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Get Glowing With Sunset Blush—Here’s How

How To Do Sunset Blush, TikTok’s Latest Makeup Trend

11 Jul 2024

Nothing is more captivating than a vivid watercolor sunset—but as makeup lovers, we’d argue that sunset blush comes pretty close. This blush trend, which started (where else?) on TikTok, takes inspiration from the vibrant, pastel tones of a late summer sunset. Typically, the sunset blush look is created by blending blush together with a pearlescent highlighter. The combination creates a soft, luminous glow, perfect both for days in the sun and nights spent with friends.

Here, we’ll give you the 411 on this gorgeous TikTok blush trend, including how to recreate the look yourself. You’ll also discover some of our favorite products for nailing your sunset blush look, including shade recommendations for different skin tones. Find it all below and get glowing.

What Is Sunset Blush?

Sunset blush is a new TikTok makeup trend that involves blending blush with a cream or liquid highlighter to create a luminous, flushed look. Like ombré blush (another TikTok makeup trend), sunset blush typically requires using more than one blush shade: one on the apples of the cheeks and one higher up on the cheekbones. When blended together with highlighter swept across the top of the cheekbones, it creates a gradient effect reminiscent of the setting sun. You can use any coordinating colors you like, but we find that the trend works best with a combination of pink, orange, and red tones.

Typically, you’ll want to opt for cool-toned shades if you have cool undertones, and warmer shades if you have warm undertones. For a full rundown on finding blush shades that complement your complexion, head to our article How To Choose a Blush Color For Your Skin Tone.

To create a sunset blush look, you’ll need:

  • Makeup primer
  • Two color-coordinated blushes, one lighter and one slightly darker
  • A liquid or cream highlighter
  • Setting spray
  • A brush for blending
  • Is Sunset Blush the Same as Sun-kissed Blush?

    While sunset blush and sun-kissed blush may sound similar, the two blush makeup looks are fairly different. Sunset blush, as explained above, involves blending two blush shades with highlighter for a glowy, multi-color gradient effect. Sun-kissed blush, meanwhile, is all about mimicking the allover flush of color you may get after a day spent on the beach. With the latter trend, you’d usually choose one blush color—typically, a pinkish or reddish hue—and sweep it onto your cheekbones and nose for a soft sunburnt effect. You can also dust the excess blush along your hairline to round out your beachy flush. And while highlighter can help add a glowy finish to your sun-kissed blush look, it’s not a necessity the way it is for sunset blush.

    How To Create a Sunset Blush Look

    Applying sunset blush is pretty straightforward, though the technique varies slightly depending on which type of blush you’re using. In either case, you’ll want to make sure you’re starting with clean, hydrated skin. It’s also a good idea to use a makeup primer to help ensure your look lasts. We love the BlurScreen SPF 30 Primer, as it blurs imperfections, helps grip makeup for up to 18 hours of wear, and helps protect the skin with SPF 30 sunscreen.

    Once your skin is prepped and primed, you can get started on creating your look. Ahead, we’ll break down the how-to for both cream and powder blush.

    Step-by-step guide for cream blush

    Step 1: Apply your base makeup

    Start by evening out your skin tone and concealing any imperfections with foundation. If you’re after a more natural look and want to skip foundation, you can spot conceal areas of discoloration with a creamy concealer, like the Pro Fix Sticks, instead. Be sure to blend your base makeup well to help ensure a seamless finish.

    Step 2: Dot on blush

    Next, begin dotting your chosen blush onto your cheeks, focusing the application toward the tops of your cheekbones. For a flattering gradient, use a darker hue (like deep pink or red) on the temples, and apply a softer hue (like coral, apricot, or peach) near the apples of your cheeks. Don’t blend yet—that step comes later.

    Step 3: Blend

    Once you’ve applied both blush shades and your highlighter, you can begin blending out your sunset blush look. We recommend using a makeup sponge or your fingertips for this. Start by buffing out the darker blush shade, extending the color from your temples to about halfway down your cheeks. Then, do the same with the lighter blush shade, blending it toward your temples to help “melt” the two hues together. The goal is to create a seamless color gradient.

    Step 4: Add highlighter

    Next, draw a line of pearlescent highlighter directly above where you dotted on your blush (the topmost contour of your cheekbone). We suggest picking a shade that coordinates with the blush shades you opted for. A gold-toned highlighter, like the Jumbo Multi-Use Highlighter Stick in Apple Pie, complements warmer shades like tangerine, coral, and red nicely, while a silver-toned highlighter, like the Jumbo Multi-Use Highlighter Stick in Vanilla Ice Cream, is the perfect complement to a cooler-toned blush look. Use a clean makeup sponge or your fingers to blend the highlighter for a soft lit-from-within effect.

    Step 5: Set your sunset blush

    When you’re satisfied with your sunset blush look, lock it in place with the setting spray of your choice. For a dewy, beach-ready finish, we suggest using either our classic Dewy Setting Spray or the Plump Finish Setting Spray—both will leave your skin looking luminous and help extend your makeup’s longevity.

    Step-by-step guide for powder blush

    Step 1: Apply your base makeup

    As with the cream blush technique, you’ll want to start by applying base makeup. If you want a soft matte finish to complement your powder blush, try the Bare With Me Blur Tint Foundation. It offers buildable coverage and helps blur imperfections for a smooth, filter-like finish.

    Step 2: Dust on blush

    If you’re using powder blush, you’ll need a brush. We recommend a dense angled brush, like our Buttermelt Blush Brush, for a flawless application. Sweep the bristles over your darker blush shade and tap that onto the top of your cheekbones by your temples. Then, apply a slightly lighter shade to the apples of your cheeks.

    Step 3: Blend

    Using the same brush, begin blending both shades of blush together to create that sunset gradient. We recommend blending in circular motions to help evenly diffuse the color and perfect the sunset blush gradient.

    Step 4: Add highlighter

    Next, add highlighter to the top of your cheekbones. Since you’re using a powder blush, you’ll get the most seamless blend if you use a powder highlighter, too. Applying cream products on top of powder can sometimes result in a patchy or uneven appearance. Opt for a warm peachy or golden highlighter if you used warm-toned blushes, and a cooler-toned highlighter if you opted for cooler blush shades.

    Step 5: Set your sunset blush

    Finally, set your look. If you opted for a more matte base, tie your look together with a matte-finish setting spray, such as our Marshmellow Matte Setting Spray, which extends makeup wear for up to 16 hours.

    4 Tips and Tricks to Perfect Your Sunset Blush

    • Blend well: Whether you’re using powder or cream products, blending is key. The goal of this blush trend is to mimic the natural ombré effect of a sunset—harsh lines or obvious boundaries between colors can detract from the effect.
    • Be choosy with your shades: Certain blush shades pair better than others. If you’re after a warm-toned sunset blush look, try combining Buttermelt Blush in the shades Had Butta and U Know Butta—both have a distinctly warm undertone and are ideal for creating a fiery sunset blend. If you’re using cool-toned blushes, Butta Together and For the Butta play beautifully together.
    • Skip the contour and bronzer: Bronzer and contour are among our favorite makeup products, but too many different hues on one section of the face can be overwhelming. It’s best to let your sunset blush be the star of this summer-ready look.
    • Tie it together with lip gloss: Glassy, shiny lips are the perfect complement to sunset blush. Before heading out the door, swipe on your favorite lip gloss to complete your look. We love Fat Oil Lip Drip in Follow Back, as it features subtle shimmery pigments that’ll help amplify your glow.

    Next Up: How To Apply Blush and Flatter Your Face Shape

    If you’ve tried our sunset blush tutorial, we’d love to see how it turned out. Share a pic on social and tag us at @nyxcosmetics!


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