How to find the best shade of blush for your skin tone

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Whether you prefer it as a cream, powder, or tint, blush is one mighty powerful makeup product. Choose the right shade and it has the ability to awaken a dull complexion, add dimension to the face and freshen an entire look, all while looking like it’s your own natural God-given glow.

Gone are the days when rouge and hot pinks were the only option, now we’ve got a plethora of plum and peachy tones, lavender-based blushes and tangerine creams to choose from.

So how can you make sure you’re using the right blush shade for your skin tone? Makeup artist Sarah Tammer gives us her top cheeky tips below…

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Blush for pale and lighter skin tones 

For lighter skin tones, a pigment-packed blush isn’t always a good thing. Lighter, buildable textures are best, and if you’re trying to achieve a natural flush, Sarah suggests going for a soft pink or coral blush.

“This is generally because lighter coloured skin tones naturally have pink undertones, so pinks and corals are best suited,” she says. 

“A fabulous friend of mine also taught me a very simple technique: If you’re more attracted to silver jewellery, then you’ll more than likely suit cooler tones ie: cool pinks. If you prefer gold then reach for warmer tones ie: oranges and bronzes.”

“I would recommend avoiding intense red pigments as it will bring out the pinkness in the skin and tends to give you the appearance of being overheated or sunburnt. I’d also suggest avoiding shades like terracotta as this tends to look ‘muddy’ on the cheeks.”

Lighter skin tones need not be afraid of pink, it’s just about finding the right tone of pink. 

Sarah’s top product picks:

  • LUMA’s Just a Touch Cheek Tint in ‘Muse’ ($29.95, www.lumabeauty.com) – “A fantastic colour for lighter skin tones.”
  • Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic in ‘Ecstasy’ ($60, https://www.charlottetilbury.com/au) – “A beautiful peachy-pink.”
  • Nars Blush in ‘Orgasm’ ($46, mecca.com.au) – “Also very flattering on light skin tones.”

bh recommends:

Blush for olive and tanned skin tones 

For olive skin, it’s all about finding the right undertone. 

Chrissy Teigen once revealed she prefers a blush with a lavender undertone, though Sarah says “red and brown undertones are best suited to olive skin.”

“You really want to avoid pale and cool-toned blushes if you have olive skin as they will wash you out,” she explains.  

“A peachy blush with red undertones will look beautiful on olive skin tones and terracottas also look lovely.”

Sarah’s top product picks:

  • LUMA’s Just A Touch Cheek Tint in ‘Lady Luck’ ($29.95, www.lumabeauty.com) – “I love to use this for a natural flush.”
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Luminous Blush in ‘Tigerlily’ ($51, sephora.com.au) – “An orange-gold blush like this can look beautiful on olive skin tones as the warm tone with gold shimmers will give you a natural, luminous glow.” 

bh recommends:

Blush for dark and deeper skin tones

Having darker skin doesn’t automatically mean you’ll suit the darkest blush shade in a range,. It’s still all about tone.

“It’s important to stay warm when you’re working with dark skin because if you go too cool it’s going to look ashy and wash you out,” says Sarah.

“Auburn tones and hints of gold look beautiful on darker skin tones. As do deep red pigments and deep terracotta tones. A raspberry shade will also look flattering on dark skin and will give the cheekbones a plum-coloured flush.”

With plenty of options, it’s really just trial and error. “Don’t be scared to try deep raisin and brown shades, as dark skin can really hold up to pigment,” says Sarah.

“If you choose colours that are too light, you run the risk of the shade not even showing up, so be bold!”

Sarah’s top product pick:

  • Milani Cosmetics Baked Blush in ‘09 Red Vino’ ($12 excl. tax, milani.com) – “The perfect raspberry shade for dark skin.”

bh recommends:

*This article has been updated since its original publication date

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