It’s time purple blush gets the recognition it deserves. It’s beautiful! It’s versatile! It’s especially flattering on people of color. If you’ve never thought to try one before, at least hear us out.
Why it works
It goes without saying (though we’ll say it for good measure) that anyone can wear any color they want. If purple’s your favorite color, and you want to wear it on your cheeks, it works because purple’s your favorite color and you want to wear it on your cheeks. Moving on.
If you need some more convincing, we can also get technical. “You’ll typically look best with a purple blush if you have a yellow undertone because it’s a complementary color to your skin,” explains Fenty Beauty Global Makeup Artist, Priscilla Ono. Ever notice how some brightening primers have a lavender tinge? That’s because purple is opposite to yellow on the color wheel, and when combined in equal doses, the two hues cancel each other out. Both golden and olive undertones can veer sallow when you’re tired, and that’s when you’ll see a brightening effect the most. On the other hand, if you punch up the pigment so color sits on top of skin rather than totally blending in, the opposite tones amplify each other. You’ll find that sheer lavender shades end up reading more pink than even pink does, and richer plums add a really natural, glow-enhancing flush, like you’d get from going on a run.
What to buy
You don’t need to have golden undertones to love yourself in purple blush. And actually, says Priscilla, “The best thing about purple blush is that it can be worn by any skin tone—it’s all about finding the right undertones.” For fair skin, she suggests a lighter lilac with a little bit of pink in it, like Em Cosmetics’ Little Lilac, Ere Perez’ Hey, or Clinique’s Pansy Pop.
Medium to tan skin tones should choose a violet-y fuschia, like Nars Aroused, Lorac’s Ultra Violet, or Glossier Cloud Paint in Eve.
And deep skin tones can handle the true purples—Nudestix blush in Moodie Blu, Rare Beauty’s Faith, and Dehiya’s Warrior are good examples. If all that sounds confusing, you can also just go with Priscilla’s favorite universal shade, the Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush in the shade Drama Cla$$. Don’t be intimidated by its blue-ish tone in the pan. “It starts sheer on skin and turns into a pinky-violet shade that was designed to suit all skin tones.”
How to use it
There’s no special way you need to use purple blush. Priscilla uses it to shape the face in different ways, just like she would any blush. “If you want a more youthful look, I always say to apply blush to the apples of the cheeks. If you want your cheeks to appear lifted, apply blush where you would typically apply your highlighter. And if you want a more contoured look, I would apply blush in the hollows of the cheeks.” You can also use it to create a soft monochromatic look: purple blush looks beautiful smudged onto lids and lips. But a nude or brown-y mauve lip is also a winning match.
See? Surprisingly wearable! A true sleeper hit. Would you try out purple blush this fall?
Photo via ITG
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The #ITGTopShelfie interview series focuses on the beauty routines of Into The Gloss’ lovely, accomplished, and loyal community of readers. Submit your own on Instagram—post your Top Shelfie (tag us @intothegloss!) and include the hashtag #ITGTopShelfie for a chance to be featured on ITG.
“Hi, my name is Gracie Abrams (@gracieabrams). I’m a singer-songwriter, and writing is my favorite thing. Connecting with people after writing about something super personal feels like such a relief. It’s a very nourishing job. The non-writing related parts of my job… those can feel challenging sometimes. I sing my own songs, and because I struggle with anxiety, the performative and public aspects of that can feel tricky. When I get anxious, I have to just remind myself that I’m so lucky to be able to do this for work. Crazy lucky. My new song ‘Feels Like’ is about living in New York with my best friend. Ordering in SomTum Der is up there on my list of favorite things, and after living in LA for a while, having actual conversations with strangers every day is like heaven. (Even if the conversations aren’t always pleasant.) In LA, strangers like to pretend like you literally do not exist when you pass them on the street.
As a writer, I’m very much compelled by the non-physical—the way relationships, books, and places make me feel. That’s really important for me to remember, because it’s easy to get into a habit of thinking the external is what’s most valuable and beautiful about ourselves. That could not be farther from the truth. I think people spend unnecessary and unhealthy amounts of time on social media looking at the external. The way I feel about the poetry behind my favorite songs is so much more intense than the way I feel after going down the shitty rabbit hole of comparing myself physically to others. Everyone I’ve really idolized in the beauty and fashion world has a bare face, and is just showing themselves. I like that most.
I went to Barnard for college, and when I got there I developed really bad cystic acne. It’s since gone away, and even though I still break out, now I just appreciate that it’s less of a big deal. Anything that’s not cystic acne is literally fine. Another thing that happened when I was in college is that the makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes invited me over to her house for a makeup playdate. That was the most fun—she’s a genius, obviously. Katie turned me onto Augustinus Bader….though I’m not sure if she remembers that. She put their moisturizer on my face, and it made my skin so happy. It took me a while to actually incorporate it into my routine because the price tag is almost unthinkable, but here we are.
When I started being nicer to myself I began feeling a lot more beautiful. I’m sure it looks insane, but I do talk to myself out loud semi-often… That feels like a beauty secret to me. Now, I use a face wash from Christie Kidd that just says ‘clean’ on the bottle. That is exactly how it makes me feel. Next I use the Augustinus Bader Rich Cream, which is like butter for my skin. I know it’s ridiculous, but relying on that cream is massively helpful. After years of cystic acne, finding a product that really does what I need it to do makes me feel generally better. I use the Elta MD sunscreen for acne-prone skin. I fall into that category for sure. And at this point, Boy Brow basically feels like a part of my skincare routine, too. I want huge, messy brows all of the time.
I like feeling boyish with my makeup. Minimal. Most days I use Boy Brow and nothing else, but I’ve also been using Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder recently, because I’m on tour. I truly sweat so much during shows. The Westman Atelier foundation stick is my concealer above all else but also the best foundation if I need it to be. I use my fingers to apply it, and it ends up looking and feeling like skin. I love that the Tower 28 cream blush in Power Hour makes me look sunburnt in a good way and also sort of works as a bronzer. It’s pretty dark and I’m super fair, so a little blended into my cheekbones goes a long way. I truly hate lipstick. But I love lip balm. Ultralip in Trench is the first balm-lipstick hybrid—I actually carry it with me everywhere. It’s the perfect color and makes me feel less dead inside. I also use it on top of my blush as a kind of glossy highlighter situation, and even swipe some right under my brow bone sometimes. (Professionals would probably advise against this but I cannot lie to you, reader.) I also line my lips with Charlotte Tilbury’s Iconic Nude. Finally, my last product is Lash Slick. I don’t wear it every day, but the truth is that it improves my life and I probably should. Even though I have zero French heritage, I feel quite French whenever I wear it.
I keep a tiny rollerball version of Le Labo’s Santal 33 in my bag. It reminds me of LA, which… there’s absolutely nothing wrong with! But I’m much more into their Jasmin 17 scent, which reminds me of the east coast. I have an actual spray bottle of it at home. So far it’s my favorite perfume I’ve ever found. To unwind, I love stretching. It feels like doing therapy on my body, and has helped so massively with my anxiety the past year. The other thing that’s helped my anxiety is baking. I bake a lot. A lot. One of my favorite recipes is the New York Times one for Banana Everything Cookies. I make variations of these constantly—I don’t even look at the recipe anymore, that’s how many times I’ve made them. If you’re looking for cookies to eat for breakfast but also every other time of the day, start here.”
—as told to ITG
Photos via the author