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Blush Draping Is the Contouring Trend You Haven’t Tried Yet

Flushed

Switch It Up

Blushing Beauty

Into Evening

Besides Cheeks

Orange Option

Pure Romance

Just Draped

Rosy Cheeks

Kiss of Coral

All About the Cheeks

Classic Reworked

Brown Tones

Sharp Shapes

Blue Is Back

Fully Loaded

The Shape of It

Just a Wash

Consider the Finish

Golden Goddess

Flushed

A rosy blush swept across the cheeks and a coordinating lip stain is a gorgeous everyday beauty look. The draped cheeks also take considerably less time than fussy contouring.

Image: Imaxtree

Switch It Up

Coordinating colors are always pretty, but sometimes a contrasting look can be good. See this glossy neutral lipstick with pale pink blush. The different tones and textures are striking.

Image: Imaxtree

Blushing Beauty

With celebrity makeup artist Bethany Brill’s technique in mind, swipe a peachy pink blush over cheeks and on brow bones. For a twist, carry the color around the entire eye. Finish the look with a matching lip color for complete coordination.

Image: Imaxtree

Into Evening

Evening makeup looks often focus on the eyes. Switch things up by making cheeks and lips the focal features. A peony pink blush draped across skin will add a healthy wash of color. Tie in the pink tone with a muted red lipstick.

Image: Imaxtree

Besides Cheeks

Draping enhances cheeks, but that doesn’t mean they have to be the focal point. Make eyes the focus with a tangerine eyeshadow applied in the crease. Peach blush and a neutral lip color keep the attention on eyes.

Image: Imaxtree

Orange Option

Remember that there are other blush colors besides pink. Peach is pretty, but how about orange? A deep orange color perks up complexions as well as pink tones. The softest wash on cheeks, lids and lips is very pretty and wearable. We swear.

Image: Imaxtree

Pure Romance

Draping is the secret to a healthy just-saw-my-crush flush. To ensure skin looks rosy instead of sunburned, choose a muted pink blush and build up the product gradually. 

Image: Imaxtree

Just Draped

Forget eyes and lips and make skin the focus. Use a bit of concealer to even out any areas. Then practice the draping technique with a neutral pink blush. Only a tiny amount of product is needed to enliven the face.

Image: Imaxtree

Rosy Cheeks

Draping works on all skin tones. Those with darker complexions may just need to add an extra layer of color to ensure the blush pops against skin. To further enhance rosy red cheeks, apply red lipstick. Twist hair into a cute updo so the draped blush will be fully visible.

Image: Imaxtree

Kiss of Coral

Want to try something different than matching draped blush with eyeshadow and lipstick? Coordinate the blush with a hair accessory. An oversized flower is one of our favorite options. Buck tradition altogether by mixing graphic eyeliner, metallic eyeshadow and a neutral lipstick. 

Image: Imaxtree

All About the Cheeks

For a new twist on a no-makeup makeup look, make cheeks the (subtle) focal point. Stipple on a peach blush, brush brows, add some lip balm and go out the door.

Image: Imaxtree

Classic Reworked

Red lipstick is a classic. Stick with the timeless lip color, but tweak the rest of makeup by complementing lips with the faintest wash of draped blush. 

Image: Imaxtree

Brown Tones

Let’s not forget about brown and neutral blushes. They’re perfect for bronzer fans and contouring addicts. Play off the blush with a neutral lip color.

Image: Imaxtree

Sharp Shapes

Triple flicked eyeliner is a definite step up from the traditional cat eye. The strong eye plus chiseled contouring would be too much. Soften the graphic eyeliner shape with a rosy blush and natural lip.

Image: Imaxtree

Blue Is Back

Blue eyeshadow is trending. Play around with a pastel blue eyeshadow in a graphic shape. Balance it out with soft pink cheeks and lips.

Image: Imaxtree

Fully Loaded

Want a head-turning beauty look that’s easy to do and doesn’t involve glitter? Stipple an electric pink blush along cheeks and brow bones until the color pops. We’ll let you decide how far you want to take it.

Image: Imaxtree

The Shape of It

Draping forms a dynamic swoop that lifts the face. Experiment with different shapes in the rest of your beauty look with a graphic slash of bright eyeliner in the crease. If the eyeliner shade matches your outfit, even better.

Image: Imaxtree

Just a Wash

The key to everyday draping is for people to see healthy, glowing skin — not a load of blush. Keep tapping the edges of a reddish blush to ensure it diffuses properly. A my-lips-but-better lip shade and smudge of brown eyeliner won’t overshadow cheeks.

Image: Imaxtree

Consider the Finish

When draping, don’t forget about skin. It’s the canvas for the color. Keep things fresh by going easy on foundation, allowing your natural glow to show through. A coral blush increases the healthy lit-from-within finish. Same goes with coral eyeshadow and lipstick.

Image: Imaxtree

Golden Goddess

Wondering how to balance a statement lip? Try draping. Stick with a traditional blush color as opposed to matching lips and cheeks.

Image: Imaxtree

When we hear draping, one of the first things that likely comes to mind is a fabulous red carpet gown. You’re probably envisioning some Grecian-inspired dress with flowing folds, right? What you’re probably not thinking about is makeup. Don’t worry, we’re not about to present a wild eyebrow trend, draping is a wearable under-the-radar makeup technique that uses blush to sculpt and contour cheekbones.

Per celebrity makeup artist Bethany Brill, draping is a technique where different shades and textures of blush are used to bring out bone structure, plump and/or sculpt cheeks. Stila Global Executive Director of Creative Artistry Sarah Lucero likens it to fabric draping in terms of the smooth and sheer textures that “move comfortably” on top of one another. Starting to get the picture?

If this sounds a lot like contouring, the overlap is natural. Brill points out that all makeup involves some sort of contouring. Consider how we apply makeup to make different parts of the face appear bigger, smaller, fuller, wider, higher or lower than they really are. The difference is, draping focuses on the often neglected cheeks and uses color. If you need a break from the alien-esque glow of strobing and chiseled cheekbones, draping is it.

To become a master makeup draper, having the right technique is essential. Overdo it and risk looking like a clown or an extra in an 80s music video. Brill’s personal technique begins with coloring the entire cheek with a barely-there colored powder blush. She says that this helps to round out the face and “lift” the cheek off of the contour of the cheekbone. Next, she takes a gel or cream blush in a brighter shade and dabs it between the fullest part of the cheek and the highest part of the cheekbone. This focuses the attention on the prettiest and roundest part of the cheek giving a youthful glow. She finishes the look by dabbing a touch of the leftover gel/cream blush on the tip of the nose and on brow bones. This ensures the flush looks natural and not contrived.

Brill stresses subtlety is key in draping. To make a fashion-makeup analogy, we want soft folds. We don’t want sharp pleats. So, apply blush with a light touch and gradually build up the color so there are no hard edges. Accidentally overdid it? Take some off. Brill says that she often takes product off. “Many times I will do the technique, then rub the tiniest bit [of product] off at the end with my fingers or a dry tissue,” she explains. “It’s less fussy and keeps it cool and young and not overly manicured.”

Lucero adds that having clean beauty tools is key. Regularly washing makeup brushes prevents buildup and allows the product to move effortlessly across the face.

Ready to practice the draping technique? Click through the gallery to see pretty beauty looks that make cheeks the focal point.

[ Next: The Definitive Guide to Where and How to Apply Highlighter ]

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