This Blush Stacking Trick Sculpts Your Cheekbones So Effortlessly
Blush is arguably the most versatile product in your makeup bag: You can use it to fake a beachy glow, add a bloom of color to your lips and lids, and literally change the shape of your face. Armed with a good cream blush, I can create a full makeup look in about 10 seconds flat. You could say I'm a bit enamored with the product, and when I learn a new trick, I feel practically giddy.
Recently, celebrity makeup artist Mai Quynh let me in on one of her secrets: "Stack" your blushes to nail a soft, dewy shine. It's a trick you might have tried without even knowing it—but once you understand the ins and outs, trust me, you won't ever look back.
What is blush stacking?
It's all in the name: Blush stacking involves, well, stacking your blush products on top of one another for a high-impact look that reads naturally flushed. Specifically, "I love using cream blushes on the cheeks first, setting it with a light powder, and then adding a powder blush on top," says Quynh.
With a jam-packed celebrity roster (Ali Wong, Simona Tabasco, and Riley Keough, to name a few), Quynh swears by this trick to make the skin stand out, even amid a swarm of flash photography. "The cream blush shines through in photos, while the powder blush adds more color to the cheeks," she notes. "It adds that pop of color, so you don't have to worry about it fading throughout the day." Her clients, after all, are certainly booked and busy—so a blush with some staying power is key.
How to nail the look
It may sound simple, but you'll want to have the hack down to a science. "Powder products tend to sit on top of the skin instead of 'melting' into the skin, which makes it look more obvious in certain lighting," Quynh says, so you'll want to find the right balance. Of course, your own skin type and preferences will come into play: "It just depends on the person and how natural they want the dewy skin to come across," she adds.
For those hoping to resemble a juicy dewdrop, follow her go-to routine below:
- As with any striking makeup look, it starts with skin care. "I'm all about layering skin care products to create the perfect dewy skin canvas before makeup," she notes. After cleansing the skin, she reaches for a buttery moisturizer in lieu of primer. "I add True Botanicals Renew Chebula Extreme Cream to the face before I start any makeup." The formula is chock-full of skin-softening hydrators and brightening antioxidants, so it's a top-notch pick for a dewy visage.
- After applying your base products (foundation, concealer, et al.), melt a cream blush into the apples of your cheeks with your fingertips. Quynh especially adores the Tower28 BeachPlease Luminous Tinted Balm (and this beauty editor shares her obsession), which is perfect for fingerpainting. Blush placement ultimately depends on your individual face shape and sculpting goals, but just remember to diffuse the product upward to create lift.
- Next, lock in your cream blush with a light-setting powder. Personally, I'm into Saie's Airset.
- Then with a soft fluffy brush, dust a powder blush in the same shade on the same spots. Again, sweep the product upward toward your temples to create more lift. Quynh recommends checking out Chantecaille's powder blush offerings.
- Finish off with the rest of your routine: Mascara, bronzer, highlighter, powder, etc. "Remember to powder certain areas of the face, such as your T-zone, the sides of your nose, and the inner cheek area close to the nose," she notes. "Leave your upper cheekbones and most of your cheek area dewy—those areas will catch the light and show off your most gorgeous skin."
Blush hacks are truly endless. There are myriad ways to apply the product (that's what makes it my No. 1 must-have), and you can play with your hues as you please. For the prettiest dewy glow, try Quynh's layering trick above. Is this a brand-new, never-before-seen step? Not exactly, but it sure is a look with longevity.
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.