Let’s make blush happen again! In the last few years I think we’ve forgotten a little bit about blush (just like bronzer), what with the contour and highlighter obsession that’s gripping people’s attention. However, I think blush still has an important place in everyday makeup routines, because it gives so much life and balance to the face!
You are not totally without cause to be a little wary of blush – when overdone it can look really ridiculous, and figuring out exactly which blush is best for your skin tone, and where it should be placed is no cakewalk.
I break it down here, by listing all the different types of blushes, and helping you figure out how to make blush work for you, both based on your face shape and your skin tone. I’ve got recommendations for the best blushes for every skin tone, as well, along with some blush application tips and tricks. So what are you waiting for? Get painting!
Blush Makeup Guide: Contents
Different Types of Blush
Based on its texture, a blush comes in different forms, some of which work best for oily skin type, while others can be excellent for dry or mature skin. To get that natural looking glow on your face, you need to figure out which blush formula is best for your skin type. These are the common types of blush you can experiment with:
Powder blush usually comes either pressed into a compact, or as a loose powder in a jar. It is the most common type of blush people use because it’s very easy to apply and blend, besides it gives the much-coveted natural look without looking overdone.
However, a powder blush doesn’t last as long as a liquid blush does, and throughout the day as it absorbs the oils from your skin, the color might change slightly.
Powder blush is better for those who like a traditional makeup look, and since it is only applied to a small part of the face, it is good for all skin types.
Cream blushes are becoming increasingly popular, especially with those who are nervous about overly pigmented powder blushes, or who have very dry skin. Cream blushes are very easy to apply, and give a very gentle wash of color to the skin.
They work better than powder blushes if you don’t like to wear foundation, since they are easier to apply on bare skin. Cream blushes come in a variety of forms, from jars and compacts, to roll-up sticks, to even cushions!
While cream blushes are perfect for dry skin, they also work for almost all skin types, except for oily skin.
Liquid blushes are similar to cream blushes, but their texture is more fluid, which gives room for easy custom blending. They can be blended with moisturizer or foundation for the sheerest of flushes, or mixed with a different liquid blush for custom colors.
Liquid blushes are longer-lasting than regular powder blushes, and they normal retain the same color throughout the day. Like cream blushes, they are great over bare skin, and suit dry skin the best.
Stain blushes also take the form of a liquid, but they are extremely pigmented and highly concentrated. All it takes is a tiny drop, which will dry quickly, giving lots of color.
Stain blushes are great for anyone whose blush seems to fade quickly, as they give a long-lasting color thanks to the water-based formula they feature. Stain blushes are excellent for oily skin types, although they can work for any other skin type as well.
16 Best Blush Colors for Each Skin Tone
Once you have figured out the right blush formula for your skin type, it’s also important to learn how to choose the right blush color for your skin tone.
Best Blush Colors for Fair Skin with Cool Undertones
You want either a very pale berry or a light pink blush when your skin has a cool undertone, at least if you want to play it safe. They will blend into your skin perfectly, and look most natural, while still giving your cheeks that coveted glow.
If you want a matte blush, choose a lighter color, but if you want a bit of shimmer or glow, your blush can even be a medium shade. Overly orange or peachy colors can clash with your skin, but if your foundation is perfectly applied, that clash can actually look very modern and high-fashion.
Unless you’re prepared to blend forever, stay away from darker blushes.
1. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Dollface
This highly pigmented soft pink blush goes smoothly on the skin, giving a romantic effect. You can pick it up at Sephora, or Amazon.
2. Benefit Posietint Lip & Cheek Stain
This long-lasting cheek stain is an excellent blush for days when you’re skipping the foundation, or want a soft, long-lasting flush. This ultra-soft pink is a lovely match for pale, cool skin. You can find it at Ulta, and Amazon.
Best Blush Colors for Light Skin with Yellow Undertones
For those with light skin and yellow undertones, peaches are the way to go – especially if they have a sunny, golden glow. These kinds of blushes will totally warm up your complexion, giving you a natural glow.
Your other option is a neutral, pale berry blush or a coral. On your warm skin, these neutral blushes will register as rosy and fresh, and will give you an innocent flush that is perfect for the colder seasons.
1. NARS The Multiple Orgasm Blush
This blush is the holy grail of many, with a flattering peachy shade and golden flakes for extra glow. It is available in a creamy stick formula at Net-a-Porter, and Amazon, where you can also find it as a powder or liquid.
2. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat
This blush is easy-blending for those with pale skin, and is a bright coral with a gorgeous satiny finish. You can find it through Net-a-Porter, and Amazon.
Best Blush Colors for Medium Skin with Yellow Undertones
Those same peachy blushes your light-skinned friends wear will also look great on your slightly darker, yellow skin, albeit they’ll look much softer and more natural – perfect for a daytime look.
You can get a similar but more sun-kissed effect with a pale golden-bronze blush. For a blush with more presence, you can try a well-pigmented coral, a burned apricot, or a darker berry red tone.
1. Too Faced Love Flush Blush in How Deep is Your Love
This bright and sunny coral has a lot of pigment and a buttery texture, so it’ll show up colorful and uplifting on your skin. The packaging is super cute, to boot! It is available for sale at Too Faced, and Amazon.
2. Anastasia Beverly Hills Blush Trio in Peachy Love
So this is a three-for-one recommendation, with three blushes perfect for medium warm skin. You get the gentlest pale peach, a brighter coral, and a muted warm-rose, in a wearable powder formula that will always suit your skin. You can purchase this blush set at Sephora.
Best Blush Colors for Medium Skin with Neutral or Cool Undertones
Darker cool blushes were basically made for medium skin tone with cool undertones. You can rock the same pale berries as just about everyone else, but they will nearly disappear into your skin (which hey, that might be what you’re going for!), but for real drama, mauves and plums are your friends.
True pinks are also an option for medium skin with cool undertones, as they will give your skin a bright, glowy flush.
1. Lorac Color Source Blush in Chroma
This deep berry shade is a perfect cool-toned blush for medium skin tones. It gives a feminine touch to the cheeks, and reinvigorates the whole complexion. It can be purchased at Ulta.
2. Chanel Joues Contras Blush in Rouge Profond
With a silky texture and a luxurious container, you cannot go wrong with a Chanel blush. This shade is a bright yet cool pink, with more than enough pigmentation to show up perfectly on medium skin! You can pick up this blush at Nordstrom, or Amazon.
Best Blush Colors for Tan Skin with Orange Undertones
Bronzy blushes are so beautiful on tan skin – something that has a lot of golden glow, and a peachy or even reddish tint. These blushes will make your natural tan look healthy and golden.
For a lit-from-within flush, you can choose a straight-up bright orange or peach, although remember that if their color is not strong enough, they will simply not show up on your skin.
For a more sophisticated look, you can opt for muted brown-red blushes that will define your cheekbones elegantly – pair them with a golden highlight for a three dimensional look. For a blush that will gently contrast against your skin, you could even play around with muted purples.
1. Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Blush in The Climax
This bronzy, frosted blush will give the perfect coppery definition and glow to your tanned cheeks. It is duo-toned, so you can amp up the peach, or use the brown outer ring for contour. You can find this powder blush at Nordstrom, and Amazon.
2. Make Up For Ever Artist Face Color Blush in H312
This perfect, shimmery bronze has just a hint of red in it to perfectly complement your tan. It gives an intense glow to the skin, with a silky-smooth formula. You can purchase this gorgeous blush at Sephora.
Best Blush Colors for Medium Skin with Olive Undertones
Olive skin tones are the hardest to match a blush to, as most colors in the red family work against the green undertones in your skin. Bronze and golden blushes are the easiest choices, as they will give definition and glow without even a hint of a clash.
Muted oranges will give more of a bright flush, like a true blush, while not being too far opposite the undertone of your skin. Muted mauve blushes will do something similar in the other direction, and are perfect for those with a cool olive undertone.
1. Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush in Rapture
If you like a cheeky blush name as much as the next…