How To Use Blush To Contour Every Face Shape

Over the past few years, there have been so many different versions of contouring—from the OG contouring to baking to strobing to, lately, nontouring. Needless to say, it's tough (if not totally impossible) to keep track of them all. Naturally, we're feeling serious bronzer fatigue. Not many people have the time or the commitment (or, really, the patience) to devote to an elaborate contouring routine on a regular basis, carefully applying stripe after stripe of bronzer and highlighter before blending it all in. Just thinking about the whole process makes us tired.

So instead, we're going to keep things simple with the original face-shaper: blush. You know, the pink stuff you probably used to pat on your cheeks before you figured out how to sculpt modelesque cheekbones. When used the right way, blush can dramatically enhance the shape and structure of your face even better than contouring or highlighting—while (bonus) taking way less time. Plus, a healthy pop of pink on the cheeks looks ten times more believably sun-kissed than the gold tones of bronzer (who even turns gold in the sun?). The magic of it is in the application—which is why, in collaboration with NARS Cosmetics, we're giving you the ultimate guide to flattering your face shape with blush— and only blush.

If Your Face Shape Is: Round

It's all about the angles, which give structure to the softer edges of round faces. Simply sweep blush from the apples of your cheeks toward the outer corners of your eyes, says makeup artist Jenny Patinkin. "The upwards line of blush creates the appearance of angles where there really aren't any," she explains. It's like an optical illusion—with makeup.

If Your Face Shape Is: Oval

Oval face shapes typically have a wide forehead and narrower jawline—and with blush, you can balance out the two. Blend it onto the outer cheekbones (think closer to your ears) and then sweep it down into the hollows of your cheeks. "Adding a touch into the hollows brings more emphasis to the lower half of the face," says Patinkin.

If Your Face Shape Is: Square

Curves ahead! Start by blending blush onto the apples of your cheeks. Then, sweep it outwards and slightly curve up towards your ears—making sure to diffuse the color with your brush as you do so. "It contrasts beautifully against the angular shape of the jawline," explains Patinkin. In this case, stick with a powder version like NARS blush in Orgasm, which blends more easily than its creamier counterparts.

If Your Face Shape Is: Long

Pat blush onto the very tops of your cheekbones, in line with the outer corners of your eyes. This has a visual payoff, since your forehead and eye line tend to be the widest parts of the face. "It gives the appearance of width to the face by drawing the eye up," says Patinkin. Since the placement is closer to the eye, make sure you're going for a matte blush formula— since any shimmer can exaggerate under-eye bags.

If Your Face Shape Is: Heart

If you're a contouring diehard (and, of course, happen to have a heart-shaped face) this is a good way to ween yourself off while also flattering your face shape. "A sweep of blush underneath the cheekbone—pretty much where you would usually contour—creates a parallel line to the jawline and brings focus to the heights of the cheekbone," explains Patinkin.

Get The Look:

No matter your face shape, it helps to have the right tools for the job. Test your blush-contouring skills with a peachy pink blush that looks great on just about everyone, like NARS blush in Orgasm. And make sure to apply it with a domed shaped brush that'll dust on just the right amount of product.

This post is sponsored by NARS Cosmetics.