It’s easy to overlook applying blush as part of your daily makeup routine. Maybe you feel your complexion doesn’t need the extra dose of color. Or maybe you haven’t landed on a blush shade that complements your skin tone - a likely scenario for many darker skinned women out there. The truth is that all of us, no matter if you have a fair skin, medium skin, or dark skin, can benefit from the glow blush bestows. There is at least a shade or two that is perfect for the pigment in your complexion.
The founders of Mented are all too familiar with the real struggle that is finding quality makeup for women of color. As women of color ourselves, we sought to change this by creating a line of makeup specifically for women of color across all skin tones. Here, we wanted to share some of the expertise we’ve gained in how to pick a blush for women of color.
Why You Shouldn’t Skip Blush
Why do I need blush, you ask? The simple answer is that blush brings color to your face to help in how to get a sunkissed look with makeup. Blush instantly makes you appear fresh, even if you might be sleep-deprived or stressed-out. Not all of us can boast a naturally youthful glow that is enhanced with plenty of sleep and a week-long beach vacation. No worries. Fake a glowing, well-rested look in about 20 seconds by dusting some blush on your cheeks.
Even ladies who don’t feel or look weary should include blush in their beauty routine. Here’s why: when you apply foundation, powder or cover-up, it evens-out your skin tone across the face, thereby making it look flat in color. Blush is the key to adding color and dimension back into your complexion. Additionally, blush balances out your complexion when you wear lipstick or eye makeup. Without a dab of coloration on those pretty cheekbones, lip and eye makeup can make you look washed out or uneven.
Blush for Darker Skinned Beauties
Women of color may be a little gun-shy with blush and for good reason. Blush shades have not always been friendly to darker skin tones. The problem was multifold. Designed for fairer complexions, blush shades traditionally did not have enough pigment. The result was blush that didn’t show up on darker skin. Also, lighter shades of blush, as many darker skinned ladies know all-too-well, look ashy on deeper skin tones.
Our advice is to find shades of blush designed specifically for women of color. Sometimes, makeup companies attempt to make a darker color of blush - or lipstick, eye makeup, and foundation for that matter - that is simply a lighter color with brown, orange or grey mixed into it. As you might imagine, or know from firsthand experience, this does not result in flattering makeup on darker skin tones. Makeup shades that are created from concept to packaging for darker skin will have those nuanced color tones that look sublime on every shade of darker complexion.
The Keys to Finding the Best Blush for Darker Skin
There are two things you should remember when it comes to looking for the best blush for darker skin:
To give you an idea of how this works, let’s take pinks for example. A woman with fair or light skin can reach for a baby pink or bubble gum pink. A tan or medium skinned lady will need a slightly darker pink, like a rose or blush color. A cocoa-hued woman should go deeper still, probably a shade with purple notes, like magenta or ruby pink. Blush colors that are too light for your skin will have that tell-tale ashy look. Alternatively, blush colors that are too deep for your skin tone can give you an ultra-saturated face that runs the risk of looking clownish. In other words, don’t go too light and don’t go too deep with your blush - and you’ll know pretty quickly if you have done either.
Even if you think a blush is the right tone for your complexion, if it’s not richly saturated, it will be too light - if it shows up at all - on darker skin. As you probably guessed, the darker your skin tone, the more pigmented the blush needs to be to give you that noticeable warm skin glow.
Choosing Blush for Medium Skin Tones
If your skin tone is tan or light brown, you have the pick of the litter when it comes to blush shades. Most shades will complement your skin tone, barring anything too extreme. Here’s a rundown on three distinct color families that shimmer on your complexion.
Think Goldilocks when picking out your pink blush: you want something not too light and not too deep, but one just right in the middle. As noted above, lighter pinks work well on fair to light skin. You might be tempted to go light pink for a soft, summery look, but you will want to avoid pinks with too much white mixed into them. Likewise, steer clear of a super-charged pink, like magenta or fuchsia, which is too rich for your coloring. Middle-of-the-road pinks like raspberry or carnation pink are right up your alley.
Tan and light brown skin tones tend to have warm undertones. As such, a soft peach blush, along the lines of an apricot or cantaloupe shade, can bring the right enhancement to your features. A soft pale peach hue makes a great everyday blush for ladies with tan or light brown skin. Pair it with nude lip and eye shades for a subtle daytime look. Alternatively, you can vamp it up with saturated eye makeup or a big red lip color. In this way, the peach blush will complement your bold makeup and let it shine.
If you want a blush that creates a slightly edgier look, a mauve can bring the drama. You’ll want to stick with a mauve that isn’t too deep, leaning more towards the berry than the brown, purple or gray. Dusted lightly on the cheeks, this hue works well with nude or taupe eye makeup for the office. For a night-on-the-town, a mauve blush can hold up to eye makeup in jewel-toned hues like sapphire or amethyst.
Choosing Blush for Olive Skin Tones
Olive skin tones are usually tan or light to medium brown skin with a touch of green in the undertone. Women with olive skin need to be especially careful when selecting their makeup shades, as the wrong colors can play up your green tones and make you appear sallow. For olive-skinned women, the rule of thumb is to choose warm makeup shades heavy with peach, honey, or orange undertones. Anything on the cool end may look ruddy on your green-kissed pigmentation:
Rose, the color smack in the middle between red and magenta on the color wheel, is the perfect pink shade to balance out an olive complexion. It brings warmth to olive skin tones while appearing delicate and natural. Not too bright so as to look clownish, and not too deep to appear muddy or moody, it’s a great everyday color for ladies with notes of green in their skin.
A peach shade, especially one leaning towards the orange end of the spectrum, will bring olive skin to life. Get a gorgeous glow every day with a tried-and-true peach blush. Dust it by itself along the apple of your cheeks, or layer it with a bronzer for added contour and extra notes of honey to your complexion. This shade will become your go-to that can easily transition from day to night and work with virtually any makeup look.
Again, go for a warm hue when choosing your ruby colored blush. If there is any key takeaway in choosing a blush color - or any makeup color - for olive skin, it is to steer towards the warmer tones. Warm red blushes sing on olive skin when paired with a similar warm red lipstick. It also is a charmer with nude makeup shades.
Choosing Blush for Deeper Skin Tones
Women with chocolate or ebony complexions require blushes with some powerful pigment to hold up to their deeper shade of beautiful. Don’t let a shade that looks daringly rich in the palette box scare you away. From bold oranges to deep red browns, try one of those saturated shades because they were made for your skin tones.
Depending on how dark your skin is, and of course how heavily you apply the blush, a sharp shade of orange can be surprisingly subtle. An intense orange-peach shade will turn some heads as a contrasting color on women with very deep and cool skin tones. For women with warmer hues, a fierce orange color can work as an everyday neutral blush.
Give your cheeks a big boost of color with a bright burgundy. This red, with notes of brown and purple, brings a beautiful red glow to the cheeks. The brown and purple tones complement the richness of your deeply pigmented skin without looking ruddy. Named after Burgundy wine, this shade has all of its namesake’s class and sexiness, so it’s perfect when you’re feeling a tad sassy.
With the right red notes, a deep brown blush can be an everyday shade, or one used to stand up to a striking makeup look. If the color is not mixed just so - with the right touches of red and purple - this shade can be a miss, appearing muddy on dark skin. Also, if there’s not enough pigment, the shade may disappear on a deep skin tone. The key will be to find that raisinish-brown shade loaded with color, particularly with red and purple notes.
Blendable, Buildable Blushes for Darker Skin
Mented got into the makeup game to fill a gaping void in the marketplace: nude lipstick for women of color. A start-up made by and for women of color, we saw great success with our nude lipsticks and only wanted to continue to create a full suite of makeup products for women of color. The next product of focus in our makeup line is blush, and with our expertise, you can count on our blushes featuring:
a) Deep shades that perfectly suit deeper skin tones, and
b) Richly pigmented color that shows up and stays on darker skin tones.
The line is designed to make it easy for you to choose a color too. Not everyone has time to research and test out a wide range of blush shades. That’s why we made four shades that cover the main color families:
- Pinky Promise - a true pink with an eye-catching gold shimmer, perfect for a softer or summertime look.
- Peach for the Stars – a radiant peach that warms up any complexion.
- Berried Away – a bright red burgundy with just the right notes of red and purple for darker skin.
- Clay Too Much – a muted red brown for a deep, but glowing look.
What makes these blushes stand apart is that they are blendable and buildable to help create a healthy glow. As blendable blushes, this means that you can take two colors and mix them together for a shade custom-crafted for your skin tone and skin undertone. As a buildable color, you can go light-handed with a shade on days you want something subtle, or layer up your colors for a stronger effect.
What’s more, these blush shades are color-calibrated to work on any brown skin or dark skin tone. Peach for the Stars, for example, will look as it should - peachy - on tan, olive, brown, or dark skin. If you want a peach hue with ruby notes to complement a reddish skin undertone, then add a stroke or two of Berried Away. If you’re going for something more in the coral color range, then layer in Pinky Promise for a pinky-peachy shimmery look. In other words, Mented blushes are easy to apply, mix and build to create the perfect color on your cheekbones.
Get Your Blush On
Hopefully, this guide for blush on darker skin will convince you to pick up a blush shade or two and apply it on the regular. If you are hesitating to pick up that blush brush because you aren’t sure how to put blush on, we have an easy step-by-step tutorial on how to apply blush. There are no excuses - find the perfect shade for your skin type and get your blush on!