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Rosy cheeks are just a swipe away — 7 expert-approved blushes for mature skin

Plus, expert tips to keep you glowing.
Kara Birnbaum / TODAY

What to look for | What to avoid | Expert picks | Application tips | How we chose | Meet the experts

The person who came up with the saying "diamonds are a girl's best friend" has clearly never found their perfect blush. It's a delicate balance of finding the right formula for skin type and the right shade for your skin tone. But once you find it, you won't give it up for anything.

That is, until your skin changes — which is a natural occurrence as you age. Then you'll find yourself discovering a new set of everyday staples. Don't know where to start? Don't worry! Shop TODAY consulted three makeup artists to get the TL;DR on everything you need to know to find a blush that'll actually work on mature skin. Plus, they shared a few staples that you'll always find in their kits.

Shop TODAY Snapshot

What to look for in blushes for mature skin

Makeup artists Elisa Flowers and Jonet Williamson agree that cream blushes and powder blushes with blurring formulas are best for mature skin.

“Blushes that are best for mature skin are typically creamier and more moisturizing formulas as this helps combat dryness and the risk of the product settling into fine lines and wrinkles,” explains Flowers. “Many powders can come across too heavy and chalky-looking on dry skin. However, blurring formulas that have a glowy finish are great because they don’t highlight fine lines and dry areas, and they give the skin a beautiful luminosity.” 

She says blushes for maturing skin often contain specific ingredients such as glycerin, green tea extract, aloe vera and oils like castor, jojoba and rosehip seed to help hydrate, nourish and soothe the skin.

Makeup artist Chanel Temple also calls out hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and formulas that are talc-free. “These will give hydration to the skin and make the skin look and feel more youthful.”

What should you avoid in blush for mature skin?

The experts recommend avoiding two types of blush: matte powders and liquids.

“I’d avoid liquid blush because it might settle into fine lines,” Williamson says. The fluid consistency tends to crease on skin.

Matte powder blushes will draw attention to fine lines, texture and dry spots, so you'll want to avoid those, too. “Mattifying blushes tend to zap all the moisture and glow from the skin,” notes Flowers.

However, we know everyone has their favorites they won't ever let go of. So if you’re partial to powder blush, aim for one that’s labeled as “luminous,” “radiant” or “glowy.”

Best blushes for mature skin, according to makeup artists

Tower 28 Beauty BeachPlease Lip + Cheek Cream Blush

What we like
  • Very pigmented
  • Goes on smoothly
Something to note
  • Better for cheeks than lips

Shades: Nine | Key ingredients: Green tea extract, aloe vera extract, castor seed oil, shea butter, rosemary leaf extract

“These cream blushes give a nice youthful glow to the skin,” says Williamson of Tower 28’s award-winning formula for lip and cheek. There’s nine dazzling shades to choose from, ranging from everyday neutrals to bold brights, and they’re chock-full of good-for-you ingredients like aloe vera extract, green tea and castor seed oil. They’re also extremely pigmented, so you only need to apply a very small amount with your fingertips or a damp beauty sponge

Buxom Wanderlust Primer-Infused Blush

What we like
  • Stays on all day
Something to note
  • Contains fragrance

Shades: Six | Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid

A must-have in Williamson’s makeup kit, this powder blush from Buxom is unique in that it’s infused with hyaluronic acid to help plump and moisturize the skin. “This blush is enriched with primer and has a gorgeous blurring effect,” says Williamson. The wearable shades blend out seamlessly with a fluffy powder blush and never look heavy or “powder-like,” making them ideal for mature skin.

Ciele Blush & Protect SPF 50

What we like
  • Pigmented and easy to apply
  • Provides SPF
Something to note
  • Some say it fades quickly

Shades: Six | Key ingredients: Glycerin, bisabolol (to calm and brighten skin), allantoin (to moisturize and soothe skin)

Like most rules, there are some exceptions and this is one of them. Temple raves about this innovative SPF-infused liquid blush, which also contains soothing allantoin and bisabolol for additional skin care benefits. “This unique blush is one of the first formulas to contain sunscreen which is an awesome feature,” she says. “It blends out seamlessly, hydrates and soothes the skin, and is super lightweight so it looks like your skin but better.”

RMS Beauty ReDimension Hydra Powder Blush

What we like
  • Gentle on sensitive skin
  • Blends well
Something to note
  • Some say it's a bit small

Shades: 15 | Key ingredients: Glycerin, squalane, jojoba seed oil, rosemary leaf extract

Temple calls this skin-loving blush from RMS her “ultimate favorite” powder formula for mature skin types. “The formula is super unique because it doesn’t look dry or like a powder at all,” she says. “It gives a soft iridescent finish and is very airy, plus it works great on its own on or on top of any other blushes.” The non-powder-powder formula contains wildcrafted buriti oil along with organic jojoba oil to deeply nourish and moisturize the skin.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush

What we like
  • Works well on acne-prone skin
Something to note
  • Not the strongest pigment

Shades: Six | Key ingredients:  Synthetic fluorphlogopite (aka synthetic mica, a mineral to help absorb shine and blur pores)

“This blush has a beautiful soft glow and diffuses and blurs the skin while providing a touch of color,” says Flowers. “I recommend applying with a small fluffy blush brush.” The innovative formula features the brand’s proprietary “photoluminescent” technology that delivers depth and dimension to the skin so it never looks dull or flat.

Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks

What we like
  • Beginner-friendly
Something to note
  • Works best over a base product

Shades: Six | Key ingredients: Berryflux vita, jojoba seed oil, mica

“This is a cream blush I’ve been using for ages now, it’s become a staple in my kit,” says Temple. “These have the perfect balance of pigment and are very easy to apply. The range of shades is also amazing and they mix really well together.” The formula contains berryflux vita, an ingredient that boosts hydration, along with jojoba seed oil and vitus vita fruit extract to aid in firming, moisturizing and detoxifying the skin. 

Kjaer Weis Cream Blush

What we like
  • Buildable color
Something to note
  • Texture is a little sandy

Shades: 13 | Key ingredients: Certified organic castor, jojoba and rosehip seed oils, certified organic cera alba beeswax

This deliciously creamy, radiance-boosting blush is packed with hero ingredients like certified organic jojoba, castor seed, and rosehip seed oils to hydrate and nourish the skin. “I love that this blush is clean, refillable and blends out effortlessly with just fingertips,” says Flowers. “The finish is very natural and can also be worn on lips and eyes.”

Tips for applying blush on mature skin

Once you've secured your blush of choice, the experts share their tips to nail your look.

  • Always start by prepping your skin. Ask any expert and they'll tell you — skin prep is crucial to any makeup look. Without adequately hydrated skin, makeup may get caught in dry spots or settle into fine lines and textured areas, which can greatly impact the finished look. “It’s very important to begin the process by prepping the skin with a hydrating toner, moisturizer and facial oil,” says Temple. “Then opt for a skin tint or tinted moisturizer as anything you put on top of that combination will automatically make the skin look radiant.”
  • Try underpainting. Underpainting is a makeup technique that involves applying the bulk of your face makeup — including blush — underneath your foundation to achieve the most natural-looking finish. “Using the underpainting method makes blush look more like just a natural flush of color,” says Williamson, who uses the technique on many of her clients. “Apply your blush after makeup primer, but before foundation for best results.”
  • Less is more. A less-is-more approach is always a good idea when it comes to makeup for maturing skin, and blush is no different. “Start in very light layers and build as needed,” advises Temple. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using a cream, powder, or liquid formula, the same rule applies. It’s easy to go back in and add more if needed, but it’s much harder to remove blush once you’ve already added too much.
  • Use a light hand. The key to controlling how much you apply is to use a light hand if you’re using a brush, or gentle taps if you’re using your fingers or a sponge. You'll also want to start with just a minimal amount of product. Once you’ve blended out the first layer, stand back and see how it looks in the mirror (ideally in natural light) before adding more. 
  • Finish with a hydrating setting spray. This tip is especially important if you’re going to use a powder formula because it will help the blush pigment melt into the skin. Find a moisturizing formula and spritz on a liberal amount after you’re finished with all of your face makeup. (Pro tip: Be sure to spritz from six to eight inches away from your face so it doesn’t look like you showered in it.)

How we chose

The blushes featured in this story came recommended by the expert makeup artists we spoke to.

Meet the experts