The Best Blush for Different Skin Tones

Victoria Moorhouse

Photo by Tiffany Hagler-Geard; Graphic Design by Rolando Robinson

Somewhere along the line (we’re guessing a couple years after the passing of the ’80s) blush worked up a decently bad reputation for being a beauty product that basically no one knew how to use properly. The fear of looking like a vintage teenage prom queen or a Raggedy Ann doll with bright pink blush painted on in circular shapes is real—and it’s is a look that no one cares to recreate, except maybe for Halloween. But, in fact, the high value of this product for your daily beauty routine shouldn’t be ignored.

With so many blush hues in varying finishes available on the market, it has the ability to bring a pop of color or a subtle glow to your complexion, mimic a natural rosy flush, and balance out dramatic eye or lip looks. Ever heard of someone complaining of looking washed-out? Blush is the solution. The first step in conquering your fear of using this gem of a product that’s been an industry, celebrity, and runway staple for years on end, is picking one that works for your skin tone. Whether you have fair, dark, medium/tan, or olive skin tones, there is a hue for you—this guide will help you find it.

MORE: The New Way to Apply False Lashes


Photo by Tiffany Hagler-Geard; Graphic Design by Rolando Robinson

Olive Skin
If you have an olive skin tone and you’re looking for that product, you have countless gorgeous shades that will complement you well. Sonia Kashuk, makeup artist and founder of Sonia Kashuk Beauty, suggests that those with olive skin try out warm, deep shades like oranges, apricots, bronzes, purples, plums, and even reddish browns. “Olive skin tones should avoid anything too cool or white cast. This applies to finishes as well—when working with an illuminating blush, stick with a golden shimmer rather than something silvery,” she says.
BH Shopping Suggestions: (Sonia Kashuk Chic Luminosity Bronzer/Blush Duo in Glimmer, $13,; Make Up For Ever HD Blush in Tangerine, $26,; Kevyn Aucoin Pure Powder Glow in Neolita, $37,; Sonia Kashuk Creme Blush in Rosey, $10,; Laura Gellar Beauty Blush-N-Brighten in Roseberry, $27.50,


Photo by Tiffany Hagler-Geard; Graphic Design by Rolando Robinson

Dark Skin
When it comes to dark skin tones, Sonia Kashuk explains that you can go for the same colors as those with olive skin tones (which means you can do dusty roses, oranges, apricots, reds, purples, plums, and reddish browns), but try to go a bit deeper in the hue. She also suggests a warm bronzer, that we’re completely in love with. What to avoid? Similar to olive tones, she suggests staying away from hues that are white or silver-casted or anything too muddy. These are some rich, beautiful shades that caught our attention.
BH Shopping Suggestions: (Sonia Kashuk Bare Illuminating Bronzer in Goddess, $13,; NARS The Multiple Stick in Na Pali Coast, $39,; Laura Mercier Bonne Stick Face Color in Coral Glow, $32,; tarte cheek stain in flush, $30,


Photo by Tiffany Hagler-Geard; Graphic Design by Rolando Robinson


Medium/Tan Skin
If you have a medium to tan skin tone, makeup artist Neil Scibelli suggests trying out rose and berry-like hues and even peachy, orange shades in the summer. The important thing in this case, he explains, is to go for something with a “drop more pigment” or a fuchsia undertone that will standout on the skin. Try not to go for blush with a sheer finish, anything that will pick up a grey tone, or baby pinks. Need some application tips? “I like to have them smile and apply color on apples of the cheek in circular motions. Sheer it outward so it’s not a circle on your cheek,” explains Neil who says you should sheer and blend the color out to your comfort.
BH Shopping Suggestions:
(Lorac Pro Powder Cheek Stain in Rosy Glow, $21,; Tarte Amazonian clay in Natural Beauty, $26,; Sephora Collection Blush in Apricot Sheen, $16,; Topshop Creme Blush in Pulse, $14,


Photo by Tiffany Hagler-Geard; Graphic Design by Rolando Robinson

Fair Skin
“Fair girls look beautiful with a soft pink blush,” says Romy Soleimani, makeup artist and Beauty Director at Large for If you have pink undertones, Romy suggests staying in the same color family when it comes to your blush colors or even using your natural flush and enhancing it with another common cosmetics product. “I like to just take a concealer pen and use it around the nose and laugh line area so that the natural redness and flush is contained to the cheek area—and it looks intentional,” says Romy who favors creamy blush colors like Kevyn Aucoin’s Pravella, a flush liquid tint from By Terry, a nude hue like NARS’ Pennylane, and a pinky color from RMS Beauty. She also notes that girls with fair skin tones should stay away from anything too violet. “I prefer a delicate shade on a fair girl. Also, I would stay away from dark bronzers that can just look like a mess,” she notes
BH Shopping Suggestions: (Flower Beauty Win Some, Rouge Some Creme Blush in Forget-me-not, $8,; Kevyn Aucoin The Creamy Glow in Pravella, $26,; By Terry Cellularose Blush Glace in Rose Melba, $58,; e.l.f Studio HD Blush in Headliner, $3,; Dolce and Gabbana Luminous Cheek Color Blush in Nude, $46,

 MORE: How to Keep Matte Lipstick Looking Fresh