Choosing the right blush color can make a big difference in how natural your makeup looks. The key is finding a shade that complements your skin tone. Here’s a quick guide to picking the most natural blush color for you.
What is blush and why do we use it?
Blush, also known as rouge, is a cosmetic used to color the cheeks. It comes in powder, cream and liquid formulas. Blush adds warmth and dimension to the face, creating the illusion of a healthy, youthful flush.
We use blush to:
- Add color back to the face after foundation has evened out skin tone
- Sculpt and define the cheekbones
- Warm up fair complexions
- Brighten and lift tired or sallow looking skin
- Contour the face by using darker and lighter blush shades
- Match with lip color for a monochromatic look
Choosing the right blush for your skin type and undertone will help it look natural. The color should blend seamlessly into your complexion.
How do I find my skin’s undertone?
Your skin’s undertone is an important factor in choosing flattering makeup shades. There are three main undertones:
- Warm: Yellow, peach or golden undertones. Veins appear greenish.
- Cool: Pink, red or blue undertones. Veins appear purplish.
- Neutral: No strong overtone. Veins appear blue and green.
To determine your undertone, examine the veins on the inside of your wrist in natural light. If they appear greenish, you likely have warm undertones. If they look blue or purple, you have cool undertones. Can’t tell? Then you probably have a neutral skin tone.
Best blush shades for warm skin tones
Those with warm yellow, peach and golden complexions should stick to coral, peach, bronze and copper blush hues. These shades will melt right into the skin for a lit-from-within glow.
Some top blush picks for warm undertones include:
- NARS Orgasm
- Makeup by Mario Soft Pop Powder Blush in Warm
- Clinique Cheek Pop in Peach Pop
- Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso
- Benefit Cosmetics Dandelion Twinkle
Best blush shades for cool skin tones
Those with fair skin that burns easily or olive complexions with pink or red undertones should stick to pink, rose and mauve blush tones. These shades will harmonize with cool undertones for a natural flush.
Some top blush picks for cool undertones include:
- Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk
- Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush in Grace
- MAC Powder Blush in Pinch O’ Peach
- Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush in Rose Latte
- NYX High Definition Blush in Pink the Town
Best blush shades for neutral skin tones
Those with an even mix of warm and cool undertones have more flexibility when choosing blush shades. But for the most natural look, try soft berries, pinky corals and rosewood hues.
Some top blush picks for neutral undertones include:
- Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Blush in Pillow Talk
- Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure
- Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Paaarty
- NARS Blush in Madly
- Becca Mineral Blush in Songbird
How to apply blush for a natural look
Blush placement and application technique also play a role in keeping color looking like a natural extension of your complexion.
To apply blush for a flushed-from-within effect:
- Smile and brush blush on the apples of the cheeks
- Sweep color up toward the cheekbones but not past the eyes
- Use a light hand and build color gradually
- Blend the edges well so there’s no harsh lines
- Add a touch to the nose and chin to look cohesive
Stick to soft, natural hair brushes rather than dense bristles to diffuse blush seamlessly. Always apply it as the last step in your base makeup so it sits nicely on top.
Putting it All Together – Tips for Picking the Most Natural Blush for Your Skin Tone
Here are some key tips to keep in mind when shopping for a natural-looking blush:
- Test shades in natural lighting on your face rather than just your hand
- If you can’t tell your undertone, neutral roses and pinky corals are a safe bet
- The lighter your skin, the softer the blush tone should be
- Tan or dark skin looks great with deeper berry and bronze shades
- Powder blush in matte or satin finishes look more natural than shimmery formulas
- Liquid or cream blush blends easily for a seamless look
- Don’t go overboard – you can always add more, but it’s hard to tone down too much blush
Finding your perfect natural blush shade has more to do with undertones than skin color. Test out coral, peach and bronze shades if your skin leans warm. Opt for pink, rose and berry hues if you have cool undertones. Those with a neutral skin mix can experiment with both.
Use a light hand when applying and blend well. Sweep color onto the apples of the cheeks and back toward the hairline. Add a touch of the same blush to the nose and chin for a cohesive look. Stick to matte or satin blush textures for the most natural flush.
With the right blush colors and application, you can highlight your best features and look like you just got back from a brisk walk on a sunny day. A natural, fresh-faced glow is just a brush stroke away!