Now that we're more than halfway through the year, Pinterest has released its Global Beauty Report for 2018. In the hair department, we learned that pins for braids were up a whopping 445 percent. But let's be real — that isn't the most shocking statistic. Braids are as much of a hairstyle-staple as ponytails.
The data Pinterest shared for makeup trends was much more surprising, in my opinion. One finding, in particular, spoke to the cheek-makeup lover in me. According to the 2018 Global Beauty Report, Pinterest users in Japan are pinning orange blush looks more than traditional pink ones. In fact, orange blush is up by 250 percent. With J-beauty gaining popularity in America on the skin-care front, I was intrigued to learn about a Japanese makeup trend. And according to Yuui, a New York City-based makeup artist, orange is always trending in Japan.
To find out more about orange blush, I asked a couple professional makeup artists for tips on pulling off the unexpected shade on cheeks and put them into action.
Why is orange blush trending right now?
Typically, I lean toward red and pink blushes, which New York City-based makeup artist Joseph Carrillo points out are colors that our skin naturally turns when we're hot or flushed. Orange, on the other hand, is brighter and intentional: "It's more of a statement shade and a color we don't naturally turn, so orange blush looks purposefully done," he explains.
When I tried out orange blush for myself, I realized the effect it had on my fair skin was completely different from my usual pink and red. Because my blush wasn't emphasizing tones my skin already has, it helped brighten and invigorate my skin. Plus, I love how unapologetically obvious it looked. Cheek makeup is often used as a bridge between our lips and eyes, going under the radar to let other aspects of our makeup shine. With orange blush, I enjoyed letting my cheeks be the center of attention. It's a fun option to keep in mind when I feel too lazy to do my daily bold eye makeup or swipe on a bright lipstick.
What are the best orange blushes?
Unsure of which shade of orange shade to use? In Japan, Yuui says an apricot tone is most popular. However, Bea Sweet, a London-based makeup artist, swears there is a shade of orange for everyone, and it doesn't have to be the brightest or boldest orange you can find. "Intense tangerine mattes are amazing on deep skin tones, and shimmery apricots are great on fair skin tones," she says.
If you prefer liquid blush, Glossier has two intensely pigmented orange Cloud Paints to pick from: Beam, the pastel peach that I used, and Dawn, a vivid coral. You can see the latter on Allure editor Sable Yong below.
Cream-wise, I'm a fan of the Too Cool For School Jelly Blusher in Apple Red (despite its name, it's a soft coral) and the Wet n Wild MegaGlo Blush Stick in Peach Bums. Both are incredibly easy to seamlessly blend into skin with just your fingertips.
For powders, the Milani Rose Powder Blush in Coral Cove and the Nyx Ombre Blush in Soft Flush, which includes a spectrum of oranges, are great options that won't look chalky or cakey on skin.
How should you apply orange blush?
Start off by dabbing a bit of cream or liquid blush just outside the apples of your cheeks and sweeping inward. Once the blush is blended in, you can build up the hue by adding more. You can also set and intensify the shade by layering a powder blush on top of it.
What other makeup complements orange blush best?
Carrillo typically pairs orange blush with a blurred lip stain, which involves applying color to the center of the lips and blending it outward. If the color happens to be orange-y, then even better. Sweet recommends choosing this hue to add warmth to your lips, too, and balance out the look. Need a recommendation? The Clarins Water Lip Stain in Orange Water has been my go-to tint lately.
You don't need to continue the orange on your lids for a complete monochromatic look. (By all means, though, you should feel free to!) You can keep your eyes minimal with mascara and little-to-no shadow, Sweet adds. "Let your cheekbones steal the limelight this time," she says.
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