Why I'm Over Blusher (and What I Use Instead)


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Every time I get my makeup done, I have to be very adamant about the fact that I don't go near blush. Makeup artists think I'm crazy, consistently lamenting the importance of "colour in your cheeks" and "dimension on the face." And, I get it—it's been drilled into our brains that we're not supposed to look "washed out." But blush just doesn't do it for me. On others, I love it. A cute pink flush looks amazing on my friends, co-workers and whatever celebrity I'm stalking on any given day. Nars's Blush in Orgasm (£23) gives an ethereal glow unlike any other. But the thing is that my alabaster skin tone makes it so I'm constantly blushing. I flush when I'm happy, sad, angry or just sitting at my computer typing. I'm basically see-through, and I don't like the idea of adding more redness to my face.

That being said, I'm not opposed to highlighting my cheeks; I just go about it in a different way. Enter illuminators. With the recent explosion of all things strobing, so many incredible brands on the market have been focusing their energy on highlighters. I love a tiny bit of pink, flecks of gold, or even just clear, dewy gloss blended across my cheekbones. I feel like a more grown-up, chic version of myself with just a swipe of highlighter in on the high planes of my face. Plus, so many formulas are packaged in easy-to-handle sticks that don't require brushes or even a mirror to apply. That, my friends, is the future of makeup.

So in an effort to get you on board with my sans-blush way of life, I've included my absolute favourite products that deliver serious lit-from-within glows—minus the redness. Keep scrolling to find your new must-haves.

Another Byrdie editor agrees that highlighters are the best. Check out the £5 one that’s selling out everywhere.