The BEST Blush For Every Skin Tone

In the summer, flushed cheeks mean you just ran up a flight of stairs after hopping off the crowded, air conditioner-free subway. In the fall, however, they tell a whole different story: Rosy cheeks say romance. You'll get 'em if you linger outside too long on an October afternoon. But why not hasten the effect with a really great blush?

Unfortunately, finding that great blush isn't as easy as we'd like it to be. With so many shades — deep purples! dusty pinks! bright reds! — it's hard to know exactly which will be the most flattering. So we asked makeup artist Ana Marie, a self-proclaimed blush addict, to weigh in.

"I love natural beauty, and there's nothing more natural and youthful than a set of blushed cheeks," she says. Her best tip for finding your one true match? Pinch your cheeks and see what color they turn. "Your natural coloring is the number-one indicator for what your perfect blush tone should be."

But if you're still a little stumped, we got you. We brought in women with six different skin tones and matched them to their blush soul mates. Ahead, an easy guide to looking gorgeously flushed all season long.

Photographed by Ruo Bing Li.
Deep With Warm Undertones
Even though Candace's skin is deep, she has a lot of yellow undertones. "You want to find a blush that is similar to your natural undertones — not one that goes against it," says Ana Marie.

Mounser Solar Hoop Earrings, $195, available at Mounser.
So for Candace, she pulled a red-orange blush that mimicked her natural tones. "Orange and yellow work well together since they're similar shades, but orange warms up her skin a bit more," Ana Marie says.

Bite Beauty
Multistick in Praline, $24, available at Sephora.
Photographed by Ruo Bing Li.
Light With Warm Undertones
You might expect those with lighter skin tones to reach for rosy hues, but Ana Marie says this isn't always the case. "Joy has more of a yellow undertone," she says. "So her perfect color is more mauve." While an orange-red worked well with Candace's deeper complexion, it would look too bright and unnatural on Joy's skin because it's so light.

Stvdio
Star Drop Earrings, $60, available at Stvdio; Stvdio Alma Earrings, $58, available at Stvdio.
A mauve, on the other hand, complements her lighter skin, but also helps to bring out her warmth. Because of Joy's face shape, Ana Marie focused the pigment on the apples of her cheeks, dusting just a bit across her nose.

Kevyn Aucoin
Creamy Glow Blush in Tresbelle, $26, available at Nordstrom.
Photographed by Ruo Bing Li.
Honey With Warm Undertones
"Brittany's undertones are very warm," Ana Marie says. "Her complexion is truly honey." And since her skin tone is on the warmer side of the spectrum, too, it would be unflattering to pop on a cool-toned blush.

Faris Pendo Drops Small, $198, available at Faris.
"If you did a cool [blush] on a warm complexion, it would turn blue and sallow," Ana Marie says. "Warmer-toned blushes give the skin more life."

Shiseido
Accentuating Color Stick in Glistening Flush, $33, available at Shiseido.
Photographed by Ruo Bing Li.
Porcelain With Cool Undertones
Yasmin has what we call classic "porcelain" skin — it's light with cooler undertones. So, Ana Marie gave her a "classic" blush tone — pure rose.

Mau Single-Sided Parallelo Ear Stud, $235, available at Mau; Faris Shoop Hoops, $155-$175, available at Faris.
"It looks like she got a little sunburn on her cheeks," Ana Marie says. For an extra-fresh look, Ana Marie suggests matching your lip color to your cheek pigment.

Laura Mercier
Crème Cheek Colour in Rosebud, $26, available at Laura Mercier
Photographed by Ruo Bing Li.
Dark With Cool Undertones
Ya had the darkest skin tone of all the models, and her undertones were decidedly cool. In this case, Ana Marie says, you want to reach for a contrasting tone instead of a complementary one.

Alexander Wang
Mixed Rhodium and Yellow Gold Links Earrings, $325, available at Alexander Wang.
"Anything too cool or anything with a weak pigment won't pick up because her skin is so dark," Ana Marie says. "Anything but a red-orange will disappear into her skin." So she grabbed a true red for Ya — and the results were gorgeous.

NARS
Blush in Exhibit A, $30, available at NARS.
Photographed by Ruo Bing Li.
Olive With Warm Undertones
Ana Marie classified Stella's skin tone as olive. "Her tone probably changes depending on the season," she says. "Sometimes it might be more pale, but in the summer it's probably warmer." But Stella's undertones are always warm, which is why Ana Marie suggested a ruddy pink for her.

Faris earring.
She mixed her own shade using Make Up For Ever's Flash Palette — something Ana Marie suggests if you've got a skin tone that has a lot of variation in the sun.

Make Up For Ever
12 Flash Color Case, $99, available at Make Up For Ever.
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!