Krista Bennett DeMaio Jul 25, 2017

The Best Bright Blushes for Every Skin Tone

Blush: It’s a total non-brainer, right? Not so fast. Sure, you probably know that it adds color to your complexion instantly, but there’s a good chance you’re not using the right shade for your skin tone, or applying it properly. And makeup pros say both are pretty important. When used correctly, bright blush can make you look younger, fresher and more radiant. Sign us up!


So, what’s the big secret? There are two, actually. The first trick is to go with bright blush—think bold pinks, corals, and oranges. “Wearing a bright blush is the quickest way to perk up your face,” says celebrity makeup artist Ashleigh Ciucci. They may look intimidating, but trust us, a bold hue will do wonders for your face. “Just like swiping on a bold lip, the simple swish of a bright blush makes you look awake and youthful.” More muted shades like mauve, plum, or tawny tones may look appealing in the package, but they have a tendency to wash out most skin tones, especially those with cool complexions, she says. The second part? Apply it strategically. One technique does not flatter all. In fact, where you wear your blush should vary based on the formula you’re using (powder or cream) and your age (yup, that plays a role, too). Read on for Ciucci’s expert tips on choosing the right shade and then applying it the best way for you.  



The best bright blush for your complexion?

Pink, peach, orange, which one works for you? Here’s Ciucci breaks it down by skin tone.


Fair Skin Tone:

Sweep on a cotton candy pink shade. “It mimics the natural flush that happens when you're flushed from heat or cold,” says Ciucci. Try L’Oréal Paris Visible Lift Blur Blush in Soft Pink, YSL Blush Volupté in Baby Doll or Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush in Obsessed

Medium Skin Tone:

“A cool pink like magenta balances the warmer tones in medium skin and compliments the cooler tones,” she says. Try Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush in Quickie, NYX Professional Makeup Whipped Lip & Cheek Soufflé in Pink Lace, or Ombre Blush in Code Breaker

Olive Skin Tone:

Hot coral counteracts any sallowness in olive skin.” Try Maybelline New York Fit Me Blush in Peach, Lancôme Cushion Blush Subtil in Splash Corail, YSL Baby Doll Kiss & Blush Duo Stick in From Cute to Devilish

Deep Skin Tone:

“Red or orange blush on dark skin creates a natural warmth without looking chalky or flat.” Try NYX Professional Makeup High Definition Blush in Crimson, NYX Professional Makeup Rouge Cream Blush in Orange, or Giorgio Armani Maestro Blush in 500


The Right Bright Blush Placement For Your Age

To really maximize the benefits of your blush, you have to apply it in the most flattering way. Here, your age-specific, customized plan for both cream and powder.


If you’re in your 20s…

Anti-aging is not your main concern (lucky you!). Your goal is to look fresh and glow-y. Here’s how:



Tap your cream blush high on the apples of your cheeks. “This will perk up your cheeks and pick up a highlight,” Ciucci says. If you tend to get shiny, set your cream blush with a translucent powder to avoid the oil-slick effect, Ciucci adds.



Experiment with placement; try sweeping across the face from ear to ear, creating a sun-kissed feel.  You can also apply it from apple to the temples in a “c” shape for a subtle contoured look.


If you’re in your 30s…

This is the decade when the first signs of aging tend to make their appearance: texture changes, sallowness, and the appearance of fine lines. Fun! Fortunately, the right blush application can help hide all of that.



Mix your cream blush with a touch of liquid highlighter, says Ciucci. Try Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer Ultra Light Glowing Fluid. Then apply to the apples of the cheeks for an instant glow-y pop of color.



Sweep powders in a chevron shape from the temples to the apples and down the jaw for a sun-kissed and youthful effect. “It gives a natural, just got out of a vigorous workout flush,” Ciucci says.



If you're in your 40s+…

By now you’re fighting the good fight against aging, dealing not only with wrinkles, but also the loss of elasticity. Blush can give skin some structural support, albeit until you wash it off. Here’s how to get it:



Pop it on the apples of your cheeks for a fuller look to the face (since collagen depletes with age, causing a sunken look), Ciucci says. You’ll want to avoid any creams with shimmer, which can call attention to fine lines, she adds.



Keep powders in the hollows of the cheeks as opposed to the apples. Powders absorb light more than creams do, so by applying to the hollows, you’ll get a subtle sculpting effect 


What’s your go-to bright blush shade? Tell us in the comments below!




About the Author:The daughter of a hairdresser, Krista Bennett DeMaio likes to say she has beauty in her blood. She has well over a decade of beauty editorial experience. The former magazine-editor-turned-freelance writer has covered all things beauty from anti-aging skincare to NYFW runway trends. Her work has appeared in national publications and websites including Women’s Health, Redbook, Shape, Dr. Oz The Good Life,, and She lives in Greenlawn, New York with her husband and two interns, er, daughters.

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