That dusty pink product tucked at the back of Mum’s beauty drawer that somehow always made me look like the clown emoji. Artificially bright and impossible to blend, I spent my twenties steering clear of blush in favour of a more natural look. But recently, TikTok has shown me there’s way more to blush than dotting two big pink balls on your cheekbones and walking into the night.
Blush has taken over the platform with a wave of viral beauty trends dedicated to this versatile product. There’s “sunburn blush”, which mimics that natural flush you get after a day at the beach, two glasses of wine or a hot yoga class, and “ombre blush” for those who wish to recreate a tropical sunset on their cheeks. With each new trend, blush is solidifying its place as the most essential item in our beauty toolkits.
The products used to achieve these results have evolved way beyond the saccharine powders of my youth, with creams and tints that can be applied almost anywhere on the face to create a glowing, second-skin look. Eyes, nose, mouth, lips, forehead and cheeks can all be brightened with a deftly blended multi-use product like Axiology’s Balmies.
Michael Comninus for RIISE
One of Oprah’s favourite products, Balmies are zero waste, vegan and 100 per cent plastic-free and come in at an affordable $24 each. They are made from natural ingredients (no palm oil, sulphates, parabens or synthetic fragrances here) and packaged in recyclable cardboard. Described by the brand as “face crayons”, they are multipurpose with bright pigments and hydrating properties. This makes them perfect for recreating all the viral blush looks and reducing the environmental load of your beauty bag.
Axiology’s cream blushes are easy to blend and come in a spectrum of colours, including highlighters to pump up that dewy glow. To pick the best shade for your skin tone, go for the colour that’s closest to your natural flush. Pale complexions bode well with cool pink and berry shades, olive tones are complemented by warm apricots and darker complexions look great with any bright colours.
The general rule of thumb with blush is to go no more than two–three shades darker than your natural skin tone, as this is when product becomes difficult to blend. If in doubt, just pick a colour you naturally gravitate towards or test out a trio set.
Ready to jump on the blush bandwagon? Here are four viral TikTok looks to test out with your new Balmies.
Michael Comninus for RIISE
There’s nothing healthy about a tan, that much has be drilled into us by our parents and terrifying health PSAs. Sun exposure is also the leading cause of skin ageing, which means actual sunburn is the last thing that you want on your face. Luckily, the internet has come through with a sun-safe way to get that pink, fresh-from-the-ocean look.
You’ll need a saturated colour like watermelon, cherry or peach as pink and red shades work best to mimic that sun-kissed glow. Apply the product in a W shape across your cheeks and nose to cover all those spots where the sun would naturally hit. Then, blend it out with your fingers or a brush.
@lilimadrigal_ Literally my go to look every single day it’s so happy and pretty #fypシ #getreadywithme #makeup #blushhack ♬ original sound – fern
Ever felt like no amount of concealer, foundation or powder can cover up those dark circles? Turns out you should’ve been using blush. Mixing blush with your concealer or taking a cheek colour right up under the eyes can cancel out that blue/grey colour that makes dark circles so difficult to cover up. To try this one out, simply dot a Balmie under your eye and blend in with your concealer. It’s best to go for a subdued natural tone here like clementine or rose to add brightness without making your eye area overly pink.
@morpheofficial @Muriëlle hopping on the undereye blush trend with Morphe’s cream blush 👏 Will you try this trend? #makeuphacks #makeuptutorial ♬ Under Eye Blush – SPENCER
With over 8 million views on TikTok, #ombreblush is set to be the blush look of the summer. The concept is simple: take two, three or even four blush colours and blot them across your cheeks from lightest (in the centre) to darkest (on your upper cheekbones). With three complementing shades per pack, Axiology’s trio sets are perfect for recreating this look. Go full glam with the Golden Hour trio or try Cotton Candy Skies for something a little softer. Working from the outside in, apply even deposits of each colour and blend together with your tool of choice.
@makeupbytammi I love it😍 Inspired by my love: @bexcxmpbell #ombreblush #makeup #makeuptrend #fyp ♬ For some reason ppl are using my sound – .
One of the most recent (and most viral) blush trends, “Douyin blush” will transform you into a real-life anime character. The hack took off in China on Douyin, a short video media app, before sweeping through the rest of the world. It involves small V shapes drawn on the tip of the nose, chin, cheekbones and eyelids to create a doll-like flush. This sweet, summery look is all about those pink and red tones so opt for anything in the berry family. Try strawberry or peach for lighter skin tones and cherry or plum for darker complexions. Apply the product in small Vs around your face and blend for a rosy finish.
@glowyamelie viral douyin blush trend: yes or no? inspo @iyoqu #douyin #fyp #makeup #makeuptrend #blushhack #douyinmakeup #kbeauty #healthyskin #koreanmakeup #liptint #makeuptrends #glowymakeuptutorial ♬ original sound – Amelia