The best kind of makeup mimics the natural effects of daily life: the depth of color that comes from time spent in the sun, say, or that lit-up glow achieved by a solid night’s sleep. But if you want to take these looks to the next level, sometimes it involves ripping up the rulebook. A recent example? According to TikTok—and some of the most respected makeup artists in the business—blush applied beneath concealer can offer an even more organic-looking flush (and some color correction, too).
“I like using blush in a way that’s similar to strobing—applying it under concealer or base to let it shine through,” says makeup artist Omayma Ramzy, whose clients include Sydney Sweeney and Haley Lu Richardson. “When done right, it can give a wonderful flush-from-within feel.” The hack is somewhat similar to underpainting—the application of highlighter and contour ahead of foundation—a method re-popularized (with help from TikTok) by makeup artist Mary Phillips and favored by the likes of Jennifer Lopez.
Along with the coquettish beauty of a perfectly rosy cheek, daubing blush beneath the eyes comes with extra brightening benefits. “Bringing blush higher up on cheeks and a bit higher into under eye area is something that I have always done to counteract dark circles,” says Gucci Westman, makeup artist and co-founder of Westman Atelier. Westman also suggests incorporating strategic touches of blush to help conceal dark spots on the nose and even the forehead, rather than simply piling on concealer. “This will help give you more of a real skin look and feel as opposed to being too makeup-y.”
To avoid a heavy-handed look, opt for buildable, blendable blushes. “When using blush under skin tints, foundations, or concealers I always tend toward cream or liquid blush that melts into the rest of your products in the right way,” says Ramzy. “The beauty of the trend is the freshness of the look, so we don’t want any cake-y makeup happening.”
Using your products in this way also means embracing the artistry of makeup: the creativity that comes with actually painting your face, rather than seeking to cover up perceived imperfections. It may feel less intuitive at first, but it’s much more fun. “It’s always fun seeing TikTok take practiced makeup methods and come up with new trends through play,” says Ramzy. “I absolutely love seeing people get creative with makeup.”
Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Sticks
Danessa Myricks Dewy Cheek & Lip Palette
Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Highlighter Wand
NARS Afterglow Liquid Blush
Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush