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Holiday makeup: Fresh, flirty flush

One of winter’s mainstay beauty trends is the no makeup makeup look (as seen on fall runways from Stella McCartney to Ralph Lauren). Models with clear, glowing skin and natural-looking flirty, flushed cheeks were everywhere and we love this fresh faced makeup look for the holiday season. Want to try it on for size? We have the steps to get you started.

Stell McCartney Fall/Winter 2011 -- Model with flushed cheeks

Start with a flawless face

To really get this look perfect, always remember to start with a foundation that matches your skin tone and apply evenly for a flawless finish. Choose a product that’s sheer enough to allow your natural coloring to come through (and that won’t look cakey). You don’t want to look like you’re wearing a mask — just fresh, even and dewy is what you’re after. If you don’t need full coverage, try a tinted moisturizer and concealer only where you need it most.

Choose the right shade

When it comes to color, pick a shade that will blend well with your natural skin tone but that will also help accentuate your cheeks and give you a flirty but understated flush, such as a rosy or peachy tone. Go with a hue that isn’t too heavy or dark so you can start out light and layer more color if necessary.

Smile and blend

This is the fun part. Start the cheek application by smiling. Begin adding blush where your cheek naturally has some roundness and move out towards your hairline. Blend well so that you’re not left with a hard line going across your face (not a good look for anyone). You want the blush to look natural rather than forced.


Choose a second shade about three or four times darker than your natural skin color to create contour. This will help bring out your cheekbones and lengthen your face. The contour shade is applied right below the cheek and blended out toward the hairline.


To really give your look a dose of festive glamour, think about using a highlighter. The highlighter can be something a bit frosted so that it reflects the light for a natural glow. Apply it on the tip of the cheek where the ball is naturally created when you smile. Blend outward into the hairline. Adding a highlighter instantly brightens skin with a subtle shimmer.

The result should be a natural-looking blush that warms your skin and gives your face a youthful, healthy glow perfect for holiday. Keep the look simple with just a swipe of clear gloss and some volumizing mascara. Oh, and don’t forget a really great cocktail dress.

More makeup tips & trends

Glam it up for the holidays
Running late? How to still look great
5 Holiday beauty products we love

Photo credit: News Pictures/

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