If you haven’t heard of it already, the ‘W’ Blush application trick can change the game when it comes to applying blusher and sculpting your face.
Let me explain… If there’s one beauty product I can’t live without, it’s blush. Give me cream, powder, or something-in-between — I will apply it with abandon in pursuit of looking like a glowier, less-tired version of myself.
But, shock of all shocks, “apply with abandon” isn’t necessarily the most efficient path to achieving that goal. I was reminded of this when I was lucky enough to find myself in the chair of makeup artist Mariela Bagnato, who offered up a blush application tip I’d never heard before.
To create a healthy-looking flush that also visually lifts the face, apply your blush in the shape of the letter ‘W,‘ says Bagnato. Imagine the letter is plastered squarely in the centre of your face: “Sweep or blend blush near your temple, down to the middle of the cheek, up to the bridge of the nose and back down [and up] the other side,” she says.
The end result is a subtle glow on the areas of your face where the sun would naturally hit. And because the colour sits up near your temples and swoops downwards, this technique also “helps contour your face by creating a lifting effect,” says Bagnato.
That said, the ‘W’ blush technique is not to be confused with the ‘C’ technique — also known as draping — in which blush is swept from the top of the cheekbone around the outer eye and up towards the temple. “This motion brings a beautiful brightness to the face,” makeup artist Elisa Flowers has said previously. And while I don’t disagree, draping can sometimes look a little too makeup-y for my liking — whereas the ‘W’ blush method provides a fresher, more natural-looking result.
Bagnato demonstrated on me using Mary Kay Gel Cream Blush, a limited-edition formula that melts seamlessly into skin. “I love to apply this technique using cream blush because it creates a second skin finish that simulates the sunkissed effect much better,” adds Bagnato. (You can shop a few other favourites below) But if you prefer powder, Bagnato recommends using a fluffy blush brush and exercising a light hand.
And… that’s it! No bells, whistles, or special tools required — just a little knowledge of the alphabet and the willingness to spend an extra moment or two next time you apply your blush. One move, major payoff.
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This feature originally appeared on Allure.