A few weeks ago, I randomly popped into the NARS store in Soho and wound up learning my latest and most favorite highlighting technique: Applying a colorful illuminator with a brush, as a blush. I know this sounds so simple, but it occurred to me that I had never thought to apply the creamy NARS Illuminators with a normal brush – I had always used my fingers or a sponge. Brittany, one of the NARS makeup artists, gave me the step-by-step lowdown on how to use these multi-functioning wonders in an editorial, yet totally wearable way. She chose two colors that, when applied separately for different occasions, would deliver stunning color and two super chic, wearable looks: Super Orgasm (a peachy pink with gold glitter) and Adelaide (a shimmering lavender pink). After my mini tutorial, I of course purchased both illuminators and the # 20 brush, the brush she used for application. Here is the step-by-step guide in Brittany’s own words on how to apply the NARS Illuminator as blush.
“Ideally I prefer to apply the NARS Illuminators to the skin with a fluffy blush brush or angled blush brush. NARS #20 & #21 brushes are perfect for this application because they simply have the softest hairs and blend the formula flawlessly into the skin. First, start by tossing a pea size amount on the back of your hand and lightly dab the brush into the formula. Break your cheek area into three parts: Part one being the apples, part two starts just where the eyelid typically ends (mark that point with your finger and then drag your finger down to the center of your cheek area), and part three is your temple area. For fool proof application, begin with part two when your brush is full of product. This area of your face can handle a decent amount of product, so it won’t look like you’re over doing it if your brush was a little too overloaded with color from your first swipe. Then start blending the color towards the apples of your cheeks and back towards the temples. To find the best place to apply color to the cheeks, I typically recommend pressing onto your face and finding the cheek bone. This will help you accentuate your naturally beautiful bone structure. Remember, you want to begin on the actual bone and then work the formula in circular motions down the cheek area (temple to apple) in feathery motions and back up.
Of course, based on personal preference, you can work it in different ways and in different places. I also like to take whatever product is left on the brush (before dipping for more) and again, in circular motions, place on the arch of the brow or the brow-bone. Actually applying products on top of the brow arch/bone will still give an effortless highlight in photos without looking too forced, especially in daylight. This will give you a polished, glowing look that’s fresh and summery.”