Not quite sure where to aim your brush? These tricks guarantee a just-right, subtle flush.

By Lisa DeSantis
Updated December 26, 2018
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Nothing says fresh complexion like a pretty flush of color on your cheeks, but in order to achieve that, it’s important to know exactly how to apply bronzer, as well as where to place your blush and highlighter. Before you get ready to throw in the towel without giving it a try because it sounds a little too complicated, think again. You can do all of this with only one product and one brush—yes, really! Keep an eye out for palettes that provide all-in-one options with a bronzer, blush and highlighter—there are high and low versions that work just as well, so you can find one at Sephora just as easily as at your local drugstore. If you’re a novice, it’ll be easier to stick to a powder formula, but if you feel confident about trying this look, cream is nice, too, and offers a little more color payoff upon application. With powder, though, you can build if you want to as you master your technique. A dual-ended brush is great for this look, but if you already have a separate angled brush for contouring and a fluffier one for powder, you’re all set. Looking a little puffy and trying to sculpt your face? Pay close attention to the hollows of your cheeks when you apply bronzer and then the high points for highlighter. Within just a few sweeps of each, you’ll notice that your face takes on a more lifted look and who wouldn’t want that? There are easy-to-master tricks that once you nail them, you’ll never forget them and you’ll be glad to have them in your beauty arsenal.

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1

You’ll need blush, bronzer, and highlighter—It Cosmetics Your Most Beautiful You Anti-Aging Face Palette ($38; ulta.com) has all three shades in one. First, swirl a brush into the blush, then tap off the excess. Smile to find the apples of your cheeks, then sweep on the color, moving up toward your hairline (envision a Nike swoosh).

2

Dip the same brush into the matte bronzer. Make Up For Ever Artisan Brush No. 158 ($53; sephora.com) has a fluffy end for blush and bronzer and a denser end for highlighter. On each side, starting in the center of your forehead near your hairline, trace a number 3, hitting the temples, hollows of the cheeks, and jawline.

3

Highlighter adds a sophisticated pop of shimmer that catches the light. Lightly dust it on in the shape of a C around your eye. Begin just above your brow, continuing along your temple and ending on the top of your cheekbone. Repeat on the opposite side. Not into shimmer? You can just skip this step.