Beauty Treatment: Blush and Bare It

Show your shame: Blushing says you care.

By Mina Shaghaghi, published on September 1, 2009 - last reviewed on June 9, 2016

Good news for anyone who's mistakenly asked a woman when she's due.

Blushing can have appeasing effects, according to a study published in Emotion. After reading vignettes describing transgressions or mishaps, people saw photos of actors with or without a blush. They rated the red-cheeked as more trustworthy and sympathetic. "Blushing shows you care about the social rule that's been broken," says researcher Corine Dijk of the University of Groningen in Holland.

Wearing blush could hide such signaling, but might have other benefits. Psychologist Ray Crozier argues in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology that red cheeks express youth and sexual health. See below for some ideas.

Get Cheeky

PT tested three products for a healthy glow.

  • Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips ($11) This blush-highlighter duo creates more of a sparkle effect than rosy glow.
  • Almay Powder Blush ($10) Silky and smooth. My cheeks felt soft and hydrated thanks to the Ginkgo biloba.
  • Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Blush ($18) Try "Glee," a color formulated to mimic the hue of a woman's cheeks when she's happy.