How To Keep Your Blush from Pulling a Disappearing Act


Have you ever put on your makeup, driven to a meeting or event and later looked in a restroom mirror only to discover that the blush you’d applied earlier had completely disappeared?

Well, you’re certainly not alone. Most of us have had the same experience since blush is notorious for pulling a disappearing act! But there are definitely some easy fixes that can help us avoid this issue. So let me share with you today a variety of different techniques that can help blush last longer which I’ll be demonstrating in the accompanying video.

Try These Steps Before Applying Foundation

The first tip to prevent blush from disappearing involves our skin prep. Cleansed, exfoliated and moisturized skin not only helps our skin and makeup look its best, but it also helps our makeup last longer.

Just about every makeup brand makes an exfoliating product, but one I especially love is Tatcha The Rice Polish which is gentle on the skin but extremely effective. It helps to remove dead skin cells which not only helps our face look brighter, but also enables other products like moisturizers, foundation and blush to adhere better to our skin and last longer.

A second option is to consider using face primer. The very reason face primer was invented was to help our makeup last longer. It’s applied after skincare and before makeup to help prevent makeup from slipping, fading or creasing.

Some primers are also designed to help in other ways such as smoothing out the look of large pores, color correcting, hydrating, mattifying or illuminating our skin. Two of my favorites are Tatcha’s The Liquid Silk Canvas Primer and Benefit’s Porefessional Hydrating Primer (which also comes in a pore minimizing formula and a skin brightening formula.)

The Type of Foundation We Use – and Our Application Techniques – Do Make a Difference

Something else that helps is using a liquid foundation underneath blush since the liquid foundation provides a dewier surface for the blush to blend into.

The next option involves application technique. Using a sponge to apply blush can sheer out the blush, so using our fingers or a brush is the best way to ensure longer lasting blush.

Be sure to check out Elise’s YouTube channel which specifically focuses on makeup tips, techniques, and product reviews for those of us 50+. Don’t forget to subscribe!

The fifth technique that helps blush last longer is to layer blush formulas. Applying a liquid or cream blush first, followed by powder can definitely help blush stay in place longer since the powder helps to “lock in” the cream.

I particularly love Selena Gomez’ Stay Vulnerable Cream Blush, Merit’s Flush Balm Cream Blush and RMS’ Lip to Cheek blush. And a great drugstore option is Flower Beauty’s Blush Bomb.  A beautiful light powder blush that works beautifully over cream is Hourglass’ Ambient Lighting Blush which is lightweight and seamless and creates depth and dimension through soft focus technology.

But there’s also another application technique that makeup artist Patrick Ta has recently popularized with his Double Take Crème and Powder Blush: applying powder blush first and topping it with a cream blush. He suggests patting on the powder blush first with a fluffy brush and then using a damp makeup sponge to pat on the cream blush over the powder blush.

In the video I’m going to layer cream or liquid blush first on one side of my face followed by powder. Then on the other side of my face I’m going to apply Patrick Ta’s powder blush first followed by his cream blush to see if it’s possible to see much difference between these two application techniques.

Using more than one color when layering blush can also add a little more depth to the look and also helps the blush stay in place longer as well by adding a second layer. I’ll be doing this in the video as well.

How Much Blush Should We Apply?

And I also want to focus on one other aspect of our blush application: how much blush we apply. Since we’ve all seen examples of blush gone very wrong (perhaps even on our own face!), I think most of us harbor a fear of applying too much blush.

But we just may want to apply slightly more blush than we’re normally comfortable wearing. Here’s why. Think back to TV shows, movies or novels you’ve read that were set in the 18th or 19th centuries. What did women do to add some color to their faces? They pinched their cheeks, right?

Since the blood vessels right under the surface of the skin cause natural color to appear when stimulated, this technique worked quite well. Today, when we use our fingers or a brush to apply blush to our faces, this same principle applies.

After applying blush, we’re seeing a mixture of the blush color AND our natural flush since our fingers or the brush we’ve used stimulate the surface of our skin. So it’s always a good idea to wait a few minutes for the flush to dissipate so you can really get an accurate picture of how your blush looks.

If you wait a few minutes for the blush and your skin to settle, you might be surprised to see that you didn’t apply as much blush as you thought you did. You might think your blush faded quickly when in reality the stimulation of the skin gave your blush a boost which has now disappeared.

This Last Technique Is One of the Most Important

And this last technique – and layering our blush – are the two most important things we can do to help our blush last longer (and help the rest of our makeup last longer as well!). It’s using setting spray as the final step in our makeup routine. I particularly love the cult classic All Nighter Setting Spray from the brand Urban Decay.

It can be sprayed on to the cheek area or all over the face, but I much prefer spraying it onto a slightly damp makeup sponge and gently pressing it into the skin. And I must also say that I’ve heard some people swear that using hair spray as their setting spray works just as well!

Have you had issues with your blush fading or disappearing? Do you have a favorite technique to prevent this from happening? What are some of your favorite blush products?

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