An '80s Makeup Trend Is Coming Back—and It Looks Gorgeous on All Skin Tones

As someone who loves to rock a full face of makeup whenever I have a chance (well, pre-COVID-19, that is), blush is still the one product that intimidates me. And I think that goes for many people. But blush can be beautiful when applied correctly, as perfectly shown by Alena Giuliani, a cosmetologist in Sebastopol, California. Giuliani recently shared an application technique on Tik Tok called blush contouring or blush draping that was popular in the '80s and is trendy once again. The result is gorgeous, glowing cheeks that you can easily do at home.

Courtesy of Alena Giuliani

What Is Blush Contouring?

"I've been doing this technique for a while now as well because blush has always been my favorite makeup product," Giuliani says. (As someone who grew up listening to Blondie, Giuliani notes that Debbie Harry, the lead singer of the band, "was a total blush contouring icon" and has inspired Giuliani with her look.) Giuliani also noticed people on social media going heavier on the blush in the past few months. On her Tik Tok video, which has more than 190,000 likes, many of the 1,200 comments are from viewers who also apply a good amount of blush.

Basically, instead of applying the blush on the apple of your cheek, you put it on your temple and blend it out. "It’s pretty crazy how placing blush on your temples rather than the apples of your cheeks can completely give you a 'facelift,'" Giuliani says.

How to Blush Contour

In her clip, Giuliani shows two different ways to contour with blush: One option with bronzer and another without it. Giuliani, who has a round face, notes that the exact placement of your product depends on your face shape just like with regular contouring. These easy steps are a great guide to get you started.

Related: How to Find the Best Blush for Your Skin Type

Step 1: If you'd like to try the technique with bronzer, first apply a bronzer, like the Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer ($30, Sephora), high on your temple. Then, take a fluffy brush ($18, Sephora) and buff out the product

Step 2: Take another brush and add a heavy amount of blush onto it. Giuliani likes NARS Blush in Dolce Vita ($30, NARS) or It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Blush in Je Ne Sais Quoi ($26, Ulta). She applies the product to her temple, and then blends it out in a "C" shape.

Step 3: After you've contoured to your heart's content, add a highlighter wherever, like on your temples, the bridge of your nose, and on your cupid's bow. I personally love the Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder ($40, Sephora).

If you'd like to do blush contouring without bronzer, simply skip step 1. When Giuliani does this, she adds even more blush.

As you can see, Giuliani cheeks looks perfectly rosy, and she says anyone's complexion can look just as flawless. "I find that technique works best for all skin complexions," she explains. To find out for yourself, grab your products, follow Giuliani's step-by-step explanation, and prepare to conquer your fear of blush, just like I did.