I must confess that I'm a bit of a blush hoarder. If there's anything I tend to experiment with aside from my lip shade - it's the colour I dust on my cheeks of a morning! I love that something so simple and quick can completely bring together a make-up look in an instant and brighten up your entire complexion. I've had a bit of a make-up overhaul recently and thought I'd introduce you to my Autumn/Winter 'blush wardrobe' - because for a beauty blogger, it doesn't stop at swapping your cami tops for polo-necks does it?! Ohh no - I've swapped around my entire cosmetic collection and placed some of my more wintery shades within grabbing distance. It's time to put the bright corals to bed! Without further ado, here's 7 of my 'go to' shades for the autumn/winter season and why I'll be reaching for them over the next few months...
Illamasqua | 'Tremble' // The Winter Bright //
I must admit, I'm really not a big fan of pinks - I find that I need a bit of warmth in my blush colour due to my skin-tone but Illamasqua's 'Tremble' is probably one of the only bright pink shades I can get away with. It's showing up a little more cool toned on camera but this is seriously bright - it's not for the faint hearted but when applied lightly it gives such a lovely flush of colour to the cheeks. If you're a fan of Illamasqua's 'Lover' blush (it's one of my all time summer favourites) this is like its pink, wintery cousin... it still has the same brightness to it but looks a little more natural and flattering on dull, winter skin. I love Illamasqua's blushes - they always look so immaculate and flawless on the skin and are incredibly long lasting. If you're looking for pigmentation - look no further. I have an ancient review of Tremble here.
Deborah Milano | 'Spicy' // The 'Any Season' Coral //
I know I said I've put my corals to bed but this is the only one I find myself reaching for all year round. Trust me when I say that this little compact is well loved! If you're looking for a versatile, year-round colour then this shade will be right up your street. It looks just as flattering on my winter skin as it does when I have a tan - it looks so natural. It's the perfect coral because it isn't too orange or bright - it works whatever the weather, whatever your skin tone and whatever make-up you've applied. I love the texture of the powder too - it applies so smoothly and effortlessy and it's really nicely pigmented - I've used this to death for around a year and I've barely worn down the surface - well worth the money! I have a full review of it here.
Nars | 'Orgasm' // The Perfect Healthy Glow //
Ooo Beauty blogger classic alert (just look how battered mine is - the poor thing!) Although I can't say this blush is one of my all-time favourites, it's one that I find myself reaching for through the winter months. It's got a bit of shimmer running through it so it's perfect for those days when you just can't be bothered to highlight as it brings a healthy, natural glow to the face - killing 2 birds with one stone, as they say! I like to use this colour when I'm feeling a little bit under the weather - rosy pink blushes are actually proven to help counteract dull tones and dark shadows under your eyes, and 'Orgasm' does a fabulous job of making me look bright eyed and bushy tailed even when I'm far from it. Its rosy appearance does a fabulous job of brightening the skin and gives a naturally 'blushed' appearance. It's definitely one of my more understated blushes (despite the shimmer) - it's the type of blush I'd pop on for a quick flush of colour if I'm off for a winter walk somewhere.
Nars | 'Deep Throat' // The 'Everyday' Winter Staple //
Oh crikey me - Nars and their naughty names make me blush even before I've swept them on to my cheeks! Despite it's 'out there' name, this blush really is such a great everyday staple. It's like a slightly lighter, less shimmery version of 'Orgasm' with a hint of peachy pink. I must admit I was never sold on this until I had it applied on me by an MUA in Space NK - it looks completely different once you have it on your cheeks and gives such a healthy flush of peachy-pink to the cheeks. If, like me, you lean towards corals and oranges and want something suitable for the season, I really recommend you check this one out. It's a lovely 'in-between' sort of shade - I can wear this all year round because it has a good bit of warmth running through it. It's a good option for paler skin too as it's not overly pigmented - it's very buildable. I have a full review and photographs here.
Benefit | 'Rockateur' // The Subtle Touch //
I really didn't expect this to become one of my autumn staples, but it has! I actually find this to be quite similar to Nars' 'Deep Throat' blush - just a slightly lighter version. Again, it's peachy-pink hints work really well on winter skin and the satin finish is really flattering. It has a subtle hint of shimmer which gives such a healthy glow - another fabulous option if dull skin is your main concern. I find this blush works well for layering becuase it's quite subtle. It's formula is very buildable and if you wish to achieve the colour in the pan, you can, but I actually really enjoy using this alongside Benefit's 'Majorette' - layering this on top of a bright coral works really well. I have a full review here.
Mac | 'Blushbaby' // The 'Depths of Winter' Flush //
Again, this isn't one of my all-time favourites but I really enjoy using this shade in the winter months. It's a gorgeous, natural shade with a slight hint of mauve - a little more cool-toned than what I usually reach for but with the right make-up it looks so beautiful. I always pop this on if I'm wearing a darker lip colour or if I've opted for a mauve/purple toned lip. It swatches a little warmer than it looks in the pan - it's definitely got a hint of 'brick' running through it (have a nosey at the swatches, you'll see what I mean!) Think bobble hats, cosy knits and hot chocolates - this shade really is my 'depths of winter' blush - perfect for snowy days. I love the matte finish - it works really well with a flawless base and a teeny fleck of highlighter on the tops of the cheekbones.
Mac | 'Harmony' // The Sculpting Shade //
I adore this shade. It's so multi-functional as it works as a contour shade as well as a blush. It's a cool toned 'brick' sort of colour - very difficult to explain but one that works incredibly well at softly sculpting the cheeks. If you're new to contouring, I really recommend this - all you need to do is sweep some of this onto your cheeks and et voila - instant cheekbones. If I'm in a rush, I'll quickly dust some of this on using a blush brush, but i find that it works really nicely if you use a slightly smaller tapered or 'domed' brush and place the colour on your natural contour line.With 'Harmony', it's so easy to achieve that sculpted appearance without the fuss. As with most Mac blushes, it's really soft and easy to blend - but isn't so overly pigmented it's difficult to work with. Definitely a staple shade in my collection. I have a full review here.
Swatches L-R | Illamasqua 'Tremble' / Deborah Milano 'Spicy' / Nars 'Orgasm' / Nars 'Deep Throat' / Benefit 'Rockateur' / Mac 'Blushbaby' / Mac 'Harmony'
So there we have it - my Autumn/Winter blush wardrobe. I also love Benefit's 'Majorette' and Illamasqua's 'Lover' blush - but the shades I've featured are definitely the ones I'll be reaching for when the weather really does take a turn for the worst! My ultimate favourites have to be Deborah Milano's 'Spicy' and Nars' 'Deep Throat' - and Mac's 'Harmony' really is a winter contouring must-have if you're a fan of a sculpted cheek like me.
What's in your autumn/winter blush wardrobe this season?