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The question

I recently bought a new cream blush, but the colour is quite intense and I'm having trouble applying it. Can you give me some tips to help me put it on so that I don't look like a 1930s Parisian prostitute?

The answer

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There are two things to keep in mind when applying a cream blush. The first – and I can't stress this enough without spelling it out for you: B-L-E-N-D. If you don't blend properly, you run the risk of creating that harlot look. The second is about the formulation. If you wear a cream foundation, you should apply the cream blush on top of it, before any powder.

A good rule of makeup application is that a cream should be applied on top of a cream and a powder on top of a powder. This is to aid in blending, to make the product hold longer and to prevent the cream blush from gumming up with the powder underneath it, making a mess. (Powder should only be used over cream as a final step to set a look.) So, to apply your cream blush, dab into the product once or twice, using a small brush for better control. Then begin applying the tint in the centre of your cheek, making small circles and blending backward, toward the ear. Once the colour looks like it is part of your skin, you've got the right application.

Bahar Niramwalla is a celebrity makeup artist and beauty specialist who has appeared on The Marilyn Denis Show. Have a beauty question? E-mail

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