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The trick to nailing cream blush, courtesy of Leslie Mann’s makeup artist


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Photo: Stocksy/Nabi Tang

Applying blush can feel like a serious Goldilocks situation. Put on too little and it’s like ya did nothing; too much, however, and you can look like a clown. Just ask actress and comedian Leslie Mann, who—until recently—applied blush all wrong.

In a recent video on Violet Grey, Mann is set straight by makeup artist Jillian Dempsey for always doing frenzied sweeps of her cheekbones with a brush. “Instead do a dot-dot-dot and a find-the-cheek moment,” says Dempsey.

The key? Start by using your thumb (which may go against your natural tendency to use a pointer or ring finger, as you likely do with concealer and eye shadow). Dempsey instructs Mann to smile and put a thumbprint on the apple of the cheek. “It’s almost like, ‘Oh I’m a little Bozo the clown for a second,'” she jokes, since, upon pressing the blush on, it can look cartoonish. “But it breaks the line—if you put concealer on under your eyes, there’s always this line.”

You then use your thumb (or a brush!) to blend across the cheekbone. “Gently do a passover sweep so it breaks it up and your concealer isn’t here and the blush is there,” says Dempsey. “In a circular motion just follow your cheek where you smile.” You’ll wind up with a perfectly subtle touch of color in all the right places.

Watch the full tutorial below.

This is *exactly* the right order to apply your makeup, according to a pro. And this is how face shaving can make for easier makeup application (yes, really). 

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