Confession time: Much to my dermatologist’s chagrin, I have always thought that I look better with a little sunburn. I have never gone out of my way to actually get burnt—the prospect of sun damage, skin cancer, and peeling is enough to dissuade me—but I secretly love when my face gets a touch of color from one too few sunscreen applications. And if TikTok’s faux sunburn blush trend is any indication, I’m not the only one.
Turns out, my FYP feels the same, and creators on the app have found a way to transform this guilty pleasure into something that’s compatible with SPF. Sunburn blush, or SunBlush™, is #BeautyTok’s go-to for glowing, summery skin sans the sun damage. The concept is pretty straightforward: Apply your favorite blush generously across your cheeks and nose (and honestly, anywhere else you feel so inclined). The goal is to look like you spent an hour too long at the beach—just without the sunglass tan lines or sensitive, damaged skin. The overall effect is a flushed, glowy complexion that practically sings summer.
It’s no surprise that #SunBurnBlush has over 230K views on TikTok. Really, it was only a matter of time before this trend took hold on the platform. SunBlush embodies all of #BeautyTok’s favorite things: makeup tutorials, product recommendations, and natural beauty looks. Plus, this blush-heavy makeup trend is actually doable—a rarity in TikTok’s world of aspirational videos.
If your FYP hasn’t been infiltrated by the SunBlush trend yet, trust me, it’s only a matter of time. Until then, read on for all the details on this trend, including TikTok’s favorite faux sunburn products and application tips.
Choose a High-Pigment Blush
Inspired by literal sunburn, this trend is all about incorporating bright color while keeping it natural. That said, to execute the SunBlush trend in all its pink-red-orange glory, you’re going to need a blush that’s known for its pigment.
Any formula that requires layers of application for a just a smidge of color is a no-go. Instead, you should be on the lookout for a blush that’s constantly described as “a little goes a long way.” A dab on each cheek and one on your nose should be enough to turn you flushed. (Bonus: this also means you’ll use less product every application.) A TikTok favorite is Rare Beauty’s Soft Pinch Liquid Blush ($20).
Pick a Natural Shade
Experimenting with wild colors is always fun, but this trend is all about finding a natural shade for your coloring. You really want it to look like the sun hit you in all the right places, so taking your time choosing the right color is essential. One TikToker even found the perfect shade in a liquid eyeshadow—and honestly, it looks fab.
Though most of TikTok opts for liquid blushes for this faux sunburn trend, the formula doesn’t matter as much as finding the right high-pigment color. Plus, powder blushes can be really buildable without looking cakey, aka they’re perfect for easing your way into this trend.
Apply to Cheeks and Nose
For this trend, application is key. Spread pigment along your cheeks and nose, giving them equal color. Remember: You want to look slightly sunburnt, not like you urgently need aloe.
You can have a heavy hand here, as long as you’re willing to blend it out to a more natural hue. Still, it’s smart to keep in mind that it is always easier to add more blush than it is to take blush away (especially if it’s one of the last steps in your makeup routine).
If you’re feeling a little more daring, you can even try another #BeautyTok fave: Blush contour. It will have a similar sun-kissed effect, but the placement is more specific and the overall effect might not be quite as natural.