E-girls have made blush the it-makeup product of 2020

Our team is dedicated to finding and telling you more about the products and deals we love. If you love them too and decide to purchase through the links below, we may receive a commission. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

Beauty knows no age. That’s why every week, we’ll be featuring real people, experts and professionals from every generation to get the low-down on the best beauty tips and hidden hacks when it comes to their everyday routines. From hair care for women over 50 to the lip color every Gen-Zer needs to own, these are the game-changing secrets that you never knew you needed.

E-girls could be considered the it-girls of current teen culture. The group defines what’s cool online, dictating style and beauty trends for youth. In short, it-girls — and e-girls — know what’s up.

E-girls are cool cousins of the outcast girls of decades prior, like emo girls of the 2000s, grunge girls of the ‘90s and punk girls of the ‘80s. There’s debate what the “e” in e-girl stands for, but most agree that it indicates the girl in question is heavily influenced by online culture. She’s constantly on TikTok, keeps her IG updated, and may even be streaming on gaming platform Twitch. In fact, Vox goes so far to say an e-girl’s defining quality is that she’s “hot and online.”

As much as internet culture and alternative style is core to an e-girl’s identity, so is beauty. Colorfully dyed hair and quirky makeup styles are staples of an e-girl. And the thing most centerpiece to e-girl makeup — even more than hearts drawn in eyeliner or fake freckles — is blush. In fact, blush arguably hasn’t had this much of a moment since the heavily flushed cheeks of the 1980s.

In a Vogue video titled Doja Cat’s Guide to E-Girl Beauty, rapper Doja Cat says her e-girl makeup style consists of her looking like she “just woke up and blew [her] nose and [has] pneumonia.”

Doja Cat uses two different types of highly pigmented NARS blushes — a powder and a liquid formula — to achieve her look. She says she applies it high on her cheekbones, then “scrubs” her nose with the product. She also applies the pink hue to her eyelids and lips.

“I remember being on Pinterest,” Doja Cat says in the video. “I didn’t even know what an e-girl was. I just saw these Tumblr girls who were like super cute and they looked like they were sick, but it was intentional. You could see they were wearing a lot of makeup. And I fell in love with that”

To get the e-girl blush look, use a deep blush or put on several layers of a soft pink hue. The trick is to apply your blush as usual, then bring it across your nose, connecting your blushed cheeks in a pore strip-like look.

Chances are you’ll need a deeper blush than you’re used to for the look to work. But it’s all in the name of the flushed, “ill” beauty trend.

Both Doja Cat and many e-girls credit Japanese makeup styles and Harajuku culture for the makeup techniques. Some also credit Igari makeup — or Japanese “hangover” makeup — for the look.

But not everyone sees the beauty look as a simple trend. Outlets like The Cut and Vox have claimed that e-girls use makeup to look like “they’re in need of protection, innocent, or helpless” and to appear submissive.

While e-girl style may be hinging on a cutesy ultra-femme stereotype, there’s nothing is saying an e-girl can’t be powerful and independent. There’s also nothing wrong with choosing to be submissive in certain contexts — and the suggestion that there is has obvious undertones of sex and kink-shaming.

But let’s remember e-girls are often teen girls, who are commonly feminine and, yes, innocent as all teens are. And these teens deserve to experiment with style as punks, goths, and emo girls did before them — even if that means rocking sickly blush that other generations just don’t understand.

To riff off of e-girl makeup — or to just add some killer blush to you collection — check out these deep, gorgeous blushes below. 

Shop: PÜR Skin Perfecting Blushing Act in Berry Beautiful, $26

Credit: Ulta

Shop: NARS Blush in Aroused, $30

Credit: Ulta

Shop: Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Natural Beauty, $29

Credit: Ulta

Shop: ColourPop Super Shock Blush in Birthday Suit, $8

Credit: Ulta

Shop: Benefit Cosmetics Benetint Lip & Cheek Stain, $18

Credit: Ulta

Shop: Anastasia Beverly Hills Blush Trios in Berry Adore, $30

Credit: Ulta

Shop: Morphe 8C Cool Pro Blush Palette, $22

Credit: Ulta

Shop: Glossier Cloud Paint in Puff, $18

Credit: Glossier

Shop: Kaja Cheeky Stamp Blendable Blush in Feisty, $24

Credit: Seohora

Shop: Milk Makeup Lip and Cheek in Quickie, $28

Credit: Sephora

Shop: NARS Liquid Blush in Dolce Vita, $30

Credit: Sephora

Shop: Dior Rouge Blush in Poison Matte, $44

Credit: Sephora

Shop: Lilah B. Divine Duo Lip and Cheek in B. Fearless, $46

Credit: Sephora

Shop: BareMinerals Gen Nude Powder Blush in You Had Me At Merlot, $24

Credit: Sephora

More to read:

Kourtney Kardashian says this towel cuts her hair drying time in half

This celebrity hairstylist swears by this $35 root touch-up product

The skincare community loves this ‘all-in-one’ product

Listen to the latest episode of our pop culture podcast, We Should Talk: