November 12th, 2013
Blusher, or Rouge as my Gran would call it, seems oh so innocent, but in fact it’s courted plenty of controversy over the centuries. Warpaint takes a look back at the history of the simple blushers and picks some of our bang up-to-date faves.
The physical use of blushers was first recorded back in the Ancient Egypt when both men and women wore it on cheeks and lips, probably to counter the heavy kohl eyes. Made of a thick paste, usually from something red like strawberries, beetroot or finely crushed ochre, blusher on the cheek was the standard Egyptian look for the well to-do.
As the fashion in Ancient Greece dictated women whitened their complexion with chalk or lead face powder, the need for cheeks to look rosy was necessary to stop you looking a little dead. In Medieval times the tactic to create the look of the day was to regularly bleed yourself to look deathly white, and then put a mixture of water and strawberries on cheeks for a soft rosy colour. Others wore egg whites on their faces for paler skin, as being fair was a sign of high birth.
During the reign of Elizabeth I, many women wore lead paints mixed with vinegar to create a past called cerise for whitened skin and mercury sulphide for rouge. Lead and cerise were later discovered to cause major health issues for women, including facial tremors, paralysis and even death. If you ever needed a reminder that the pressures to look young and beautiful are nothing new, I’d encourage you all to read A Beautiful Young Nymph Going to Bed by Jonathan Swift. A poem circa 1731 where it’s clear that our nymph Corinna ‘But must, before she goes to Bed, Rub off the Dawbs of White and Red’.
Warpaint’s pick of 21st Century blush.
This silky formula glides on smoothly and offers a matte finish with long-lasting wear and comes in this sleek, flip-top compact that can be used individually or assembled into Bobbi Brown customised palettes (sold separately). For a shimmery glow on cheeks, follow with a Shimmer Brick Compact. RRP £19.
One of our faves, this powder sweeps effortlessly over cheekbones to create a natural look. Fresh, jet-milled colour builds to desired intensity with custom-sculpting brush. Long-wearing, colour-true and oil-free. RRP £21.
Dandelion from Benefit is a beautiful dusky ballerina shade of pink , which sweeps onto cheeks smoothly and leaves a natural, healthy blush. The packaging is quirky and the product comes with its own brush. The colour isn’t too heavy and, although that’s perfect for daywear, it means you might want to reapply during the day and it’s not a night-on-the-town colour. RRP £22.50.
The result of many years of research and personal experience lead to the launch of the popular Susan Posnick COLORFLO mineral foundation in 2002. Since then, this international MUA range has brought us a wide range of multi-function products for the face, eyes and lips. All products are mineral based and suitable for all ages and skin types, the face products give skin a natural glow while eliminating excess oils and shine. The ColorMe is an easy-to-apply face colour for cheeks, eyes, and anywhere else you desire lush blush. This travel-friendly size comes in a petite self-dispensing 3g pot with an attached puff and mirror for easy application. Available in seven fabulous shades, this mineral blusher is water resistant. RRP £21.95.
This Malaysian brand is legendary in Japan, in part because of the innovative packaging adorned with phrases such as “choose me, open me up, take me…” This range of enchanting powder cheek trio compacts gives a natural glow, healthy complexion, and a subtle toning or highlighting are in one compact. RRP £26.
When it comes to complexion-enhancing cosmetics, Laura Mercier brings it to a different level. This light-as-air, velvety powder blush that sweeps on silky sheer colour easily and evenly. With skin-silkening natural botanicals, skin not only looks but also feels beautiful all day long. We particularly love Orange Blossom, which is included in the White Magic Collection, perfect for winter looks. RRP £18.
The classic Bourjois blusher has been around for almost 150 years and made Bourjois famous worldwide. The baked texture transforms when applied to the skin into an ultra-fine pressed powder, which is easy to apply and blends impeccably. One stroke of the brush reveals the irresistible aroma of the rose scented powder. The Little Round Pot Blush exists in 12 shades to match all skin tones. RRP £6.12.
One of the best on the High Street is this Air-whipped mousse blush that feels satin-soft on skin, glides on smoothly, and blends easily for seamless colour and a natural finish. The Long-wearing formula provides luminous, long-lasting hues on cheeks without clogging pores. RRP £6.49.
Lancôme Blush Rose Desir is an illuminating smooth powder that comes with two light-infused, orange- and pink-toned shades, this blusher has been specially crafted for all complexions. The orange shade is used to sculpt the cheeks, while the pink shade can be smoothed on to warm the top of the cheekbones. The black case is embossed in gold, matching the L`Absolu Rouge design and part of Lancôme’s charming tribute to Paris this season. RRP £35.
Diorskin Rosy Glow reacts with the moisture in each skin type, giving a delicious and subtle blush to the cheeks. When applied, the initially fresh, light colour develops into a rosy blush to suit each individual complexion, for an ultra-natural, tailor-made healthy glow that lasts all day. RRP £27.45
Mademoiselle’s legendary tweed now comes in a refined blush for lovely sheer make up. This duo of shades, sprinkled with golden or silver pearly pigments, is delicately woven to reveal the softness of the powder. Its soft and airy long-wear texture ensures easy application. Slightly sheer, satiny and ultra-soft, Les Tissages de Chanel lightly drapes the face in radiance and helps sculpt it by creating a subtle interplay of shadow and light. RRP £29.70.
If you fancy a change from a powder blush then try this gel textured blusher by YSL. Simply apply to the cheeks with your fingertips and blend effortlessly for an instant healthy glow. The gel forms a satiny veil that is soft to the touch whilst plumping the cheekbones. RRP £29.99.