Ashley Kowalewski
Ashley Kowalewski

How to Rock a Coral Cheek Without Looking Like an Oompa Loompa

Summer is around the corner, and if you’re anything like me, the second you see consistent sunshine, you go into full beach babe mode. From loose tousled waves to an all-over glow (we won’t even get into hair removal—#thestruggleisreal), I unleash my inner mermaid and reach for anything that puts me closer to the California girl persona I’m convinced I was meant to have. Add to the list a sun-kissed coral cheek.

While I love coral on everything from my cheeks to my lips to my Post-Its—my obsession knows no bounds—it can be a little tricky rocking it on your face. When it comes to lipstick, you need to be careful that it doesn’t veer too far on the orange spectrum or your teeth will end up looking yellow (even if they’re not). And on your cheeks you need to be careful not to look like an oompa loompa or Donald Trump.

My trick? Customizing my coral colour.

I’ve been blending and mixing my blush for years, searching for the perfect shade. I usually go for a peachy flush with just a touch of pink and a glow that makes me look like I drink 10 kale smoothies a day (even though I don’t). Here’s how I do it.

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Step 1: Using your hand as your palette, apply a bit of each product you’re going to be mixing. I used Smashbox L.A. Lights Blendable Lip & Cheek Color in Fairfax Fuchsia and Quo Glow Blush Stick in Sundown.


Step 2: Mix it and apply it to your face with your fingers or a brush (I used a clean foundation brush). I added equal parts of each colour to flatter my skin tone (plus the pink had a bit more pigment, which gave some depth to my look). If I want a more diffused finish, I dilute (and illuminate) my mix with Joe Fresh Illuminating Primer in Champagne before applying—this will also help your look stay put in the heat.


Step 3: Finish off your look with a little glow; I used Essence How to Make Your Face Glow Make-Up Box. I added a touch of Sun Kissed to lightly contour and add a bit of a faux bronze, then dusted Glow It Up! on the apples of my cheeks to finish my flush and set my cheeks.