Blush can be a great way to add a nice touch to your look, especially in the winter, but, blush can be difficult to apply correctly. If you apply too much, you may end up looking like a clown, but too little product, or product not placed properly for your face shape or bone structure, can be just as damaging. However, blush is easy to learn to apply with a little effort.
Blush comes in a variety of forms and it is important you chose the right type for your skin and the look that you are trying to create. Powder blush is by far the most traditional - it comes in compacts and is typically applied with a brush. Powder blush is best for more oily skin, but can be used with any skin tone to create a polished look. However, there are many options outside of powder blush. Cream blush, for instance, will typically come in a tub and should be applied with fingers or a sponge. The texture of cream blush is very thick and dense and little needs to be applied for a natural, dewy look. Cream blushes typically work best on drier skin. Gel blush can also accomplish this, though typically, it has more of a sheer look and works better on oily and normal skin. Gel blushes usually come in tubes or from pump applicators and should also be applied with fingers, though quickly as they dry quickly. Cheek stains are similar to gel blushes, but they will more typically come in sticks or tubs - they also provide a sheer glow, but dry a little more slowly and dewily than do gel blushes. Other types of blush you may see include tint blushes, cheek pencils, and shimmers, but these are rarer and generally less useful.
Choosing the right color is a difficult and very individual choice. But, generally, the lighter your skin is, the lighter your blush should be. Additionally, if you have cool undertones, stay with blushes with cool undertones, and likewise for those with warm undertones. Ideally, you want your blush to match what you look like after a jog or, when you are blushing naturally. Don't go too off that or the blush may not look natural.
Where to apply your blush depends on your face shape. Face shapes are generally broken down into four main categories - rectangular, square, round, and oval. Rectangular shaped faces are faces where the shape is long and the forehead and jaw are around the same length. For these types of faces, it is best to apply blush below the checkbones. Oval shaped faces are faces where the forehead is larger than the chin. Blush should be applied to the most prominent part of the checkbones and blended out to the temples. Square shaped faces are faces where the sides are all roughly the same size. For these types of faces, blush should be applied starting at the center of the eyes at the cheekbones and blended to the temples. A small amount of blush should also be applied to the forehead and chin to even out the shape. For a round face, characterized by having the greatest width at the cheeks, blush should be applied at the sides of the cheekbones and blended upwards, as well as on the chin, to add a sense of length.
Even if your blush comes with an applicator, it is probably not the best idea to use it, especially with powder blushes, which often come with cheap brushes that do not have enough bristles to adequately or evenly apply color. It is worth the investment to get a nicer blush brush from a quality supplier like MAC, whose brushes are made out of genuine animal hair. Though it may be expensive, the look will be of infinitely better quality and you can avoid a streaky application.
Regardless of where you put your blush, how you apply it, or what type it is, make sure to blend it in as well as possible. It is always better to err on the side of caution where blush is concerned - even a little makes a difference, but too much will simply leaving you looking silly. Whatever type of application technique you are using, blend as well as you can and check in the mirror in both natural and artifical light before you go out if you are unsure if you applied too much. But remember, wearing blush is something you should have fun with, so feel free to experiment! Just keep the makeup remover handy.