From powders and creams to gels and stains, the right blush for you comes down to the formula that best complements your skin. With the help of experts, we’ve created the ultimate guide to finding the perfect blush that compliments your face and suits all your skin care needs.
If you have oily skin, choose a powder blush.
Why It’s Good: Powder blush helps mattify the oily parts of the cheeks, making it a good choice for those who have a tendency to get oily midday. If your skin is on the oily side, celebrity makeup artist Melanie Mills says to stick with matte shades and nothing too shimmery.
How To Apply: First, prep skin with toner and primer to help the blush adhere better. To determine where you will start application, Jouer executive director of artistry, Niki Metz, says to place your index and middle fingers on your face vertically, starting at the end of your nose. Then, “Apply the blush by creating a ‘sideways triangle’ by brushing the product down and back. Finally, use a soft blending brush to diffuse any harsh edges.”
Our Pick: Lorac Baked Matte Satin Blush adds a pop of fresh color to your cheeks for a natural look. Use it wet or dry to get a satin finish that lasts all day. $24, loraccosmetics.com
If you have dry skin, choose a cream blush for moisture.
Why It’s Good: When you want your skin’s natural radiance to show through and not look made up or heavy, go with a cream blush. “It’s ideal for drier complexions because it has ingredients in it that hydrate and nourish skin,” says Soto-Carlisle.
How to Apply: First, using your fingers or a small flat brush, press the cream into the apples of your cheeks. Then blend it in using an upward circular motion. “Make sure to blend accordingly or it can appear clownish or too dark,” adds Mills.
Our Pick: With its light-as-air whipped texture and buildable color, Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Soufflé gives cheeks a healthy-looking flush and a hefty dose of hydration. $27, sephora.com
If you have normal skin, choose a gel or liquid blush.
Why It’s Good: Lightweight gel and liquid blushes are compatible with normal skin types (Soto-Carlisle says gel also works well on those with slightly oily skin because the gel acts as a base for powder blush to hold onto the color) that don’t really need the extra hydrating or mattifying benefits.
How to Apply: First, start by placing two to four dots on your cheekbones. Then, blend in with your fingers or a sponge using a circular motion.
Our Pick: For that perfectly pretty, barely there cheek, look no further than Giorgio Armani Beauty Fluid Sheer, a lightweight formula that melts into your skin for a sheer finish. $62, giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com
If you want long-lasting color, choose a cheek stain or tint.
Why It’s Good: Water-based and superfluid, stains and tints give a natural flush to skin that stays for hours on end. Just like gel blush, tints and stains need to be blended into skin almost immediately after application. “Stains and tints also double as a base for powder blush,” adds Soto-Carlisle.
How to Apply: First, apply a few small dots (you can always add more) with your fingers to the upper part of your cheekbones. Then, lightly pat the blush into your skin and then blend it in with a sponge or firm brush.
Our Pick: Fairly easy to apply, Burberry Fresh Glow Blush contains more than 50 percent water, which creates a cooling effect on skin and gives a translucent look. $38, us.burberry.com
If you are prone to breakouts, choose loose mineral powder.
Why It’s Good: Loose mineral powder blush is made from minerals (a natural source that’s less irritating) that are light on the skin. “Mineral blush is a healthy, skin-friendly alternative to traditional makeup. it’s UV protective, noncomedogenic and calms redness,” says Soto-Carlisle. “The minerals also reflect light and provide luminosity for sheer results.”
How to Apply: First, apply loose mineral powder blush just like you would powder blush, concentrating the majority of the product on the apples of your cheeks. Then, blend into surrounding areas.
Our Pick: Infused with mineral-riich clay from the Amazon River, Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush provides high-impact color that lasts all day and is compatible with just about every skin tone. $28, tartecosmetics.com