Beauty tutorial: Powders

16:00, Feb 26 2013
BRUSH STROKES: We bring you all the knowledge you need to be a powder, bronzer and blusher pro.

Blush, powder and bronzer - sounds simple enough - but a surprising amount of people get it wrong. We recap the basics.


Trying to find the "right" colour for you: While there are certainly shades of blush that look better on particular skin tones, blush is as much a fashion accessory as your large array of lipsticks. It's great to have that one natural-looking subtle blush, but blushers can be mixed and matched depending on your makeup look that day. Experiment with everything from raging corals to pastel pinks, right through to soft peach tones.

Thinking hot pink blusher is for drag queens: It may look frightening in the packet, but like any makeup the approach is to start light and build up slowly. A very sheer wash of hot pink blush can be beautiful on many skin tones.

It's applied wrong: Many women think that the correct way to apply blush is to draw the product from the apples of your cheeks up to your hairline. This is fine if you're off to an eighties party, but the proper way to apply blush is to look at where you naturally flush. A natural flush starts in the apples of the cheeks and fades up into the cheekbones. Start with a light dab of colour on your apples and gently sweep the brush up and out, without adding any extra product. Another common mistake is applying your blush too low. Dropping your blush too far down your cheeks will draw your face down and make you look older than you are. Keep the colour moving in an upwards direction to lift the face.

Try: Nars blush in Gina, $59; or M.A.C Archie's Girls Powder Blush in Veronica, $48.



You're wearing the wrong shade: Unlike your vast wardrobe of blushers, there are only a few bronzers in the world that are right for you. The point of wearing a bronzer isn't to make you look orange, it's to even out your skin tone and give you a healthy "sun kissed" glow. I've said this before, but your bronzer should be the same colour that you naturally tan. Avoid red-based bronzers as they'll make you look as orange as an Essex girl.

You're wearing it in the wrong place: If you're applying it under your cheekbones, you're not bronzing - you're contouring. Contouring is a legitimate technique but you'll need to watch a YouTube tutorial before you attempt it at home. Bronzer should be applied to the areas the sun naturally hits. Don Davis from Mecca Cosmetica suggests "starting at your forehead and sweeping your bronzer down through the middle of your face - down your nose, across the tops of your cheeks and down to your chin. You can then use what's left on your brush to blend the colour out to the rest of your face." If you tan your body and not your face then you'll probably have a white neck, so sweep a bit of bronze over that area as well.

Try: Clinique True Bronze Pressed Powder, $52.


You're powdering your whole face: Unless you suffer from horrendously oily skin, you shouldn't need to. Powder is designed to matte down areas that are prone to oiliness, so only apply through your T zone - forehead, nose, tops of the cheeks and chin.

You're wearing the wrong shade: Like your foundation, your powder should always match your skin tone. Wear the wrong shade of powder and you can end up looking ashen or overly tanned. If in doubt use a translucent powder which won't alter your skin tone.

Try: Natio Translucent Loose Powder, $24.50.