Overlooked or overdone - it can be hard to strike the right balance with blush. Get it wrong and you risk looking washed out or worse - like a rosy-cheeked doll. "If your eyes go straight to the blush on someone's face, it's too much," says Mecca Cosmetica's Head of Artistry, Tony Baumann.
If your blush has been gathering dust since you left it for your bronzer and contouring stick, it's time to get reacquainted - or trade up for a new season hue. "Bronzers, highlighters and contouring products are like accessories to blush," says Baumann. "They add shape and dimension while blush delivers the colour." We quizzed Mecca's make-up guru on how to get the perfect flushed cheek.
It's all about natural, grown-up colours that complement your contouring work. "The trend for autumn/winter is a contoured cheek with blush shades in natural taupes, beiges and neutral tones," says Baumann. We can't wait to get our hands on the Bobbi Brown Limited Edition Face & Body Bronzing Duos, which include bronzer and a natural-looking brown-based blush in one compact - find them on counter from May 3.
The complexion question
Trends aside, take into account your skin tone when selecting your perfect match. "For fair skin, pinkier hues work best, while for medium complexions peachy, bronzey warm tones work best," says Baumann. "For a darker complexion, berry hues are the most flattering." First up in Baumann's - and the Buro office's - hall of fame is Nars Blush in Orgasm. The cult product delivers a universally flattering pinky/peachy flush with flecks of gold, making it as desirable as, um, its controversial namesake.
Find your type
Powder, cream or stain? "Powder is my go-to for most, but for dry skin a cream formulation is best as it gives more of a dewy glow," says Baumann. "For longevity, opt for a stain." Try Stila Convertible Colour if you want a cream blush - the Gerbera shade gets our (and our Goopy friend Gwyneth's) vote.
For stains, By Terry Cellularose Blush Glacé comes recommended by Baumann: "[It's] a gel blush for sheer colour with the lasting benefits of a stain," he says.
All in the application
"A quick swipe of blush across the apples of the cheeks is the easiest way to brighten and lift your look," Baumann says. Not to be consigned to your night make-up look, a dusting of the pink-hued powder should be as essential as a flick of mascara and slick of lip gloss. So how do you know you're doing it right? "For powder, I love using a dome tapered brush that places the colour and diffuses it at the same time, it's very user-friendly and minimal technique is required," he says. "Add blush to the apples and blend outwards to the cheekbone."
If you're still scarred by the painted clown face you once mistakenly favoured, Baumann recommends the new Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush for "a soft-focus finish and sheer pigment that's great for the blush novice." Now, go forth and flush.