Get the “Sunburn Blush” Look With This Easy Tutorial

June 12, 2023
Jordan Julian
By: Jordan Julian | by L'Oréal
A person with their dark hair pulled back wears orange-toned blush and glossy lips

Nobody wants to get a sunburn — and for good reason — yet one of the most popular summer makeup trends in recent years involves using blush to fake the look of spending a few too many hours in the sun. Gaining popularity on TikTok last summer, sunburn blush combines trending beauty aesthetics like statement blush and fresh-faced, no-makeup makeup. The goal is to create a seemingly effortless, just-came-from-the-beach flush without engaging in the dangerous practice of lying out in the sun. We’re all about a beauty trend or product that encourages sun safety, so we tapped professional makeup artist and beauty brand founder Jillian Dempsey to walk us through how to get the sunburn blush look.

How to Get the Sunburn Blush Look

Step 1: Choose the Right Blush Shade

There are two main factors to nailing sunburn blush: choosing the right shade of blush and getting the placement right. For the shade, Dempsey recommends looking for a blush with orange undertones. Peaches, corals and poppy reds could all work, depending on your skin tone. “As long as the shade you choose has an orange base, you’re golden (no pun intended),” she says. 

Step 2: Apply Your Normal Face Makeup Routine

Start by doing your normal face makeup routine, whether that includes foundation, concealer or anything else you normally wear. Since sunburn blush is a take on no-makeup makeup, you may want to keep your complexion makeup lighter and more natural-looking. To make your faux burn look more realistic, use a light dusting of powder bronzer, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24H Fresh Wear Soft Matte Bronzer, to give yourself a sun-kissed base.  

Step 3: Apply Your Blush

Then, you’re ready to go in with your blush. Dempsey likes to use a cream blush formula for this look. “After you apply your concealer or foundation, add a generous amount of cream blush in a warm shade (go deeper than you think) to the center of your cheeks — my Cheek Tint in Poppy, Rosy and Sunny are great options,” she says. “Smudge and buff the cream blush upwards towards the temple area and a small amount on the bridge of your nose to tie it all together.”

Jillian Dempsey Cheek Tint

As mentioned above, the placement is essential. By buffing the blush up towards your temples and adding it to the bridge of your nose, almost forming a butterfly shape, you’re making sure the color is concentrated on the parts of your face that would normally be most exposed to the sun. 

Liquid blush, such as the blendable, glowy Urban Decay Hydromaniac Dewy Liquid Blush, would also work well for this look. If you’re partial to powder blush, however, try the Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Glow Blush for a similar radiant finish.  

Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Glow Blush
Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn

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