How to Find the Right Blush for Your Skin ToneApril 21, 2020
A little blush goes a long way — at least that’s what our grandmother tells us, and we haven’t been able to prove her wrong yet. When we brush a pink, peach or purple shade onto the apples of our cheeks, our complexion gets an instant boost.
Of course, achieving a flattering flush has everything to do with the shade you use. We've enlisted the help of seasoned makeup artist Ashleigh Ciucci to create a definitive guide to choosing the right blush shade, plus tips for how to best apply it.
Before you hit the "buy" button on that practically made-for-you blush, consider the texture, Ciucci urges. "Think cream for normal to dry skin and powder for normal to oily types." Here's why: Like a moisturizer, velvety formulas will absorb into the skin better and add much-needed hydration. Powder varieties can help mop up excess oil and sweat sitting on the skin. Now, find your ideal shades of blush, according to your skin tone.
Five Transformative Blush Tricks
What pro makeup artists know — and are about to spill — is that a little strategically placed makeup can completely transform your face. When used correctly, blush can guarantee the lifted cheekbones you've craved (sans filler), make for a flawless photo finish or hide discoloration through their makeup illusions.
For Sculpted Cheeks
Make a fish face and apply a cool matte shade into the hollows of the cheeks with an angled blush brush. To do, start at the top of the ear and drag the brush down to right before the underside of the apple. Boom: definition.
For a Youthful Glow
To match the shade you'd naturally flush, take a selfie post-workout and try to find a similar blush shade. Apply that color starting at the apple of your cheek and blend down towards your jaw line, using your fingers to blend it in if it's a cream blush. Or, use a larger, fuller blush brush if the texture is powder.
For an HD-Ready Look
Choose a more matte shade in a jet-milled formula (translation: it's been finely ground using machines that work at warped speed). Unforgiving high-definition video and photography picks up every bit of texture and frost, so this formula will look the most natural.
For the Rosacea-Prone
Pick a cooler shade like pale pink, plum or mauve because it will give some life to the skin without turning red. Apply foundation first, then gently buff it out using a soft kabuki brush. You want to cover the inflamed areas and have a bit of warmth peek through your foundation. Next sweep on your blush with a damp beauty sponge for an instant lit-from-within flush.
For a Candlelit Glow
Choose a pink, peach or gold-infused shimmery blush (not glittery!) and apply to the top of the apples of your cheeks. You'll have a nice natural flush with the light hitting the shimmer texture on your cheekbone, giving you that ethereal effect. To amp up the radiance after you’ve applied your blush, dab a pink or gold cream highlighter on top of your cheekbones, down the bridge of your nose, on your brow bones and on your Cupid's bow. The candlelight effect will hit your features in all the right places.
Our Favorite Blushes for Fair Skin Tones
Fair-skinned beauties, don't get carried away with too vibrant shades; a soft pink, peach or light coral will enhance your porcelain skin in just the right way. Consider a creamy blush texture that yields a natural finish without being overpowering. "Cream blushes mimic the skin's finish and settle into the skin in the most realistic way," says Ciucci.
When applying, the key is a light application. "Tap the color onto your cheeks with your fingers or buff it in with a duo-fiber brush," Ciucci adds. Too much product, or the use of saturated hues, will create a harsh finish. If you prefer that type of look, go for it. Otherwise, work to select the right intensity of blush for a natural, flushed-cheek finish.Some of our favorite blushes for fair skin tones include the Maybelline New York Cheek Heat Gel-Cream Blush in Rose Flush and the Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek in Perk.
Our Favorite Blushes for Medium Skin Tones
A rich pink, and even certain shades of mauve, will leave you with a dramatic edge — especially when you apply blush on all the right spots. To find the right landing space for your chosen hue, smile and see where your cheekbones naturally pop. Apply a bit of blush up and down that half-moon space and even into the corner of the eye area for perfectly placed warmth.
Bonus tip: If you're more olive, avoid cooler tones like plum as they can make olive-toned babes look sallow, Ciucci explains.
Our Favorite Blushes for Deep Skin Tones
Deep shades of red, orange and brown are the ideal blush colors for dark skin. "The trick is to choose a shade that looks crazy bright in the packaging," Ciucci says. These colors, unlike light powder pinks, will leave you looking radiant instead of washed out. Try a fuchsia (think dark radiant orchid) if your skin tone tends to be warmer or a bold tangerine if it is cooler.
Sweep blush onto your skin in a circular motion at the apples and then continue it outwards towards the tops of the ears for a gorgeous pop of color. By targeting the apples of your cheeks with a vivid swipe of one of these shades you’ll be left with a beautiful cast of color.