When it comes to makeup, I loves me a blush, honey.
Not only does it help warm up the undertones in skin, but the right placement on the face can transform your look through brightening, lifting and contouring the cheeks (and in my case above, nose!). It provides the skin with a healthy dose of colour as if you’ve just stepped in from the outside, and has the power to either make your face look sculpted to the Gods (via placement along the high cheekbone area) or incredibly super cute and adorable (via placement on the nose and apples of the cheeks).
If you have a brown skin complexion however, finding the right blush for dark skin can be a daunting task. Either the shade turns out to be incredibly overwhelming and cool toned, making us look incredibly ashy, or instead of creating a warm, natural flush, the shade ends up not showing up on the skin at all.
When it comes to finding a blush for your skin tone, it’s all about understanding your skin’s undertone.
What’s ‘Skin Undertone?’
To put it simply, skin complexions have undertones that can be broken down into three separate categories: warm, neutral and cool tones. You can determine what your tone is by looking at the veins on the inside of your wrist. If you have greenish veins, it means your skin leans towards a warm undertone, so gold and yellow shades will absolutely shine on skin. If your veins look more blue or purple, it means your skin is cooler and will more likely compliment pink shades. If your veins are a mixture of blue and green, it means your skin undertone is neutral and can play with both cool and warm shades.
Cream or Powder Blush?
I’ll be honest, as someone with oily skin I only started using cream blushes this year, after years of greasy fails and flare ups. For the most part, I’ve opted to stay away from creams due to the blush melting into my foundation over time. If you also have greasy skin, then I would say that powder blushes are best HOWEVER, my simple hack to wear cream blush over oily skin is to lightly pack a translucent powder over your cheeks once you’ve finished.
For all other skin types, both types of blushes can be used.
Ohh the Shade of it All!
On darker skin tones, lighter shades like baby pinks and lighter nudes can make our skin look ashy and dry. If you’re looking for a natural, rich and warm flush of colour, you’re going to want to opt for a bright streak of colour that pops against the skin tone, like a rich berry or a bright orange hue. With brighter shades however, less is definitely more (unless you’re going for an over-the-top look). You can avoid the intensity by starting off with a small amount and gradually building it up.
So without further ado, let’s get into some of my favourite blushes, starting off with the blush I’m wearing in the above photos!
This is by far my favourite blush of all time, and NARS are the absolute masters when it comes to high quality, rich pigmententation for blushes. No wonder why this blush has been sold out for WEEKS. Exhibit A is a warm toned, medium dark orange with moderate warm undertones and a matte finish. Bookmark it for when it comes back in stock: it’s a keeper!
Taj Mahal is a very warm toned, medium dark blush with a frost finish. This looks more like a highlighter than anything, but it is absolutely stunning when applied on darker skin tones! It carries hints of red, and has a gold-shimmer sheen. Amazing for night-time use.
This product is a gorgeous cream-to-powder formula in an easy to apply stick that blends into the skin, adding both colour and nourishment. The triangular tip allows for precise application, and is a gorgeous bright, bold red.
Glossier’s cloud paint is a sheer, easy to use and buildable cream blush that contains blurring pigments for a streak-free dewy cheek colour. It also contains collagen, which helps retain water and keeps the cheeks looking gorgeous. I absolutely love this blush, as a little goes an incredibly long way. If you’re a cream blush newbie, I would opt for this.
One thing we can never do is sleep on E.L.F cosmetics. The quality of their products – especially their bases and cheek products – have always been incredible, with the affordable price point making it even sweeter. The putty blushes are some of my faves, with each tub containing an argan oil and vitamin-C infused blush colour that dries down to be slightly matte. An absolutely gorgeous texture on the skin.
6. Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lip & Cheek Glow – £30
Alongside NARS, Charlotte Tilbury is another brand that create excellent products for brown skin tones. I’m a huge fan of their Pillow Talk collection – especially their lip colours and blushes like this one. Beautiful and velvety with a gorgeous soft, matte finish, CT blushes have a deep pigment that suit a host of skintones.
You get two for the price of one with the NYX Wonder Stick blush, which sits absolutely beautifully on skin as it’s quite sheer. You can either use one colour or have a mixture of both to create a more intense shade. I love using this stick when I don’t feel like putting on a lot of makeup, and only need a light sheen of colour.
I love Tower28 blushes because ALL the blushes in their collection are suitable for deeper skin tones. They are intense pigments that dry semi-matte, and feature a mixture of berries, dark pinks and oranges that compliment warm and neutral undertones. Also, a little goes a long way!