A Makeup Artist Taught Us Her 3 Go-To Tricks To Diffuse Blush Like A Pro

mbg Associate Editor By Jamie Schneider
mbg Associate Editor
Jamie Schneider is the Associate Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and health. 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.
woman wearing blush
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Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a bold, '80s-inspired blush moment (the "blush draping" technique of the decade is even making a major comeback on TikTok). But some days you may be looking for more of a slightly flushed hue rather than vibrant, rosy apples, and as those of us with a heavy hand know quite well: An eager application stamps the color on like rubescent ink. It's especially true with cream or liquid formulas, as a slight tap of the highly pigmented goop goes a very long way. 

It's a common predicament, so we enlisted the help of a makeup artist: Here, the smartest and most effective ways to diffuse the product and keep a soft glow:  

1. Buff with a clean makeup brush.  

"The easiest way to fix overapplication is to take a clean brush with nothing on it and then blend out!" says celebrity makeup artist Mary Irwin. Grab a clean, fluffy brush and swirl it over the skin—this technique not only diffuses the color but can also lift some of the pigment onto the bristles themselves. Perhaps this goes without saying, but make sure your brush is clean and unused, lest you transfer even more makeup onto your skin.  

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2. Use a damp beauty blender. 

If you still find too much pigment on your cheekbones, Irwin says to dampen a clean beauty blender and tap it onto the skin. This "blends the remaining color down," she says, and pulls out the excess pigment without smearing any of your base products. 

It especially works for powder formulas, as the dust will cling onto your damp sponge and help you even everything out. Light bounces are best here—no need to drag the sponge over the skin and smudge your work. 

3. Apply some concealer over it.

If you've used a cream blusher, you can always dot some foundation or concealer over the areas you want more sheer and blend it into the skin. It's a classic tip makeup artists love, dubbed sandwich blush: You're essentially "sandwiching" the blush between your foundation and your skin, letting the rosy hue peek through your base. 

Again, this only works with cream products (as cream over a powder blush can pill), but it's so easy to finesse to your liking. Start slow, and you can always cover up with more concealer for a subtler look. 

The takeaway. 

For the days you want just a hint of rouge, try these diffusing tips if you'd like to remove some of the pigment. Or, you know, you can always just lean into the bolder look—we love a striking face beat.

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