Glow in Style with Shu Uemura Glow On Blush

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

I was vegetating on the couch the other day, watching my upmteenth hour of the America’s Next Top Model marathon on MTV, when El Hub walked by and said, “Did you do something different today? Your face looks so bright and glowy.”

At the time, I was wearing something new, a mix of two Shu Uemura Glow On blushes, M Brown 73 and P Gold 93D.


Now, El Hub knows jack diddly squat about makeup, so the fact that he noticed was enough for me to conclude that Glow On blush lives up to its name. The products are so finely milled that that they’re absorbed into the skin, never leaving an obvious or painted look, to a degree rarely seen in a powder like this. They give me a just-pinched-your-cheeks flush, like I’m not wearing any makeup at all. I am in love with these blushes!


How to get the glow…

Getting a natural but subtle glow with these bad boys is really easy once you get the hang of the application. For the look that got El Hub’s attention, I used two blushes: M Brown 73 (a warm, peachy-brown matte) and P Gold 93 D (a pearl gold shimmer).

First, I applied three layers of M Brown 73 on the apples of my cheeks and blended them upward into the hairline with a blush brush, like the Shu Uemura Natural Brush 20 cheek brush.

Then, using a cheek brush with a smaller brush head like the Shu Uemura Natural Brush 14, I applied two layers of P Gold 93 D to my upper cheeks (underneath the outer corner of each eye) with a smaller cheek brush to create a subtle highlight.


Glow On matte blushes like M Brown 73 are highly pigmented, so every stroke of your brush across the pan will leave lots of color. To achieve a subtle look, I tapped excess color out of the brush before each application and used multiple layers to avoid overly dark, crazy clown cheeks.

To dilute the brown, I swiped the brush across the blush pan once and tapped it against the side of the sink (or brush a piece of tissue). Then, I carefully applied the blush to my cheeks with a light touch and blended out the edges. I did this two more times (you might have to do it less if you’re lighter than I am) until I got the flushed, natural color I was shooting for.

Glow On blushes with a shimmer finish, like P Gold 93 D, are slightly less pigmented than the mattes. They still have a lot of color, though, so remember to tap out the excess from your brush if you still want your cheeks to look natural.

Side note: I know that when I first started using blush I had the tendency to use a heavy hand. I’d always end up with too much color on my brush and on my cheeks, so if you’re a blush newbie, take extra care to apply the color lightly.

Packaging woes…

Although Shu Uemura blushes are superior for color, their packaging is another story. While the clear lids are handy (I never have to flip the blush over to read what color is on the label) and the blushes are compact and great for travel, the overall packaging is flimsy. I accidentally dropped Brown 73 once and the hinge broke. Now the jar doesn’t close properly, and I can’t travel with it unless I secure it wish a rubber band.


If more hinges break on more of Shu’s blushes (which is likely because I’m always dropping stuff), I’m going to transfer the blush pans to a palette. The process of removing a blush pan from its clear casing is easy. If you remove the sticker on the back of the blush jar, you’ll see two small holes, each located on opposite sides of the back of the blush pan. Working on one hole at a time, insert a push pin carefully and push until you release the pan from the package. Voila! Your blush is ready for repotting in its new home.

Fun facts about blush…

  • In the 1920s blush was called rouge, and the style of the day was to wear rouge on the apples of one’s cheeks in distinctive, cartoony circles clearly visible to the naked eye.
  • During the Victorian Age in Britain, makeup was associated with low morals (LOL!), so instead of wearing makeup, women of virtue would pinch their cheeks.
  • Thousands of years ago, the ancient Greeks used ingredients like crushed mulberries, red beet juice and crushed strawberries to make blush.
  • Both men and women wore blush during the English Regency period in the early-1800s.

What blush are you wearing today? Whatever it is, I hope you’re working it!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 73 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Abi says:

    aww how tweet for your hubby to say that!! and omg this FOTD is sooo good – you look really pretty πŸ˜€ love the hawaii t-shirt; where’s it from?

    have an awesome day, Karen!

  2. Amanda says:

    i’m wearing sue devitt koh samui blush today. I need to try some shu blushes (my current faves are nars and cargo). I love shu’s eyeshadow so I’m sure I would like the blush too. And I totally agree about the packaging–one of the hinges on one of my eyeshadows broke too.

  3. Yaya says:

    The blush looks really good, you look very fresh faced and glowy!

  4. TUPRNUT says:

    Amanda – what Cargo blushes do you like? I’ve been checking them out online for a while now and am tempted to get one… unfortunately, I can’t get Cargo where I am – except online.

  5. TUPRNUT says:

    Very, very pretty Karen! What MAC brushes do you like for blush application?

  6. Mrs. Lynne says:

    Glow indeed! I love the color on you. Gotta check out those Shu’s someday!! Whenever I wear blush, I can see it in the mirror but it always gets washed out on camera. Naturally I’m scared to apply more because I’m nowhere near ready for the circus, but can never capture it on film even if I can see it in the mirror.

    You are such an islander, it’s cute. When you move here, you’ll be such a local!

  7. Vanessa says:

    Ooohh! Gorgeous look on you, I love how natural it looks and you really are glowing!

  8. AshB says:

    I love this blush on you Karen– very natural and fresh-faced. I’m glad you’re feeling better too.

    I’ll bite! Today I’m wearing MAC Trace Gold (it looks very similar to the P Gold 93 D photo) all over my cheek and Coygirl on my cheek bone. These two are my favorite blushes right now.

  9. Anna says:

    Love the glowy look Karen !! Really cute ! Must look pretty fab for the Hub to notice…same with hair isnt it !

    I agree with you about the packaging, not very sturdy is it…..but you gotta put up with them because the blushs are fab. I love the pearl pink and orange..sounds scary, but looks great on.

  10. Anne says:

    wow this look really nice on you!! it looks so natural. You make me wanna check it out now. I know this may sound so dumb.. but can you do a tut of this please :)?

  11. Lilan says:

    I love it, Karen – very fresh and glowy! Perfect way to greet some of the sunshine we’re finally getting around here πŸ™‚ I need to find some new blushes to spice things up, especially today because for some reason, I’ve got the Monday Blues πŸ™

    Hope you’re having a great Monday and are feeling better!

  12. Karen says:

    Thanks, Abi!

    That shirt is by Honolua Surf Co. I bought it last July on Oahu in the Waikiki store. I love it – it’s so soft!

    You have a good day, too!

  13. Karen says:

    Hi Amanda,

    I *love* Nars blushes too! Do you have any faves? I love Amour and Torrid!

    I haven’t tried Sue Devitt yet but will check it out next time I go to Sephora. πŸ™‚

    Hope you’re having a good one!

  14. Karen says:

    Thanks Yaya! Are you rockin the blush today? πŸ™‚

  15. Karen says:

    Hi Tuprnut!

    Thank you, my dear! I thought you’d like this look as it on the natural side.

    As for blush brushes, I like MAC 129 or 187 for application of powder and cheek creme blushes on the apples. For highlight and contour, I like angled brushes, like 169 or 168.

    But if you want an all purpose brush that’ll do everything, I’d go with the 129, for sure! πŸ™‚

  16. Karen says:

    Mrs. Lynne,

    You’re so cute with your “when you move here!” Maybe El Hub and I will in a few years … who knows what’s in the cards πŸ™‚

    I hear ya with stuff showing up differently on camera. A lot of it depends on the lighting (the pic above was taken in natural diffused light – the BEST!) and the flash. You may have to add a bit more to get it to show up, but you can always take it off, which is the beauty of it!

  17. Karen says:

    Thanks Vanessa! πŸ™‚ I hope you’re having a good Monday so far!

  18. Karen says:

    Thanks AshB!

    I’ve heard great things about Trace Gold. I might have to put that one on my (ever expanding) want list. Coygirl is new to me – what looks do you pair it with?

  19. Karen says:

    Hi Anna,

    Whew! It’s good to know that I’m not the only one with Shu packaging issues. I dunno if they’re made for small fingers, or people who never drop stuff or what … I seem to always be having one issue or another with em.

    Okay, so the orange does sound scary, but intriguing at the same time! πŸ™‚

  20. Karen says:

    Hi Anne,

    Doesn’t sound dumb at all! When you’re new to makeup visuals always help, right? I’ll try to sneak a tut on my list – hopefully I can get to it this week! πŸ™‚

  21. Karen says:

    Hi Lilan,

    Sorry you don’t feel too good! I get the Monday blues sometimes too … maybe some retail therapy will help?

    Big hugs to you, my dear. I hope you feel better soon. πŸ™‚

  22. Amanda says:

    Tuprnut-my favorite cargo blushes are Molokai (matte peach), fresno (shimmering gold, looks a lot like shu’s P Gold that Karen is using), and Sunshine coast (one the of suede blushes, that have the spotted/marbled colors).

    Karen, my stand-by favorite Nars is the big “O”. I bought it for the hype, but it is really awesome.

  23. Karen says:

    Amanda, do you have the Multiple version of it? I heard it’s pretty amazing!

  24. Amanda says:

    no, I haven’t tried ANY multiples yet. but it does look purty.

  25. Karen says:

    I’ve tried Nars’ famed BIG O (lol) blush but it doesn’t show up on me, boo hoo. I don’t have any Multiples, either, but they’ve been on my want list for years, LOL. I just always get distracted by other new stuff that comes out, and I kinda forget to get them. One of these days Maldives and Antibes will be mine though …

  26. Sandy says:

    aww, you look so cute!! ^^ hehe =P you look glowy~

  27. AshB says:

    Karen, Coygirl is a cool-toned light mauve/pink. It looks slightly purple in the pan, but I’m so warm-toned that my skin cancels out any blue and I’m left with a really pretty light rose/true pink. There’s no peach/orange/brown in it at all. It’s really sheer. I pair it with any shadow that doesn’t have orange/peach in it, but I find that it goes with almost any blush, even peach ones… that sounds weird… but it works.

  28. Lilan says:


    A couple of my coworkers suggested retail therapy for my case of the Mondays as well so I thought I’d give it a try. But can you believe that even staring at the new Chanel quad AND the gorgeous new Bobbi Brown Pink Raspberry palette didn’t help?

    I can’t wait until Tuesday.. But looking at the Shu blushes on you is making me feel better right now πŸ™‚

  29. Karen says:

    Thanks Sandy! I hope your week is off to a good start!

  30. Karen says:

    Sounds really pretty, AshB. I will add that one to the ever-growing blush lust list (sigh!). So many blushes … so little time.

  31. Karen says:

    Hi Lilan,

    I’m not feeling the Bobbi Brown (where’s Whitney?). I’ve never been a big fan of the line; I’ve purchased a few things in the past and I never reach for them. I have peeped that palette and some of the pinks tug at my heart (sorta).

  32. kia says:

    ooh karen that’s nice blush!!!

  33. Karen says:

    Thanks Kia! I hope your week is off to a fantastic start πŸ™‚

  34. Jane says:

    Wow, this looks lovely! I wish I hadn’t put myself on a make-up ban so I can buy these blushes pronto! I only have to take the elevator to the lobby and I’m in Shu Uemura heaven already. πŸ˜€ Thanks for the application tips as well. I’m going to try it with the blushes that I already have.

  35. Julie says:

    No blush today for me πŸ˜€ Stayed home playing games and doing my essays πŸ™

    I haven’t tried ANY of Shu’s make-up but I probably should, lol. I hear plenty of rave reviews about the eye shadows and blushes!

  36. Rowena says:

    Hey Karen

    The Brown looks great on you (and it doesn’t on a lot of people) – I have that gold too (with a big nail chip in it), its such a nice highlighter!

    I have to say, all my Shu stuff is depotted. None of this getting a candle and getting out pliers, just a simple poke in the base gets the Shu out so I used to insist to the girls on Shu to let me do it myself wherever I bought a new palette because its quite catartic rearranging them.

    I’ll get round to doing a Shu special or something with my collection….maybe it will give you more ideas for blusher to buy?!hehehehee

    P.s. I hold on to all my Shu Plastic cases! Because I live in the dream that one day they will do a back to mac type thing, and they’ll be a huge Shu Case and a pony for the person who has 200 empty containers and that person will be me!!

  37. Shamyla says:

    Wow Karen,

    I love the cheek colours! You look beautiful… I am most definitely going to check the Shu blushes out very soon. I dont have any Shu products other than their lash curlers and a natural 17 blush brush… but I think you may have swayed me.

    Today I am wearing MAC Plum Foolery over Benefits Benetint, I keep forgetting how pretty Plum Foolery is so am rocking it this week!

  38. Glosslizard says:

    Whoa! A guy noticed the cheeks? That’s major! πŸ™‚ They do look great! I’ve gotten a similar but muted effect using BeneFit’s 10 powder with an angled blush brush, I really like it for a subtle cheek!

    I recently bought Chanel’s blush in Orchid Rose and the color payoff was so intense on me that I ended up using a fan brush to apply it, which worked perfectly! It’s the first time I’ve actually found a use for the fan brush that came in my Smashbox brush set last year, so I’m thrilled! LOL!

  39. Karen says:

    Hi Jane,

    Makeup lockdown! I’m so familiar with that, LOL. I probably wouldn’t be able to resist an elevator ride into Shu heaven. It would be like hanging out in a chocolate factory and not eating any chocolate (aka, highly unlikely.) Have you tried their lip sticks? They’re like buttah!

  40. EtherealPrey says:

    hi! i love shu products! now i’m totally gonna look for this, though I use MAC’s drizzlegold. I wonder if this is the same effect as it.

  41. Karen says:

    Hi EtherealPrey,

    The Shu gold looks a lot like MAC Honour but I think Drizzlegold will work too!

    What other Shu products do you like? I’m now exploring the lipsticks and the glosses.

  42. Karen says:

    Hi Julie,

    I hope your essays went well. Are you a student?

    Sometimes when I stay home to write I still like to sit around wearing makeup, LOL. Okay, maybe I’m a weirdo!

  43. Karen says:

    Hi Rowena,

    You totes deserve a pony in my book, girlfriend. Holy crap! You better put up some pics of your Shu collection so we can all collectively drool.

    I think I forsee palettes in my immediate Shu future. I bet it’s very feng shui to put them all together and see them neatly lined up.

  44. Karen says:

    Hi Shamyla,

    Oh, I don’t have the 17 brush but now I’ll have to check it out! Plumfoolery is a GREAT blush. I have it in my stash somewhere, but it seems to be hiding from me. I swear there’s a black hole where all my makeup goes (along with socks).

    Back in the day I was a Benetint girl. I just love the way it smells – like fresh crushed rose petals, yum! Do you ever use their F.Y. Eye shadow base?

  45. Karen says:


    You have my lemming blush, Orchid Rose! I am so lusting for it.

    I own a fan brush too (by Shu) but quite haven’t figured out what to do with it. Maybe I’ll give it a go with some of my brighter, highly pigmented (aka scary) blushes!

  46. Glosslizard says:

    It is a gorgeous shade! The slightly darker one, Tempting Beige, is very pretty too, despite a rather blah (IMO) name!

    Definitely try out the fan brush with the scary blushes! It seems to give a very nice sheer application while diffusing the edges so I don’t get cheek streaks! Racing stripes… hot on cars, not on me! πŸ˜‰

  47. Karen says:

    Yeah, just say no to racing stripes cheeks – although, I wouldn’t put it past the fashion gods to bring em back in style again. If high waisted pants can make it back (oh god) then racing stripe 80s blush cannot be far behind.

    Chanel’s gonna put me in the poor house. But at least I’ll look good in that poor house, LOL.

    Do you own the Radiant Gems quad?!?

  48. Glosslizard says:

    No, so far the only Chanel eyeshadows I have are Winter Nights and the Jungle single. It looked really pretty, but I was fully entranced by Winter Nights at the time!

    I’ve been slowly trying my way through the Chanel products so I can determine the must-haves and the mehs. So far I must have the glossimers (just got Waterlily) and the T.I. compact foundation. I’m also impressed with the lip and eye liners (good color and staying power). The eyeshadows and blushes are in the middle, very good quality, but not so good that I would forsake all others. So I’ll spurge on lust-worthy colors but get staple shades elsewhere (cheaper). I was unimpressed by the mascara (Inimitible). It was fine, but very comparable to Max Factor’s Lash Perfection and not as impressive as Tarte’s L.C.L. I was also disappointed by the color range of the lipsticks, I simply haven’t gotten any because none of the shades grabbed me!

    Yet to try are concealers, powders, and non-pencil style liners. Am I missing anything? πŸ™‚

    I’ll be right next to you in the poor house for the glamorous! We can eat ramen and then touch up our glossimers! πŸ˜‰

  49. Karen says:

    Girl, I can cook ramen in 1001 different ways, so we’re covered. πŸ™‚

    I went to dinner this evening and wore a Glossmimer my mom-in-law got me for Christmas – Pink Crystal.

    I think next I want a the sheer translucent setting powder:

    A few eye shadow duos might have to be adopted, too.

  50. Mrs. Lynne says:


    So how do I accomplish a “diffused light” situation? Is there a way to achieve this with a digital camera? This will definitely be a good lesson for me. I’m always trying to look for that better angle πŸ™‚

  51. Julie says:


    Yep, I’m a student πŸ™‚ Last year of high school before I head off to university, lol. I’m only half way through the essays. Blah.

    I should probably start wearing some blush at home too – I look sickly and DEAHTLY without blush, haha!

  52. Glosslizard says:

    Ha! That could be a great recipe book! “1001 Ramen Nights: The Make-up Addict’s Guide to Cheap Eats”! πŸ˜€

    I would love to hear how that powder works, I’ve been looking for a setting powder that’s not sparkly, but not completely matte.

    Pink Crystal sounds beautiful! I’ll have to check that one out!

    I’ve noticed that the Desert Rose duo has shades that are very similar to the two basic colors in Winter Nights! An alternative if they don’t bring it into the permanent collection! πŸ™‚ I’ve also been eyeballing the Train-Bleu pair!

  53. Karen says:

    Mrs. Lynne, Girrrrl … when it comes to photography it’s like the blind leading the blind. I know that pics are easiest for me in natural light with no shadows, aka my living room. (El Hub was the one who informed me the technical term is diffused light.) I wish I had more of a technical explanation πŸ™

  54. Karen says:

    Hi Julie,

    Wow, congrats on almost being done with high school; besides the essays it’s quite fun. Do you know what you are going to study?

  55. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    Are you looking for a translucent powder? Laura Mercier’s loose setting powder is faboo. Not too stark matte, or too sparkly either. It’s good for every day wear. πŸ™‚

    Train Bleu looks really pretty. Gosh, I love the quilting on those shadow duos! I’m feeling Orient-Express and Star-Dust.

  56. Mrs. Lynne says:

    So do you always take your pictures during the day and is your flash always on? Cuz sometimes I don’t take pictures until the wee hours of the night when the whole herd is asleep because that’s when I can play. And my pictures look like sh*t because the flash glares and makes me look oilier than I am. Not to mention washed out color.

  57. holly says:

    wow, you have a gift, now i know what magazine articles mean when they mention how to make your face look glowy!

  58. Julie says:

    Hey, Karen!

    Planning to do law or criminology or maybe psych, lol. One of those πŸ˜€

  59. Karen says:

    LOL, thanks Holly! I hope you are a having a good week and that you’re looking “glowy!”

  60. Karen says:

    Hi Mrs. Lynne,

    It depends on the shot I want to get. But in the bathroom I diffuse the flash by covering it up with wax paper or bubble warp. It makes the light less harsh on the skin. πŸ™‚

  61. Karen says:

    Hi Julie,

    That’s great. You’ve got a lot of time to decide, but all three sound interesting!

    One thing that helped me in school get a good perspective on different careers was doing internships. If you ever get the chance to do them I highly recommend it.

  62. Jenn P says:

    Wow, I must give these a try. You have such a healthy glow on your face!

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