In the making: Blush

Ever applied your favourite blush and wondered just what helps you to achieve that youthful rosey glow? And how the idea of it came about? Well we have, so we’ve done our research to find out.

The many types of blush

Although it’s not often realised, there are many types of blush. Like the majority of other cosmetic products. Blush is also often overlooked, and is definitely not included in every individual’s glam routine. But the often-forgotten benefits of using blush makes it worth investing in, and committing to.


With a variety of formulas, from powder, cream, gel and liquids, it’s not hard to choose the easy way out and pick the cheapest blush for your buck. What many makeup wearers don’t know, is that you must choose a blush that suits your specific skin tone. A wide variety of colours, ranging from your classic pinks and peaches, to creams, reds and browns, go hand in hand with either matte or shimmery finishes.

Makeup Revolution All About Cream Blush Palette  Review & Swatch

Cream blush – these create a great shadow for your cheeks, similar to what contouring does. However it requires more blending. These are also great for dry skin as they usually contain moisturising components and must be applied over your base but before powder.


Powder blush – these tend to be the most popular type of blush, especially amongst teens. They tend to have a long lasting wear, and are good for oily skin. Apply after powdering the face to avoid a dreaded blotchy application.


Gel/fluid blush – great for giving you a sheer glow, as they tend to be quite supple. Some of these can be water-resistant and are usually fast drying.

Cheek Pencils – these often include moisturisers and emollients, allowing them to be blendable. Because of this, they’re great for beginners!


Shimmers – perfect for those not wanting a burst of colour. These add a light glow to the face and aren’t only for the cheeks. Being applied to the forehead, inner corners of the eyes and bow of the eyelid, they are great for evening wear.


So how and when did the idea of blush come about?

As much as you can’t imagine spreading a thick paste of red fruits and veg juices, or freshly crushed ochre on your cheeks, this was the original idea of blush.

In Ancient Greece, both wealthy women and men used the resourceful, but deadly, crushed seeds and berries for that peachy glow.

The middles age saw beauty turn to the extreme, when the wealthiest in society splashed their cash on bloodletting procedures to gain a white complexion. Then, using strawberries and water to highlight points of the face. This was definitely a different technique to applying our favourite powder highlight that we do today.

1870 Bourjois.

1870 Bourjois.

The 20th century was the prime time for the cosmetic product. Whilst brands were developing new and innovative blush formulas, women were embracing the dark red lips and bright red blush to match. Cream and liquid products were increasingly becoming the go-to colour boosting option for your skin.

1940 Revlon.

1940 Revlon.

1950 Coty.

1950 Coty.

You may have heard the term ‘rouge’ being used before within the beauty industry. But if not, it was another term for ‘blush’ in the 20th century. Rouge, in the 1940’s was hard to come by during the war. So instead of using their useful compact blush, for a healthy pink flush, many women used lipstick instead.

1967 Revlon.

1967 Revlon.

1978 Maybelline.

1978 Maybelline.

Now, in 2016, the amount of variety and choice we have in terms of colours, brands, and formulas of blush are huge. Although, even the best of us once went through the too-much-blush stage in the past, with different products creating different looks, it’s easier to find ones that suit our face shapes and colouring.

TART, Makeup Revolution and Nars are just a few examples of brands popular for their blush products. With NARS ‘Orgasm’ blush now being so popular that it has its own cult.

What is our colour boosting blush made of?

Where different formulas have different ingredients and manufacturing processes. All blushes include preservatives and the same 2 colorants. The first colorant being one that provides us with the main aspect – the colour. And one that masks our natural skin colour.


When it comes to the formulas, talc is used for the powdered formulas. Where silicone, water or humectants are used for the creams and liquids. One of the main reasons that these are used are to dilute the pigment, as without them, the colorants would be way too intense.


Along with these, powder and cream blushes also include enhancers, binding and spreading agents, and oil absorbers.

Here’s a few top tips on how to apply blush like a pro –

Do you include blush in your go-to makeup look? What is your favourite blush?

Text: Lizzie Moxom

Images: In The Gloss, Nars Cosmetics, Imgrum, Pinterest

Leave a Reply