A swipe of blush on the apples of the cheeks is an instant cure for a dull and sallow complexion, but finding the exact shade that will deliver a natural flush isn't so simple. "The correct tone of blush can be such an asset to one's overall look, because it adds warmth and health, and can make a pale complexion look approachable," says N.Y.C.-based hair and makeup artist Abraham Sprinkle. "There are so many factors to consider when choosing a shade, which is what makes it so difficult: like matte vs. sheen, and warm vs. cool. The correct color will seamlessly blend. The incorrect stands out."
Luckily, Sprinkle helped us compile a comprehensive guide to the most flattering blush shades to brighten up every skin tone.
1. Fair with Pink Undertones
If you're very fair, Sprinkle recommends sweeping a cool or neutral petal-pink blush on the apples of your cheeks to create a subtle flush that won't overwhelm a pale complexion.
NYX High Definition Blush in Pastel Chic ($7; nyxcosmetics.com)
2. Fair with Yellow Undertones
"A light peach blush with gold flecks" will create a natural-looking glow on fair skin by enhancing its orange and yellow tones, says Sprinkle.
Too Faced Love Flush Long-Lasting 16-Hour Blush in I Will Always Love You ($26; sephora.com)
3. Medium with Yellow Under Tones
Sprinkle suggests choosing a muted peach or sand shade to create a realistic flush on medium complexions with yellow undertones.
Clinique Cheek Pop in Nude Pop ($22; clinique.com)
4. Medium with Golden Undertones
The best way to enhance this skin tone's born-with-it glow, is to reach for a peach-tinged bronzer, says Sprinkle.
Tom Ford Large Bronzing Powder in Gold Dust ($98; nordstrom.com)
Neutral rose shades that are neither too bright nor too shadowy are especially complementary for olive skin tones. This hue will add just the right amount of warmth to the face, according to Sprinkle.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Shameless Bold Blush in 206 Reckless ($30; sephora.com)
6. Golden Brown
Sprinkle suggests opting for a neutral shade with a berry overtone to add a convincing flush to a golden brown complexion.
Dolce & Gabbana The Blush Luminous Cheek Color in Mocha 28 ($47; sephora.com)
7. Dark with Yellow Undertones
Sprinkle turns to a blush in the cedar to brick-red color range to add warmth to the natural traces of yellow in this skin tone.
Nars Blush in Taos ($30; narscosmetics.com)
8. Dark with Red Undertones
An intense papaya shade brushed across the cheeks will liven up this skin tone without overpowering it, says Sprinkle.
Lancôme Blush Subtil in Cedar Rose ($32; lancome-usa.com)