Using the right kind of blush can transform your entire look. It can make you look angelic and sweet or high-fashion with sky-high cheekbones. It can warm up your complexion and even make you look younger! Here are the most flattering shades for fair, medium, olive and dark skin.
FAIR SKIN: baby pink blush
This one’s pretty obvious: When people with pale skin naturally blush, the shade is baby pink. So, as a blush, it looks natural. On fair skin, baby pink gives a subtle flush. It’s almost like the same color as the inside of your lip, says makeup artist Ashleigh Ciucci. If you have really fair, alabaster skin, other shades can tend to look orangey, adds makeup artist Quinn Murphy.
Maybelline Dream Touch Blush, Mauve 7.5g (Shown in image)
FAIR SKIN: peach BLUSH
The most universally flattering, can’t-go-wrong blush shade? Peach. “Anybody can put on peach blush and look fantastic,” says Ciucci (which is why you’ll see this shade as a pick for multiple skin tones). On fair skin, peach is especially flattering if your complexion has yellow undertones. “It has orange and yellow tones, so it enhances the natural flush,” explains Murphy. And this is a case where it’s all about texture: A formula that’s sheer and blendable is going to look the most natural. When in doubt, “Look for descriptive words like ‘satin’ or ‘sheer’ on the packaging. Test it by swiping your finger over the surface of the powder: If it looks chalky or heavy, it might not be the best option,” says Ciucci. Also, opt for a blush with subtle shimmer. “Shimmery formulas are going to be easier to sheer out on fair skin so it’s not overwhelming.”
Maybelline New York Fit Me Blush, Medium Coral, 4.5g (Shown in image)
FAIR SKIN: SHEER PLUM blush
Ciucci recommends this color for a more dramatic evening look. “Plum cheeks give a little bit more drama. With fair skin, it’s important to look for a translucent stain or cream in a plum shade that’s a step or two darker than your lips, with purple or blue undertones.” This hue is also a bit of an overachiever, doubling as a contouring shade for fair skin. “Dab a little bit of plum blush in the hollows of cheeks for extra definition and a nice shadow, rather than a harsh, obvious line,” says Ciucci.
Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelée in Berry Bliss (shown here)
MEDIUM SKIN: APRICOT blush
Some medium skin tones are already warm, so they only need slight enhancement. Apricot with a tinge of orange is flattering and subtle. “On medium skin, this shade is soft and flirty and fresh. It allows you to go bolder with the rest of the makeup,” says Ciucci.
Cheeky Glow Blush (Shown in image)
MEDIUM SKIN: mauve blush
Want something a little edgier? Go for a muted mauve. “This shade looks rich and gives depth to medium skin,” says Ciucci. If you’re feeling really edgy, wear it with a mauve shadow and lip color—just vary the textures. Do something matte on the cheeks, something shimmery on the eyes, and glossy, sheer lips,” she says.
Maybelline Color Show Blush (Shown in image)
MEDIUM SKIN: soft berry
It’s common sense: If pale pink is flattering on pale skin, then medium pink is flattering on medium skin. “You want something that’s in the midrange, not something with too much white in it. Pink-y berry is soft, delicate, and pretty,” says Murphy. “This is how you can go bright on medium skin,” adds Ciucci. “Look for a light raspberry for a flush that looks like you’ve been in the snow. It’s vibrant but natural.”
Loreal Paris Magicsmooth Souffle Blush (Shown in image)
olive SKIN: orangey peach blush
Finding a blush for olive skin can be tricky because of its green undertones. “Look for warm tones,” says Ciucci. “Some cooler blushes can tend to look ruddy on it…. Using a warm peach shade will make olive skin glow.” For a fresh, dewy effect, try a cream formula.
Revlon Highlighting Palette (Shown in image)
OLIVE SKIN: rose blush
Rose is the just-right, Goldilocks shade of pink for olive complexions. “Rose falls in the middle range: It’s not bright, but it’s not shadowy, either. It’s just a very delicate, natural flush. Rose is the middle-of-the-road, everyday neutral for olive skin,” says Ciucci. And, like peach, it can also help to balance out olive tones. “This skin tone can get a bit sallow, especially in the winter, but rose can lend warmth so your complexion doesn’t look drab,” says Murphy.
Mac Sheertone Shimmer Blush (Shown in image)
OLIVE SKIN: bronze BLUSH
This shade is a triple threat for olive skin tones: It adds warmth and brightens, and it can even create soft contours if applied strategically. “Using a bronzer or a bronze-tinged blush is going to really boost olive skin,” says Ciucci. “Because people with this skin tone tend to tan beautifully, this looks natural on them and really helps pick up their skin tone,” adds Murphy. You can also use it as a contouring shade: Use a fan brush or angled powder brush to sweep the bronzer onto the hollows of the cheeks. (“If you need help, make fish lips!” says Ciucci.) “On fair olive skin, you can stop with one stroke, but on medium olive or deep olive skin, you can layer a few more swipes. Then smile and apply the bronzer to the apples of the cheeks for a brightening effect,” she says.
Makeup Revolution Iconic Pro Blush (Shown in image)
dark skin: raisin blush
Those with dark skin shouldn’t be intimidated by deep raisin shades. “Dark skin can really hold up to pigment,” says Ciucci. “You need to choose bold, highly pigmented shades, otherwise it will look muddy, ruddy, or it won’t even show up.”
Makeup Revolution Powder Blush (Shown in image)
DARK SKIN: BRICK BLUSH
Deep terra-cotta looks gorgeous on dark skin. “It’s important to stay warm when you’re working with dark skin because if you go too cool it’s going to look ashy. So brick is like a redder version of a raisin. It tends to pack a little bit more punch,” says Ciucci. Brick is also a great option for contouring. Use the same “fish-face” method to find the hollows of your cheeks, and dab a cream formula below cheekbones, blending carefully.
Mary Kay Cream Blush in Cranberry (Shown in Image)
-Compiled by Aiswarya John