How To Apply Powder Blush

Learn how to apply powder blush to give the cheeks a flattering flush in your favourite shade.

Darlings, learning how to apply powder blush is the secret to a beautiful, blushing makeup look. Discover how to give your cheeks a romantic, rosy flush with matte or shimmering powder blush, then create your look with a satin-soft formula that effortlessly beautifies the look of your cheeks with a simple SWISH and POP!

Bella Tilbury model shot

Discover how to apply powder blush

Powder blush is the perfect way to make your cheeks pop, darlings! I always apply a silky powder blush formula as the final step in my makeup process to give celebrities and stars an ethereal wash of colour that lifts the look of their complexion and accentuates the look of their cheekbones. Discover how to apply powder blush for the perfect rosy glow, below:

  1. Models holding Charlotte's Magic Cream and Charlotte's Magic Water Cream moisturisers

    1. Prep the skin

    Before you apply powder blush – or any other makeup for that matter – it’s important to prep your skin with a supercharged skincare routine and a smoothing-effect primer. By applying hydrating skincare products, you can create a supple canvas that allows you to get the smoothest application from makeup products like powder blush.

    First, apply a high-performance gel or cream moisturiser that leaves the face feeling smoother and more hydrated, then apply a face primer to create a hydrating veil between your skin and your makeup. I created my magical moisturisers to wear beautifully underneath makeup; for a classic, plumper-looking canvas that appears lit from within, choose Charlotte’s Magic Cream, and for an ultra-lightweight, dewy-looking glow, choose Charlotte’s Magic Water Cream. Then, apply Invisible UV Flawless Poreless Primer to prime the face for makeup while providing essential SPF50 sun protection.

    Shop Hydrate, Prime & Protect Set

    Discover the differences between gel vs cream moisturiser

  2. Charlotte's Beautiful Skin complexion collection including foundation, concealer and cream bronzer

    2. Base makeup, bronzer, contour and highlighter

    Powder blush is best applied after liquid and cream products like foundation, concealer and cream bronzer. I suggest applying your base makeup onto prepped skin to perfect the look of your complexion as this will create a gorgeous canvas for your powder blush to sweep onto. Choose your favourite foundation and concealer to give your complexion your desired amount of coverage, then reach for cream, liquid or powder contour, highlighter and bronzers to enhance the look of your facial framework before applying powder blush.

    Tilbury Tip: Always apply your cream products first, darlings, as this will give you the most seamless finish when layering cream and powder makeup.

    Discover your favourite foundation finish

    Learn more about bronzer vs contour

  3. Pillow Talk collection makeup products for the lips and eyes

    3. Beautify the eyes and lips

    I recommend applying your eye makeup and lipstick before powder blush as this will help you to visualise how much blush to apply. Makeup is artistry, darlings; the shapes and colours that you create should enhance the look of your face and flow from one product to the next. Whether you’re creating a smokey eye and a sultry nude lip or keeping things simple with barely there eyeshadow and a slick of lip gloss, as your look comes together, it becomes clear which blush tone will complement your makeup look and how light or not-so-light-handed you may want to be when applying blush.

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    Shop all lips

  4. Model applying Charlotte's Beach Sticks cream blush stick in Moon Beach

    4. Apply cream or liquid blush

    Did you know that you can layer your cream, liquid and powder blushes to create a custom blush look? Blush is a beautiful, buildable aspect of your makeup, darlings; backstage, I like to mix and match blush formulas to build my own ethereal blushscape on the cheeks. When applying blush, I recommend applying little by little and blending as you go to create a rosy gradient. Start with cream blush to add dewy luminosity; add a dot or two of liquid blush to build up a more pigmented look; then move on to powder blush to add a final pearlescent pop of colour.

    Discover how to apply cream blush

    Discover how to apply liquid blush

  5. Bronzer and Blusher Brush for flawless cheek makeup application

    5. Choose a domed, fluffy brush

    When applying powder blush, I suggest using a domed, fluffy brush that perfectly kisses the apples of the cheeks. The delicate, domed shape of a brush like this mirrors the natural roundness of the cheeks, helping it to apply blush evenly. Choosing a brush with fluffier bristles allows you to be more light-handed with your application which is useful when applying powder blushes which can be easy to over-apply. I always apply powder blush with my Bronzer & Blusher Blush – it’s the perfect tool for my SWISH and POP blush technique.

    Shop Bronzer & Blusher Brush

  6. Cheek to Chic in Pillow Talk Intense, a richly pigmented, two-toned pressed powder blush

    6. Select a satin or matte powder blush

    Choosing a satin or matte powder blush is a gorgeous way to lift the look of your complexion. Matte options are silky-smooth on the skin and help to blur the look of skin texture while providing impactful blush pigment that buffs and blends like a dream. I like to reach for satin-matte powder blushes like Cheek to Chic; they look flattering on every skin type and combine the magic of a matte blush with the softness and luminescence of fine satin formulas.

    Shop Cheek to Chic

  7. Close up on 3 shades of Cheek to Chic powder blush

    7. Tap into your blush with a swirling motion

    Once you have chosen which powder blush to apply, take the Bronzer & Blusher Brush and tap into the pan using a swirling SWISH motion. When applying your powder blush, it’s essential that you manage how much product is on your brush as this will help to prevent over-applying; use a light pressure when swirling into your blush to avoid picking up too much product, then tap your brush onto the back of your hand to remove any excess.

    Tilbury Tip: My Cheek to Chic powder blushes are two-toned formulas; the outer ring contains a satin-matte shade that works perfectly for this step.

  8. Graphic showing how to apply powder blush for your face shape

    8. Swirl blush onto the apples of the cheeks

    Apply your powder blush onto the roundest part of your cheeks using gentle, swirling strokes. Your blush shouldn’t be applied too close to the nose or the eyes, so be careful to keep your blush application centred on the cheeks and cheekbones. I recommend being light handed with your blush, adding a little at a time with light, SWISH strokes that slowly build up pigmentation – remember, darlings, you can always add more!

  9. Meg applying the powder blush shades in Pillow Talk Beautifying Face Palette

    9. Blend upwards with soft, circular motions

    To blend your powder blush, swirl your brush in light circles to diffuse pigment and create a beautifully blended blush look – the aim is to make your shade of blush blend naturally into your contour, bronzer and highlighter to create a gorgeous gradient. I like to start at the apples of the cheeks and travel upwards along the cheekbone with my brush towards the ears to create a flattering lift effect that helps the face to appear more sculpted.

    Tilbury Tip: To get a seamless blend, reach for a small, fluffy brush like the Eye Blender Brush and blend in small circles around the edges of your blush to fuse your blush with your foundation or highlighter.

    Discover how to apply blush for your face shape

  10. An open, face palette with matte and shimmery eyeshadows, blushes and highlighters in shades of pink and gold with a mirrored lid.

    10. Apply more powder blush to build pigmentation

    When blending out your powder blush, its pigmentation will fade and become more subtle; if you love a subtle flush of rosy blush then there’s no need to add more product, but for blush lovers, you can go back in with your favourite powder blush to create a bolder, poppier blush look. Tap back into your powder blush and repeat steps 8 and 9 until your blush is beautifully blushed!

    Tilbury Tip: The more pigmented a powder blush is, the less product you will need to apply.

  11. Charlotte's Hollywood Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighter in Pillow Talk Glow, a light pink pressed highlighter

    11. Add blush topper to make cheeks pop

    Blush topper is the sparkling star of your blush look, darlings! To give your look a radiant, rosy glow, apply a shimmering blush formula that instantly illuminates the look of your cheeks. Blush toppers layer effortlessly over the top of cream, liquid and powder blushes, giving the cheeks one last pop of pearlescent colour to complete your look.

    Tilbury Tip: I love to use the centre shades in my Cheek to Chic powder blushes as beautifying blush toppers for a dreamy love glow, as well as pink-toned shades of my Hollywood Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighters like Pillow Talk Glow and Rose Gold Glow for a magical, molten glow!

    Shop Hollywood Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighters

    Discover the best highlighter for your skin tone

Choose Your Powder Blush

  1. cheek2chic

    Cheek to Chic

    Darlings, your perfect pressed powder blush look is just a SWISH and POP away! My Cheek to Chic blushes are two-toned compacts featuring one satin-matte shade to give the cheeks a dreamy pop of colour, and one shimmering shade to make cheeks blush and glow! I created these powder blushes with complementary shades that work together to beautify the look of the cheeks, creating a rosy colour veil that lifts and illuminates the look of the complexion with effortless, satin-smooth pigment that’s easy to blend and gives everyone, everywhere their perfect love glow.

    Shop Cheek to Chic

  2. Both shades of Charlotte's Pillow Talk Beautifying Face Palette from the Holiday 2022 collection

    Pillow Talk Beautifying Face Palette

    If you love Pillow Talk, then you’ll adore my Pillow Talk Beautifying Face Palette. Blush lovers and Pillow Talkers around the world fell in love with this blush palette, unlocking the secret to the perfect Pillow Talk blush look. Open up the mother of pearl-inspired compact to reveal two rosy mattes that smooth onto the cheeks like satin, and two blush-highlighters that deliver a magical, megawatt glow. Available in Fair/Medium with pretty pinks that look divine on lighter skin tones, and Medium/Deep with peachy shades that add gorgeous warmth to deeper skin tones, this palette allows you to layer up these cheek-gilding shades to curate the dreamiest Pillow Talk glow.

    Shop Pillow Talk Beautifying Face Palette

  3. 3 shades of Hollywood Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighter with texture swatches

    Hollywood Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighter

    Give your blush look a gleaming glow by using Hollywood Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighters as beautifying blush toppers! The silky-smooth powder formula delivers magical shine and sparkle to the cheekbones, fusing flawlessly with your favourite shade of powder blush to transform your blush look. The Hollywood-inspired formula plays with the light to illuminate the look of the complexion with flattering, red carpet-inspired shine that mimics the glamour of Hollywood lights! I recommend my signature shade, Pillow Talk Glow, as the key to a pearlescent pink blush look that glimmers and glows and looks sensational on everyone!

    Shop Hollywood Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighters

How to apply powder blush FAQS:

Bella Tilbury Pillow Talk model shot

Can you use powder blush with cream foundation?

Yes – you can apply powder blush on top of a cream foundation. Cream, liquid and powder products can all work in harmony to create a gorgeous makeup look. I always suggest applying cream and liquid products first as they are more emollient, then using powder products second to help set and finish your look.

Tilbury Tip: Try pairing your perfect shade of Hollywood Flawless Filter with your favourite Cheek to Chic powder blush with my Dewy, Pretty Blushed Cheeks Kit.

Do you put blush over or under powder?

I recommend applying powder underneath powder blush to help set your foundation and concealer into place before adding warmth to the complexion. A light veil of setting powder helps to create a smoother-looking surface for your powder blush to swirl onto, helping you to get a seamless blend from your blush. Once you’ve applied your base makeup, add a small amount of Airbrush Flawless Finish pressed powder with the Powder & Sculpt Brush to set and perfect the look of your makeup before building up your blush.

Discover the correct order of makeup steps

Why does powder blush look patchy?

The most likely reasons that powder blushes might look patchy on the skin include applying blush onto skin that is dry or dehydrated; applying powder blush onto damp skin; applying too much blush; and not spending enough time blending. To help your powder blush to look seamless on the skin, follow these steps:

1. Use hydrating skincare and makeup

Choose hydrating products that help to target dryness and dehydration in the skin. Applying a deeply hydrating moisturiser, primer and foundation will help to create a smooth canvas for your powder blush to apply onto, allowing you to create a more skin-like finish that doesn’t look patchy or splotchy.

Discover the differences between dry vs dehydrated skin

2. Set your cream and liquid products

Before applying powder blush onto the skin, make sure that it doesn’t feel damp to the touch. Applying powder products onto moist skin can lead to caking and creasing; to prevent this, lightly set your foundation and concealer with pressed powder before applying your powder blush or use a handheld fan to gently waft skin dry.

3. Apply blush with a light hand

When you apply too much powder blush, it can become difficult to blend which can result in a patchy finish. Instead of adding lots of blush at once, take a buildable approach to your blush and tap it on little by little to gradually build up flattering, even-looking pigmentation – don’t forget to blend as you go!

4. Blend some more

Darlings, the art of blending is the key to a smooth-looking makeup application; when you don’t blend your powder blush sufficiently, it can look patchy on the cheeks, so be sure to spend a little bit of extra time blending to get the flawless blush application you’re looking for. Use a domed, fluffy brush to lightly blend out your powder blush, and if the patchiness persists, take a smaller, fluffy brush and use circular motions to buff away and harsh lines.

How do you remove excess blush?

If your blush has gotten away from you and you’ve applied more than you want, you can remove excess blush with your pressed powder. I wouldn’t recommend using a makeup remover to fix blush mistakes as this will disturb the makeup underneath; instead, apply pressed powder onto a dense powder brush and lightly press it into any areas that you want your blush to disappear from. This will help to lighten the pigment of your blush while blurring the look of the area.

How do you make powder blush look dewy?

Powder blush is generally satin or matte in finish, but you can customise your look to create a dewy-looking finish using your cream blush and setting spray. By applying a powder blush over the top of a cream blush, your look will have the dewy properties of a cream and the smoothness of a powder. Then, spritz setting spray or face mist over your cheeks to give them a fresh-looking finish that makes them appear dewy and glowing.

Shop Charlotte's Magic Hydrator Mist

Does powder blush work for mature skin?

Yes – powder blush is a gorgeous blush option for mature skin. While mature skin types can make liquid and cream blushes work for them, powder blush is sometimes favoured for its smoothing and blurring properties. Liquids and creams can be prone to creasing which can be problematic for mature skin with fine lines and wrinkles; by reaching for a powder blush, you can give your mature skin a youthful-looking glow that’s easy to build from a subtle flush to a more pigmented pop depending on your mood.

Can you apply powder blush without a brush?

Yes – you can apply powder blush without a brush, however, I suggest reaching for a domed, fluffy brush as this will allow you to effortlessly buff and blend for the most seamless finish.

Can you apply powder blush onto bare skin?

Yes – you can apply powder blush onto bare skin to give the complexion a healthy-looking glow without foundation. When applying powder blush onto a bare face, make sure your skin is well prepped by applying a hydrating moisturiser and primer combination. Once your skin feels smooth and supple and your skincare products no longer feel damp or tacky, apply a light coating of powder blush to the apples of your cheeks and blend well to create natural-looking rosy cheeks.

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Author Details

Charlotte Tilbury

Founder, President, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Charlotte Tilbury Beauty

With over 30 years experience, Charlotte Tilbury MBE is the world's number 1 makeup artist and British beauty entrepreneur. Charlotte established Charlotte Tilbury Beauty in 2013, which is now a record-breaking beauty brand that has won over 400 awards.