Nude Blush Is The Freshest Way To Do Neutral Makeup This Spring

Makeup artists demystify the trend.

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If you experience a frisson of dread-laced excitement when a blush look trends on TikTok or on fashion runways, you’re not alone. Many makeup lovers wouldn’t think twice before attempting tricky trends like a double cat eye, but blush seems to trip a lot of us up.

There’s a blush trend doing the rounds right now that’s worth figuring out. It consists of strategically placing a tawny-nude blush shade so that it sculpts the cheekbones and kisses the apples of the cheeks with a whisper of color. It’s a fresh way to do neutrals for a low-effort but high-impact trend that’s universally complementary. Offline, the look showed up on Chloe’s Fall/Winter 2024 runway, and made an appearance on the 2024 Oscars red carpet on celebrities like Florence Pugh.

"This is one of my favorite looks for spring. It's a modern and fashion-forward take on ‘70s summer retro,” says Rose-Marie Swift, makeup artist and founder of RMS Beauty. Below, makeup artists tell TZR how to master the look on a variety of skin tones and face shapes.

How To Perfect The Placement Of Nude Blush

Makeup artist and brand founder Danessa Myricks of Danessa Myricks Beauty is a big fan of the tawny blush look. “I love this new trend! I suggest applying color to the apples of cheeks, blending upwards for a lifted effect,” she says. Her advice is to play with placement depending on the unique shape of your face. “Place color higher on round faces and lower on oval faces. Go along the cheekbones for heart-shaped faces, and softly blend it out on square faces.”

Swift recommends not placing blush below the nostril because it will pull the face down and can make you look like you have jowls. She always concentrates on the apples of the cheek and blends out to nothing towards the cheekbone. This is where things get a bit tricky, so stick with us: Swift says she never takes the color up and over the cheekbone. “Adding blush onto cheekbones flattens it, when in reality it should be highlighted,” she explains. She does like shading along the outside of the face and even brushing some blush over the eyelid for an attractive, sculpted look to the face. So, to double down on Swift’s placement guide: Imagine a horizontal line that goes from your nostrils outward towards your ears and stay above that. For the upper limit, take the color close to the cheekbone and blend it out well on the lower slope of the cheekbone but don’t go over it. The perimeter of the upper half of the face is fair game.


Charlie Riddle, a makeup artist and global beauty director at Stila Cosmetics, gives another vote for subtly shading the outer edges of the face. “Even adding in color to the sides of the forehead, temples and swept across the nose will tie everything in together,” he says.

Riddle believes that no matter what the trend is, the aim of any blush look should be to enhance the face. “You still want to apply blush to flatter your face shape,” he says. He doesn’t shy away from going higher up the cheekbones, preferring that to the apples of cheeks. “For oval and square-shaped faces you want to apply to the center of the face to soften features and round them out.”

While the guidelines might sometimes be fluid, the main takeaway is that playing around with where to place the blush on your own features is how you will ultimately find the ideal placement.

How To Tailor The Blush Shade To Your Complexion

The beauty of the tawny blush trend is it’s universal as it is pretty. “Everyone can wear this look, no matter your skin type or tone,” agrees Swift.

Myricks says when choosing a nude blush, your own skin tone and undertone is what you need to evaluate first. “Fair skin tones should opt for soft pink undertones, while warm peachy hues suit medium tones. Olive complexions benefit from terracotta or bronze hints, and for deeper tones, go with caramel or berry undertones.” She uses this foolproof guide to achieve a natural flush that complements any look. “This look was actually a huge inspiration behind my latest innovation, Groundwork: Blooming Romance Palette,” she says. The multi-use palette for eyes, brows, face and lips has a combination of nudes, berries, and mauves in cream and powder formulas, and simplifies the process of picking a perfect blushing nude for every skin tone.

Swift suggests sheer, sun-kissed nude shades for lighter skin tones, and soft, cinnamon-like shades on deeper skin. She suggests RMS Beauty’s ReDimension Hydra Powder Blush in Crystal Slipper for the former and the same product in Maiden’s Blush for the latter. “It works great on lighter skin tones too, but on darker ones, it just gives this natural, tawny glow that's out of this world.”

Riddle has a tip for warmer skin tones: to look for a brown blush with a warmer hue instead of one that leans cool. “Pick a color that appears bronze but with slightly more red to it — think terracotta and warm browns.” He recommends Stila Convertible Color cream blush in Camellia —“it gives you that sun swept look and it’s a buildable color which allows the skin to show through.” For darker skin tones he loves Dior Rosy Glow blush in Mahogany.

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The makeup artists agree that powder and cream formulas would both work well when trying out this look. As for color intensity, this trend is customizable to user preference. The look lends itself to a strong application so that it can be the focal point, but opacity is not the goal. “I'd suggest starting off with a sheer sweep to get placement right, and then building up from there, playing as you go,” says Swift.

Myricks likes to leave the choice up to each wearer. “There really is a wide spectrum of what constitutes nude and natural. It’s such a personal choice when it comes to the intensity of application and everyone’s tones can be so unique,” she says. “Your approach can range from sheer to solid, depending on personal preference. You want to feel confident and really own the look.” She advises starting with a light layer for a subtle flush and slowly building up for more vibrancy. “I find building intensity versus walking it back is much easier.”

Riddle doesn’t think the application should be too sheer. “You want to see and build a healthy amount of color, but should be very blended into the skin and not sitting in one place or on top. This sort of look is meant to read more natural, so you want it to be blended instead of seeing bright pops of pink.

The Makeup To Wear With Nude Blush

This blush look has main character energy, and the rest of the makeup should play a supporting role, keeping things in the same color family. “You don't want to overpower the blush, and you want to keep everything in the tawny family without washing out the face,” says Swift. She likes a tinted moisturizer or a concealer on dewy skin with lots of black mascara and a slightly darker brow, finished with a nude lip.

For Riddle, too, taupes, browns and nudes are the way to go. He suggests a soft brown eyeshadow with brown mascara instead of black and a rosy nude lips.

The Best Nude Blushes To Try