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How to Pull Off the TikTok’s Favorite “Sunburn Blush” Look This Summer

While TikTok has introduced plenty of trends, it’s also given new life to pre-existing ones. Such has been the case for the now-viral sunburn blush look, which has racked up nearly 100 million views on the platform. In truth, the technique—wherein blush is applied across the cheeks and the bridge of the nose to just-left-the-beach-effect has been around for years among makeup artists who want to emphasize natural, lit-from-within skin. A covetable look for summer, it offers a healthy alternative to exposing oneself to the sun’s harmful UV rays.

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“It gives an effortless summer feeling as if you were laying out for a few hours and then quickly got changed for dinner,” says celebrity makeup artist Nina Park, the master behind Hailey Bieber’s dewy, sun-flushed glow. It’s a look that encompasses the spirit of summer, agrees French makeup artist Violette. “The whole vibe around this season is the skin being naked and under the sun even though we [do our best] to avoid it,” she explains. “We all like the sun-kissed effect on our skin, but now that we’re being safe with the sun, we’re going to use makeup to recreate it. It really brings something that’s fresh and genuine to the look.”


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While blush is, of course, integral to the look, Violette insists that to “warm up the skin,” a soft-focus veil of powdered bronzer, like Guerlain’s cult favorite Teracotta, is essential for a lived-in summer feel. “Instead of foundation on the skin, just use concealer and bronzer all over the face,” she says. As for the blush, Park suggests ​​swirling blush high on the cheeks and passing through the bridge of the nose to bring the whole look together. “Start with a soft wash and build intensity where needed,” she instructs. To create the most realistic effect, Park is partial to cream and gel blushes like Chanel’s no.1 de Chanel Lip and Cheek Balm in true crimson Red Camellia and dark peach Healthy Pink or Saie’s Dew Blush in bright coral Poppy, because they “blend easily, have a subtle glow, and feel skin-like.” As far as choosing a shade, Violette recommends a color that looks like a flush with coral, reddish, and pink tones, her go-tos including Bobbi Brown blush in fleshy pink Nectar and Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks in luminous peach Minette.


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For a hit of shine, Violette likes to blend her Baume Shine highlighter on the high points of the face, including the brow bone, apples of the cheek, Cupid’s bow, the inner corners of the eyes, and a bit on the bridge of the nose. “I like when the lips are very moisturized, the skin feels fresh, so the whole look feels super healthy,” she says. An inherently youthful touch, the sunburn blush technique will not only stoke your glow, but pique nostalgia, too. “Makeup has a deeper impact than we think,” insists Violette. “The sunburn effect connects you to your childhood and those free-spirited times when you’d just run under the sun, totally carefree. On a subconscious level, it’s bringing back those memories.” Oh, to be young again!

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