23 Weird Blush Shades That Actually Look Amazing On You

Mere months ago, if you’d asked us to reach for our most outlandish lip color, we might’ve whipped out a hot pink or super-bright red. But, today, we’re well acquainted (and entirely infatuated) with lippies across the color spectrum: yellow, purple, blue — you name it.

So, imagine our delight in discovering we could embrace our newfound love of statement-making color in a fresh way by swapping out our rosy-hued blush in favor of unapologetically unnatural shades like lilac, orange, and rust. Sound like a clown costume in the making? Not so. With proper application, colorful blush can result in a seriously standout glow. And, to show you how, we called on makeup artist Elisa Flowers for some expert pointers. Ahead, check out her tips for choosing and using boundary-breaking blush.
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It may not be your first instinct to use your bronzer as a blush, but a light layer on the apples of your cheeks can actually give you a lovely lit-from-within glow.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer, $50, available at Sephora.
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Not into powder? Cream bronzer will do the trick, too.

Vapour Organic Beauty Cream Stick in Mirage, $36, available at Spirit Beauty Lounge.
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Okay, hear us out — this blush doesn't actually turn your cheeks green. (Thankfully.) When you swipe on Lipstick Queen's Frog Prince blush, it adapts to become your own shade of rosy pink.

Lipstick Queen Frog Prince Cream Blush, $24, available at Lipstick Queen.
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If you have a darker complexion, raid the hot pink blush aisle. A blush with a bold hue will always do the trick, and hot pink is just oh-so-fun no matter the season.

Smashbox Blush Rush in Radiance, $24, available at Macys.
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A wine-hued blush is actually a great pick-me-up for medium to dark skin tones, and this one from Maybelline has a sheer finish, so you can build on it without the fear of looking like a clown. The dark hue is perfect for the cooler months, but apply sparingly at first and build on it.

Maybelline Fit Me! Blush in Deep Wine, $5.99, available at CVS.
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Dark, copper-hued blushes scare many ladies away, but for those with dark skin tones a dark blush hue is actually a great option. You want a blush with a strong pigment, like a creamy, copper tone, so that the “flush” on your cheek is picked up.

Clinique Blushwear Cream Stick in Shy Blush, $22, available at Clinique.
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It's a good rule of thumb to use dark shades like plum to sculpt your cheekbones. It’s a bit more modern and graphic this way, and less about dabbing it right on the apples of your cheeks (which could end up looking clownish with dark colors).

Butter London Ruby Murray Cream Blush, $20, available at Butter London.
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The darker shade in this compact makes for an excellent plum option, while the lighter hue is a more classic alternatives for the days you want just a slight flush.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Air Blush Soft Glow Duo, $42, available at Sephora.
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A creamsicle blush is actually a great option for fair-skinned redheads – and is often overlooked. This sheer tint can be used on the lips and the cheeks to add a natural sun-kissed glow – and looks especially great if you have yellow undertones to your skin.

Chosungah 22 So Tiny Lip & Cheek Face Color in Pastel Peach, $14, available at Sephora.
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Coral has become a common color in makeup shades, but bright, pink-y corals can be intimidating. To pull off the look, remember that it actually works on a variety of skin tones, from olive to dark, so don’t shy away. Also, if you’re feeling bold, pair it with a pink or coral lip in the same family.

Bobbi Brown
Blush in Pink Coral, $28, available at Macy's.
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Benefit's Coralista blush is another stellar hot coral option. This hue, however, is slightly deeper than Bobbi Brown's formula and has slightly less shimmer.

Benefit Coralista Box o' Powder Blush, $29 available at Sephora.
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A brown blush may seem like an oddity when you’re trying to bring a flush to your cheeks, but this tawny shade is actually the easiest way to bring out your cheekbones. Apply along your jawline, blending well, and layer with a soft highlight and lighter blush shade to finish.

Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush in Video, $26, available at Urban Decay.
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Photo: Via Make Up For Ever.
Turns out our favorite lip hue translates well on our cheeks, too: Orange blush is anything but Oompa Loompa-like when applied with proper technique. Swept across the eyelids and lower-mid cheekbones, this sunny shade gives a healthy, all-over glow. Flowers finds orange jibes best with warm, olive complexions.
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This liquid blush looks too vibrant at first, but then it blends seamlessly into the skin with a few taps of the finger.

Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll Kiss & Blush Lips & Cheeks in Orange Fougueux, $40, available at Sephora.
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Photo: Via Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics.
White blush is a major overachiever. Not only does it enhance the overall luminosity of already-pale skin, but it works as a soft, buildable highlighter on all skin tones. Both foundation brushes and fingertips work just fine for this particular formula; the key here is in the placement. Blend in anywhere you'd use a highlighter, including the cheek- and browbones, advises Flowers.
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Photo: Via MAC.
Fair-skinned with cool undertones? Lilac blush just might be your new best friend. "A slightly frosty purple blush is perfect when swirled onto cheeks," says Flowers. "It exudes an innocent radiance." Blend, blend, blend for a luminous, lit-from-within glow.

MAC Powder Blush in Full of Joy, $22, available at Nordstrom.
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Lilac highlighters look gorgeous when brushed lightly onto the apples of the cheeks. The soft color offers a subtle radiance while giving any hue underneath a little boost.

Revolution Highlighter Pink Lights, $4.03, available at Revolution.
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Those with deeper skin tones will love this pumped-up purple as an alternative to frosty lilac. Again, to steer clear of Sugar Plum Fairy territory, just be sure to blend.

ColourPop Super Shock Cheek in Rain, $8, available at ColourPop.
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Photo: Via Illamasqua.
Rust-colored blush may look daunting in the pan, but according to Flowers, it's actually the perfect product for achieving a warm, natural contour. Especially on olive skin, the depth of color creates a subtle but still noticeable flush, she says. Apply with a tapered brush in the hollows of the cheeks.
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Photo: Via Nars.
We won't sugarcoat it: When using bright-red blush, there's definite potential for disaster. But, with both practice and patience, you can achieve a healthy, ultra-natural-looking flush. (Because, admittedly, no one turns fuchsia when they're embarrassed.) "Dab a blush brush lightly onto the product, slowly building onto skin to up the intensity," cautions Flowers, who's partial to this shade for those with warm skin tones.

Nars Blush In Exhibit A, $30, available at Sephora.
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Think a fuchsia blush is a bit intimidating? We don't blame you. But this is one is so pretty sheered-out on cheeks and lips, so long as you keep in mind that a little goes a long way.

Nyx Cosmetics Rouge Cream Blush, $6, available at Nyx Cosmetics.
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Photo: Via NYX.
Though Chanel's Notorious may be the holy grail of gray blushes (it's currently selling for $300 on eBay), Nyx's Taupe also has a cult following — and for good reason. This relatively dark, muted hue is ideal for creating "a subtle and discreet contour that's more sophisticated, less punk," says Flowers. Applied with a kabuki brush in the hollows of the cheeks, this shadowy hue can do wonders for those with cool undertones.
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With so many neutral blushes to choose from, which can be great for adding contour to your cheekbones, the “greige” color category can be daunting because of it’s cooler cast. Don’t be afraid though, this color is a good juxtaposition to add depth to – and faux model-worthy cheekbones – to your face.

Dolce & Gabbana
The Blush Luminous Cheek Colour in Tan, $47, available at Sephora.
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