How to Find the Right Blush for Your Skin Tone

Just a few swipes of blush are all you need to instantly make your face appear so much fresher and more awake.

Of course, if you use the wrong shade, this can have the opposite effect.

So, how do you know which shade of blush will suit you the best?

It all depends on your skin tone, as well as your skin undertone...

Understanding Your Skin Tone and Undertone

It's pretty easy to work out your skin tone, as this refers to the shade you see when you look at the surface of your skin.

It will usually fall under one of these categories:

  • Fair
  • Medium
  • Olive
  • Dark

Working out your undertone can be a little trickier...

Unlike your skin tone, which can change depending on season, age, and numerous other factors, your skin undertone will always remain the same.

Your skin undertone will either be cool, warm or neutral. Here are some tips on how to figure that out:

  • Warm – has hints of yellow or gold. Veins will be green, and you will find that gold jewelry tends to look more flattering on you
  • Cool – has hints of blue, red or pink. Veins will be blue or purple, and you will find that silver jewelry tends to be more flattering on you
  • Neutral – a mixture of warm and cool, with the undertone being very similar to the skin tone itself


Fair Skin Tones

Those who have a very fair skin tone often tend to stay away from blush.


Because very fair skin can often look slightly translucent, and is prone to redness. This leads people to think that adding blush over the top of this will only make that redness more apparent.

However, this all depends on the shade you choose...

Going for a blush in a peach shade will enhance your natural flush in a good way. Try ensuring that the peach you go for is warm, rather than cool, toned, as this will work better against your skin tone. 

Those with light skin tones will also find that a pale pink blush works well. This color will likely be similar to the color your cheeks take on when you naturally blush, meaning that a pale pink will give you a subtle but natural-looking result.

Tempted to go for a shimmery formula?

This can actually work really well for fair skin tones as they will brighten up your complexion. However, make sure that the formula you choose is one that can be easily blended into your skin. The formulas that will blend the best are usually the sheer ones, and it should say “sheer”, or even “satin”, on the packaging.

Want something a little darker for the evenings?

Try going for a plum shade, preferably one that is only a couple of shades darker than your lips. You will only need a small amount of this to add color and definition to your cheeks.


Medium Skin Tones

While there are so many individual shades that could be classed as a medium skin tone, there are a few universal blush colors that work well for the medium skin tone spectrum.

To begin with, you could go for the pinks and peaches that work well for fair skin tones, although you will need to layer these on more to ensure that the color is pigmented enough on your skin.

Does your skin have cool undertones?

If you notice hues of yellow or green in your skin, then you need to also opt for cool-toned blushes.


Because going for a warm tone will only emphasize your cool undertones, which will make your skin look quite sallow.

On the other hand, a cool-toned blush, such as a rose pink, will help to neutralize yellow undertones. However, make sure that you opt for a pigmented and punchy rose shade, as you don't want the color to wash your complexion out.

How about if your skin has warm undertones?

Then your blush only needs to provide a subtle touch of color to enhance your skin's natural warmth.

Try an apricot shade that has an orange undertone. This will give your skin a fresher and softer look.

If you want something darker, a rich mauve will work well, especially if you match it with a similar shade on your lips.


Olive Skin Tones

Olive skin tones are quite unique, and it can sometimes be a challenge finding a shade of blush that truly flatters your skin.

Peach shades usually work well for olive skin tones. They warm the skin up just enough to make it look as though you have a gorgeous natural flush from within. Just make sure that you go for a warm peach, rather than a cool one.

Just like peach, rose is another neutral that works well for olive tones. It helps to balance out your natural hues, giving you a seamless finish.

Of course, let's not forget about bronze...

When using a bronze shade blush, you do need to be careful about how you apply it. When applied strategically, it can create soft and natural-looking contours, while giving olive skin such a warm boost.


Dark Skin Tones

In order for a blush to work on dark skin tones, it needs to be quite a bold and pigmented shade.

This can often be a bit overwhelming for those who are new to using blush, but, if you don't go for something highly pigmented, your final look will only appear ruddy and faded. If a blush looks bright and bold in its packaging, then chances are that this is a shade that will work for you.

Anything with shades of red, orange and brown will flatter your skin tone.

A raisin or a brick shade will warm your face up beautifully, no matter your undertones.

Nevertheless, it is still important to keep your undertones in mind. For those of you with warm undertones, try a rich fuchsia. If you have cool undertones, a bright and pigmented tangerine shade will work well. This shade in particular can sometimes look quite intimidating in its packaging, but, when applied to dark skin, the overall finish is so natural.

If your skin tone is towards the deeper end of the dark scale, you may want to consider an intense and vivid red. This may seem over-the-top, but it will actually be extremely flattering. This is another shade that can be used no matter your undertone. It neutralizes the sallowness that cool undertones can often take on, but also replicates the natural warmth that warmer undertones have.

One thing to keep in mind when going for a bright and bold shade on dark skin...

Stick to a formula with a matte, rather than a shimmery, finish.


Because a shimmery shade can look overly reflective on dark skin. This is emphasized even more in photographs, so, if you plan on snapping away, go for a matte formula.

Now that you know how to find the perfect blush for your skin tone, there's nothing holding you back from putting together a show-stopping look. Whether you have fair, medium, olive or dark skin, this guide is definitely worth keeping around the next time you're shopping for a new blush.