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Testing And Finding The Best Blushes For Older Women

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Beauty Expert: Elise Marquam-Jahns

The more I researched and spent time preparing for this article and video about the best blush products for those of us over 50, the more excited I became.

Why? Well, actually, for two reasons: First, blush is even more important for us now than it was in our 20s and 30s because as we get older, our skin not only gets drier, but it also loses some of its natural color, radiance and glow.   And the second reason I feel very excited is because I ended up finding four blush products that truly are outstanding for several different reasons. And found one very recently that I feel is absolutely the best blush I’ve ever used. So I can’t wait to share these picks with you!

Maintain Good Moisture Level:

I’m focusing on cream and liquid blushes today because cream and liquid blushes are less likely to settle into fine lines and creases. As we get older, it becomes more difficult for us to maintain a good moisture level due to the environment, menopause and the aging process itself, so as our skin gets drier, cream blush can look more natural. Most of us have used powder blushes for years, but powder can accentuate wrinkles and make mature, drier skin look even more dehydrated.

Now if you have oily skin, you may still be able to wear powder blush . . . and you may also be able to wear cream blush if you first powder your skin, then apply the cream blush and then also apply a touch of powder over the cream blush.

9 Ways You Can Determine The Undertone Of Your Skin:

In this article and video, we won’t be focusing on what color blush to use. But just on the formulas and particular products that work the best. It is very important to choose a color that works best with the undertone of your skin. Choosing the right color will make a huge difference in how flattering the blush will look on you. If you’re not sure of the undertone of your skin, here’s a link to one of my videos that focuses on the 9 ways you can determine the undertone of your skin:

“What we don’t want to see are those tell-tale lines around the edge of blush that indicate where we’ve applied it.”

A Blush That Will Work The Best For Us:

Now, this certainly isn’t an exhaustive test of many different blushes. We’re only looking at eleven. There certainly are many other blushes out there that work well. I do think that I’ll the ones I rank at the top can definitely stack up extremely well against any other blushes.

When I’m looking for a blush that will work the best for us, I’m looking for four things. Number one, a blush that will provide a natural fresh flush. Two, a blush that will remain soft and balmy on our skin for a good portion of the day. Three, a blush that’s easy to apply and doesn’t take a lot of work to look natural. And four, a blush that’s pigmented– so we don’t have to apply it several times. But also sheer in texture so it glides onto the skin and melts into the skin.  What we don’t want to see are those tell-tale lines around the edge of blush that indicate where we’ve applied it.

We definitely want it to look soft and have a natural flush. In other words, we don’t want someone to say  “What a beautiful blush you’re wearing.” We want it to melt into our skin and not look obvious.

The Top 11 Blushes Ranked In Order:

11: Elf’s Monochromatic Multi-Stick

I’m sad to say that the blush that ranks 11th is from a brand I love. Which has produced some really outstanding products during the past year. And, I must say that they do make other blushes which I hope are better than this one.  This is Elf’s Monochromatic Multi-Stick. First, it has some sparkle in it. Now I love to see a beautiful glow in a blush. But actual sparkle particles can be counterproductive for our mature skin. It also is a very soft formulation—which helps it glide on smoothly.

But, because it’s so soft, several times when I’ve tried it, it’s left small clumps of the product on my skin. And in warm weather, it gets even softer. So for me, this is a definite no-go formula.

10: Maybelline’s Cheek Heat Cream

Next, at number 10 is Maybelline’s Cheek Heat Cream. Once you put this product on, it does look pretty good on the skin. But the packaging is challenging. First, it’s very easy to squeeze out way too much—even with a gentle squeeze– which really wastes product. Second, it was difficult to get any product to squeeze out at all from one of the two tubes. I actually tried four times and nothing came out. Also, the plastic caps are time-consuming to remove and to put back on and because of the sharp angles on the cap.

They’re not very comfortable to work with. So I think the challenging packaging of this product is responsible for its lower ranking.

9: Pixie on the Glow Blush

Blush #9 is this Pixie on the Glow Blush. I really do like how this product glides on. But unfortunately, the shape of the applicator makes it a little more difficult to apply it directly from the applicator. More importantly, the product is just not very pigmented. So it takes too much time to get the amount of pigment needed to create a lovely blush look.

8: Ilia

The remaining eight blushes are all quite good. But there’s usually one aspect of the blush that keeps it from ranking a bit higher. Numbers eight and seven are both stick blushes and I do like the formula of each of them. Number 8 is a blush from the clean beauty brand Ilia. I really like this blush, but because it’s a stick, it takes more time to apply to create a natural look.

These two application methods work well with stick blushes. Put some blush on the back of the hand and then pick up the color with a stippling brush or put some on the back of the hand and add just a bit of moisturizer to the color so it glides on more easily.

“It’s helpful to have good pigmentation so we don’t have to apply the blush several times, but if the blush is extremely pigmented, it can be challenging to effectively blend it out and get a natural, soft look.”

7: Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Color Balm

Number 7 is this blush from Clinique called their Chubby Stick Cheek Color Balm. They’ve come out with a newer version of this blush in far more colors. So I’m not sure if the newer version is formulated differently. Once again, I like this blush a lot and it glides on a bit more easily than the Ilia Multi-stick. But because it’s a stick blush, it does take a little more time to blend in.

There’s also a very fine line where blush pigmentation is concerned. It’s helpful to have good pigmentation so we don’t have to apply the blush several times. But if the blush is extremely pigmented, it can be challenging to effectively blend it out and get a natural, soft look. This blush is very pigmented, so it’s important to apply a very small amount and build it up if needed.

6: Milani Cheek Kiss Blushes

Next, number 6, are the Milani Cheek Kiss Blushes. They’re really very good. They’re easy to squeeze out of the tube and they’re beautifully pigmented yet are a liquid blush, like the number 5 blush I’ll be talking about next. And liquid blushes can sometimes be just a little more challenging to blend into the skin so they look natural. They often take just a little more time and work. But I do find these blushes to look really lovely on the skin.

5: Selena Gomez “Soft Pinch Liquid Blush”

Frankly, if I’d done this video several weeks ago, this blush would have ranked higher, but some recent blush releases have nudged it a bit lower in the rankings. It’s from the new beauty brand from Selena Gomez called Rare Beauty and it’s called “Soft Pinch Liquid Blush.” It’s coming in at number 5. This product is beautifully pigmented and will last a very long time which is a real plus. But it’s extremely easy to apply too much because it’s so highly pigmented.

It is difficult to get just the right amount of this product since just a very small amount goes a very long way. But it’s a gorgeous blush and blends in quite easily. So I will definitely continue to wear this blush, but a few others I’ll talk about next have eclipsed this one.

The remaining four blushes I’ll definitely continue to rotate through my makeup routine on a regular basis since I really find them to be very special. These blushes rank this high because they’re the easiest and quickest to apply and they melt into the skin beautifully.

“This product is so very creamy and easy to apply and provides just the right amount of pigmentation.”


Number 4 is a longtime favorite which is a staple in my makeup kit when I work with clients and you’ll soon see why. It’s the cream blush palette of 5 colors from RCMA which stands for Research Council of Makeup Artists. And by the way, it is possible to purchase each of these colors separately. This product is so very creamy and easy to apply and provides just the right amount of pigmentation.  It’s a blush product you really can’t go wrong with.

And I like the palette of five colors. Because sometimes it’s just fun to create our own custom colors by combining two or more of these colors. So it’s definitely wonderful to have the versatility and convenience that this blush palette offers. For instance, if you have a neutral undertone to your skin, you can use most of these colors individually. And, you can also mix together the pink and coral. This is to get yet another shade that would work beautifully on your skin tone.

3: Flower Beauty’s Blush Bomb Color Drops

The next blush is my highest ranking drugstore pick at number 3. It’s Flower Beauty’s Blush Bomb Color Drops. The texture of this blush is really interesting because it’s more like a gel. It’s almost like a hybrid between a cream and liquid product. So above all, it’s not as thin as a liquid or as thick as a cream. It’s pretty much the Goldilocks formula of being “just right.” You’ll also get the perfect amount of product from this applicator. The formula literally melts into the skin so it looks incredibly natural and is pretty darn effortless and mistake-proof to apply. It really looks, feels, and applies like a product at a much higher price point.

2: Merit “Flush Balm”

Blush #2 is one from a brand new clean beauty brand called Merit. Finding a clean beauty product that performs this well is really exciting. It’s called “Flush Balm” and it’s very emollient, lightweight, and hydrating. It melts into the skin easily. And it is also buildable. It can be applied directly to the cheek, applied with fingers, with a brush or with a makeup sponge. Certainly, a unique design that makes the product really easy to apply.

Along with my next highest ranking blush, it has what’s to my mind one of the most important attributes of a great blush: It’s pigmented but also sheer in texture. What this boils down to is that one application will do the trick due to the good pigmentation. And because of how sheer it is, it will also apply every easily and need very little blending.


THE TOP 1: Selena Gomez’s Stay Vulnerable Melting Blush

Coming in at number one is a new release from Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty brand: it’s her Stay Vulnerable Melting Blush. Now I have to admit that when I first saw this blush, I almost dismissed it because it was so sheer and I immediately thought it wouldn’t have much staying power.  But I was dead wrong. . . which just goes to show how important it is to really test out products before making a final judgment.

This is beautifully sheer and does exactly what the name says: it melts into the skin. It’s fool-proof to apply which makes it so easy. We usually need to take brand product descriptions with a grain of salt. But the description from the website is right on. It says, and I quote: “a breakthrough, mistake-proof liquid-like cream blush that melts into a second skin for the most natural-looking flush you can’t mess up.”  Amen to that. It’s the most beautiful blush I’ve tried which requires the least amount of effort to obtain a gorgeous, natural look. It’s what I’m currently wearing and it comes in five gorgeous colors.

About the Author:

Elise Marquam-Jahns is a professional, working makeup-artist who is passionate about helping women 45+ get their glow back. In addition to her work as a makeup artist for a major cosmetics line, she founded Boomer and Beyond Beauty. Be sure to check out Elise’s YouTube channel which specifically focuses on makeup tips, techniques, and product reviews for those of us 45+. Don’t forget to subscribe! Elise is also an author and speaker and hosts Normandale Community College’s monthly Learning Well Edge Talk Radio show where she interviews experts in the field of health and wellness.