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How to Find the Best Blush for Your Skin Tone

The right blush can wake up your entire face—but finding the best shade is essential. These tips from beauty pros will make it simple.

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How To Find The Best Blush For Your Skin Tone Via Merchant 4rd.com, via merchant (4)

Choosing the right blush

Sometimes it feels like lipstick and eye shadow get all the love when it comes to color cosmetics. But, the truth is, blush deserves some serious accolades too. The best blush for you can bring warmth and vibrance to your complexion. “Plus, if you apply blush correctly, you can accentuate your cheekbones and give your face a more sculpted look,” says Emily Brafford, a celebrity makeup artist in Telluride, Colorado. Just like with foundation, concealers, mascara, and lipstick, there are tons of different formulas, from buildable powders to sheer gel formulas that give a natural makeup look. But perhaps the most important thing to consider when choosing a blush is the shade: You want whatever you put on your cheeks to complement your skin tone.

Figuring out your skin tone

Not sure what your skin tone is? No problem! There are a few simple ways you can narrow it down.

Chances are, you know whether you fall into the fair, medium, olive, or deep category. But you also need to know if you have warm or cool undertones. Urban Decay’s Global Makeup Artist Steve Kassajikian suggests thinking about whether you tend to burn in the sun or tan. If you get red, you likely have a cool undertone. If you get golden, you are warm. (Side note: You should always wear SPF to protect your skin. If you do want some overall color, opt for self-tanners.)

“Another way to figure it out is to look at the veins in your wrist,” says Kassajikian. “If they’re greenish, you’re warm. Purple indicates you’ve got cooler undertones.” Some people have a mix of both warm and cool undertones; if that describes you, you’re considered neutral.

How we picked the best blushes for every skin tone

In coming up with our curated list of the best blushes, we spoke with makeup artists to determine what different skin tones need. We also asked the experts for some of their top picks. From there, we considered beloved brands, including budget drugstore picks and clean beauty brands for clean skin care, as well as products with standout ratings and reviews. We also included a few shades that can work with all skin tones. Keep reading to find out what made our list!

Jane Iredale Glow Time Blush Stick In Mist Ecomm Ulta.comvia merchant

Best blush for fair skin with cool undertones

Jane Iredale Glow Time Blush Stick in Mist

Porcelain skin is easily overwhelmed, so a soft pink shade is the way to go. This light, rosy hue from Jane Iredale will warm up cool undertones and give you a soft flush. Ulta reviewers praise the silky way it glides onto cheeks and leaves behind dewy color.

This formula contains golden flecks to give you a lit-from-within glow. It also contains jojoba oil, which helps this stick glide on smoothly and allows the blush to sit softly on the skin. Translation: no cakiness here! Apply a little bit for daytime activities, then dab on a little more for a night out—but not too much, as overloading blush is a common makeup mistake. “Just be careful how many layers you apply; too much can overwhelm fair skin,” warns Shanell Sorrells, a celebrity makeup artist in New York City.

Pros:

  • Easy to use on the go
  • Shimmery finish
  • Blendable

Con:

  • On the pricier side

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Urban Decay Stay Naked Face And Lip Tint Ecomm Kooding.comvia merchant

Best blush for fair skin with warm undertones

Urban Decay Stay Naked Face and Lip Tint in Kinky

A soft peach shade tends to be the best blush for fair skin with warm undertones, says Kassajikian. “And I love a cream blush because they tend to blend easily and give a natural glow.” This one from Urban Decay does double duty—in addition to giving cheeks a nice flush, it can also be used on your lips. Reviewers agree that it makes cheeks stand out in a flattering way, while adding a nice sheen to your pout.

It’s made with marula oil, which is what gives your cheeks a healthy-looking sheen. But this ingredient doesn’t just look nice: It actually hydrates your skin as it sinks in, and keeping your skin hydrated is a great way to prevent your makeup from aging you.

Pros:

  • Can be used on cheeks and lips
  • Hydrating
  • Buildable coverage

Con:

  • Dual uses mean you don’t get as much blush

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Trinny London Lip2cheek In Bright Peony Pink Ecomm Tinnylondon.comvia merchant

Best blush for fair skin with neutral undertones

Trinny London Lip2Cheek in Bright Peony Pink

If you’re fair and have a mix of warm and cool undertones, you’re considered neutral—just like Drew Barrymore. When it comes to picking the best blush shade, anything too light will wash you out, and anything deep will overwhelm. A pinky-nude shade is just right.

“A cream blush can look really natural and pretty,” says Brafford. This pink shade isn’t too bright or rosy, so it looks nice on neutral undertones. The matte texture is great for those who prefer a more velvet finish. It’s highly pigmented, which helps it last all day, but this also means a little goes a long way. Here’s a makeup secret for applying: Brafford suggests using your ring finger to dab it on. By using a non-dominant digit, you are less likely to be heavy-handed.

Pros:

  • Can also be used on lips
  • Cream formula
  • Stays on all day

Con:

  • Long-lasting formula can be tough to wash off

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Maybelline New York Fit Me Blush In Mauve Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best blush for medium skin with cool undertones

Maybelline New York Fit Me Blush in Mauve

Get in the mood for mauve! Kassajikian says it’s the best blush shade for you, because it adds a bit of warmth in your otherwise cool skin. This option from Maybelline may have a budget price, but it wears just as nicely as a luxury formula—it’s a makeup myth that you have to spend more to get a great look. The award-winning blush is both blendable and buildable. Amazon reviewers appreciate that you can layer on the color, so you can keep it lighter for day and add a bit more punch for a night out. It’s also lightweight, so you never feel like you’re wearing a pound of makeup on your face.

Pros:

  • Blendable
  • Lightweight feel
  • Budget-friendly

Con:

  • Basic packaging

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Milani Baked Blush In Luminoso Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best blush for medium skin with warm undertones

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso

If your skin tone is similar to Jennifer Aniston or Jessica Biel, you’ll want to consider getting a little peachy. The reason: It will give you a warm, skin-brightening glow. With more than 23,000 overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon, this selection from Milani is definitely one to consider. The richly pigmented powder has great color payoff, so it really pops on your skin. It’s also got a pretty shimmer to it, so you look extra radiant after applying it. Many of the five-star reviews note the golden shimmer, saying it gives them the perfect sun-kissed look. Use the best makeup brushes to apply this powder blush just right.

Pros:

  • Highly pigmented
  • Golden shimmer
  • Affordable

Con:

  • The shimmer can be too much for some people

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Charlotte Tilbury Cheek To Chic Blush In Love Is The Drug Ecomm Charlottetilbury.comvia merchant

Best blush for medium skin with neutral undertones

Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Blush in Love Is the Drug

Think about it: If soft pink works for fair skin, it only makes sense that a slightly deeper pink would be ideal for medium skin. And because you have neutral undertones, a straight-up rosy blush will give you a sweet, flirty vibe.

This rosy shade from Charlotte Tilbury should be applied to the center of your cheeks and blended outward for a natural-looking flush, says Sorrells. The pressed powder formula is made with finely crushed pearls so it goes on light, allowing you to customize your look and slowly build color until it looks just right. Swirl both shades together for an all-over rosy glow, or for a face-slimming makeup trick, use the brighter center shade on the apples of your cheeks and the outer color across cheekbones for a sculpted look.

Pros:

  • Radiant finish
  • Richly pigmented
  • Natural-looking finish

Con:

  • Highly pigmented formula needs work to blend

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Mad Hippie Cheek And Lip Tint In Fig Ecomm Pharmaca.comvia merchant

Best blush for olive skin with cool undertones

Mad Hippie Cheek and Lip Tint in Fig

The good news: Olive skin is the most versatile, and lots of shades will work on you. If you want to warm up those cool undertones, consider dusting a berry shade across your cheekbones. It will add warmth to cooler skin tones without looking clownish.

This selection from Mad Hippie looks deeper in the pot than it goes on. It’s made with jojoba oil and shea butter, giving it a creamy texture that blends easily. The buildable formula makes it super versatile—you can dab on just a bit, or layer more for a bigger pop of color. The brand is also beloved for its clean beauty standards, like these natural beauty products free of silicones, petrochemicals, parabens, phthalates, and animal ingredients.

Pros:

  • Clean beauty brand
  • Glow-inducing
  • Hydrating

Con:

  • Will need to wash your hands after if you apply with your fingertips

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It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Blush In Adore Ecomm Itcosmetics.comvia merchant

Best blush for olive skin with warm undertones

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Blush in Adore

Play up honey tones in your skin with a peachy bronze shade—as Kassajikian points out, peaches and coppers pop against warm, olive skin. You’ll notice celebs like Eva Mendes wearing this color too, because she’s got olive skin with warm undertones.

This formula from It Cosmetics is infused with blurring pigments, making your skin look poreless. The color is buildable, and it’s infused with skin care ingredients like collagen, antioxidants, and peptides. The result: a smooth powder that works on all skin types. You can prep skin with the best primers for an even more flawless look.

Pros:

  • Blurs pores
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Won’t settle into lines

Con:

  • Powder formula can be too mattifying for those with dry skin

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Flower Beauty Lip And Cheek Gel Crush In Raspberry Crush Ecomm Ulta.comvia merchant

Best blush for olive skin with neutral undertones

Flower Beauty Lip and Cheek Gel Crush in Raspberry Crush

As we already mentioned, olive skin is incredibly versatile when it comes to the best blush shades—and that’s even more true if you have neutral undertones like Selena Gomez or Jessica Alba. A poppy, reddish pink will be extra statement-making on you.

This favorite from Flower Beauty glides on so smoothly and leaves behind just the right amount of color. One Ulta reviewer loves how fast and easy the stick makes it to apply, while another raves that it gives a natural glow like you get after a nice yoga session. For an on-trend monochromatic look, you can dab a little on your lips too—adding shine is one of the ways to fake full lips.

Pros:

  • Easy to travel with
  • Dewy finish
  • Hydrating

Con:

  • Not as highly pigmented as some may like

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Inc.redible Three Love Lip Cheek And Eye Tint Stick Ecomm Sephora.comvia merchant

Best blush for deep skin with cool undertones

Inc.redible Three Love Lip, Cheek and Eye Tint Stick in Rich Brown

“Deeper skin can handle more color,” says Brafford. “And if you’ve got cooler undertones, you’ll want something that adds a bit of warmth.” Try a burgundy-brown shade: It may look intimidating, but once you apply it to the apples of your cheeks, you’ll see how beautifully it brightens up your complexion.

This Inc.redible blush is highly pigmented, which is important for deeper skin tones—after all, you want it to show. But it still has a sheer quality, so it doesn’t overpower. Sephora reviewers agree it really pops against your skin. Other praiseworthy attributes: It’s hydrating, leaves behind a dewy finish, and can be used on your eyes and cheeks as well. Multipurpose products are a great way to streamline your regimen and make it easy to organize your makeup bag.

Pros:

  • Sheer look
  • Deeply pigmented
  • Hydrating

Con:

  • Limited shade range

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Makeup By Mario Soft Pop Blush Stick In Plumberry Ecomm Sephora.comvia merchant

Best blush for deep skin with warm undertones

Makeup by Mario Soft Pop Blush Stick in Plumberry

A deep plum is dark enough to show up on deep skin without trying to compete with it. Plus, a more purple shade will complement warm undertones without adding any ruddiness.

This Makeup by Mario stick has everything you need. One end contains a cream blush that leaves behind a dewy finish that never looks greasy. The other end has a brush to help you blend. Some of the five-star reviewers on Sephora highlight that it doesn’t fade all day. Makeup artist tip: To lift your cheekbones, dab the color on the apples of your cheeks, says Sorrells. Then use the brush to dab, dab, dab from the center of your cheek toward your temples.

Pros:

  • Great for travel
  • Comes with a brush
  • Moisturizing formula

Con:

  • Dewy finish may not work for oily skin types

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Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lip And Cheek Glow In Colour Of Passion Ecomm Charlottetilbury.comvia merchant

Best blush for deep skin with neutral undertones

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lip and Cheek Glow in Colour of Passion

You’ll be berry glad you tried this blush! Inspired by the brand’s best-selling lipstick, this deep berry blush is meant to mimic the flush a night of passion leaves behind. The shade is dark enough to pop against deep skin tones while still being sheer enough to look natural and soft. The cream texture makes it easy to blend, and it has a slightly dewy finish that adds a youthful-looking glow. The blush is also formulated with raspberry leaf stem cell extract and vitamin E, both of which are known to hydrate. Reviewers call it a holy grail product!

Pros:

  • Moisturizing
  • Easy to blend
  • Multipurpose

Con:

  • Higher price point

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Rituel De Fille Color Nectar Pigment Balm In Snapdragon Ecomm Ulta.comvia merchant

Best universally flattering orange blush

Rituel de Fille Color Nectar Pigment Balm in Snapdragon

This juicy shade from Rituel de Fille looks good on just about every skin tone—seriously! The orangey red shade will bring out pink tones in warmer skins and will look slightly peachy on cooler undertones. Plus, the balm-like formula is buildable. Apply just a little for coverage on lighter skin tones and a few layers on deeper tones. To build coverage, tap a blush-covered finger on your cheekbones. Apply too much? No worries, just swipe your fingers across your cheeks to diffuse it. The compact also makes it one of the most useful beauty supplies to stash at work.

Pros:

  • Looks good on all skin tones
  • Can also be used on eyes and lips
  • Buildable coverage

Con:

  • Cream formula is not as good for oily skin

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Rose Inc. Blush Divine Clean Dewy Cream Blush In Heliotrope Ecomm Sephora.comvia merchant

Best universally flattering peach blush

Rose Inc. Blush Divine Clean Dewy Cream Blush in Heliotrope

With a little bit of pink and a little bit of coral, this Rose Inc. blush hue adds a pretty flush to anyone who dabs it on. The cream formula is also incredibly nourishing, thanks to a variety of skin care ingredients. Squalane adds weightless hydration to give you a gorgeous glow. Sodium hyaluronate blurs imperfections, and ceramides help protect your skin barrier.

On medium skin, this pinky-peach shade will give the perfect blush. If you have a deeper skin tone, expect a soft flush. On the lighter side? Apply just a little for a poppy flush.

Pros:

  • Nourishing
  • Blurs imperfections
  • Has skin care benefits

Con:

  • On the expensive side

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Winky Lux Cheeky Rose Cream Blush In Dodgy Ecomm Ulta.comvia merchant

Best universally flattering mauve blush

Winky Lux Cheeky Rose Cream Blush in Dodgy

How gorgeous is this rose-shaped Winky Lux blush? But it doesn’t just come in pretty packaging: This mauve shade will give anyone the flirtiest flush. In terms of undertones, it’s neutral, which means it will work on people with warm or cool tones in their own skin.

The creamy formula is also pretty spectacular. It contains vitamin E to help nourish skin and give you a dewy finish that keeps you glowing all day long. Here’s an inexpensive beauty trick: It’s also highly blendable, so you can really work a small dab into your skin if you want just a faint hint of color.

Pros:

  • Neutral blush color looks good on all
  • Contains vitamin E
  • Pretty packaging

Con:

  • Rose shape may make it hard to apply

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Sources:

Bethany Heitman
Bethany is a lifestyle writer and editor with over 15 years of experience and has worked for some of the largest media brands in the world. She covers beauty, fashion, tech, entertainment and more.