Rouge and Britches

I don’t ever hear people use the word ‘rouge’ anymore, only blush. The word went out of vogue hard, like the words ‘icebox,’ ‘beeper,’ and my fave, ‘britches.’

When you hear the word rouge, what comes to mind? I think of when I was little and my Grandma Meldrum, with her black eyeliner and ornate gold earrings, would say to my mom, “Chelle, you look pale and sick, go put on some rouge.” She would then pull a compact out of her purse–round and filled with bright pink, cream-based paint. My grandma was never without her rouge. It was flattering on her. I think she’s the reason I don’t feel my make-up is complete without it.

I wanted to write about it because many of my friends don’t include it in their daily palette. It doesn’t seem to have a can’t-live-without status, like mascara or concealer. I even feel like primer (unheard of as mainstream until recently) has a higher place of prominence.

I say give blush the credit its due. It has so many uses. Blush can accentuate high cheekbones, create cheekbones for those with a rounder face, and above all, give a refreshed, alive look. (Why do you think NARS most popular blush for over 10 years is called ‘Orgasm’?)

Just don’t go overboard. Example: memories of the Robert Palmer girls (but lovelies, your cheek bones could cut glass!)

Here are some tips from the experts.

Do you wear rouge… er… blush? Is it part of your everyday routine?


  1. Ann Marie says

    I never use blush but now am a little inspired. I usually use a little bronzer over my foundation. I'm always afraid of choosing the wrong color for my skintone or overdoing it like the Robert Palmer girls. I think I'll start at NARS.

  2. Terrah Hamilton says

    Rouge makes me think of my younger days when I was in a local dance and theatre company. Stage makeup warrants the bright hues of blush that the Robert Palmer girls are so famous for. I will admit, I usually err on the side of too much blush. I think it looks great when you have a medium to smokey eye and pale lips. Like alcohol and food…everything (blush) in moderation.

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