According to research from Semrush, blush is the third-most searched beauty product in the United States.
“A rise in blush-love makes total sense right now," says Megan Curtin, educator and makeup artist at Cover FX. "We’ve been inside for months, our skin is likely looking a little lackluster, and we don’t necessarily have the energy to do a dedicated eye look that can sometimes feel overdone. Blush is the perfect tool to add a little life back into the skin and color to the complexion, plus it’s a great multitasker to create fun monochromatic moments with makeup."
Because of mask-wearing, blush has been forced to migrate higher on the cheekbones, instead of the traditional apples of the cheeks. Now it's seen sweeping up toward the temples, even rounding into the eye area—a technique called “draping,” reminiscent of the 1980s when rouge was all the rage, Curtin adds.
Another reason behind the rise is today's Zoom culture, says Romero Jennings, M.A.C director of makeup artistry. "Many are feeling they look washed out and showing more dark circles, especially in front of bright or dim lights," he adds.
For a Live on M.A.C's Global Page in-store, where Jennings was required to wear a mask, he was inspired to create a new trend called floating blush. "You apply the blush to your cheeks but then apply on top of your eyebrows then blend upward," he says. "This pulls attention upward and away from the usual problem areas, and even better, it is visible."
He also uses the technique for his photoshoots, shows and videos. "I remember seeing my mom in the 1970s using her frosted peach lipstick on her cheeks as blush," Jennings says. "I think she was trying to save money cleverly but didn’t know she was creating a trend."
THE PRO'S PICKS
Cover FX Monochromatic Blush Duos
"The split pan gives you both a matte and shimmer version of your favorite color, so you can play with texture while you experiment with blush placement," Curtin recommends. "Try layering the shimmer shade over the matte for a multi-dimensional effect. The Blush Duos are talc-free and ultra-pigmented—so perfect for use on cheeks and eyes—and come in six shades for all skin tones."
"It’s a moisture-matte formula that appears matte, is easy to blend and lasts all day," Jennings says.
"Some are applying Glow Play Blush on their cheeks and then tapping some on the lips for a light-glowing stain," Jennings says. "Glow Play Blush is as interesting as the Powder Kiss formula. Both are cutting-edge innovation with the ultimate sensorial textures that deliver long-wearing and buildable clear-color payoff. There is a diverse range of shades that suits every skin tone and skin texture."