Sunburn Blush Is The Easiest Viral Makeup Trend

By Lucy Slight
Photo / Instagram @Makeupbyaugustina

Here in Aotearoa we spend the warmer months trying our best not to get sunburnt, which isn't easy considering the pretty big issue we have with our ozone layer.

Thanks to self-tanning, we have a fairly foolproof way of achieving a little more colour without compromising the health of our skin, and now there's a spring-friendly makeup trend that takes the faux sunkissed look one step further.

While we were in the depths of winter, sunburn blush was gaining popularity in the northern hemisphere for its fresh, just-spent-a-day-in-the-sun effect.

The technique involves applying blush not just to the cheekbones or the apples, but across the bridge of the nose too, adding a hint of pink to the parts of the face that are most likely to get hit by the sun.

It's a trick that makeup artists have been employing for years to create a lit-from-within glow and add a youthful radiance to the skin.

"I love this trend because it's taking something that originated on the runway and turning it into an easy, wearable look," says Auckland-based makeup artist Sophy Phillips. "It's an antidote to the highly structured makeup looks that have dominated social media for years now."

To date, the #sunburnblush hashtag has amassed 1.3 million views on TikTok, and while a lot of beauty trends on the platform require either a lot of skill or a lot of makeup to master, a sunburn blush look can be achieved with minimal effort using products you probably already have lying around.

“For a glowy, fresh-skinned look I love to use cream-based products,” says Sophy. “Use your fingers or a powder brush with a small amount of cream blush on its bristles and swipe from the inside of the apple of your cheek out towards the ear. Then dab the centre of your nose and blend. Start with a tiny bit of colour and add as you need. This is a really sheer look, so go easy.”

Cream blushes suit most skin types but for extra longevity, go in with a dusting of translucent powder to set it in place.

Powder blushes are ideal if you have an oily complexion as they will last much longer on the skin than a cream.

The application technique is much the same, just be sure to blend generously less is more when it comes to getting a naturally flushed result.

As for your base, the choice is yours. Simply apply your foundation, tinted moisturiser or leave your skin au naturale with concealer where needed and blend your blush over the top.

“The key to this look is to keep your shade warm; tangerines, hot reds and deep warm plums all work really well on a multitude of skin tones,” suggests Sophy, adding that lipsticks in shades of pink, red burgundy and even orange work just as well on the cheeks as cream blush, and they’re buildable too.

“That’s the fun with this trend you can mix it up and play with colour. If you can see your freckles beneath, even better!” says Sophy.


Achieve a sunkissed look without the UV exposure.

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