I Tried Blush Contouring, The ’70s Trend Taking Over TikTok

Elizabeth Denton
I Tried Blush Contouring, The ’70s Trend Taking Over TikTok
Photo: Elizabeth Denton/Lawless. Design: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

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You might think the resurgence of blush feels like it comes from the 1980s and in some ways, it definitely does. We went from ultra-bronzed in the early aughts to a more blush-focused look in 2021 with rosy faces that feel like they came out of an ’80s movie. But specifically, the blush contour trend is actually from the ’70s. Also known as blush draping, the technique became popular thanks to Cher’s makeup artist Way Bandy.

These bright cheeks, called “color glow” by Bandy, took off in the late 1970s and really blew up in the ’80s. Just think of that iconic Debby Harry photo where she’s wearing blush all the way up to her temples. But then in the 2000s, the Instagram Face was born with hollowed-out cheeks, snatched noses and contoured chins with cream contour products or bronzer. Did we even use blush? Maybe a dot of it.

Now, the blush contour trend is back and blowing up on TikTok. It sounds kind of crazy but it’s actually a really simple technique that yields gorgeous results. I decided to try it using one of my favorite products, the Lawless Beauty Make Me Blush Talc-Free Velvet Blush ($29 at QVC). With an angled brush, I applied the formula right where I normally would contour, to carve out my cheeks heading all the way up to my forehead. I added a little to my nose too for that sun-kissed look.

I started with a light hand and added more where needed so the finished product was more subtle than ’80s rockstar. It’s best to choose a blush formula that is buildable and not overly pigmented so you have more room to play with the intensity. Something about blush contouring feels fresh and modern—the opposite of cheugy. Will I be retiring bronzer for good? Of course not but I’m really enjoying this new way of adding brightness to my face.

If you want to try blush contouring for yourself, there are some stellar formula choices to choose from. I got you started with a few favorites, below.

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tarte Breezy Cream Blush I Tried Blush Contouring, The 70s Trend Taking Over TikTok


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