The Best Bright Blush for Your Skintone

Swiping on some bright blush is a great way to add some life to your face (truly, nothing wakes up a tired complexion quicker). But sometimes it’s a little overwhelming to look at an intense, bold color and imagine how it’s going to look on your face. How are you supposed to apply neon pinks, attention-grabbing corals and lively reds without looking like you’re off to join the circus? To find out, we asked celebrity makeup artist Julianne Kaye to give us some tips.

“Going from classic to clown is a fine line that you don’t want to cross!” Kaye says. To stay on the right side of that line, it’s important to not only know how to correctly apply tint to your cheeks, but to first and foremost choose a color that will go well with your skintone.

7Fair Cool Skin

“For a fair cool skintone stick to a pretty watermelon pink,” Kaye says. The best way to make sure the color doesn’t overwhelm is to keep it on the apples of your cheeks, she adds. “Don’t bring the color back towards the ears like you might normally do with a more demure or natural shade.”

Try Kevyn Aucoin The Creamy Glow in Liquifuchsia, $24

MORE: Blush Formulas 101

6Fair Warm Skin

This skintone looks best with a peachy-pink blush, Kaye says. If you’re using a cream blush (the formula tends to be more pigmented than a powder), you can apply it with your fingers or a brush, Kaye says. Apply one layer for a more subdued hue, or pile on a few layers to build a brighter, bolder color. “It really depends on how saturated you want to go,” she adds.

Try Vincent Longo Day/Play Duo Blush in Misty Blossom, $36

5Medium Cool Skin

For a medium cool skintone, stay in the pink category, Kaye says, but go a little richer. She suggests opting for a more “English Rose” color. For a pop of color on the apples of your cheeks, use your thumbs to apply a cream blush. “This is great for creating a more intense, flushed look,” she adds. Layer the color to up its intensity.

Try Girlactik cream blush in Rose, $18

MORE: Best Products to Brighten Uneven Skintone

4Medium Golden Skin

“For a medium golden skintone, a nice bright coral shade really pops,” Kaye says. To apply a powdered blush, use a blush or fan brush, she adds. “These brushes are perfect for dusting the colors on the apples of the cheeks or buffing them right into the contours.”

Try Cargo blush in Key Largo, $29

3Olive Skin

“What’s great about olive complexions is that they look good in warm and cool blushes,” Kaye says. So, you can go for a pop of pink or opt for a warmer apricot color to bring out a subtler glow. Try a blush with two shades, Kaye says, which allows you to customize the intensity.

Try Illamasqua Powder Blusher in Hussy, $29, or Guerlain’s Rose Aux Joues in Peach Boy, $50

MORE: The Best Bright Lips for Your Skintone

2Dark Cool Skin

A vibrant red color adds just the right amount of pop against a rich skintone, Kaye says. “Swirling a bright shade just on the apples will not only give you the pop you want, but it won’t overwhelm your face,” she adds, which will allow you to add another bold statement such as cat liner or bright lipstick. 

Try NYX Powder Blush in Red, $5

1Dark Warm Skin

“For a dark warm skintone, you want to go for a bright pop of red-orange,” Kaye says. Since powder blushes go on more transparently than creams, you’ll probably find a larger selection of these brighter and bolder colors in the powdered form.

Try NARS blush in Exhibit A, $29

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