Finding the absolute best blush color for my skin tone is crazy difficult. Swipe on a blush that's a bit too coral, and I look like a clown. But try a soft pink that's too soft pink, and I'm totally washed out.
So rather than play another guessing game next time I'm in the makeup aisle, I enlisted the help of celebrity makeup artist Georgie Eisdell, whose clients include Sophie Turner and Gwyneth Paltrow. And since I'm fairly certain I'm not the only person who has encountered this problem, I asked Eisdell to break down the very best blush hues for every single skin tone.
First, a quick refresher course on how to make blush look as natural as possible. “You should never see your blush—it just needs to be there,” says Eisdell, adding that the key to this flushed-from-within look is starting sheer, then blending on richer, more opaque layers to slowly build up the color until you're happy with it.
If you're new to the world of blush and are scared of looking clownish (don't worry; you won't), mix your blush with a pressed powder to create a soft, airbrushed effect. "Swipe your brush over your blush, then over your powder, and then blend it in circles over the apples of your cheeks, working backwards to your temples," she says.
Oh, and swap out your old blush brush for a powder brush—the larger brush head will blend your blush into a diffused, sheer finish, notes Eisdell. Now that you've boned up on your blush info, you may officially proceed to the fun part: finding the perfect shade for your skin tone.
Deep skin tones, like Lupita's, need bold, intense pigments—anything too light or milky will read as ashy against your skin. “I love a vibrant pop of color, like a matte red," says Eisdell, ID'ing Nars Matte Blush in Exhibit A as one of her favorite shades. "As a general rule of thumb, I try to use colors with either brown undertones or no undertones, as they tend to look really bright on deep complexions."
And don't be intimidated by a bright, neon blush; on anyone else, it'll look like an '80s flashback, but on you, it'll finish surprisingly neutral and soft.
For caramel tones like Beyoncé's, Eisdell suggests a deep peach blush with a hint of shimmer, like Sephora Collection Colorful Face Powders in Passionate, to add warmth and depth to darker complexions. "I'm really into orange and red vibes on dark skin tones," she says.
Yes, orange sounds like a bad selfie waiting to happen, but trust me—it'll blend down to a truly gorgeous, subtle-looking glow after you swipe it on.
Usually, bright, rose-pink blush is reserved for your childhood babydoll, but on olive-based skin tones, it's your face's best friend. "In general, rose gives a nice, natural flush to medium skin," says Eisdell, noting that Bobbi Brown Blush in Rose, in particular, "looks especially warm and delicious."
Plus, as anyone with olive skin—and therefore green-yellow undertones—knows, your face can easily look sallow with the wrong makeup shade. But using a rose blush with a touch of tangerine adds just enough warmth to make your skin glow like Jessica Alba's.
Since medium skin tones are already warm, women with coloring like Vanessa Hudgens don't need to worry about accidentally washing themselves out with a cool-toned blush. Instead, you can get away with using a bright, ultra-pigmented shade, like a coral or a pink-y apricot, says Eisdell, which feel fresh and vibrant.
Just make sure the blush you pick doesn't have a lot of white in it (think: milky pastels), or you'll cancel out your natural tan. Tom Ford Cheek Color in Flush is Eisdell's go-to for warmer skin tones.
Alright, this one's a no-brainer: Pale skin, like Blake Lively's, generally has a light-pink hue to it, so guess which shade is going to look most natural on your skin? Yup—light pink. "Bobbi Brown's Blush in Tawny is just a really good, classic pink to use for a natural flush," says Eisdell.
If your skin tends to have the pallor of milk toast—this applies to you if you've ever uttered the phrase, "Ugh, I look dead right now"—then opt for an iridescent peach blush, like Kevyn Aucoin The Neo-Blush in Rose Cliff, to subtly brighten and warm your complexion.
For complexions that teeter on the edge of translucent, Eisdell suggests skipping the blushing-bride pinks altogether, which can look too obvious and harsh.
"I actually like to use a shimmery beige, instead, like Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Color in Fresh Ginger," she says. "It's really easy to go overboard with blush when you're pale, so muted tones work best," as evidenced here on Emma Stone.
Now that you've got your blush game in check, try finding a foundation that actually feels good on your skin, like these handpicked favorites, below: