Maybe it’s because most of us only use them one way – by dusting them all over our cheeks – when they are really more versatile than that.

Here’s how to wear them in different ways for different looks.

Contour blush

blushers

It’s like contouring but not exactly so you don’t have to worry about muddying your face with contour powder. For a slimming effect, place your blusher brush slightly under your cheekbones (where you’d have contoured) and blend upwards from there. This helps to lengthen the top half of the face, creating the illusion of slimness. Be sure to use soft, tawny shades (unless your goal is 2017 Rihanna at the Met Gala). 

Get this look using:

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Blush in #220 Pink Kiss, $66 

Silk chiffon dress, Dolce & Gabbana

Dolly blush

The Japanese do this kawaii doll-like look the best. How they wear it might be a bit of an overkill, but the technique does create a youthful, fresh-faced effect. Concentrate the blusher on the apples of the cheeks, then lightly blend towards the edges. Avoid bright pinks if you’re not keen on looking too cutesy – just your usual rosy shades will do the trick

Get this look using:

Clinique Cheek Pop Blush Pop in Baby Marble Pop, $40 

Cotton polo shirt, Maje. Rose gold vermeil and diamond stud earrings, Monica Vinader

Gradient blush

Fun but understated, this look earns double-takes without yelling “look at me!” For the most natural effect, makeup artist Audrey Wee (who created thee looks) recommends using shades in the same colour range and tone – don’t mix warm and cool colours. Apply the stronger colour on the apples of cheeks and diffuse outwards with a softer colour. Easy peasy. 

Get this look using:

Dior Backstage Rosy Glow in #001 Pink and #004 Coral, $61 each 

Cotton mesh top, Bimba Y Lola. Rose gold vermeil and diamond mini hoop earrings, Monica Vinader

Sun-kissed blush

Fake a Bali beach holiday tan without actually having gone to Bali. The trick is applying blusher – preferably one with a sheen ± on the high points of your face. Read: cheekbones, across the nose bridge, brow bone and chin. Don’t be heavy-handed when applying on the nose or you’ll look like you’re sunburnt instead of sun-kissed, says Wee.  

Get this look using:

Charlotte Tilbury Cheek To Chic Swish & Glow Blusher in Pillow Talk, $70 

Satin shirt, Maje. Sterling silver hoop earrings, Monica Vinader

Photography Veronica Tay Art Direction Debby Kwong

This story was first published on Her World’s January 2020 issue.