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Let’s face it: blush is magic. No matter how tired you may feel after a long fabulous day being you, blush has the power to perk up your complexion with a healthy, rosy-cheeked glow. But blush can also be tricky. When applied correctly, you’re a knockout! On the flipside however, if you choose the wrong shade, the results can look less than model glam.

Now for the good news: We’re sharing our best kept blushing secrets to spot these tried-and-true mistakes. Catch these common mishaps and you’ll be blending the perfect shade or formula in no time.

1. Not your shade.
The best blush is the one that no one knows you’re wearing. In other words, select a shade that lives in harmony and blends with your skin tone:

Fair – Light pinks are your new BFF. A light, subtle colour complements your skin tone as a richer colour will stand out too much against your complexion. One of our faves is the silky-smooth Maybelline Fit Me® Blush in light pink.

Medium/Warm – Go with deeper pinks and corals. You have the freedom to add a bit of heat with a more vibrant colour. We love the all-day wear of Joe Fresh Blush in Deep Pink.

Medium/Cool – Dress those cheeks in roses and plums for a sultry and naturally cool tone. We’re mad about the velvety texture of Annabelle Blush-On Blush in rose fawn.

Dark – It’s time to go bold when picking the perfect shade for hue. Disregard your pale pinks (these can work against your undertones) and instead opt for colours like mauve, orange, cranberry or even terra cotta to get a pretty flush. Try Gosh Multicolour Blush in Pink Pie.

2. Formula faux pas.
Finding the right formula for your skin type is as important as ever. Use the wrong one and your blush can flake and smear. You need a formula that matches:

Normal-to-oily – Powders are perfect for you. Revlon Powder Blush follows the basic rules of blush: they’re easy to apply and look oh so natural. Can we say perfection?

Dry – Cream blushes, like L'Oréal Paris True Match Blush, have a lightweight, mousse-like texture that doesn’t settle into fine lines, but blends perfectly with your look.

3. Blending bloopers.
A poor blending job will leave your complexion looking streaky or patchy. The solution: a blush brush. For powders, a round shape brush, like the Quo Blush Brush, works best as it provides flawless coverage during application. And for creams, the Quo Cream Blush Brush is the perfect size to apply blush to the hollows of your cheeks when you’re ready to dabble in a bit of contouring.

4. Too high, too low.
Blush application sometimes has the Goldilocks effect: not too high, not too low, but searching for the spot that’s just right! Going too high on your forehead can have a reddening effect; while applying too low (below the bottom of your nose) can make your face appear to sag. When in doubt, keep the blush to the fleshy parts of your cheeks.

5. Subtle or standout.
Blush can be made simple by keeping it subtle – it’s an enhancer for a reason. Start with light swipes on your cheeks and gradually build until you reach your desired colour.

Subtle is sweet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try something daring as well. Apply bolder swipes along your features to build out your colour for a deeper and more standout blush. You can also use the blush to contour along the cheeks toward the sides of your eyes to make the colour pop.

And that’s all there is to it. Once you find your desired shade, formula and perfect your blending skills, you’ll never shy away from using blush again.