Friday, July 13, 2012


I'm talking about the timeless pairing of blush + lipstick. Or lip gloss. Or lip stain. Or what have you. The point is, in general, I like my cheek color and lip color to complement each other. I suppose there is some interest to be had from juxtaposing cool and warm tones on your cheeks and lips, but I haven't really explored that option.

Here, then, are some of my favorite cheek + lip combos. This is the motivation for buying more blushers and lip colors - sometimes you still find that you don't have the shade you're going for. Very annoying, that is. I tend to work top down (eyes, then cheeks, then lips) so sometimes by the time I get to the bottom, I realize I don't have the lip color to finish the look, and then I'm very grumpy. First world problems, I know. Other times, I aim to wear a certain lipstick, so then I build around that. I rarely build around blush, but I still like to have a variety so I can match the variety in lip and eye colors that I have. Does that make any sense?

Illamasqua Libido cream blusher + Dior Orange Pareo gloss
Orange is the name of the game. Libido is an orangey red. Sometimes I layer with a slight dusting of MAC Fresh Honey; this softens the red and adds a bit of a sheen.

Senna Cosmetics Tres Jolie* + MAC Runaway Red
Red lipstick is a power player, but I find that I still want a touch of color in my cheeks to avoid the whole corpse bride look. Runaway Red was a limited edition that has been repromoted; it's a darker, cool red that can almost look vampy on me. NARS Mascate is similar in color, but has a matte finish and is ever so slightly warmer. If you are Canadian, Marcelle Amour is also really similar, though I find it more slippery than Runaway Red.

Smashbox Radiance + NARS Carthage 
Pink overload? Maybe, but it's the freshest combo I own. Sometimes I contrast shades, sometimes I match them. I still think it works. You can see it in action here.
MAC Harmony + Dior Angélique Beige
On cheeks, applied lightly, Harmony is a rosy brown in the vein of Tarte Exposed. It complements the softness of Angélique Beige beautifully, while still providing some color. Bolder blushers would also work with this Dior nude, as well.

Here are swatches of all four combinations.
L-R: Dior Angélique Beige + MAC Harmony, Dior Orange Pareo + Illamasqua Libido, MAC Runaway Red + Senna Cosmetics Très Jolie, NARS Carthage + Smashbox Radiance. I swatched the blushers heavily so that the color would come through; I don't wear them that strongly!

I don't think the blush and lipstick shades need to match exactly, though here I did do a lot of similar coloring. They're close but not too close (except for the pink pairing, I think), which keeps things interesting. Also, cheek colors often translate different on the face than on my pale, pale arm.

What are your favorite lipstick + cheek color combinations?

*Items marked with a star were won in a giveaway hosted by another blogger. Thanks, MM!