Mastering The Blush and Bronzer Duo

woman applying blusher cropped

Updated 2018

Kim has Kanye. Gin has Tonic and Blush has Bronzer. Yes, the blush-and-bronzer duo could be one of your best makeup pairs if you know how to marry the two together correctly. From placement to application, each has its own set of rules and plays a unique role in accentuating your face. But like most duos, one wrong move can cause disaster! To make sure your blush and bronzer work in harmony, follow these simple rules:

The Brush

While some say makeup brushes boil down to personal preference, there’s truth to the fact that cut, shape and bristle type will lay down different pigments properly. With blush and bronzer, it’s no different. I prefer an angled blusher brush such as Zoeva’s Luxe Cheek Finish Brush or MAC’s 168 Large angled Contour Brush that have an angled shape which fits the contours of the cheeks perfectly.

For bronzer, I prefer to use the same type of brush as blusher however I also love to use Zoeva’s 126 Luxe Cheek Finish Brush as it allows me sculpt the face and blend the bronzer for a soft look.”


Hue Selection

Does it matter if your blush and bronzer have clashing undertones? Not one bit. What does matter is that your bronzer should be warm or cool enough for your skin tone.  The bronzer should only be one shade darker than your natural skin tone to properly accentuates your skin. As for blusher, I always suggest the “pinch and flush” trick. “choose a blush that mimics the colour of your natural flush” or of the pink that appears when you pinch your cheeks. This way you know that the shade will suit you.


Matte Vs Shimmer

Shimmer and matte can certainly co-exist, and there’s no steadfast rule saying you must match your bronzer finish with your blush finish. However, when it comes to bronzers, personally I believe the less reflective, the better. Shimmers in bronzer can also make pores look larger. On the other end of the spectrum, matte bronzers that are too dark can appear muddy and make the skin look dirty. I prefer to use a matte bronzer such as NYX Matte Bronzer in Light, which gives skin sheer, natural colour and bronzes the face. I tend to layer this with a blush that has a hint of shimmer such as MAC’s Powder Blush in Peachykeen. The slight shimmer in the blush will capture the light, making your face not only glow in the right spots, but will also help your cheekbones pop.


Order of Application

Which comes first: the bronzer or the blush? I layer on bronzer first because it’s easier to blend the blush into the bronzer. How you layer your blush and bronzer ultimately affects the colour of your products. If you apply your bronzer after your blush, the blending of the two together tends to look muddy and causes your cheekbones to darken, which isn’t the effect you want to achieve. Apply your darker shade first with your lighter shimmer on top.


Location, Location, Location

Proper bronzer placement is linked to where the sun would naturally tan your skin: the top of the forehead (along your hairline), bridge of the nose and tops of the cheeks. I even add a little smidge on the chin and jawbone. Smart bronzing is also similar to contouring as its placements is about accentuating features; sweep bronzer along the hollows of the cheeks, the temples and even under the jawline for a ‘slimmer’ appearance.” Since you’ve bronzed-up your cheekbones, tap your blush only on the apples of the cheeks to give a healthy glow.


Blush & Bronzer Duo

There are many blush and bronzer duo’s out there at the moment which provide two perfectly compatible shades to suit your skin tone.  Some of my favourites are:

Bobbi Brown Face & Body Bronzing Duo 

ESTEE LAUDER Pure Colour Envy Sculpting Blush Palette

Benefit Cheek Parade Blush Palette

Nars’ Blush Bronze Duo

ELF Aqua Beauty Blush & Bronzer Palette

Makeup Revolution Blush, Bronzer & Brighten Palette

Don’t be afraid to try these amazing combos and remember that packing less is best especially if you’re going away on holiday. What are your favourite bronzer and blush product combos?

If you have any other useful tips that I can add to this post, please comment below or comment on this post on my Facebook page. All additions will be credited.

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Claire xx