cosmetic swatch of blush with focus on texture
Your Guide To The 100 Year History Of Blush
1. 1920-1929: Red Cheeks, Red Knees
In the 1920s, pale skin was considered very chic, and blush, or rouge, was applied heavily in circles on the cheeks to emphasize and contrast with a doll-like pallor.
One trend involving rouge was applying it to one's knees to draw attention to the skin exposed by shorter hemlines, which came into vogue during this time period.
2. 1930-1939: A Subtle, Healthy Glow
In the 1930s, women tended to use blush to impart a more subtle flush or glow to the skin that imitated the way skin naturally reddens during a walk or intimate conversation.
The “fresh-faced” look tended toward subtle pinks that created a natural look with very light contouring rather than the stronger reds of the past.
3. 1940-1949: Triangular Rouge Patterns Rule
By the 1940s, makeup had become so mainstream that teenagers started wearing it alongside adult women. Shades of peach and pink were popular for powder rouge.
For blush, a tri-dot application was favored where dots were placed in a triangular pattern with one dot under the pupil, one on the cheekbone, and one near the tip of the nose.
4. 1950-1959: Think Pink!
People were now educated enough about makeup to start customizing its placement according to face shape. Blush was used to add contours to the face with darker shades of powder.
Pink and rose rouge were the most popular colors. The placement of blush moved higher to emphasize cheekbones, and was often paired with winged black eyeliner and red lips.
5. 1960-1969: Keep It Peachy
By the end of the 1960s, makeup emphasized long, drawn-on lashes, light brows, dramatic cat-eye liner, heavy pastel eyeshadow, subtle blush, and pale pink or beige lipstick.
Powder blush came into its own in this decade, with the most popular shades being pinks, peaches, and corals applied under cheekbones for definition.