Blush may, at times, have been overshadowed by bold lips and cat eyes, but that’s all changing thanks to new affordable and prestige formulas (from creams to stains), coupled with the fact that winter is always a great time to start adding a bit more colour to your face.
But how do you pick a shade that complements your complexion? We chatted with makeup artist Katey Denno—who works with Amanda Seyfried, Isla Fisher, Mindy Kaling and more—for guidance. “Blush is all about making the rest of the face brighter and fresher,” Denno says. “The goal is to pick a shade that matches the colour of your cheeks when you have a natural flush.”
Once you get the right shade, picking a formula is easy: If you’re prone to breakouts, or have oily skin, go for a powder formula. A cream or stain is good for clear skin and darker complexions, but needs to be reapplied after a few hours. If you want a bold, colourful cheek, try layering a powder formula over a stain or cream—it’ll last the longest. Copy your post-workout glow, or just click through our slideshow for Denno’s expert recommendations.
If you have fair-to-medium skin and brown hair like Chung, consider yourself very lucky, says Denno. “You can wear so many different tones!” she says. For a vibrant pink she suggests, for a rosy flush, Dr. Hauschka Blush Compact #3 Blushing Rose (£21). We also like E.l.f. Studio Blush in Pink Passion (£5) and Revlon Powder Blush in Smoky Rose (£8).
Purplish pinks and peachy-pink hues work best on golden blondes like Lively because of the undertones in their hair. Denno’s pick is Nars Blush in Outlaw (£20). Or try Heidi Klum’s go-to, YSL Blush Radiance Blush in No. 03 (£28). Sonia Kashuk Beautifying Blush in Flamingo or Melon (£8) in Flamingo or Melon is a great affordable option.
“If you have pale skin with dark eyes and hair, you’re going to want something lively on your cheeks,” Denno says. She suggests a peachy-pink shade like Nars Blush in Orgasm (£23) to flatter and brighten up your complexion. For a similar look try Milani Baked Powder Blush in Luminoso (£5) or Nyx Powder Blush in Pinched (£9).
Just like Chung, women with complexions like Kaling’s can wear a variety of colours. Denno suggests hot coral, warm reds with rich brown undertones, and purple hues. “Indian women need a lot of colour, so I always start with a stain and then layer a powder on top,” Denno says. “Vapour Beauty Blush Stains in Crave or Enchant (£29) are great." We also like Pixi Sheer Cheek Gel in Flushed (£14).
If you share Madekwe’s golden colouring try a pinky-peach hue—like Orgasm—or a rose colour. “Vapour Beauty Blush in Courtesan (£27) would give Ashley a perfect sun-kissed flush,” Denno says. We also like E.l.f’s Studio Contouring Blush and Bronzing Duo in St. Lucia (£5).
Opening Image: Todd Williamson/Getty Images