How To Wear Blush In Your 20s, 30s & 40s

So it turns out there’s a lot of real estate on your cheeks but you’ve probably noticed that the shades meant for the hollows or highpoints have no business on the apples.

The success of perfect cheekbones or that flush that feigns coyness very much relies on placement. But since the system failed us by not making blush application part of the standard high school curriculum, we turned to makeup expert and NARS Global Artistry Director, Jane Richardson, and asked her where exactly to put blush—and why.

Enter NARS Orgasm Blush, a coral-pink powder that imparts a subtle sheen. Certain beauty products like said blush are so beloved, they’ve become famous in their own right. It’s so popular, in fact, that 18 years later an entire collection has been built around it, with a new Liquid Orgasm blush and Orgasm lipstick joining the rest of the collection (which includes a lip gloss, illuminator, and even a multiple for eyes, lips, and cheeks) at MECCA from July 4.

By now the lore behind NARS Blush in Orgasm is legendary. Created by Francois Nars, the master of maquillage, and first released in 1999 (when dial up internet and movie marathons were still a thing), it became an instant success—partly due to its provocative name, yes, but also because the shade flatters so many skin tones.

This now-iconic shade is used by all the make-up greats and year after year, the OG Orgasm Blush continues to attract legions of new, adoring fans. But, what makes it more cult than other pink powders? Is it due to the just-so glow it gives to skin? The name itself?  Is it perfect combination of pink, peach and gold-flecks? Or is it the fact that it looks good on just about everyone?

To find out, we put Richardson to the test and asked her to reveal how to put your best cheek forward in your 20s, 30s and 40s…

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“When you’re in your 20s, it’s the perfect time to experiment,” says Richardson. “In your 20s, you’re finding out who you are, discovering your own sense of style and I think it’s really important to be much more playful with your makeup.” Equally, Richardson says, “Skin care is always very important.” She admits girls today are very lucky to have amazing complexion products. It’s a case of playing with makeup, but still allowing your own natural beauty to come through. Richardson adds, “I know a lot of young women are using makeup very heavily and that’s fine, as long as it’s truly expressing yourself and who you are.  It’s also important that you’re able to look in the mirror and see yourself with or without makeup and be comfortable.” We couldn’t agree more.

HOW TO APPLY: Sure, stick with the ol’ faithful Orgasm Powder Blush but you’re young so have fun. Try NARS Illuminator in Orgasm – it’s a sheer formula that looks good on cheeks and cheekbones. “You can double layer it if you want extra intensity. By applying the liquid illuminator first and the powder blush second, it increases staying power, especially in the heat.” For extra impact, coat lashes with black mascara and line the inner waterline of your eyes with a black kohl pencil.

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If you’re in your 30s, your life is, well, busy AF. Gurllllll, we hear you. “Perhaps life is faster paced, you’ve hit your stride with your career, you have more responsibilities and I think you need makeup to almost be double-duty,” says Richardson. If this is you – this is so us – Richardson recommends looking for products that offer versatility and 2-in-1 actions. “It’s all about ease of application”. Equally, lipsticks like NARS Lipstick in Orgasm just glide on. To make it a little more adult, line lips with NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil first.

HOW TO APPLY: Draw NARS The Multiple in Orgasm along the top hair line and lower cheekbones to create contour and lift your face. Blend using your fingers.

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If you’re in your 40s and (hopefully) feeling a little wiser, you’ll also know your focus should be on skin. “In your 40s, less makeup looks more flattering on your skin. Avoid heavy, full-coverage foundations and instead opt for something like NARS Sheer Glow Foundation or NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser,” advises Richardson.

Throughout all the years and whatever your age, the most important thing is skin care and making sure you get into a really good regime from your early 20s and you continue that through to your 30s and 40s. Richardson believes some women try too much, which can lead to skin issues.

HOW TO APPLY: As we age, our skin’s elastin breaks down and fine lines and wrinkles begin to appear. Powders tend to settle into fine lines making them appear more obvious. Instead, bring luminosity to the skin by blending NARS The Multiple in Orgasm – start at the apples of your cheeks and sweep upwards along the cheekbones all the way up towards the ear – use your fingers to blend. Dab it onto lips, too.

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And, if that is all too damn complicated, then keep it simple and apply it to those places where the sun would hit your skin, or where you would naturally get, ah hem, the ‘after glow’.

Tell us, have you tried NARS Orgasm Blush?

What do you love about it?

Let us know in the comments section below.


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