This season, luminous cheeks compliment, but don't compete with, vibrant eye makeup, including faux lashes like Jennifer Lopez's. “A great blush applied with the right brush ensures you’ll never end up looking washed out while wearing a smokier eye or brighter lip,” says Dana Jasper, senior makeup artist at Chicago's Endo exo boutique. Jasper recommends a brush with splayed hairs to ensure dispersion of color.
Cheeks should not be your dominant feature. "Make sure they are a step or two behind your eyes and lips in vividness," says Vanitymark makeup artist Brett Freedman. "Otherwise you're in Clown Town!" Jennifer Aniston's cheeks help to further frame her stunning blue eyes.
Blending is important to give a natural radiance like Lucy Liu's. "Whether you use a powder or cream blush, blend the edges well," says makeup artist Scott Barnes. Also, avoid applying blush with your fingers because it can look streaky.
Smile! "Blush looks most realistic on the apples of the cheeks," says makeup artist Gregory Arlt. "Smile at yourself, and apply blush to the apple in round strokes with a fluffy blush brush."
A cream blush gives a dewey finish to normal and dry skin. For oilier skin-types, like Kate Bosworth has, "use a combo of matte blush to deposit color and then a shimmery version of the same shade on top to catch the light."
The shimmer in blush amps up the glow factor. "If your favorite blush doesn't have shimmer, simply put a loose shimmer powder over your blush," says makeup artist Ashunta Sheriff. But don't overdo it with the shimmer. "Shake excess off the brush before applying it," adds Sheriff. The result will be subtle, and light will hit the cheeks perfectly, as it does on Eva Longoria.
If you get a little over-zealous with your blush, "apply a small amount of face powder over the blush to tone it down," says M.A.C makeup artist Gregory Arlt. The goal is a subtle amount like Jessica Biel has.
"Warmer, peach and orange colors make the skin look more healthy and alive," says makeup artist Gregory Arlt.
BUY ONLINE NOW Cheek Sheer in Beachbabe 09, Sonia Kashuk, $8; at www.target.com
Sheer & Luminous
"Steer clear of mauves, reds and browns," says makeup artist Brett Freedman. Opt for something more natural like this peachy pink from Chanel.
BUY ONLINE NOW Irreelle Blush in Incognito, Chanel, $40; at www.chanel.com
To find the shade that matches your natural flush, pinch your cheeks to see what color shows up and try to find a replica.
BUY ONLINE NOW Cream Blush in Just Peachy, Revlon, $10; at www.walgreens.com