Can I Use Eyeshadow As Blush? (Explained)

Makeup Artist applies Eye Shado


Sticking to the normal makeup rules can get boring and tiresome, leading many adventurous people to experiment with other options.

With so many eyeshadow options available, many people have become interested in how else they can use it.

Sometimes when applying your daily makeup, you have to make do with what you have.

Running out of blush, eyeliner, or lipstick happens.

We don’t always check the levels of the remaining makeup we have, causing a moment of panic when the realization sets in.

Makeup brands also give us a lot of mixed messages, making figuring out what kinds of makeup can be used on what parts of your face confusing.

Eliminating those pressing questions in dire moments can make them stress-free and fill you with confidence and creativity.


Can I Use Eyeshadow as Blush?

Mirror reflection of beautiful young woman applying makeup


Yes, eyeshadow can be used as blush.

After all, mascara can be used as an eyebrow pencil, lipstick can be used as blush, and eyeliner can be used as lip liner, so why not switch up your eyeshadow too?

It’s recommended that the eyeshadow you use as blush be matte or have a satin finish.

After choosing the right type of eyeshadow finish, almost all eyeshadows can be used as blush.

When using eyeshadow as blush, it’s also important to choose the right color for your skin tone and the right eyeshadow type for your skin type.

Eyeshadow can also be used as a highlighter for your cheeks.


What Are the Main Differences Between Eyeshadow and Blush?

Top view of eye shadow and blush palettes


Generally speaking, eyeshadow is most often applied to the eyelids and around the eyes, whereas blush is most commonly applied to the cheekbones.

Eyeshadow is also more color pigmented than blush, meaning it has more dyes per particle than blush does, making it a bit heavier.

Eyeshadow is intended to draw attention to and highlight the eye, creating anywhere from a natural appearance to a dramatic look.

The color and kind of eyeshadow make a big difference in the look you’re hoping to achieve.

Eyeshadow comes in the form of a powder or a cream, and both can be used as blushes.

Blush, on the other hand, comes mainly in the form of a powder and is intended to be applied along the cheekbone to contour the face.

It adds color and definition.

Many people think wearing blush makes them look healthier and more alive.

For those with paler complexions, it adds the look of sun exposure without the unwanted sunburn.


How Should I Apply Eyeshadow as Blush?

Cheerful woman holding cosmetic brush while applying blush


It’s recommended that you use a soft brush when applying eyeshadow as blush since eyeshadow is more pigmented than blush.

Because of this, a little bit goes a long way.

A soft brush will help distribute the color evenly without leaving giant blotches on your face.

When applying eyeshadow as blush, dip your soft brush into the eyeshadow and gently tap it on a hard surface or in a tissue to loosen up clumped debris and excess powder.

Then, use circular motions to apply from the base of your ear down to the end of your cheekbone.

If you want to use your eyeshadow as a cheek highlighter, dip a different soft brush in a shimmery eyeshadow and apply the same way, in circular motions, over top of the original eyeshadow.

Cream eyeshadows should be applied with a makeup sponge by tapping the cheek line gently.

Rubbing the sponge in one straight line is not recommended, as this will cause streaks and not get applied evenly or thoroughly.

You can also blend eyeshadow creams and powders to get that perfect color and texture combination.

The way you apply the eyeshadow as blush can also be determined by the look you’re trying to achieve, as there are a few different application options that create different looks.

Blush by itself can be applied using a soft or firm brush, a makeup pad, or whatever brush comes with the blush when purchased.

Since blush is less pigmented than eyeshadow, you don’t need to be as soft with the application.

It’s still best to dip the brush and then tap to release excess powder, though.


What Eyeshadows Go With What Look?

makeup artist deals makeup brush for eyes. makeup for a young beautiful girl. brown eye shadow


Choosing the right eyeshadow for your intended look is crucial.

With so many eyeshadows to choose from, this can be tricky.

First, decide what look you’re going for.

Is it an everyday natural look?

Or is it an evening dress look?

You also may be going for an outlandish party look.

Using eyeshadows as blush gives you enough options to pull off your look no matter what.

If you’re going for an everyday or business look, you’ll want to choose more neutral skin tone colors as well as eyeshadows with matte finishes.

Cream eyeshadow will stand out more than eyeshadow with a matte finish.

Most people use the standard pinks, reds, and roses for their blush colors, but you can really use anything you want.

Dramatic looks demand dramatic colors, like blues, yellows, and oranges.

Choosing an eyeshadow with glitter also adds a fun party flair.

Eyeshadows can also be used to create eccentric costume makeup looks.

It’s recommended to test out the color on a small part of your cheek before getting too far into the application.

It’s easier to remove a small patch than to scrub your whole face each time.


What Color Eyeshadows Go With What Skin Tone?

Eye shadow


Anyone can wear any color of eyeshadow they want, but there are general color recommendations for different skin tones.

Those with fair skin might want to go with lighter pinks and plums, while warmer tones, like peach and bronze, complement olive tones better.

Dark skin looks great with reds, dark pinks, wine tones, and coral.

It’s also recommended to use a cream eyeshadow base set with an overlaying powder to make the color pop on darker skin tones.

According to Allure, those with darker skin should not shy away from bright colors because “the more vivid it looks in the package, the more likely it is to give even the richest complexions a vibrant, healthy glow.”

Those with oily skin will benefit from using a matte finish eyeshadow as blush, while those with dryer skin may want a mineral-based crème or a combination so their skin looks glowing and radiant.


Why Would You Use Eyeshadow as Blush?

Attractive smiling girl applying compact powder with brush


People may want to use eyeshadow as blush for many different reasons.

The biggest reason is probably that eyeshadows offer many more color options than blushes do.

Blushes come in predominantly standard colors like pink, rose, and coral.

However, not everyone wants those basic colors or they may not work with their skin tone.

Eyeshadows are sold in endless amounts of colors, ensuring wearers can find the perfect color for them.

People are also more experimental recently and want to try out various looks.

Using eyeshadow can help people figure out what color looks best on them.

Looking great on the outside helps many people feel great on the inside, creating a strong and confident identity.

Eyeshadow can help turn people into who they truly feel they are, allowing them to express themselves fully and wholly.


What Else Can I Use Eyeshadow For?

Cosmetics on pink background. Eyeshadow palette lying on a pink background


Besides blush, eyeshadow can be used in several different ways.

You can easily create your own lip tint by combining a clear lip balm with whatever color eyeshadow you choose.

Just take a small amount of both, crush up the eyeshadow powder until it’s fine, and mix them together.

Add more powder for a richer tint.

Then, apply to your lips!

This is an excellent way to experiment with different lip colors, allowing you to find the perfect shade for yourself without spending a lot of money.

Using eyeshadow as eyeliner is a favorite makeup hack among wearers.

To do this, use a fine-tip makeup brush and dip it in a darker shade of eyeshadow.

Then trace the outline of your eye with the brush, just like you would regular eyeliner.

You can easily make the line thicker or thinner based on the pressure you apply.

Eyeshadow can also easily be used as an eyebrow pencil.

Just use an angled brush, dip it in a darker shade of color than your hair, and brush it over the line of your brow.

You can even use eyeshadow as nail polish by mixing a clear polish with a finely crushed up eyeshadow powder of your choice.

Coat your nails with the concoction just like you would normally paint them.

Like with the lip tint, this allows you to try out a lot of different colors without having to invest a ton of money in different polishes.


How Is Eyeshadow Made and Where Does It Come From?

Top view of eye shadow palette and double-sided eyeshadow


The use of eyeshadow, or eye paint, dates back to the ancient Egyptians in 5000-4000 BC.

Traces of the green mineral, malachite, and galena, a black mineral, have been found in burial pits along with other makeup pallets and makeup applicators.

At the time of ancient Egypt, both men and women wore eye makeup, signifying status and not gender.

Other instances of eye makeup in ancient civilizations include the use of burnt matches and rice powder dust to coat the eyelids.

In 1914, Elizabeth Arden started selling eye shadows in her American stores after seeing them being sold in Paris.

Since then, eye shadows have gone through a number of incarnations, while colors and application techniques have come in and out of fashion over the decades.

Most eye shadows contain four main ingredients: base fillers, binders, slip, and preservatives.

There must be a proper balance of base filler and binders in order to create a quality eyeshadow.

Base fillers consist of minerals like mica, talc, or kaolin clay, which add bulk and texture to the complexion.

Eyeshadows typically consist of 30% base fillers in powder form and 25% in crème form.

Eyeshadows can have either liquid or dry binders consisting of different ingredients.

Powder binders are most always zinc and magnesium, while common liquid binders are silicone, paraffin wax, mineral oil, or vegetable oil.

Binders are just what they sound like—they help the eyeshadow bind to the skin.

The slip used in most eyeshadows are silica, nylon, dimethicone, boron nitride, or bismuth oxychloride and allow the eye shadow to spread evenly on the skin, sliding along the surface.

Preservatives are just that—they preserve the cosmetic against bacteria infiltration, giving it a longer shelf life.

Common preservatives are glycol and tocopherol.


How Is Blush Made and Where Does It Come From?

Pink Blush Sets on White Background


As with eyeshadow, the first use of blush dates back to the ancient Egyptians who mixed ground red ochre with fat to put on their cheeks and lips.

Again, both men and women wore blush.

Later on, ancient Romans used red vermillion as their dye of choice, while the Greeks used crushed mulberries.

Like with the Egyptians, blush was less about gender and more about social status.

In the Middle Ages, it was frowned upon to have any color on the face as this signified the sun exposure of manual labor.

Blush was also associated with prostitution and not worn by any seemingly respectable women.

After Queen Elizabeth I endorsed the wearing of makeup again, it quickly gained popularity between the 1500s–1700s.

However, blush and other makeups were created using toxic chemicals that would often poison the person wearing it.

Thankfully, innovations in the manufacturing of blush and other makeup made it safer to use.

In the early 1900s, cosmetic companies like Guerlain and L’Oréal started to market blush commercially and it became more and more popular through the years.

Like all makeup, it has gone through its phases of social acceptance and many fashion trends.

Today, blush is made from fillers, such as talc and stearic acid, a natural fatty acid, that dilutes the pigment.

It also contains colorants and dyes like Red 33, Yellow 5, or Red Lake 6.

Blush typically only has a shelf life of one year because the pigments start to break down.


Can Wearing Eyeshadow as Blush Hurt Your Skin?

Portrait of young woman looking at mirror and applying blus


Unfortunately, since eyeshadow is heavier than blush, it can cause breakouts on your cheeks and face.

This, of course, depends on your skin type and the kind of eyeshadow applied.

Those with sensitive skin may find the oils in eyeshadows too harsh to wear.

It’s important to wash your face thoroughly after wearing makeup to avoid breakouts.

Using a powder eyeshadow as blush is better for oily skin, while crème eyeshadow is better for dryer skin.

You may need to test both forms on your skin before finding one that works for you and doesn’t cause irritation.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only needs to approve the added color that is in cosmetics.

This means the rest of the ingredients are questionable and can lead to health concerns.

Some of the dangerous chemicals to look out for are talc, triclosan, lead, mercury, phthalates, parabens, formaldehyde, toluene, carbon black, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, and benzophenone-type ultraviolet filters.

Many of these ingredients, including talc, phthalates, parabens, formaldehyde, carbon black, and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances have been associated with different cancers.

In addition, triclosan has been connected to thyroid hormone disruption and antibiotic resistance, while mercury can cause damage to developing fetuses, affect the nervous system, and damage the kidneys.

Besides being associated with cancer, formaldehyde can cause eye irritation, problems in the respiratory system, and allergic reactions.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances can cause harm to developing fetuses, affect the immune system, and affect hormone balances, as well as cause cancer.

Benzophenone-type ultraviolet filters can disrupt hormones and may cause endometritis.

Before purchasing your eyeshadows, or any cosmetics, check with the Environmental Work Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep website.

This non-profit keeps track of safe cosmetics and lets you know what is potentially harmful.

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