If there’s one beauty product I “can’t” live without, it’s blush. Give me cream, powder, or something-in-between — I will apply it with abandon in pursuit of looking like a glowier, less-tired version of myself.

But, shock of all shocks, “apply with abandon” isn’t necessarily the most efficient path to achieving that goal. I was reminded of this when I was lucky enough to find myself in the chair of makeup artist Mariela Bagnato, who offered up a blush application tip I’d never heard before.

To create a healthy-looking flush that also visually lifts the face, apply your blush in the shape of the letter ‘W, says Bagnato. Imagine the letter is plastered squarely in the center of your face: “Sweep or blend blush near your temple, down to the middle of the cheek, up to the bridge of the nose and back down [and up] the other side,” she says.

The end result is a subtle glow on the areas of your face where the sun would naturally hit. And because the color sits up near your temples and swoops downwards, this technique also “helps contour your face by creating a lifting effect,” says Bagnato.

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