Are you stuck in a blush rut? Are your cheeks begging you to look beyond the pink spectrum? Will you cry from boredom the next time you come across another peachy blush duo or quad? We get it, and we’d like to offer you a cool color alternative to your basic color doldrums: purple blush.
We know what you’re thinking. Purple is a scary color. It’s not natural, and it’s probably difficult to apply. The truth is that it’s really not as scary as it seems — it can totally look natural, and it’s pretty easy to wear no matter your complexion.
“I think people tend to shy away from purple or plum blush because often the color appears shockingly deep or strong in the compact,” says celebrity makeup artist Suzy Gerstein, who’s worked on the faces of Leighton Meester and Julie Bowen, among others. “It can seem tricky to pull off without the color taking over your face. However, with the right products and application techniques, it can actually be more natural looking than your basic pink or peach.”
In fact, since purple is part of the color-correcting family, it can seriously brighten your complexion. A swash on your cheeks can turn sallow and dull skin into a canvas that’s luminous and light, and you can even wear a little bit directly under your eyes to brighten dark circles.
How to Find the Best Shade
Just like a pink, red, or orange blush, the shade of purple you choose matters. The primary thing you want to consider is your complexion.
“For light to medium tones, a pale purple is best because it gives minimal color, but still a pop of color on the cheeks,” notes Ninah Sobers of Flormar Professional Makeup. “Deep skin tones should use a mauve purple to enhance their natural skin tone.”
Also consider the finish you’re going for. Some purple blushes are matte, some are glittery, and others offer a touch of shimmer. There are also intermediate colors to choose from that walk the line between pink and purple or pink and orange. These may be good for testing the purple waters if you’re afraid to jump in the deep end.
How to Wear It
According to Kelly Hanna Thompson, Kryolan makeup artist, there are a few ways you can make purple blush look really flattering. The first is to make your purple cheeks the star of your face.
“Use it as the color focus of your makeup,” she says. “Wearing a slightly pinky eye shadow, your purple blush, and a pinky-nude color lip really makes your cheekbones the center piece.”
The second way to make sure purple blush looks good is to use it as a lipstick balancer.
“I love doing a bold or dark lip with lots of mascara on the eyes, then use the purple blush to balance out the color,” she says. “It's a beautiful and simple way to be glamorous.”
Another option is to tie the purple into other elements of your face. For example, Gerstein says she likes to “give a wink to the purple tone of blush with a lick of plum gel liner,” and recommends Jane Iredale’s Purple Jelly Jar Gel Liner ($28; nordstrom.com). “Depending on the face and my client's outfit or mood, I’ll pair purple blush with either a berry-stained or a peachy nude lip.”
MAC in Breath of Plum ($22; macys.com)
Wet n Wild coloricon Ombre Blush ($5; target.com)
ColourPop Matte Blush in Rain ($8; colourpop.com)
Clinique Cheek Pop in Pansy Pop ($22; sephora.com)
Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush in Bitter Sweet ($26; sephora.com)