Boyfriend Blush Is Set To Be Summer’s Biggest Beauty Trend

By Charlie Colville

1 month ago

TikTok has called it

Think back to this time last year. Between sunny days on the beach and late night dinners with friends, most of us were trying to live our best strawberry girl summer – complete with dewy lips and rosy cheeks. But this year, we’re taking blush to full flush territory, thanks to the boyfriend blush trend.

While we’re no stranger to a bright blush, this is the first time in a while it’s come back to such enthusiasm. Channelling the 90s with its dramatic placement and deep, rich pigment, boyfriend blush is both nostalgic and refreshing move away from our previous preoccupation with natural, clean girl aesthetics.

It’s making a huge splash on TikTok, where millions of videos currently sit under the #boyfriendblush tag. Many creators are forecasting its continued popularity throughout the summer months, including makeup artist Mallory Rosses. Speaking about the cyclical trend on TikTok, Mallory said: ‘The term boyfriend blush is not ‘new’… I didn’t just make this up… I heard about this trend years ago…It’s all over high-fashion, runway, editorial types of looks, but I’ve never really heard about people talk about it like this.’

@malloryosses Replying to @Thanksbuddy What is Boyfriend Blush? 💕 #boyfriendblush #blusher #oblongface @Mallory Osses @Mallory Osses ♬ original sound – Mallory Osses

What Is Boyfriend Blush?

‘Boyfriend blush is essentially when you use blush instead of contour or bronzer to loosely sculpt and make your cheeks look flushed – as if you just left your boyfriend’s house,’ explains makeup artist Sophia Brad.

‘It is a makeup trend that mimics the natural flush you might get from physical exertion,’ adds Katie Levy, Education & Training Manager at Trinny London. ‘The idea is to create a fresh, slightly flushed, and youthful look that appears as though you’re naturally blushing.’

The trend largely revolves around creating a flushed look, emphasising the areas where a natural flush or pink spots would occur. Think about the changes to the colour on your cheeks after you’ve done a workout – or, as Sophia said, been to see your boyfriend – and you should get an idea of what boyfriend blush tries to achieve.

@malloryosses Replying to @gab.mcg Boyfriend Blush for long Oblong Faces 💕 #boyfriendblush #blusher #oblong #devonaoki #oblongface @Mallory Osses @Mallory Osses @Mallory Osses ♬ original sound – Mallory Osses

Where To Apply Boyfriend Blush

As mentioned, boyfriend blush isn’t about perfectly sculpting the face using blush; instead, it almost messily sprawls across the face, ears and jaw. ‘Concentrate on the apples of the cheeks and blend slightly upward towards the temples,’ advises Katie. ‘And then spread lightly across the bridge of the nose to mimic a natural flush.’

‘The position of this blush is key,’ adds Sophia. ‘It takes up a larger part of your face, as if you were blushing or had just undertaken vigorous exercise.’ It’s recommended that you start with a rough triangle shape on the cheeks, starting at the centre of your face before dragging the blush out towards the tops of the ears and down to the perimeter of the jaw.

What To Use

As for the blush to use, Sophia says, ‘You can use a cream or liquid blush, but for longevity you could start with a cream and build up with powder. I’d also recommend using the same cream blush on the lips to mimic a freshly kissed pout.’

The Boyfriend Blush Edit

Pigment makeup stick

Fenty Beauty

Match Stix Cheek + Lip Stick, £25

Blush compact

Haus Labs

Colour Fuse Blush Powder, £28

Boyfriend blush

Trinny London

Flush Blush, £22

Compact mirror with pigment


Mineralize Blush, £28


How To Recreate The Look At Home

Below, Katie shares her step-by-step guide for recreating the boyfriend blush look at home:

  1. Apply a light foundation or concealer to even out your skin tone if needed, then choose a cream blushers for a dewy finish
  2. Smile and apply the blush to the apples of your cheeks, blending it outwards.
  3. Lightly apply blush across the bridge of your nose for a cohesive, natural flush.
  4. Use a brush, sponge, or fingers to blend the blush seamlessly into your skin.

Can It Be Adapted For Different Skin Tones?

Lucky for us, anyone can give boyfriend blush a go, since it can be adapted to your skin tone. Below, Sophia shares her guide to finding the right shade to mimic a natural blush:

  • Fair Skin: light, rosy tones
  • Medium Skin: rose and mauve
  • Darker Skin: deep peach
  • Deep Toned Skin: apple red, ripe plum

Featured image: Minan, Pexels