Blush might not top the list of no-excuses, must-have makeup products for everyone, but if we’re being completely honest, it’s the one makeup staple that when done right, completely boosts even the simplest looks. The thing is, though, for darker skin, it can be tricky finding a blush shade that doesn’t leave your cheeks looking ashy. You can run into products and formulas that are too pale, too pearlescent, or not the right texture for oily or dry skin.
The point of blush is to create a warm, natural-looking flush, like you just stepped in from the cold. You don’t need super fair skin to get this effect. All you need is to go brighter with your blush choice than you think you need. “With [people] of color, you can have so much for fun with color,” says Sir John, a makeup artist who often works with Beyoncé. “[The blush] may look shocking in the pan, but once you apply, it gives you the softest hint like you came in from the cold.”
In fact, the more vivid it looks in the package, the more likely it is to give even the richest complexions a vibrant, healthy glow. (However, some blushes, as you’ll see, can be deceiving in their packaging). Hot pinks, fiery corals, berry, and wine-toned blushes work best for the melanin-rich.
The texture and finish are equally as important as the shade itself, too. “I want people to get into the habit of using less powder because it just looks more modern,” Sir John says. He does add a tiny caveat to this tip, though. For darker skin, in particular, he suggests lightly setting a cream blush with a powder formula to not only make it last but also to make intensify the hue.
A collectively well-seasoned crop of makeup artists and Allure editors shared their favorite blushes for darker skin. Keep going to see their picks along with a few other standouts that’ll have your cheeks flushed and glowing.
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