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BN Beauty: Rock it Like You’re Born with it? Find out How to Apply Blush Perfectly



How to Apply Blush for African Americans - BellaNaija - November 2013For a long time I struggled with blush, even after becoming a makeup artist.

Why do we have to use them? Do dark skinned women even get flushed?” These were some of the questions I wondered about. The answer to that of course is no. So what is the whole fuss about?

These were my thoughts until the day I got it right; it was an ‘eureka moment’. Red blush was applied to my cheeks and voila, it was like a whole new world opened up. There was a glow on my face and the colour it gave my caramel skin was the most flattering ever.

Yes, we do not blush or get red on the face, but the glow that comes with having blush on our cheeks gives our face a brighter and warmer appearance. The right blush shade gives a subtle and very pretty glow to our cheeks.

So how do we pin down the art of applying our blush perfectly?

Blush application is very tricky and can very easily turn out awry and leave you looking like a geisha. The first thing to understand is your face shape. There are different techniques for different face shapes:


That diagram is quite helpful but I apply blush in only one way for all face shapes and it comes out perfect all the time. Here are the steps I use:

  1. Apply very little product on the blush brush.
  2. Start from the actual apple of the cheeks (the tips of the cheek)- if you have very prominent cheeks, start a little below the apples of your cheeks.
  3. In a straight line, brush slightly upwards and backwards from the apple of the cheeks  towards the ear (apply more product where needed taking care not to apply too much)
  4. Using the remaining product on the brush, and concentrating on the upper edge of the blush, use circular motions to blend out the blush.

Extra tip – Apply a highlighter to the apples of the cheek before applying blush. This gives the face an enlivened look.

There are a lot of products to mimic that suffusion of colour but not all these products are right for dark skin. In fact, red, orange and gold toned blush products are preferred as they complement the skin and when applied properly actually do a good job of mimicking that flushed glow. Some of my favourite blush products for dark skin are:

MAC – Raizin, Ambering Rose
Sleek – Scandalous, Sahara, Blush trios in Flame, Pumpkin and the so gorgeous orange shade in Pumpkin trio
NARS – Exhibit A, Taj Mahal, Desire, Deep Throat and my personal favourite, the
BM|Pro single eyeshadow in 600 (I think it has been discontinued)

Remember, your natural undertones are key to finding your most flattering shade and make sure not to apply just a round spot of colour on the apples of your cheeks but to blend it out and back.

Watch Melissa Hibbert on ehow Style showing us how to apply blush.

Video credit: beauty |
Barbara Onianwah is an Advertising and makeup professional. She spends her days as a Client Service/Digital Marketing professional in one of Nigeria’s bigger advertising agencies and her nights as a Social Media & Makeup afficionado who straddles between using the internet to build her personal brand – Barbara & 1923 and helping various clients build their online presence.

She is also a proficient beauty writer and writes for WOW magazine and You can find her on her blog | Twitter – @piriye | Instagram – barbara1923 |Pinterest – Barbara1923.

| The Restless One | Lover of GOD & Change | Content Creator | Barbara Onianwah spends her days working in Marketing Communications and her nights as a Social Media & Beauty aficionado who straddles between using the internet to build her personal brand – Barbara & 1923; and helping various Clients build their online presence. To find her, visit her blog - OR follow her on Twitter – @piriye | Instagram – barbara1923 |Facebook & Youtube – Barbara & 1923.


  1. Mariaah

    November 28, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Can we just talk about your hair Lady?? 🙂 LOVE!!!

  2. goldfinch

    November 28, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    God knows that I don’t know the shape of my face.
    Can you guys please use examples e.g faces of celebrities for the different face shapes.

  3. Endo

    November 29, 2013 at 1:18 am

    Wow, never knew black women could use blush. Nice tip Pls
    share your endometriosis [email protected]
    Let’s beat endo together !

    • Barbara

      December 2, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      Lol, same here too until I tried it and it looked gorgeous on me. Thanks @Endo

  4. merci

    November 29, 2013 at 9:49 am

    thanks for the tips very useful.
    @goldfinch i can help u out abit but barbara is the boss.
    oval shape; beyonce Knowles,
    round shape; lindsay Lohan
    square; calista flockhart
    heart; katie holmes
    long; sara jessica parker. u may find other variations on the net but the ones i chose here have the distinct face structure that makes them belong to each group.
    i hope i helped?

    • Barbara

      December 2, 2013 at 8:55 pm

      Lol, @Merci, I must say you did a pretty brave thing. Thank you for responding while I was MIA.

  5. jumanji

    November 29, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    wow!exactly what i needed.

    • Barbara

      December 2, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      I am happy to hear that @jumanji

  6. Nikki

    December 2, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Someone from my Facebook posted this page and I am glad I visited. I have a heart shaped face and could never get the blush to look right. These tips will help me out a lot. I needed this information. Thanks.

    • Barbara

      December 2, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      my pleasure @Nikki, I am glad you found it useful.

  7. blushes

    May 22, 2014 at 11:55 am

    nice video tutorial i apply blush perfectly with the help of this article thanks

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