Makeup Lessons: All About Blush

Blush is one of those beauty products that is often misused. It can immediately make you look brighter and revitalized if you know which type to use and which color works for you. To achieve the perfect blush look, you have to understand the different types of blush available.

Runway Beauty Ralph LaurenRunway Beauty Oscar de la Renta

Powder or powder pearl blush

Powder or powder pearl blush, such as Make Up For Ever’s Powder Blush $19, is generally the safest option for those not used to wearing color on their cheeks as it can be layered to achieve the perfect tone. It works especially well for people with oily skin. 

Cream blush

For those of you with dry skin, try a cream blush such as Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge $24. Cream blushes are best applied with your fingers and work very well to achieve a flushed, dewy look on your face; accordingly, they don’t work well for women with already oily skin.

Cheek stains

Cheek stains, otherwise known as gel or tint blush, are perfect for women who don’t wear a lot of makeup. With a little practice, a cheek stain such as Benefit’s Benetint $28, can look completely natural and the best part about tints/gels is that they stay on all day.

Liquid highlighter

Beware of shimmery blush and stick to matte colors, at least for day, as glitter can accentuate any flaws. Instead, opt for blending a liquid highlighter like Benefit High Beam $24 into your skin for that added lift without the obvious shimmer.

Oscar de la Renta Runway BeautyPucci Runway Beauty

Choose the color that works for you

Beyond picking a type of blush that works for you, the color is of the utmost importance. Choosing a blush color is not the time to follow trends. The hottest colors may look great at the beauty counter but most probably won’t work for everyone. If you’re looking for a natural looking blush, the easiest way to find a tone that works for your skin is to observe your cheeks when they’re flushed. Pay attention at the gym or lightly pinch your cheeks.

The colors you use on your face will complement the colors you use on your lips, so take a look at your lipstick collection to see if you favor nudes, pinks, corals, or crimson.

Fair Skin: For women with very fair skin, err on the side of caution, as blush can often look heavy-handed. Choose light corals, peachy-pinks like Nars' Blush in Orgasm $27, or a warm toned rose tint — but beware if you have naturally rosy skin already as you want to look natural, not flushed.

Medium Skin: For medium toned women, choose an earthy pink or warm rosy-coral shade like Stila’s Convertible Color in Gerbera $25 to bring out the natural warm tones in your face. Women with yellow undertones should veer towards coral or copper shades like Laura Mercier’s Second Skin Cheek Color in Spiced Cider $24 as they can enhance the yellow tones rather than work against them.

Olive Skin: Olive skin tones work best with saturated, warm pink and apricot colors like Nars’ The Multiple in Portofino $39 as they give a subtle flush without making it look like you’re wearing too much makeup.

Dark Skin: Women with ebony toned skin can get away with using a lot of color on their cheeks as long as they blend rust, plum, bronze, and burnt orange colors such as Tarte’s Cheek Stain in Blushing Bride $30 work very well on darker tones as they brighten your complexion but still appear natural.


Blend, blend, blend

If there is one rule to stand by when applying blush, it’s to build the color rather than just simply apply it. Your face makeup should appear to be one layer, so don’t forget to blend, blend, and blend some more.