November/December  2006 



caridi-T06Blushing is a natural way for your blood to come close to the surface of your skin. This occurs when emotion senses are triggered, such as emotion of joy, anger, embarrassment and even sexual feeling. Blushing also occurs when skin is sensitive to weather, reaction to foods, wine, or facial creams. It also occurs when you push yourself too hard or when you work out. Skin blushing can be a good or bad thing, but one thing is sure Ö it tells us that your skin is full of life.

Some women love to blush. It makes them feel more alive and the skin looks younger. My mother always says to me, ďI feel like I need more colorĒ. So women can achieve this physical reaction artificially by using cosmetics. Cosmetic companies use powder blushes, cream blushes or what they used to call it years ago Ö rouge, cheek stains, or powder bronzers (for a tan look).

Then you have some women who want to cover their blushing skin, for example, if someone has rosacea. You also have women who donít want or need any color, like if someone has very light or dark skin. Whatever the case, the next couple of makeup tips are for all of the above, taken from our years of work with models and women of all ages and types.

In picking out a blush color thatís suitable for you, try to match your natural skin color. If you donít know, ask a makeup artist at a cosmetic counter, and if youíre still not sure here are a few tips.

caridinick02Match your favorite lipstick to a blush color. Match your natural lip color to a blush color; itís most likely going to look good on your skin. Squeeze the tip of your finger so that the blood is pushed towards the tip and then let go. Quickly hold your finger up to a tray of blush colors and see which one matches. This shows you what color your skin looks when the blood is close to the surface of your skin. You can also do this with a closed fist, then open your hand and once again match the color of your fingertips to a blush.

Try matching your skin undertones; either blue-red, pink, or red-orange. Try each on your skin and see which one looks best. When trying on blushes, make sure that the blush looks good in daylight as it did in the store. Lights can be tricky.

Fashion statement Ö Match your lip to your cheek color. For example, pink on pink, coral on coral, red on red, you get the point. If youíre still not sure, just get a natural bronzer.

To apply blush youíll need some tools. Go out and get yourself a natural big fluffy but firm brush with a long handle. The longer the handle, the less amount of pressure on your skin which means the smaller the amount of blush you will use. Start out with a small amount of blush; you can always add more if needed. Find the shape that you like, for example, some of the brush heads are round, flat, square or angled, so play a little with them. The brush that comes with most blush compacts is too small and tends to leave stripes on your face. If you read one of our previous issues remember that we leave the zebras at the zoo. NO STRIPES.

If you use a cream blush, try getting a flat foundation brush. Some people like using their fingers or a sponge; just make sure they are clean. You can get brushes at any cosmetic department or drug store, or even an art supply store.

The next question is where to put it. This depends on your bone structure and face shape. Here are some short cuts that will work well and are simple.

FISH FACE: This is when you suck in your cheeks and you look like a fish. Then, brush the blush color in the holes of your cheeks.

L HAND: Stick your thumb out and lay your other fingers flat sticking straight out, like you are saluting. Put your thumb on the tip of your nose and touch your earlobe with your index finger and place the blush along the shape between the thumb and index finger like an L shape. Then, swipe over to the other side without moving your thumb. Sounds a little tricky but works well once you get the hang of it.

TWO FINGERS: Take two fingers and place them on the side of your nose - this is where the blush should stop - then two fingers down under the eye is as high as you would place the blush. Dust blush over cheeks from the top of your ear towards the lower part of your nose, sweeping the blush from the outer to the inner of your face in one direction. If your brush is big, sweep color onto the apple of your cheeks with a circular motion. This is great for bright cheek color.

SAY CHEESE: Make a big smile and say CHEESE. This brings out your cheek shape and will act as a guide to place your blush and also makes you feel good. If you feel you have applied too much blush, you can take loose or pressed powder and dust over blush color to soften the color.

C OR 3 TRICK: This is the motion of your brush strokes when applying your blush. For the C- start off on your cheek, then go upward around the eye area and end up at the temples of the forehead, then sweep down to make a C movement and remember the C goes in the opposite direction on the other side of your face. 3-is for a full face. Start on the temples, and then hook around the eye, next on the cheek bone, then around the jaw line.

POWDER ON POWDER & CREAM ON CREAM: When using a powder blush, make sure that you set your foundation with a translucent powder first, or if youíre not using foundation itís a good idea to powder first. This will prevent the powder blush from becoming blotchy. When using a cream blush, make sure that itís put over a cream or moisturized skin, not powdered skin or dry skin, it will not blend.

More Tips

If you prefer a cream blush, remember to always place it on a moist skin surface, again, cream on cream. A cream blush is much easier to blend into the skin, use a sponge, foundation brush, or your fingers. Start at the apple of the cheeks. If you canít find this spot, give yourself a big smile. There it is, the meaty part of the cheek. Place the cream blush on the apple of the cheek and blend outward, the more you blend, the less amount of color, you can always add more later. Do not put powder over the cream until you are almost finished with your makeup, or if youíre going to put powder blush over the cream blush. If you want your blush to last all day, first use a cream blush and then apply a powder blush over it for lasting power.

Granny rouge: My grandmother used to take her lipstick and blend some on her cheeks. It gave her some color, GO GRANNY. When using this technique, make sure that the lipstick is a matte color.

If your skin is too red, you can cover up the redness with makeup, concealer, or green corrector, then powder. Add the blush away from your cheeks, using a coral or beige color blush. Some blushes come in multi shades - think rainbow - or you can use a light color bronzer.

Do you want a sun kissed look? Buy a bronzer; just make sure itís not too orange or too matte (muddy). Start by sweeping the bronzer over your cheekbone, then go over it in a circular motion. Dust whatís left on the brush over your forehead, nose and chin for that sun tan look. Use a big brush.

Wash your brushes in shampoo or Woolite once a week. Those free hotel shampoos work well. Let the brushes dry overnight and make sure that you set them flat on a towel or the edge of a table; do not put them in a cup sticking upward. You do not want to blow dry your brushes either; they might end up looking like little scared kinky brushes.

Not only should you clean your brushes, your blush may need some cleaning as well. Sometimes the surface of your blushes becomes hard. You can scrape the surface with a nail file or wipe the top of the blush with tissue dipped in a small amount of alcohol and let it dry.

May you have a blushing holiday!

Janice and Nick

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