- Sunburn blush is a new makeup trend going viral on TikTok.
- The trend involves over-tanning to mimic a sunburn, without the damage of UV rays.
- Our editor tested the trend herself and is sharing her results.
Summer is almost over (FML), but there are a few summer makeup trends I’ll be taking with me into fall. What I’m most excited about is the “sunburn blush,” the tanning technique that promises to leave skin glowing like you just came home from the beach. It involves excessive application of blush on the cheeks, nose and forehead. Many celebrities such as Emily Ratajakowski, Hailey Bieber and Billie Eilish have been spotted with sunburned blushes recently, and although the technique is nothing new, it has had a recent resurgence thanks to TikTok. The hashtag #sunburnblush now has millions of views and counting, and the app is filled with videos of people recreating the look for themselves.
“This specific look is great as it provides that fresh-faced, sun-kissed look in minutes without having to tan under the sun’s harmful UV rays,” says Kale Teter, celebrity makeup artist and partner of Sheglam. Personally, I’m a big fan of the tan look, but I’m not a fan of sun damage. I wear a lot of sunscreen every time I’m in the sun, especially on my face and neck. As I’ve gotten older, my skin has become more prone to dark spots (which I used to think were “cute” spots), and they’re impossible to get rid of. Plus, even if I think about letting my lips see the sunlight, they immediately burn, which in some cases turns into blisters and hurts like MF.
So although I love the “I just got home from a tropical vacation” look, I usually have to fake it to avoid unnecessary damage to my skin. Fortunately, faking it is easy, and it comes down to the right blush and placement. “Achieving this look is very easy and has maximum impact,” she says. “Just dab one to two dots of blush on both the apples of your cheeks and the bridge of your nose. From there, using a blush brush or your fingers, gently blend and tap the blush into the skin until you’ve achieved your desired, natural look. basking in the sun.”
To get that tanned look for myself, I usually start by exfoliating my face the night before and using a face tanner. Since I never put my face in the sun, it’s usually a completely different color than the rest of my body, and using a tanning product helps everything too. I’m a huge fan of the Lux Unfiltered Tanning Face Dots ($46) (see my full review here ) because even though I have acne-prone skin, they don’t break out and give me a nice, even look. all-over shine without any blemishes.
The next day, I start my fake sunburn routine by going about my normal skincare routine, and then apply a small amount of tinted moisturizer. When it’s time to add blush, I take my favorite blush, Merit Flush Balm ($28) and dab dots up my cheeks, the bridge of my nose, and my forehead. (Teter recommends Sheglam’s Color Bloom Liquid Blush, so what you use comes down to personal preference.) Using my fingers, I make sure to almost blend the blush from each cheek and up my nose so it looks like I have a line of sunburn right under where my sunglasses would end up.
I’ve been rocking this trend almost every time I do my makeup, and I always get tons of compliments on how “lit from within” my skin looks. (Except for my mom, who keeps asking me if I’m wearing enough sunscreen because my face looks a little red.) I’ve tested this look with many different blushes, and I’ve found that cream blushes and gel are usually the best formulas to use. They blend easily and look more natural, IMO.
I’ve found that you can achieve the sun-kissed look with almost any shade of pinky-red blush, but my favorite has to be the Merit Flush Cream Balm in Terracotta because it looks so natural on my skin tone. If you’re someone who wants to achieve a sun-kissed look without having to put your face in the sun, definitely give this trend a try – it’s a total game changer.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Renee Rodriguez