Where to Apply Blush for an Instant Lift (Hint: It’s Not the Apples of Your Cheeks)

Blush is the cherry on top of our minimal makeup routine. It’s the quick dash of color that warms up our complexion and—if we’re lucky—makes us look like we just got back from a leisurely stroll around the block. But according to a viral video from YouTube creator Alexandra Anele, blush can do more than just emphasize your cheekbones. If placed strategically, it can kind of alter your entire face. Here’s everything we learned from Anele in her enlightening tutorial.

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Where to Apply Blush

Before diving into where to place the pigment, know that blush should and can be applied in whichever area makes you happiest, be that your eyelids or the tip of your nose. But if you want your cheekbones to look like they’re carved out of marble and are chiseled enough to be displayed at the Met (*raises hand*), then Anele’s tips might do the trick.

1. Forget the Fruit

We’ve always been told to smile slightly when applying blush. This makes it easier to spot the “apples,” or roundest parts of our cheeks, before accentuating them with color. But Anele says this technique may not play well with everyone's face shape. Those with round, prominent cheeks (looking at you, Chrissy Teigen) will look downright cherubic when they center the blush right on the apples, but if you have flatter cheeks like Anele, this method isn't as effective. When we drop our cheeks after smiling, the blush winds up falling down towards our mouth, which can “drag the center of the face down,” the beauty expert points out in her video.

2. Find Your Cheekbones

Instead of focusing on the fleshy part of our cheeks, Anele suggests depositing color higher up onto the cheekbones themselves. To locate them, place two fingers where the top of your ear meets your face and feel around for a ledge. Emphasizing this area draws the attention upward and outward, to achieve that lifting effect we’re after.

3. Play Around

If you're a fan of highlighter, you may be familiar with the C-shape (from the edge of the eyebrow to the top of the cheekbones) you've used to guide your application. In her tutorial, Anele targets this same area with her blush. Using a light hand and a bit of product, Anele starts at the temples and taps the blush along the highest points of her cheekbones, stopping just before she reaches the middle of her cheeks. The YouTuber centers most of the pigment on the outer edge of her cheekbones for two reasons: it gives the illusion that your cheeks are higher up on your face (or accentuates already high cheekbones) and creates an ethereal halo effect around the sides of the face. Check and check. 

When in doubt (or when boredom strikes), take time to experiment with the blush placement that suits you best. Try the smiling method on one side of your face and Anele’s way on the other and compare results. Makeup is fun, remember? 

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purewow author

Senior Social Strategy & Trends Editor

From 2017-2023 Michaela Magliochetti held the role of Senior Social Strategy & Trends Editor covering wellness, horoscopes, trends and more.