What if I told you there was a way to make your face look alive, but in a secret way—a way that most people’s eyes just skate right over? You look flushed and healthy, in a Brooke Shields, tawny, sexy-outdoorsy-slightly rough around the edges kind of way. The kind of color that says, “Oh, am I hiking or modeling a picture of health? Is this a photoshoot, or the Pacific Crest Trail?” Other words and phrases I associate with the look are: quarter-zip fleece sweaters, the Sierra Club, sepia, trail mix, and the entire vibe of the 1998 movie Stepmom, featuring Susan Sarandon and a young Julia Roberts. Hello, my name is Rachel. And I’m obsessed with brown blush.
Not to be one of those people, but pink blush is out (for me). Instead, I’m leaning hard into the look that Sarah Lucero, Stila’s global executive director of creative artistry, created for Tibi last fashion week. Ninety-nine percent of fashion week trends fall into camp unwearable, but the look at Tibi was different. Lucero had done models’ eyes in a mix of colorful shades, so to keep it grounded, and she tapped on Stila’s cream blush in the ruddy, tan-meets-peach shade Camellia. It was perfect. Less precious than pink, and because it’s so close to flesh-toned, it’s almost undetectable unless you load it on.
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After wearing brown blush almost exclusively for the past two months, I’ve pinned down the magic that it weaves. It falls completely outside of traditional cheek knowledge, which says that blush on the apples of your cheeks brightens your face, bronzer gives you a glow, and highlighter and contour define your cheekbones. But brown blush? It covers everything with a simple one-and-done, and because it’s not what you’re expecting to see, it reads incredibly natural. I lightly tap it from my apples up to my cheekbones, and stop just under the outside of my eyes. To borrow a phrase from makeup artists everywhere, it brings some color to your face. Your eye follows that line, which emphasizes your cheekbones without the shadow manipulation of contouring.
In terms of product reccs, I’ve stuck with creams like the Stila. Too Faced Pinch My Peach is a good one, along with Onomie’s Boosting Lip + Cheek Stick in Nightingale. The texture does actually make a difference. The Stila and Onomie have formulas on the moister side, which covers your highlighter base with a healthy-looking glisten. The dryer feel of the Too Faced makes it best for beginners, since it’s way harder to overdo. And even if you do, so what? Brown blush is an adventure, in the woods or not.