Generally speaking, I'm not much of a rule follower when it comes to beauty products. If I'm inspired to do so, I'll chuck the instructions and freestyle. I'll use my face masks as moisturizers, hair conditioner as shaving cream, lip liner as eyeliner. And of course, my habit of using lipstick as "lidstick" is well documented here on Byrdie. What can I say? I like to make my beauty routine my own. Which is why it wasn't surprising that I started using blush as eyeshadow. To learn more, I reached out to celebrity makeup artists Kelsey Deenihan and Sébastien Tardif.
Meet the Expert
"Using the same blush on your eyes as on your cheeks can give you a great monochromatic makeup or a beautiful everyday look depending on the color and intensity you choose," says Deenihan. "Apply the blush along your cheekbone, starting at the apple. Then sweep the blush across your lid and blend towards the brow bone."
However, makeup artist Tardif says to exercise caution when wearing blush as an eyeshadow since blush was not tested for the sensitive skin around the eye. The color might stain your eyelids, so wear an eyeshadow primer.
Test blush on a small portion of your eyelid to see if you have a negative reaction to the blush before applying it to both lids.
Also, consider your skin tone when picking blush colors for eyeshadows. "Brighter pops of blush work really well on deeper skin tones while brown earthy tones are a slam dunk for fair complexions. Just as a word of caution for porcelain beauties with pink undertones: pinks and reds on eyelids could look like a pink eye or an allergic reaction," says Tardif.
I love using blush as an eyeshadow with a little pop of champagne highlighter in the corners of the eyes to brighten it up. One-dimensional pink eye makeup is so alluring to me—feminine, modern. When paired with a pink cheek and a pink lip, it's the monochromatic look of my dreams. Both powder and cream blushes work just as well as powder and cream shadows. Keep scrolling to shop the 11 blushes that always score me compliments when I wear them on my eyes.
Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek
Milk's sheer lip-and-cheek tint creates a dewy, almost wet effect when applied to the eyes. And goodness knows I am all about a glossy lid. The color payoff is also buildable, so the look can be as pigmented as you would like it to be. Quickie, a berry shade, is great for brown eyes.
Hard Candy Glow All the Way Ombré Baked Blush
This '90s drugstore brand low-key makes my favorite blush-highlighter hybrid on the market. The pink powder's multidimensional, iridescent finish looks even cuter on the lids than it does on the cheeks. The shade, Pink, would pop on deeper skin tones.
Nudestix Nudies All Over Face Color Matte
This matte lip-and-cheek color is technically marketed for the eyes, too, so it's no wonder it looks so pretty as an eyeshadow. The stick cream formula also makes the application less messy. Terracotta Tan, a warm bronze hue, pairs well with green eyes.
Kjaer Weis Cream Blush
When your blush costs $56, you might as well slather it everywhere. Kjaer Weis's super-luxurious, all-natural formula is one of the only cream blushes that truly stays on my face (and my eyes) all day. The color, Antique Rose, makes gray eyes shine.
Milani Baked Blush
Milani makes one of the most popular blushes on the market. It may only be $7, but the formula is sunbaked on Italian terracotta tiles, creating a too-pretty-for-words blend of luminescent powder that rivals products five times the price. It looks just as lovely and dimensional on the eyes. The formula is also super blendable, which is great if you want to pair it with other eyeshadows for a smoky eye look.
Jillian Dempsey Cheek Tint
Jillian Dempsey's super-blendable, balm-like cheek tints are beloved by makeup artists for the natural flush they give your cheeks, but I prefer them for the lids. They offer a slightly sheerer effect than the brand's lid tints, and the juicy melon- and strawberry-hued shades, like Rosy and Poppy, are just to die for. I also love that this eyeshadow is vegan and formulated with organic ingredients.
Hourglass Illume Sheer Color Trio
This cheek palette is all I need to do my full face of makeup. The creamy combo of bronzer, blush, and highlighter makes a gorgeous eye look that yields praise every time. The highlighter shade looks great in the corners of my eyes to brighten up my look.
Laura Mercier Face Illuminator Powder
It's more of a rosy highlighter than a blush, but still, this shimmery Laura Mercier powder in Devotion looks stunning on the lids. The shade would look great on medium to fair skin tones and the color is also buildable, so you can control how pigmented it is.
Probably one of the most iconic blushes on the market, Nars's blush also makes a beautiful eye product. Try blending this shimmery peach-pink Orgasm shade with the Laura Mercier powder above for a pink eye look that's prettier than anything I've been able to achieve with actual eyeshadow.