The right blusher can turn a lacklustre complexion into healthy, lively, ethereal skin with just one sweep – and with temperatures dropping fast, it looks like we’re going to need all the glow we can get.
Like foundation and concealer, your skin tone plays a huge part in hunting down the perfect blusher. Thankfully, it’s no longer a ‘one-shade-suits-all’ situation. But it also pays to take the texture and finish into consideration, not to mention your skin type, too.
Blemish-prone? We hate to break it to you, but shimmer is not the one.
Luckily for you guys, we’re on hand to make achieving that post-spin flush a little easier – and there’s no exercise involved whatsoever.
How to find the right blusher for your skin tone
‘Blusher is like the magic wand of make-up,’ says Pixi Beauty Global Director of Training & Artistry, Amanda Bell, ‘But only when it’s the right colour!’
So if you find yourself being sent off with a standard doll pink every time you visit the beauty counter, we’ve got you covered.
The Best Blusher For… Pale To Light Skin
If you have pale skin, you might feel like you’re limited to one shade of blusher – baby pink – but there’s so much choice out there, and it all depends on the finish you want.
‘Peach and soft rose hues are great options for paler skin, especially if you want to achieve a more subtle effect,’ says Amanda. ‘But for a little more of a statement, sheer plum (the key word being sheer) and soft coral both look great.’
Steer clear of anything too warm, though. It’ll only make your skin look muddy.
The Best Blusher For… Medium Skin
If you’re in this camp, you suit most shades – YAS.
Your best bet? To invest in a blusher palette. That way you can tailor your make-up to the seasons – warmer in the winter when your skin needs a boost and softer and peachier in the summer. You can also play around with different finishes and textures depending on your mood.
The Best Blusher For… Olive Skin
Thanks to both yellow and green undertones, olive skin can look a little sallow sometimes, so a wisp of blusher is key to perking it up – but you need to pick hues that are going to complement, not clash.
Orange-y peaches breathe life into both light and dark olive tones, but if you’re after more of a pretty, pinched look, a vibrant rosy shade works wonders.
Alternatively, you can reach for a bronzer. ‘A rich bronze adds a natural blush effect to olive skin tones,’ says Amanda.
The Best Blusher For… Dark Skin
Rosy hues and candy pinks might show up well on darker skin tones but they have a tendency to look a little frosty or doll-like. Instead, look for something with a warm undertone to enhance your skin’s natural glow.
‘Dark Asian skin pops with hot corals, warm reds with a rich undertone and deep neutral pinks especially,’ explains Amanda.
The Best Blusher For… Deep Skin
It can be difficult to get pinks and corals to show up on deep or ebony skin tones, but according to Amanda, something with a brick red tint will look epic.
‘Other shades that complement deep skin are raisin browns or bronzed sienna hues,’ she says.
Check out the best highlighters for darker skin tones here.
How to pick the right blusher formula and finish
Cream, powder, gel, tint… The type of texture and finish you settle for is largely down to preference, but if you want to look f-l-a-w-l-e-s-s, your skin type should always be a factor.
Large pores? Go for a matte powder. Acne-prone? Avoid thick or solid textures.
If You Have Oily Or Acne Prone Skin…
If you find that cream blusher slips off before you’ve even got to the office or that it contributes to your breakouts, swap it out for a powder version, especially if you want it to last and look smooth.
‘Also keep away from blushers that contain mineral oils,’ mentions Amanda. ‘Formulations that are powder-based will work best – they just have to be blended well into the skin.’
If You Have Normal To Dry Skin…
You’ll do well with most blushers (lucky you) but if you like the dewy, ethereal look, try a hydrating cream, gel or serum-based texture. To amp up things up, you can always layer a powder blusher in a similar hue over the top.
Top Tip: To make cream blusher look dewy all day, choose a product with natural oils and waxes in the formulation. ‘This means that there is an existing rich base,’ says Amanda. ‘You can also spritz a hydrating facial mist on to the brush before blending it in to the skin for an extra glowy finish.’
And what about tints?
‘Those with drier skin can use tints, but they have to ensure the skin is super-hydrated first,’ says Amanda. ‘Use a primer with humectants. It will trap moisture in the skin so that it doesn’t just drink up the tint.’
We rate the Pixi Rose Flash Balm, S$44.10. It leaves skin feeling quenched and soft so that any make-up you apply on top glides on seamlessly.
If You Have Large Pores…
Matte blusher is your best friend.
‘If you’re conscious of your enlarged pores, stick to blushers that have a velvety texture,’ says Amanda. ‘Anything with a sheen or too much lustre in the pigment will only accentuate pores, bumps and blemishes.’
How to apply blusher
We’re all guilty of being a little slapdash with blusher but Amanda has a few top tips to pinpoint exactly how and where we should apply it to avoid the theatrical look.
‘To know where you should apply blusher, imagine a line coming down from your iris to the end of your nose,’ she says.
‘Where it ends is the perfect spot which you should start applying your blusher. Starting from this point, sweep the blusher onto the cheek and blend outwards towards the hairline.’
Gotcha. But it’s not just the technique – the tools matter, too.
How To Apply Powder Blusher…
‘When using a brush, sweeping movements give a much stronger blush application. For a pro finish, take a smaller-headed brush and blend outwards towards the hairline using use swift, circular motions. This will effectively polish the pigment into the skin,’ says Amanda.
How To Apply Cream or Gel-Based Blusher…
‘Creams and gels are the easiest to work with.’ says Amanda. ‘They can be applied to the apple of the cheeks with a nylon brush and then blended in with clean fingertips for a soft, fresh effect.’
This article first appeared on ELLE UK.