How to Find the Best Blush for Your Skin Tone, According to Makeup Artists

How to Find the Best Blush for Your Skin Tone, According to Makeup Artists featured image
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If you’ve scrolled through TikTok recently, chances are you’ve come across someone comparing their skin with a bunch of different color swatches. What gives? Color analysis is a tool that helps individuals find what hues look best on them, and though the practice has been around for a long time, it’s recently spiked in popularity. 

Color analysis spans much further than the clothes you wear, though. It also applies to makeup—especially blush. “Choosing the right blush can make you look more awake, healthier and youthful,” says professional makeup artist Tomy Rivero

It’s true that experimentation lies at the heart of makeup, and while there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to blush selection and application, there are some helpful tricks to follow to ensure you choose a blush shade that will brighten up your complexion and enhance your natural beauty. The most important aspect to consider? Your undertones.

  • Tomy Rivero is a professional makeup artist
  • Lori Taylor Davis is the global pro lead artist at Smashbox Cosmetics
  • Sarah Novio is a color analysis and beauty expert 
  • Melissa Silver is a professional makeup artist

Should I Look for Blush with Cool Undertones or Warm Undertones? 

Simply put, this depends on your own skin’s undertones. Once you determine whether you have cool, warm or neutral undertones, it’s best to select a blush that corresponds with them. In plain terms, you’ll want to match cool with cool, and vice versa, warm with warm. As for neutral, you can dabble with both. “Blush with matching undertones enhances your natural complexion, making your skin look more radiant and naturally flushed,” explains Lori Taylor Davis, global pro lead artist at Smashbox Cosmetics. “Using the wrong undertone can make your skin look washed out, or overly flushed and sometimes muddy.” 

To find a blush to match your undertones, you’ll first need to determine what your undertones are, which color analysis and beauty expert Sarah Novio says is relatively easy and can be done in seconds. 

The most foolproof way to discover your undertones is with the jewelry test. “If you look better in gold jewelry rather than silver jewelry, you have warm undertones,” Novio explains. “On the flip side, if silver jewelry compliments you better, I’d consider you to have a cool undertone.” As for those who look good in both gold and silver? Well, that’s a telltale sign you have neutral undertones. 

After you figure out your undertones, you can narrow down your search even further because certain colors almost always fall on either the warm or cool spectrum. For example, Novio says that any blush that looks coral, peach or orange (all of which are inherently warm hues) will look incredible on people with warm undertones. While “blushes that are more pink, cherry red or berry tones will look the most natural on cooler undertone,” she adds.

If you still need a bit more guidance, we broke down the best blushes for each skin tone (and undertone!) with the help of our experts. With any of the below picks, you’ll achieve the prettiest flush for summer and beyond. 

Best Blush for Fair Skin Tones

1 / 3

Westman Atelier Blush Stick in Minitte ($48)

Rivero says this lightweight, hydrating formula deposits just the right amount of color and gives those with warm undertones the illusion of a natural peachy flush.

westman baby cheeks minette
2 / 3

Saie Dew Blush in Baby ($25)

It’s easy to overdo it on the blush when you have fair skin, so Novio recommends this sheer yet buildable liquid formula that’s a dream to blend and layer. She suggests the baby pink shade for those with cool undertones to really enliven their complexion. 

saie blush baby
3 / 3

ICONIC London Sheer Blush in Rose Riot ($27)

A pale, nude pink hue will complement neutral undertones beautifully. Aside from the color, professional makeup artist Melissa Silver also calls this one of her all-time favorite blush formulas because “you can start small, build up the pigment with light layers, and even mix shades to create your perfect combination.”

iconic blush

Best Blush for Light Skin Tones

1 / 3

Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk Sheer ($22)

You might not expect a brownish-nude hue to work for light skin tones, but Novio says this “is like a tan for your cheeks and gives those with warm undertones a gorgeous natural flush.”

cloud paint dusk
2 / 3

Nars Afterglow Liquid Blush in Dolce Vita ($32)

To achieve a sunkissed glow on light skin tones, all you really need is a dusty rose shade. Novio says this is superb for cool undertones and appreciates that the formula is buildable and hydrating.

nars dolce vita
3 / 3

Smashbox Cosmetics Halo Sculpt + Glow Face Palette in Back to Cali ($45)

This all-in-one face palette comes with two blush shades, a highlighter, and a buildable bronzer. When it comes to the blush, Davis says that the two hues (a warm, subtle rose and nude flushed coral) can be worn alone or swirled together to create dimension for those with neutral undertones.

smashbox blush

Best Blush for Medium Skin Tones

1 / 3

Jones Road Miracle Balm in Sunkissed ($38)

Don’t let the richness of this reddish bronze blush scare you—Rivero says it’s extremely sheer and will give those with warm-toned medium skin a gorgeous pop (especially on no makeup-makeup days). If you deal with dry skin, the hydrating formula also adds an extra moisture boost. 

jones road miracle balm
2 / 3

Kosas Blush is Life Baked Dimensional + Brightening Blush in Butterflies ($29)

This buildable powder blush melts into skin (much like a cream would), so you never have to worry about harsh lines. We suggest trying the shade Butterflies, a cool-toned baby pink that enhances medium complexions. Bonus: A few swipes is all you need to achieve Sabrina Carpenter’s signature bubblegum flush. 

kosas blush
3 / 3

Freck Beauty Cheekslime in Fielding ($22)

While many liquid formulas are super sheer, this one offers a bit more of a punch yet is still incredibly blendable. Novio says medium skin tones shouldn’t be afraid to pack on the color and adds that with this rusty hue, all you need is a few dabs to get a “perfectly sunkissed glow.” 

cheek slime blush

Best Blush for Olive Skin Tones

1 / 3

Merit Flush Blush Balm in Fox ($30)

Simplify your makeup routine with this buildable, clean formula that not only functions as blush but can also double as contour. Rivero recommends the warm taupe hue because it provides a rosy glow “without being pink.”

merit flush balm
2 / 3

Caliray SoCal Superbloom in Dawn Patrol ($28)

“Bronzers can be too overwhelming, and pink blushes can look ‘makeup-y’ on olive undertones, but this shade is the perfect mix of pink blush and bronzer,” says Novio, who often finds herself reaching for this pick to complement her olive complexion on a daily basis.

caliray blush
3 / 3

Polite Society Powder Blush Stick in Palm Springs ($28)

If you want to partake in the vibrant blush trends, Silver suggests those with olive-toned skin steer towards hues with warmer undertones, like this powder blush stick in bright coral. “Cool toned blushes all over cheeks can make olive complexions look a bit dull,” she says.

polite pops

Best Blush for Dark Skin Tones

1 / 3

Patrick Ta – Double Take- Powder Blush Duo in She’s Wanted ($38)

“Rich berry colors brighten up dark skin tones and bring the cheekbones to life,” says Rivero. His favorite happens to be this cream-powder duo that works especially well for oily-prone skin types due to its long-wear formula. He guarantees you won’t need any touch-ups, even through long, hot summer days. 

patrick ta blush
2 / 3

Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek Cream Blush Stick in Muse ($24)

Novio applauds Milk for its inclusivity. “The brand took the time to make sure their cheek products cater to people with darker skin tones,” she explains. For a sultry, statement making blush, she loves this deep burgundy hue that’s warm “but not overly warm” and super buildable.

milk blush
3 / 3

Tower28 BeachPlease Lip + Cheek Cream Blush in Party Hour ($20)

Few skin tones are able to rock an electrifying lilac blush quite like darker complexions. This color especially pops against those with cool undertones, and though the hue is incredibly vibrant, it’s easily blendable and sinks into skin thanks to aloe vera extract in the formula. 


Best Blush for Deep Skin Tones

1 / 3

Danessa Myricks Beauty Yummy Skin Blurring Balm Lip and Cheek in Golden Hour ($25)

In years past, it was difficult to find a blush pigmented enough to show up on deep skin tones. BIPOC-founded Danessa Myricks Beauty sought to change that with this blurring and smoothing product. While all of the hues will work for deep skin tones, Rivero recommends Golden Hour, a vivid orange, for those with warm undertones. 

danessa myricks blush
2 / 3

ONE/SIZE Cheekclapper in Gworly Pop ($38)

Novio calls the Gworly Pop hue the “perfect Barbie pink for deep skin with cool undertones.” Consider the formula a triple threat, too: It contains a cream, a matte, and a shimmer formula that can be layered to create a look uniquely your own. 

one size blush
3 / 3

Makeup By Mario Soft Pop Blush Stick in PlumBerry ($32)

Silver says that rich berry hues look absolutely divine on deep skin tones, and Makeup by Mario makes one of the best. The creamy blush stick imparts a gorgeous sheen that, once blended, provides the illusion of a natural flush.

makeup by mario blush

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