If you haven’t already, it’s time to embrace blush. It’s the most underrated makeup item, but it can do wonders for your face.Apply your favorite formula to your cheek apples and in 20 seconds flat, your face will go from I-only-got-two-hours-of-sleep to I’m-ready-to-take-on-this-day-and-quite-possibly-the-world!In fact, I’m betting that you’ll fall so in love with your new flush that you may even opt to forgo all other products completely when you’re in a rush. So get ready to make mascara jealous by checking the “blush” box instead on the ever-popular quiz question, “What’s the one product you’d take on a desert island?”Here, I’ll show you my three favorite formulas (just pick which type suits your preference) and how best to use them. Ready? Start blushing!MORE: How Sleep Affects Your BeautyCreamsWhat they are:Cream blushes are, in my opinion, the most foolproof of the bunch, and by way of extension, my own personal favorite formula. You need only your fingers to apply them and since they are so pliable they can be applied onto any texture or surface: bare skin, moisturized skin, foundation base or primer. Even a lightly powdered face will accept a cream.How to use them:Apply whichever base you’d prefer from the list above. Then dip your middle finger (because it seems to have the most dexterity) into the product, smile and dot the cream directly onto the apples of your cheeks. Fade the color with your fingertip in a circle until the color blends out to nothing on the outer edges.  Repeat on the other cheek.My favorite product:I am a super fan of the Shiseido Accentuating Color Sticks. They blend easily, yield a slight sheen that’s not oily or glittery and come in a color range that suits all skin tones. Try mixing two tones (like Bronze Flush with Rosy Flush) on the back of your hand first then apply as explained above.StainsWhat they are:Stains are the longest lasting of the bunch and if you find that makeup seems to disappear into your skin by end of day, you’ll surely fall in love. They may seem tricky to get the hang of at first because you’ll need to work quickly when you’re blending—but a little practice and you’ll be a pro in no time! They are also really sheer so your skin will show through, making the flush look perfectly natural.How to use them:These work best applied to a smooth, ever-so-slightly damp surface. Apply to freshly moisturized skin, or just after foundation and the stain will glide right on. Remember to work quickly—because a stain is long-lasting, they tend to dry, pronto, and you’ll need to achieve your flush before that happens. Use your fingers (or a damp sponge if you prefer) to dot the stain onto the apples of your cheeks, then blend edges away in a circular motion until the shade looks like it came from within.My favorite product:I love the ever-popular Tarte Cheek Stains. They come in a variety of shades for every skintone and once you put them on, they last for ages. They’re sheer so they don’t feel sticky, and they offer a completely natural-looking flush.MORE: Blush Formulas 101PowdersWhat they are:The most traditional of the formulas, a powder is probably what you first tried when rummaging through your mother’s makeup stash. These come in a range of finishes, so if you like shimmer, you can glow, and if you prefer perfectly natural, you’ll find a plethora of matte shades too. I also love powders because you can easily amp up creams or stains with a sweep of powder on top for extra oomph.How to use them:After you’ve applied your base, powder your face with translucent powder. It’s very important that your face remains dry rather than dewy prior to this application or the powder will catch on slick spots and look streaky. Smile to find the center of your cheeks then use a powder brush (rather than a big, fluffy blush brush) to apply the color to your apples. This will offer more control over where the color lands. I then like to use a clean, fluffier blush brush to buff out the edges in a circular motion.My favorite product:The simple formula of a powder blush typically yields a lower price tag! I love Cover Girl Cheekers because they offer a zillion shades and finishes for all skin tones and you can get “color matched” online so you’ll be confident you’re picking the right shade in store even if you can’t open the package.MORE: Makeup Tips for Oily Skin