December 8th, 2009
Beauty Bomb : Blush 101
By Claire

Danielle from the Style and Beauty Doctor keeps bringing it with the fabulous makeup posts!

Today, it’s all about Blush:

Kelis Blush Celebrity



Blush has been said to be the one makeup product that women tend to avoid the most especially women of color. I’ve seen great makeup looks that would have looked even greater if only blush was used to pull everything together. Ladies, no matter how you slice it, blush is a must!


So how do you figure out which blush to use? Simple, read on.

Similar to finding the right foundation, in addition to picking the right color for blush, you must also choose the right formula. Here’s a quick guide:

Dry Skin: Creme blushes tend to be more hydrating and flattering.

Oily/Combination Skin: Powder blushes work best as any other consistency can tend to slide off on oily skin.

Normal Skin: almost any blush formula works including liquid and gel formulas.

As far as finishes are concerned, shimmer is good for a youthful glow however, matte is more forgiving on all skin types. Take care when using shimmer as it can make not-so-tiny pores seem larger than they appear.

After choosing the right formula, find the right color. Your most flattering shade of blush will be the color your cheeks turn after working out or you can pinch your cheeks and see what color they turn. I’ve created a handy guide for colors based on skin tones.

(As a quick tip, the darker your skin, the brighter the blush–now, don’t be nervous, the pigments in your skin can take a brighter blush and it will look absolutely gorgeous on your skin.)

Pick a celeb below whose skin tone closely matches yours and try the shades I’ve suggested.

Celebrity Blush

Celebrity Blush

1. MAC Blush in Well Dressed $18 at MAC 2. NARS Blush in Orgasm $25 at 3. NARS Blush in Outlaw $25 at 4. NARS Blush in Lovejoy $25 at 5. NARS Blush in Taos $25 at 6. MAC Blush in Raizin $18 at MAC 7. NARS Blush in Taj Mahal $25 at 8. NARS Blush in Exhibit A $25 at

You can apply blush either before you put on foundation (for a natural look), or after foundation but before powder or even after foundation and powder–it’s up to you and your routine. To get the longest lasting blush, apply finishing powder on cheeks first, then blush, and then another thin layer of powder. For maximum color payoff (and to help blush last longer), first apply a creme blush and then a powder blush in the same color on top.

Using an angled brush like MAC 168 Large Angled Contour Brush, smile and lightly sweep the blush on the apples of your cheeks and the top of your cheekbones. If you’re using a creme blush, apply with your middle finger and lightly tap your cheekbones and tops of your cheekbones then blend with your ring finger. Then follow with a light dusting of finishing powder.

Make Up For Ever, another powerhouse makeup brand I love, has some awesome diagrams on where to apply blush according to your face shape. Check it out:

Celebrity Blush

Applying blush first before eye and lip color can help to determine how much eye and lip makeup you need. Often times you can get away with just wearing blush!

And there you have it, a quick and dirty guide on blush. No longer should you be afraid of blush. Keep it as a part of your normal beauty routine and your face will thank you.

Great job, as always Danielle!
I’m a MAC head, so wore Raizin Blush for years. Now I’m down with Breezy.
What blush makes your cheeks pop?

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19 Responses to “Beauty Bomb : Blush 101”

  1. bagslag says:

    I love these photos ok Kelis. She looks amazing. The tips are fanastic, thanks for posting them!

  2. Ally says:

    I am a dark skin (mocha as I like to call myself) black woman and I LOVE blush. My favorite is Nars Exhibit A and MAC Raizin, they are perfect colors for the Black woman. I can’t tell you how elated I am seeing this post. I am tired of seeing black women scared of color, not only does our array of skin tones make us stand out but a pop of orange or red make us glow through the sea of people. DON’T BE AFRAID OF COLOR LADIES….blush is heaven sent and can turn a lack luster face into a glowing work of art.

  3. Jac♥ says:

    NARS Blush Mata Hari, Madly oh & the Orgasm Multiple…

  4. Awesome,detailed article on blush! I’m very impressed. More women need to incoporate blush into their everyday beauty regiment. It really makes a big difference in your appearance even if you don’t use alot of product.

    I tend to go for bright coral/orange shades to enhance my skintone…I love the NARS “Taj Mahal” and “Exhibit A” but also used to use a gorgeous shimmery red-orange color from YSL that they’ve discontinued. I currently use a bright coral blush called “Kalypso Coral” from Bilkerdijk Cosmetics, a private label brand that I work for. It’s absolutely gorgeous! You should definitely check it out.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Karen (aka MakUpDiva)

  5. Alexa says:

    Thanks for all the details & informative color tips. I liked how you broke down basically all the shades instead of just light/dark.

  6. Aye says:

    I love Kelis and those photos are fierce. Thanks for the great makeup tips!

  7. Hillerie Camille says:

    I luuuuuhhuuuuv blush. My new thing for the winter is the summer glow. I add MACs Loverush to the hollows (chocolate brown skin)of my cheeks with medium application. I then add a shimmer/highlighter (Revlon) in a “backward c” pattern beginning at the edge of my eyebrow down to the apple of my cheeks. After I hit the bridge of my nose and forehead, I have a sunkissed glow. The blush brings to the look to perfection.

  8. Nicole says:

    I am a huge fan of blush. I keep NARS Torrid(pink) and NARS Gina (coral) and MAC Bronzer with me always but I have over 10 NARS blushes. If applied correctly it looks beautiful.

  9. asia rabbit says:

    as a woman of color, i’ve been wearing blush for 5/6 years now. it’s the one thing i make sure i have on. i love it and i think more women of color should indulge!

  10. Val says:

    Thanks! this is huge! I have a couple of gilfriends who swear by MAC Blush in “format”. Any thoughts on NARS blush in “super orgasm” for medium to darker skin tones? It is the color they did for Holiday but have decided to keep it permanently. It has a bit of shimmer to it and is a peachy/pink color….

  11. Zoe says:

    i finding abt blush tips and ideas, and i found tis website, it’s vry detail and easy to understand, it’s very nice, and i had share some of the ideas here in my blog^^

  12. Danielle says:

    Val—I’m super late—not sure how I missed your comment—but I like Orgasm for any skin tone including darker skin tones. Super Orgasm works, too but was WAY too shimmery for me. The shimmer was so huge like snowflakes…lol. Unless they changed the formula after I first tried it when it first came out, then I wouldn’t suggest it.

  13. Ann says:

    Danielle- Can you recommend lipsticks similar to what Kelis has on in this photo it’s look like a coral lipstick? Thanks so much!

  14. [...] more info on wearing brights, check out these posts: Blush 101, Rock a Bright Lip, and Guide to MAC Eyeshadows. [...]

  15. [...] more blush tips, check out Blush 101, Blush Application Tips from Make Up For Ever, and NARS Blush Guide for all Skin [...]

  16. Danielle says:

    @Ann sorry for the delay—I didn’t get a notification of your comment, but try MAC Ravishing Lipstick or YSL Rouge Volupte in Faubourg Peach :)

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