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The Makeup Maniac

The blusher trend that Japanese women love (and it suits everyone)

October 12th 2018 / Anna Hunter / 0 comment

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It’s perfect for autumn and women in Japan are swapping out their pink blusher to embrace an altogether warmer wash of colour. Here’s why orange blusher is the best of both worlds, whether you’re in the bronzer or blusher camp…

If there’s a colour to summarise our summers, orange would be a strong contender. From the ubiquitous after-work Aperol Spritz to city sunsets and fake tan gone wrong, orange is present across the pavements and skylines of the nation during the warmer months. The future’s looking orange too if you take your cues from SS19 catwalks, with MAC Hyper Real Glow Palette in Shimmer Peach (arriving February 2019) applied liberally to cheeks at Oscar de la Renta to create “Moroccan desert vibes”. Cheeks were also on the warm terracotta side at Altuzarra and delicately buffed with a gingery hued pink at Alberta Ferretti, while models at Fyodor Golan wore burnished orange cheeks with “neoprene orange” lips for a striking take on Berocca beauty. There’s a beachy, peachy, zingy glow going on, and it’s not limited to the summer months either, as Pinterest’s 2018 Global Beauty Report would imply.

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Fyodor Golan (Image: Brandstand Communications)

The stats reveal that orange blusher is particularly in the beauty zeitgeist in Japan, where women are opting for orange over their usual pink and searches for ‘orange blush’ have rocketed by over 250 per cent. Given the the Korean and Japanese beauty markets are normally a good few years ahead of us in the West, time will tell whether orange cheeks make such an impact over here, but the fact that beauty e-tailer Look Fantastic has reported an 86 per cent surge in blusher sales in the past year indicates that we’re up for a bit more colour in our cheeks.

While on the surface it may appear to be an 80s themed nightmare, orange toned blusher actually makes a whole lot of sense, particularly if your summer bronzer is starting to seem a little out of place on your dressing table as the mornings get darker. As I’m fair skinned, a bronzer all too often comes off a bit muddy on me, but sometimes I want more a ‘glow’ than a ‘pinch your cheeks’ pink. A pared down peach blusher often strikes a health-giving balance between the two, making me look well slept, perky and alive even if I’m I’m on the sleep deprived, grey skinned side. There’s something about a subtle dusting of apricot on the apples of your cheeks (this week’s column is rather fruity) that makes eyes look brighter and whiter too.

If you’re olive skinned a warm peach looks particularly awesome and dark skintones can achieve the same subtle ‘have you been on holiday?’ effect with a more brick toned blusher or a brighter pop of coral in the centre of the cheeks. Transparent cream or gel formulas applied lightly ensure a natural finish, but if you’re a powder fan there are plenty of finely milled, low key orange infused options that won’t come off too tangerine. Just don’t sweep it everywhere as you would a bronzer - keep it to the cheeks and blend well with a fluffy blusher brush or a makeup sponge or clean fingers if you’re using a cream or liquid blusher. Here’s a few orange options to consider for autumn and beyond…

The whipped one

Shiseido Minimalist Whipped Powder Blush in Momoko (peach), £32 for 5g

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There are a lot of ‘whipped’ textures doing the rounds in beautyland at the moment and this new mousse-like blusher feels suitably futuristic. See-through and weightless it’s delivers on ‘barely there’ credentials despite the vivid colour in the pot and it stays put all day. It dries down quickly so you don’t have much playtime, but it’s far from chalky as some powder blushers can be. This shade would wake up fair skins in particular.

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The literal one

Too Faced Papa Don’t Peach Blusher, £25 for 9g

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Smells like a peach, looks like a peach, the packaging is an actual peach...if you’re not sold on the peach thing this blusher might not be for you, but it’s acquired cult status thanks to the fact that it’s conquered the ‘bronzy blusher’ market’. It’s brightening on a wide range of skintones and contains pink pearl pigments to make skin look smooth and generally beaming. It’s a hit with teens, but it’s more wearable than it seems.

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The budget one

Wet n Wild Color Icon Blush in Apri-Cot in the Middle, £3.50

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New to the UK, this US beauty brand is a bestseller in US drugstores and while we’re a bit baffled by the name, this blusher is the business. As the name indicates it’s a light orange with a slightly pink base and it’s probably the closest cousin to a bronzer in this edit. There’s a bit of shimmer here but apply lightly and you’ll barely notice it. A goer if you’re pale skinned and bronzer-averse but want a bit of warmth.

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The bright one

Jillian Dempsey Cheek Tint in Poppy, £24.50

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This vegan cream blusher looks almost acid-hued in the pan but it doesn’t come off as strong and it’s beautifully buildable so it works on most skin tones. It’s a red-orange and blends out seamlessly to a matte finish, although it might be too slick a formula if you have oily skin - it contains coconut oil and shea butter. If you’re on the drier end of the spectrum and love the juicy effect of cream blusher, however, it’s the facial equivalent of an energy-giving evening spritz.

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The indecisive one

Zoeva Coral Spectrum Blush Palette, £15

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With four velvety vaguely orange based shades, this new matte blusher collection transitions from light peach to bright coral with enough pink to provide a safe haven if that’s what you’re used to. They blend together tonally so you can layer them depending on whether you’re after more of a ‘bronzed’ or ‘blushed’ look.

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You might assume you can’t wear this new lip look, but you definitely can

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