I Can Pull Off Purple Blush Since Everything Else in My Life is Lavender — and You Can Too

It just takes a good brush and a light hand.
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Tynan Sinks
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It just takes a good brush and a light hand.

Attention xoJane: I am feeling myself. 

A few days ago, I was chatting about undertones with a makeup artist. I explained that I tend to lean toward cool-toned colors, since I have cool undertones. Now, here's a secret: I wasn't actually sure I had cool undertones, I just happen to like cool tones better, so I made the executive decision to lie through my teeth and tell people that my skin is cool-toned. She gently pointed out that I actually have neutral undertones, that I'm right in the middle of the road. She said "You're like one big gray area," and I was like, "You have no idea."

She also made the mistake of adding, "Since you have neutral undertones, you can really wear anything you want, since everything looks good on you." At which point my head inflated to epic proportions and I literally floated out of the room. I'm typing this from the moon. 

Now that we know that I'm gorgeous, should I do an article on undertones even though I just admitted I know nothing about them? Probably.

How is this even an intro? What am I... Okay, so — purple blush. Being that I have pastel-unicorn-fantasy-whatever hair all year round, and it's usually lavender, I find that, when I wear color on my face, I can usually amp it a little more than the normal person. The color isn't going to clash with my natural coloring, because EVERYTHING LOOKS GOOD ON ME.

When I apply a medium to full coverage foundation and need to infuse some color back into my face, I'll usually reach for blushes on the far end of the "bright" spectrum, usually hot pinks. I'll sheer them out so it's not a shock of color, but the pastel hair allows me to get away with more extreme colors on my face, and they work to pull everything together. 

It should come as no surprise, then, that colors that lean purple (or, are purple) work surprisingly well on me, cool undertones or not. Let me ease you into it. 

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Orchid Hush

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Orchid Hush, 7.99

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Orchid Hush, 7.99

I used a product photo because this is what mine looks like:

orchid hush.jpg

Needless to say, I use it a lot. 

Maybelline calls Dream Bouncy Blush a "powder-gel formula," but I'd definitely say it feels like more of a firm gel. It gives you the sheer, build-able coverage of a powder, not the stain you'd typically get from a gel. 

Honestly, it took me a while to figure out. The texture is wild as hell. It's a dome-shaped puck of solid, putty-like product. Because it's more of a solid than a powder, it's gonna bounce light differently than a powder and gives you good color payoff no matter what your skin tone is. It's also very light so you're not going to overdo it and find yourself frantically trying to blend it out and it's got the lightest, dewy sheen to it, which can act as a bit of a highlight. 

My favorite shade is Orchid Hush, the lavender-rose-pink situation. See? Purple tones, but not crazy. 

Purple tones, but not crazy.

Purple tones, but not crazy.

I dip my ring fingers into it and pat right onto the apples of my cheeks, building until I've got the color I'm happy with. From there, I'll dip my finger back in and tap it lightly on my cheek bones up to my temples with one light pass, which helps blend the color out and highlight your face.

Okay but, I promised you purple, and purple is what I'm going to give you. For a touch of true purple on your (my) cheeks, this is what I use.

SEPHORA COLLECTION Colorful Eyeshadow in After-work Drink

SEPHORA COLLECTION Colorful Eyeshadow in After-work Drink, $10

SEPHORA COLLECTION Colorful Eyeshadow in After-work Drink, $10

So, that's an eyeshadow, but we're gonna use it on our cheeks, because we can do whatever we want. I promise you, a purple like this can be very wearable, it just takes a good brush and a light hand. I grab a nice, fluffy blush brush, dip it in the shadow, tap off the excess, and lightly dust it over my cheeks. The trick is to do this very lightly. The shadow is pretty pigmented, so it's not going to take a lot to build the color up. I think I dusted my cheeks twice, tops. 

Since this purple isn't super dark, it's not going to add an unnatural shadow to your face, just an unexpected pop of color. Just to make sure, though, I like to add a highlight right above the blush. Lucky for me, there's a lavender highlighter that works perfectly for this.

Hippo by ColourPop

Hippo by ColourPop, $8

Hippo by ColourPop, $8

(again, mine is beat to shit.)

oof.

oof.

Hippo is an icy lavender highlighter that I use religiously. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I own almost every highlighter under the sun, but I use Hippo every single damn day. ColourPop's highlighters are a cream-based formula, and feel like the perfect middle ground between a powder and a cream. You can tap them on with your fingers, or blend them out with a brush or a Beauty Blender.

You guys know that I like my highlight POPPIN', otherwise, what's the point of highlighting in the first place? I usually just apply it with my fingers and blend it out, but not blend it out too much. I'll do a second layer if I'm really feeling it that day. 

The lavender tones aren't all in your face, but it does add a nice iridescent glow that you're not going to find in a damn gold or pearl highlighter. Plus, it really works to balance out the purple blush below it and make it more wearable. What do you think?

That's Kapow by ColourPop on the lips, btw. The photo above it's Teeny Tiny. 

That's Kapow by ColourPop on the lips, btw. The photo above it's Teeny Tiny. 

That's gorgeous and you know it. 

Okay but, in an article about purple blush, there's got to be at least one look, right?

I know I'm not reinventing the wheel here, but I'm still a fan on two colors of blush at the same time. No matter how you do it, one color on top of the other, or side by side (I am trying to hard to avoid using the word ombré.) I think a nice blend of two colors is and always will be sick. Beauty can get so boring and switching it up is not the end of the world.

I wanted to blend the purple shadow that we used before into a lavender-leaning pink, and Sigma's Aura Powder in Lady-Slipper is perfect.

Sigma's Aura Powder in Lady-Slipper, $18

Sigma's Aura Powder in Lady-Slipper, $18

I started with the darker color first, to make sure I didn't overdo it, as I am known to do. I dipped my brush into After-work Drink and tapped it right behind the apples of my cheeks, where I'd normally apply blush.

hey crazy

hey crazy

Then, I applied Lady-Slipper to where I'd normally apply blush.

contour 2.jpg

Then, I embraced this crazy concept called blending. Taking a bit more of the pink blush on the brush, I blended the two together until they evenly moved into one another without any harsh lines. 

contour 3.jpg

A LOOK. I like this. I love this, actually. I mean, I wouldn't wear this to the grocery store probably, but for nighttime? Fuck yea. I never worry about dramatic makeup because there is literally nothing that bar lighting can't fix, remember that. 

Are you down? Or am I crazy? I'm gonna keep on using purple products on my face and loving every minute of it. Do you use purple tones on your face? Or any other wild color? I'm really attracted to dark red blushes right now but too scared to approach them. How about you? Tell me in the comments.

Tynan is tweeting about ANTI on Twitter @TynanBuck