How to Choose Blush

blush how to tutorial Nov 23, 2018

Have you often wondered how to choose the right blush? Blush texture is always the first thing to consider when looking for something you love. Color is important, too, but with all the colors on the market, the rainbow is endless!

Confession: Y'all! I am a blush WHORE! The brighter the better. Instant gorgeousness like a good roll in the hay! ME-OW!

Today, I am going to help you find the perfect texture blush for your skin type. There is also a video inside to show you how to create a gel/cream style blush. You're gonna feel so damn smart. Grab some wine, this is a real educational piece, so BOOKMARK this page!


Ask yourself these 3 questions:

1. What is my skin type? Dry? Oily? Combination?
2. What kind of result am I looking for? Natural? Dramatic? Sheer? Shimmery?
3. What is the occasion? A special event? A day at the beach? First date?

Once you know the answers to your questions, then you know how to shop like a pro makeup artist…

I keep all my powder blushes in a pan and in a magnetized palette to save space in my kit

Powder blush is probably the easiest blush to use.

From beginner to pro, great formulas will blend easy and last at least 4 hours without reapplying, depending on skin type.

Here are some common characteristics of powder blush:

Finish: Natural to Dramatic (depending on brand.)

Textures: Powders come in sheer, matte, and shimmer finishes. Texture can be powdery or a creamy powder texture depending on brand. I like finely milled powders, personally.

Good for: All skin tones but dry, dehydrated skin tones may look too dry on the skin. If this happens, mix with a little Water Balm Skin Prep and make a gel stain. See video below for the technique.

Makeup Artist Pro Tip: While I think all skin tones can use powder blush, I do find some drier/dehydrated skin tones may want to opt for a cream, liquid, or gel instead. If you are dry or dehydrated, skin prep and a hydrating foundation will help overcome that.

Best Tools for Powder Blush

Depending on the desired result, any shape you choose is great. I find natural hair brushes made of pony, goat, or squirrel give best results. Synthetic brushes will work as long as they’re fluffy and not too dense.

If you have problems with synthetics and powders, don’t feel bad, they generally are not my favorites to use with powders if I am being balls-on-the-table honest.

Some of my favorite powder blushes are:

  • Makeup Geek
    Build this great blush to go from natural to dramatic. These are sold in pans, so be sure you have an empty magnetic makeup palette.
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush
    This is a soft blush that radiates light beautifully. Perfect for over 40 skin.
  • Burberry Blush
    Expensive, yes, but like sex in a powder. Blends like a dream. Perfect for all ages.


Not all creams are created equal. Some sheer out too much and some are too dry and cakey. I do like cream blushes in a stick form because they are easy to use for many people.

Cream blush is also one of the things I keep in my kit to layer UNDER powder blush. It is part of my “underpinning” and layering technique. I also like to add cream blush under airbrush foundation to give the skin an appearance that looks real.

Finish: Natural, textureless finish.

Good for: Great for all skin tones.

Makeup Artist Pro Tip: Super Oily skin tones may not get a long wear out of cream blush. A cream to powder may work best in this instance if they would like to get a more natural look.

Best Tools For Cream Blush:
Synthetics like this Mark Jacobs Foundation Brush (just use the tip) or sables are great for anything cream based.

Some of my favorite cream blushes are:

  • Stila Convertible Blush
    Great, classic cream blush. This works well with Angled stipple brush when you want bolder color.
  • Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate
    Super easy to use and includes a little shimmer for the days when you want a little glow.
  • Hourglass Illume Sheer Color Trio
    I like this for travel. It has a blush, bronzer, and a little cream highlighter all in one. Super easy.
  • Senna Cheeky Palette
    One of my favorites to keep in my kit, it's a hybrid of a cream that turns into a powder. The colors are gorgeous too.


Cheek tints and stains are great for hot weather and for days you don’t want to look like you tried too hard. A good cheek stain will look like youth-recaptured. Many double as a lip. So double duty is always a bonus, especially for quick trips to the airport.

The only challenge I see with cheek stains is they can be difficult to blend for people who lack patience. But once you learn to master a cheek stain, it will become a staple in your makeup bag.


Sometimes I add a little Water Balm Skin Prep for a flush of color when I don’t want to see any added texture to the skin.

Great Blush for Dry, Normal, Mature Skin Tones

Note: These tint stains look best on makeup-free skin. There are perfect for the beach, lunch meetings, and barbecues. Anytime you want to look fresh and well rested. Oily skin tones won’t get much long wear out of some cheek stains. Brand and formula will vary.

The Finish: Sheer to Natural. Perfect for that “flushed” look. Textureless. Sexy. Chic. Great for everyday wear and for any occasion.

Best Tools for Cheek Tints & Stains:

Flat Sable brush or flat synthetic foundation brush. A “Dry Brushing” technique is best.

Some of my favorite cheek stains are:

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