natural beauty: cheek color.

IMG_4602If I was tasked to come up with names for makeup, I’d call my favorite cheek color Snow Day Pink. Forget all those flower names.

Maybe this is strange to say, but I feel especially beautiful when I come back inside from being outside in the snow. I dunno: something about all of that vasoconstriction that produces the perfect rosy glow. Doesn’t matter if my hair is matted and I’ve had to peel off layer after layer until I’m left standing in nothing but leggings, a t-shirt, and socks pulled up to my knees. If I’ve got a good snow blush going, I still feel pretty.

Since I can’t always have just returned from a day in the snow, I rely on a little cheek color–in the winter especially–to keep from falling into the depths of despair when I see my wan reflection in the mirror.

I’ll add a note: When you venture past skincare, natural beauty can get a little more tricky. There are just more ingredients needed to engineer cosmetics. For me, that means identifying brands that I feel like have done their homework. It requires a certain leap of faith and a lot of trust. I consider myself to be a fairly well-educated person, but it’s hard for me to to find a blush, for instance, with ingredients whose names I can really understand, even from cosmetics companies that I admire. In the name of beauty–er, vanity–I decide to trust what I read and choose cosmetics companies that adhere to strict safety guidelines, that go above and beyond in terms of sourcing thoughtful ingredients, and that proudly proclaim their commitment to making safe cosmetics. I’m the first to admit it’s not a foolproof system, but I’ll also say that girl wants a little cheek color come January. I don’t think I’m the only one.IMG_4598

Do It Yourself.

+ Gather red things. Beets? Hibiscus? Anyone who has ever peeled a beet or brewed hibiscus tea knows that both can provide a nice little natural stain for fingertips (and countertops). So it stands to reason that using either in a little DIY concoction made for staining your cheeks would work too. Most recipes I’ve seen call for adding the natural color to a carrier oil or similar neutral base, like vegetable glycerin. Full disclosure: I’ve never made my own beet blush. And I’m not sure I ever will. But here’s a nice-looking beet tutorial if your interest is piqued. Any beet blushers out there who want to chime in?

+ Pinches. You do this, right? Pinch your cheeks before a photo? It’s the oldest trick in the book, and I almost never remember to do it, but one of my best friends is a cheek-pinch devotee and gives a little squeeze before every photo. And she always looks rosy!

Have Someone Else Do It For You:

+ W3ll People Universalist Multi-Stick Luminous*: I’ve had this for a few months and it’s really terrific. It’s creamy and goes on easily without looking too luminous. (They also let you order samples so you can get the color just right!)

+ Stowaway Cheek & Lip Rouge*: I have this little guy in Peony and Cantaloupe. Extra huge bonus: It’s terrific on cheeks and lips.

+ Josie Maran Coconut Water Cheek Gelee: This is one of very few makeup products that I’ve bought and used all the way up. The gelee name is apt since this isn’t creamy like the others on the list. It goes on smoothly and the extra moisture feels especially nice in the wintertime.

+ RMS Lip2Cheek: While I’ve never tried this myself, this two-in-one product has been recommended to me by friends on many occasions. A kind of natural-beauty cult favorite, my friends who have used it rave about the combination of color and moisture, on cheeks and lips.

What about you guys? Any great finds for a little natural blush?

Disclosure: I am sometimes sent beauty products to review for this series (or otherwise). When I love them and think you might too, I write about them. Items that were sent to me for review are marked with an asterik. All opinions are my own.

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