Home Makeup Tips How to Apply Blush on Older Skin (2 Ways + Pro Tips)
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How to Apply Blush on Older Skin (2 Ways + Pro Tips)

by Sandy Taylor

As we age, we lose the vibrant colors in our skin. This is why using blush is a great way to add that natural glow back and giving us the youthful look we once had.

If you’re a mature woman who is getting back into your makeup routine, you may want to experiment with different techniques to apply blush.

To provide you with the best tips and advice, I connected with a few beauty experts and makeup artists and asked them to provide me insight into this topic. Note that each beauty professional has their own unique opinion and methods to apply blush on mature skin. There is no “right” or “wrong”, you simply have to try the methods and find one that works for you.

The best way to apply blush on older skin is to choose a matte cream blush with a lively shade, measure the location of where your blush should go with your index finger then apply the blush on your cheekbones, temples, and apples of the cheeks.

To go one step further, be sure to check out my tutorial on how to make your mature eyes pop!

Here’s How to Apply Blush on Older Skin

Method 1

Maria Velve is a certified make-up artist and green beauty expert. She is the founder of her company Green Beauty Expert where she helps to connect people with Made-In-Canada clean and effective skincare products. Here are Maria’s tips for applying blush on older skin:

How to Choose Your Blush

  1. Opt For a Matte Cream Blush – Liquid products blend more easily on mature skin and look more natural. Many powder blushes contain mica, talc and bismuth oxychloride which absorb moisture from the skin drying it out further something you don’t want on older skin. Shimmery powder blushes will settle into fine lines and wrinkles accentuating them further. If you must use a powder blush, make sure you’ve used a good moisturizer and makeup primer prior to application, and choose a matte powder blush color.
  2. Choose a Lively Shade – Older skin that has lost its warmth and luminance needs a blush shade to give it life. Choose shades that give a natural flush such as warm peaches and vibrant rose pinks.

How to Measure Where the Blush Will Go

As skin ages, it tends to lose gravity and droop downwards. Blush on the face should have a lifting effect. If you apply too low on the cheek, you will make the cheek and face droop further down making you look older. If you apply too high on the cheekbone, you run the risk of wearing racing stripes.

Follow these steps to determine where your blush should go:

  1. Use your index finger as a measuring guide to keep the blush from getting too close to your mouth, nose, and eyes.
  2. Place your index finger next to the eye; stay the width of your finger away from your eye when applying blush.
  3. Place your index finger next to your nose; stay the width of your finger away from your nose when applying blush.
  4. Place your index finger next to the outer corner of your mouth; stay the width of your finger away from your mouth when applying blush. It’s this area in the middle that you’ve created with your index finger where the blush will go.

How to Apply the Cheek Color

  1. Take your blush color and start at your cheekbone. Apply the blush with upwards movements going all the way to the temple.
  2. Curve blush onto the temple to warm up that area (this area gets hollowed out with age and this technique will warm it up and lift it); blend the color well.
  3. Take a bit more of your blush and apply on the apples of the cheeks (fleshiest part of the cheeks) making sure you don’t come too close to the areas that you marked with your index finger. Double-check with your index finger that you’re one fingers width away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  4. When applying cheek color, it’s important not to smile too widely as this face motion will move the apples of the cheeks (raising them when you smile, dropping them when you don’t) which will alter the location of the blush.
  5. Smile slightly and curve the color around the apples of the cheek to give the illusion of plumpness and fullness. This will make you look more youthful.

Method 2

Kirsten Thomas, a beauty professional and founder of Ayr Skin Care, provides a slightly different take on this topic.

According to Kristen, most ladies over 60 learned to apply blush to the “apples of their cheeks”. As we age, however, that may not be the best placement of blush.

Here’s Kristen’s take on how to apply blush to the mature face:

  1. Choosing the blush – Choose a blush pink or coral pink that brings some life to your face, and stay away from pinks that have a grey or muted quality to them. Whether you decide to use cream blush, which is good for very dry skin, or a powdered blush, or both (see below), a color that is slightly lighter than when you were young may be the best choice.
  2. Applying the blush – The modern way to find the placement of your blush is to measure horizontally from the nose to the side hairline. Then go just above the cheekbone, not below it. Start with a few light dabs of the cream blush, and move the cream towards the hairline, at a slightly upward angle, keeping at least an inch from your outer eye. Use a makeup sponge and pat the blush, to make sure that it is properly blended, and remove any excess.

Tips from Kristen:

  1. If you want your blush to last all day, there is a trick which works like a dream, and can also be used for your lipstick. Apply the cream, blot it with a tissue, and apply a light dusting of loose facial powder. Then apply a light brush of powdered blush on top. In the case of lipstick, you would apply a second coat of lipstick. This keeps it on for hours, even with sweating.
  2. If you prefer to use only powdered blush, or if you are doing a light coat on top of your cream blush, then apply a 1” blush brush to the powdered blush. Tap the brush over your sink, or onto a paper towel to remove excess, and holding the brush at a slight angle, apply smoothly up on top of the cheek bone, towards the hairline by the side of the eye.
  3. For a more youthful appearance, or to open the eyes, take a tiny bit of pink blush onto your pinky finger, and lightly dab it on your eyelids. The place to put it is on the brow bone, right above the outer edge of your eye. It can be placed there, and then blended slightly, or powdered if it is too pink. The pink will make your eyes sparkle.
  4. It is also important to avoid putting any blush on your mature face if it contains any kind of sparkle. Find a good tone of pink or coral that works with your skin tone, and has a “matte” finish, not a sparkly one. If you have a fun evening and decide to, you can always add a little sparkle, but this tends to make your face look older.
  5. If you choose to use a contour color, like a bronzer, it should go under the blush, i.e., under the cheek bone, and be blended. Less is more on bronzer and contour as we age. We want to use it to help bring color and definition to the face, but not to take away from our natural beauty. Contour may also be used along the jaw line, or lightly under the jaw. Make sure to blend well, and avoid a great deal of makeup and color on the face.

Additional Tips from Beauty Experts You Can Try

The Suck In and Pucker Technique

Margina Dennis is a talented celebrity makeup guru with over 15 years of experience. She mentions that to locate where to apply the blush on older skin, suck in your in face and pucker to show where your cheekbone hollow is. The blush should be applied right above that hollow. Apply color from hairline to right above the outer of your eye. Applying blush too far forward can actually pull the features down. Buff color in a circular motion to blend out any edges.

Choose a Strong Pigment, Sheer Texture and Serum-Like Blush

Laura Chawke, the founder of Makeup Scholar, suggests that makeup products work best for mature skin when they are pigmented but sheer in texture with a serum-like consistency. For that reason, a liquid or cream blush can work great on older skin as long as it is in a natural shade.

In her opinion, the best tips for applying blush on mature skin come from Makeup Artist Boris Entrup in his book Beauty 40+: 24 beautiful step-by-step looks.

Entrup notes that softer colors will create a softer effect, and a stronger color will give that stronger look to your skin. Get the right balance by adding some life into your cheeks with enough of a strong pigment, but do not go overboard or it can look clown-like. Use a light hand. You can always add another layer if you find it looks too subtle!

One of the most important tips to remember is to always use a high coverage concealer and foundation before you add your blush if you suffer from age-related redness or rosacea. Mineral foundation is ideal for this because it’s easy to add layers of coverage without creating a caked up look on your skin.

BTW, I have written an in-depth guide on the best foundations for rosacea. Check it out if you want to find out more.

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