It might take a few rounds of color theory testing to find your go-to hue (allow me to emphasize the shade matches above), so celebrity makeup artist Dillon Peña advises taking it slow. “I would opt for a sheer blush and build,” he says. Khan concurs, especially if you’re working with liquid blush stains: “Apply a small amount at a time, because it’s difficult to blend out once it sets into the skin,” she explains.
As for the actual application, apply the blush as you would any other pigment: A C-shape from the temples inward for lift, a dab on the apples (directly under the pupils) to create a youthful fullness, on the eyelids for a monochromatic moment…blush techniques run the gamut. To blend, Compton recommends opting for a flatter buffing brush to soften the concentration of color and slowly build, especially if your purple is much more pigmented than blushes you’re used to. She then suggests topping your blush with a sheer purple highlighter, like Olio E Osso’s Tinted Balm in No. 7, to give the look an icy, holographic glow—it practically sings winter glam, in my humble opinion.
A final caveat: If you have cool undertones and are dealing with dark circles, Peña actually recommends staying away from a cool purple blush. “If you’re putting a blue or purple tint next to a [dark] under-eye, then it’s going to enhance that a little bit,” he says. A hit of concealer can quickly make this a nonissue, but just something to note in case your makeup look is more of a blush-and-go (as someone who considers blush her desert island makeup grab, I appreciate the flag).
Regardless, purple is arguably the most versatile blush product out there: Name another pigment that can nail a natural-looking flush, a vampy, moody vibe, and a cool, jewel-toned beat. All are divine for the wintertime; these picks below will surely make an impact at your holiday soiree.