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How Cheeky: A Guide to Cheek Makeup & Brushes

We all know the transformative powers of a swipe of blush, so let's explore the role of cheek makeup a little more deeply, how to choose the best type of cheek makeup for your complexion, and the best makeup brush for the job.  

Namiko Fujiyama, a former developer for a Japanese cosmetic brand and makeup specialist, provides her professional guidance.


Cheek’s role in makeup: what does it do?

1. Create a vivid, lively appearance

Applying cheek as a final touch to your makeup add extra warmth to your face, if you like to go for cooler overall touch, use a darker shade of cheek.

2. Give your face more depth

Applying foundation does make your skin look smoother, but it can also make your face flat, or bigger because of the whiteness of the foundation. Adding an extra layer of color create a depth to your face and makes it look smaller in appearance.

3. Change the overall image with the smallest effort

Are you wearing the same makeup, no matter what clothes you wear? Most of us don’t have the fortune to own many types of makeup and just stick to one variation. But ideally, makeup should change according to what you wear and what occasion you are in. Have 2 or 3 extra colors of Cheek in your makeup arsenal, and choose it to match with your outfit of the day – if you’re wearing a light yellow colored shirt, try putting on the cheek with a hint of yellow. You’d be surprised how it fits together so well!

Shop cheek makeup brushes

Pros & Cons of 3 types of Cheek makeup

There are 3 main types of the cheek. Before you go shopping frenzy on the makeup boutique, let’s go through the diagram below to see the pros and cons of each cheek makeup type.



Powder Cheek

1. Good for oily skin


2. Good for Gentle layering of color

3. Comparably cheaper than other two

4. Most common, Comes with many color variations.

1. Less strong coloring


2. Color may wear off easily

3. Not good for dry skin

Cream Cheek

1. Have natural gloss, or shine


2. Settle well with your skin and doesn’t wear off easily

3. Vivid yet natural finish, as if the color came naturally from your skin

1. Re-applying the cheek is very difficult.


2. It may be hard to get the right amount

3. Oily cream could stick to your hand or brushes

Liquid Cheek

1. Basically same with cream, but with a more watery finish.


2. Gives a more natural finish.

1. Rare type, hard to get a good variation of color.

4 things to keep in mind when choosing your cheek makeup

There are 4 main things to keep in mind when choosing the best cheek makeup product to add to your makeup collection.

  1. Occasion
  2. Skin Tone
  3. Skin Type (oily/dry)
  4. Finish

Mac: powder cheek Mineralize matte blush: Flirting with Danger


1. Cheek for every occasion

Occasions. When you… Recommended Cheek Types
  • Like to choose different colors based on what you wear
  • Going to places  you have time/chance to reapply the color like school or work
  • Are in hurry and want a quick result
  • Prefer to have matte finish
 Powder Cheek
  • Applying full makeup 
  • Going for glorious, gloss look
  • Want to have mature look
 Cream Cheek
  • Want to have natural, no-makeup makeup
 Liquid Cheek

2. Choose cheek product based on your skin tone

cheek makeup guideIf you have a darker skin tone, use cream or liquid type cheek makeup product. These type can let you easily create a good coloring with few strokes and save your time to achieve that look you’re aiming for.If you have a lighter skin tone, chose powder type cheek makeup. Powder type allows you to build a layer gradually, and you can easily control the amount of application.

3. Skin type (Oily or dry)

cheek makeup guide
Decorte: Cream cheek blush PK850 beige pink

If you have oily type skin, use powder type cheek product, as the powder can absorb the oil to a certain degree and make your look last longer.

If you have a dry type skin, use cream or liquid type cheek makeup because it would give you the gloss and shine while moisturizing your skin in the process. Two birds in one stone!

4. Cheek type Based on the look

NARS: liquid blush cheek 5155 warm pink

Powder: When you are looking for gentle blushing of color with a delicate nuance and natural finish.

Cream/Liquid: When you want to have modern look à  la mode.

Where to apply cheek

how to apply cheek makeup
Where to apply cheek color

I will expand more on this on the next article, but the area that you should put on the cheek is as described in the right diagram.

  • Draw an imaginary vertical line from the Inner side of your black eye.
  • Next, draw another imaginary line from the end of your nose and the bottom of your ear.

Cheek should be applied only on the area highlighted in pink in the right diagram for the best look. This is regardless of what type of product you’re using, but there are few points to note;

  1. If you’re using the powder cheek, apply on the broader area, cause the application is quite light and that would make beautiful gradation.
  2. If you’re using cream or liquid type cheek, only apply it on the spot you want, and then gently blur the edges with either hand or makeup brush for the best result.


Shop cheek makeup brushes

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