

I applied each shade to the apple of her cheeks and smoothed the color outward to the top of her cheekbone and blended nearing the edges. This is a more dramatic blush look and only makes sense when the rest of the face is clean.

Here's what we used:

Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelée in Coral Oasis


Becca Beach Tint in Raspberry


Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Es Vedra


RMS Beauty Lip 2 Cheek in Diabolique


Laura Mercier Bonne Mine Stick Face Color in Coral Glow


Chanel Le Blush Crème De Chanel in 67 Chamade


—Jen Steele

Heloise Guerin (Women Management) photographed by Tom Newton on August 4, 2015.

Look 1 - slip dress, Maje. Look 2 - sweater, Theory. Look 3 - halter top, Brandy Melville. Look 4 - tee, Vintage. Look 5 - jumpsuit, Baserange. Look 6 - dress, Coqui Coqui.

Shanina Shaik gets peachy in six lipsticks.