Sunset blush is about to be summer’s prettiest makeup trend |

Sunset blush is about to be summer’s prettiest makeup trend

Sunset blush is taking off on TikTok and it’s poised to be one of summer’s biggest makeup trends. Imagine taking a peaceful stroll on a tropical beach. Look up, and see a beautiful cascade of gold, pink, and orange in the sky as the sun sets. Idyllic as it sounds, you don’t have to book a flight to experience that beauty—all you need is two (or more) shades of blush and a liquid highlighter.

The solar-inspired blush look first started gaining popularity after beauty creator Alissa Janay posted a video (which now has 7.3 million views) in early April in which she dots on two bright shades of liquid blush, a swipe of liquid highlighter, and blends it all together. People flocked to the comments to applaud Alissa’s creativity—one of whom dubbed it “Sunset Blush 🌅”—before running to recreate the look for their own videos. “It’s a beautiful way to experiment with different bright shades and gold to create a unique gradient effect that we mostly only see on eyes,” explains makeup artist Joseph Carillo.

Close up of Alissa Janay creating the sunset blush trend.
Close up of Alissa Janay wearing the sunset blush trend.

Unlike the sunburnt blush trend or the aprés ski blush look, this blush trend doesn’t copy something your face could do naturally. Instead, sunset blush involves blending pink, orange, or red shades of blush with a highlighter to create a gradient that mimics one of nature’s prettiest scenes. If you want to recreate Alissa’s version, start by applying a pink blush on your cheekbones (near your temples), an orange blush slightly below that, and a highlighter above both blushes (near the outer corner of your eye). Mixing three different pigments can get tricky—it’s easy for the colours to get muddled or blend into one shade. To prevent this, celebrity makeup artist Ash K Holm recommends choosing products with the same consistency. ​​”It’s important to choose two liquid blush shades and a liquid highlighter,” says Ash. “Your blush will blend beautifully and create that perfect glow.”

e.l.f. Camo Liquid Blush in Comin in Hot Pink


e.l.f. Camo Liquid Blush in Gorg Orange


To capture the essence of a sunset, makeup artists suggest picking shades with warm undertones (for instance, you’ll want to reach for a deep bright tangerine orange over a cool mellow peachy shade). We love the Rare Beauty liquid blush in the shades Lucky and Grateful and the e.l.f. Camo Liquid Blush in Comin in Hot Pink and Gorg Orange. These formulas are highly pigmented so a little blush goes a long way. “We’re looking for sunset, not sunburn, so don’t get carried away [with the pigment],” says Joseph. Start with one to two dots of each shade; you can always layer more on top until you reach your desired level of vibrancy.

Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush In Grateful


Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush in Lucky


The final, but very crucial, step is to add a shimmery highlight on top. Joseph loves the Iconic London Instant Sunshine Highlighter which gives a deep golden glow to the skin and we also love the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Beauty Light Wand for a pretty sheen.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Beauty Light Wand


£29.80 AT AMAZON

Iconic London Instant Sunshine Bronzing Drops


Even with the best products, it’s still possible to mix everything into one colour and miss the gradient—this is where a good blending technique comes in. “Make sure to blend each shade individually [first],” says Joseph. “I like using a damp beauty sponge because you can use all sides, easily rotating to not mix one colour into another.” Once each colour is blended you can use a brush to soften the edges and blend the shades.

You can leave your gorgeous gradient as is, but if you want to set it with powder Joseph recommends brushing on powder blush shades that match each liquid blush you used. We love the Haus Labs Powder Blush in Watermelon Bliss and Nars Powder Blush in Liberte which are both highly pigmented and have a soft matte finish.

NARS Matte Powder Blush in Liberte

£30.50 AT SPACE NK

Haus Labs Color Fuse Talc-Free Blush Powder in Watermelon Bliss


“Use a fluffy blush brush or a tapered brush with soft bristles,” says Joseph. “The Rare Beauty tapered powder brush allows for precise application and blending of colours to get that perfect ombre sunset effect.”

If you can’t catch a tropical sunset on an island this summer, recreating it on your face might just give you the same boost of melatonin.

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