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Whether you’re a makeup minimalist or a pile-on-the-products maximalist at heart, a healthy, just-back-from-skiing sort of flush is always in style. To wit, the power of pink was on full display this season as rosy cheeks appeared on runways from New York to Paris. Besides brightening your face, complementing a bold lip, and making both your peepers and cheekbones pop, it turns out that the right swipe of blush can actually change the entire shape of your face. How? Regardless of whether you prefer powders, liquids, creams or gels, applying colour to certain spots has the power to soften angular features, make a long face look shorter, and make a rounder face appear longer and more defined.

Read on for our definitive guide to exactly where you should be applying your rouge.


Add definition to a round face (we’re looking at you, JLaw) by sucking in those cheeks and sweeping blush in an angular motion under your cheekbones toward the temples. Whatever you do, avoid the apples, which will only make your face appear rounder.


Brit-it girl Alexa Chung will tell you that similar to her bangs, blush is a great way to break up a long face. The key to creating the overall illusion of making your face appear wider is to apply a swipe of colour in a horizontal motion. You can approach this in one of two ways: apply blush from the apples of your cheeks to your ears, or start on the top of your cheekbones and blend out to your temples.


Take your cues from heart-shaped famous faces like Cara Delevigne and Reese Witherspoon and apply blush along the bottom of your cheekbones, similar to the way you apply contour. This will help balance out a strong jawline by bringing the focus back to your cheekbones.


If you have an oval face like Beyoncé and Jessica Alba, concentrate your blush to the tops of your cheekbones, lightly blending up and back towards your ears. This is guaranteed to give your cheeks some serious definition.


Those with square-shaped faces à la Olivia Wilde and Gwyneth Paltrow benefit from blush applied directly to the apples of their cheeks, in a circular motion. This softens angular features, particularly a stronger jawline, by drawing attention the roundest part of the face.


For a diamond-shaped visage like Scarlett Johansson, the goal is to draw attention to the bottom half of your face. Apply blush along the top of your cheekbones and blend towards your ears to draw the eye downwards—and highlight your cheekbones!