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 • Makeup  • Makeup Guides  • How To Find The *Perfect* Blusher for You in 3 Expert Steps
Woman showing how to pick the perfect blusher colour

How To Find The *Perfect* Blusher for You in 3 Expert Steps

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Main Image – Byjuno/Stocksy

Picking a blusher seems like such a simple task. Want a flush of colour on your cheeks? Just go and buy a blusher. Easy peasy!

But when you get to the shop and discover that there’s an abundance of shade and formula options, it suddenly doesn’t feel so straightforward. From creams, powders and gel formulas, to pinks, peaches and berry shades, how do you know which one suits you?

Well, it all starts with knowing your undertones (the colour underneath the surface of your skin which affects your overall colouring) and skin tone (the colour of the surface of your skin). Once you know these two things, you will be able to find the most flattering blusher shade for you (and pretend the unflattering ones never existed.)

Next, take into account your own skin type and overall makeup look and you’ll be ready to go!

So, feeling ready to getting picking? Keep scrolling for a complete step-by-step guide on how to do it all from makeup artists Amy Galloway and Ashley Nichole Gibson and prepare to meet your perfect blusher.


1. Find your overall skin tone

Look at the veins on your arms. If they’re blue, then you have cool undertones whilst green veins suggest warmer ones. Bit of both? Then you’re a neutral undertone.

Your skin tone is either fair, light, medium, olive, deep or dark. If you burn easily in the sun and don’t tan, you have a fair skin tone. You’re a light skin tone if it burns but tans a little and you have a medium skin tone if you tan easily and rarely burn.

An olive and dark skin tone can be identified by the fact that it never burns and tans for longer. (PS always use SPF, whatever your skin tone!)


woman with makeu earrings blusher gold eyeshadow pink

Image – Sian Elizabeth


2. Pick the best blusher shades for your skin tone

Here’s Gibson’s handy breakdown of which shade flatters which skin tone, depending on your undertones. If you’ve got neutral undertones, then you’re in luck! “Both warm and cool undertones work,” she says.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for helping when shopping, they’re there to help you,” Gibson adds. “Makeup is a form of self-expression, so feel free to experiment and have fun with different shades until you find what works best for you.”


The best blusher shades for fair skin:

You have…

  • Cool undertones:

Choose soft pink or rosy shades

  • Warm undertones:

Choose light peach or coral shades


Girl with light skin tone and pink blusher showing how to pick the perfect blusher

Image – Moravaska/Adobe


The best blusher shades for light to medium skin:

You have…

  • Cool undertones:

Choose rosy or mauve shades

  • Warm undertones:

Choose soft apricots or warm peach shades


Girl with medium skin tone and blusher showing how to pick the perfect blusher

Image – Victoriachudinova/Adobe


The best blusher shades for olive skin:

You have…

  • Cool undertones:

Choose berry or plum shades

  • Warm undertones:

Choose terracotta or brick-red shades


Wait, is Makeup Actually Bad For Your Skin? close up of skin blusher blush foundation

Image – Jade M/


The best blusher shades for dark skin:

You have…

  • Cool undertones:

Choose rich berry or fuchsia shades

  • Warm undertones:

Choose deep copper, plum or burgundy shades


Woman with a dark skin tone showing how to pick the perfect blusher

Image – Svitlana/Adobe


3. Consider your skin type and makeup look


1. Consider your overall makeup look

“If you’re going for a natural look, opt for softer shades. For a more dramatic look, you can be bolder with your blush,” says Gibson.


2. Take skin changes into account

If you’re someone who tans, Gibson recommends making a seasonal game plan. “Remember that your skin tone may change with the seasons, so it’s a good idea to have a couple of blush shades that work for you throughout the year.”


3. Choose the right formula for your skin type

A cream blush is great for dry or mature skin. “They add hydration and a natural glow,” says Galloway.

A gel blush works for most skin types and is more sheer than a liquid blush which is “highly pigmented and suitable for normal to oily skin and blends easily for a natural or dewy finish,” explains Galloway.

“A powder is versatile, works well for all skin types, absorbs oil and provides a matte finish,” she adds.


face powder beauty make up blusher

Image – Lumos sp/Adobe

How to apply your blusher like a *pro*

Now you’ve picked the perfect blusher for you, the next step is to apply it like a pro makeup artist!  The experts share their tips for the perfect blusher application.

1. Cream blush

“Use your fingertips or a brush, dab on the cheeks and blend gently,” advises Galloway. I love Beauty Pie Supercheek Cream Blush (£12 on the Beauty Pie UK website/$14.59-member price on the Beauty Pie US website) which bounces onto the skin beautifully.

Jones Road’s Miracle Balm (from £36 from Liberty, UK and $38 on the Jones Road website) is a beautifully dewy formula than can be applied to cheeks, eyelids and lips, making this more than just a normal cream blush.  You can take a look at our full thoughts on Jones Road’s products in our review here.

Jones Road miracle balm showing how to pick the perfect blusher

Image – Jones Road


2. Gel blush

“Apply with a stippling brush or your fingertips, tap onto cheeks and blend in circular motions.” Glossier Cloud Paint (£20.00 on the Glossier UK website/$25.00 on the Glossier US website) comes in an array of colours to suit all skin tones.

Apply it with Refy Duo Brush (£16.00 on the REFY UK website/$24.00 on the REFY US website) which is a cross between fluffy and stiff.


Glossier Cloud Paint blusher showing how to pick the perfect blusher

Image – Glossier


3. Powder blush

“Use a fluffy brush sweep on the cheeks and blend towards the temples,” she says. Try No 7 Match Made Powder Blusher (£9.95 on the Boots UK website/$18.00 on the SkinStore US website) which leaves a subtle flush of colour.

A great fluffy brush to use for powder blusher is Real Techniques Setting Brush (£7.99 on the Look Fantastic UK website/$7.99 on the Walmart website).

Boots No. 7 powder blusher showing how to pick the perfect blusher

Image – Boots


4. Liquid blush

“Apply a small dot of product, then swiftly blend it with your fingertips or a brush,” Galloway recommends. “You can build up if necessary but always begin with a light touch and blend thoroughly for a natural appearance.”

Makeup Revolution Superdewy Liquid Blush (£5.95 on the Beauty Bay UK website/$6.65 on the Beauty Bay US website) is just that – super dewy!


Liquid blusher showing how to pick the perfect blusher

Image – Revolution


The takeaway

Once you know your fair from your medium skin tones, your warm from your cool undertones, and your cream from your powder blush, shopping for blusher is surprisingly straightforward, isn’t it?

Follow Gibson’s shade guide to the letter – take a screenshot of it, save it on your phone and I can pretty much guarantee any in-store blusher confusion will be gone forever.

Think about how your skin behaves and judge which formula to go for based on that. For example, powders generally make dry skin look too matte but are ideal on oily skin as they absorb oil.

Overall, there is a blusher out there for *everyone* and identifying your skin tone and undertones instantly puts you in charge of your blush game. Everything after that is just plain fun.


Meet the experts

Ashley Nichole Gibson is a licensed aesthetician and makeup artist who owns Paraposh, which provides on-site makeup services. Specialising in bridal makeup, her experience also extends to training and education for cosmetic brands, conducting master classes at Ulta, and working as a makeup artist at QVC for beauty brands.


Amy Galloway is an LA-based makeup artist whose work has been featured in the like of Harper’s Bazar.  She shares her stunning work with her more than 40,000 Instagram followers.


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Beauty Editor

The former Beauty Editor of Glamour UK, Philippa has been a beauty and lifestyle journalist for over 16 years, picking up countless tips and tricks from makeup artists, hair stylists, dermatologists and celebrities. In that time she’s written for names like Cosmopolitan, The Sunday Times Style, The Telegraph, Grazia, Refinery 29 and Byrdie. Philippa lives in the UK with her husband, two children and their hyperactive cockapoo, Paddy.

Expertise: Makeup, hair care
Education: Oxford Brookes University

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