Seriously: This Simple Blush Technique Completely Changed My Face

Ever since my 16-year-old self fortuitously stumbled upon Almost Famous while clicking through channels, I’ve been on an eternal quest to look like Kate Hudson’s Penny Lane. There was something about her that struck my young and impressionable mind. I don’t know if it was her cool textured hair, insane vintage wardrobe, or breezy, unaffected attitude—admittedly, it was probably a mix of all three. Whatever it was, it inspired me to buy a pair of corduroy pants and a tube of glitter eyeliner with my babysitting money.

Years later, I’m still not over the ’70s look (and seemingly, neither are the fashion and beauty worlds). So, as you can imagine, I was beyond excited when I came across the newest beauty trend revival: draping. Inspired by the height of the disco era, this beauty technique was created by Way Bandy, arguably the first celebrity makeup artist. Decades ago, he worked with the likes of Farrah Fawcett, Lauren Hutton, and Jerry Hall. So without further ado, celebrity makeup artist Sandy Linter shares her step-by-step tutorial for creating a '70s-inspired makeup look, plus our four favorite ways to drape your blush.

Meet the Expert

Sandy Linter is a celebrity makeup artist with clients among the likes of Christie Brinkley and Elizabeth Hurley. Her work appears in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and more.

Look 1: Lifted Glow

Ellie Benuska

The lifted look is all about heightening the contours of your face, making your cheekbones appear raised and pronounced. For a peachy bronze glow, swipe Marc Jacobs Air Blush Soft Glow Duo in Lines & Last Night along the crest of your cheekbones. Blend up and out to ensure it stays natural. Then run a small amount of blush along your jawbone for extra chisel.

Even before swiping on the blush, I knew this one would be my favorite draping technique. I have naturally low-sitting cheekbones that don't respond to even the best contour products and bronzers (sigh). So anything that promises to lift or define is a product I’m willing to try.

Contouring with blush was also nice departure from the bronzed look I usually wear. It added an extra warmth and liveliness to my face that my fatigued skin typically lacks. I wore the look through my work day and later on into an evening of dinner and drinks, feeling foxy the whole time.

Look 2: Sculpted Glow

Ellie Benuska

This technique is especially catered to round-faced girls. Place the blush slightly below the apples of your cheeks and your face will suddenly appear more oval than round. While it seems counterintuitive to lower your cheekbones, doing so will actually lengthen the top half of your face, creating that coveted oval shape. Use the darker shade for this part, then blend it out with the lighter shade to create the perfect ombré look. 

Ombré blush is one of my few true loves. However, because my face is already extremely ovular, placing the blush slightly below my cheekbones added extra length that I didn’t need. I still wore it all day, as the rosy color gave me an enviable flush, but since then, I’ve only reused the shade, not the technique. I love the look; it’s just not as well-suited to longer faces.

Look 3: Volumized Glow

Ellie Benuska

This look is best for those who want to add a plumper quality to their skin. The application requires you to swirl two shades together and buff them into the apples of your cheeks.

Smile when applying, so you get the perfect placement. This technique will enhance the fullest parts of your face, and add youthful dimension.

I used a buffing motion to apply the Barbie-pink Lush & Libido into my cheeks, which did actually make my face look visibly plumped. Aside from my lips, I'd never had the desire to plump a facial feature before, but in this case, I loved it. Full pink cheeks radiate youth and vivacity, and I've worn this look many times since. 

Look 4: Advanced Glow

Ellie Benuska

For this dramatic draping technique, take whichever color you’d like and buff it above the brow into the temples, down the center of the nose, below the cheekbones, and down the side of the neck starting near the ear. The blush should stay the focal point of the makeup, so keep the rest of the look au naturelThis full-powered glow will turn you into a verified ’70s diva. 

I can’t lie; as someone who rarely does dramatic makeup, this much blush seemed slightly overwhelming. I mean, blush on my nose? I purposely waited to try this one on my day off, just in case I looked like a 5-year-old left unattended with her mom’s makeup bag. (Let’s just say I had cleansing makeup wipes at the ready.)

But the final verdict surprised me. The harsh, highly editorial look I imagined actually appeared subtle and warm once executed. Turns out I didn’t need the makeup wipes after all. I felt like I had finally reached the pinnacle of ’70s-inspired makeup; pair this look with textured, lived-in hair and you may find yourself breaking out the bell-bottoms. 

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