Cream, Stick or Powder? How To Decide Which Blush Is For You

Figuring out which blush is right for you can be confusing – what color do I choose? What texture is best for my skin type? How and where do I apply it? We talked to the experts (a make up artist and a color expert) and compiled a go-to guide to blush.

The most important step in picking a blush is determining your skin tone and undertones, said  California color expert and image consultant Barbara DesChamps. “If your skin is in the cooler tones, you will want a cool pink or rose blush, depending on how dark your complexion is. If your skin is more golden, you will want a peach or brick blush, again according to darkness,” she explained.
While some people consult professionals to determine their skin tone, it can also be done by examining your vein, eye, and hair color. We found a helpful article on the subject at
Once you’ve got color figured out, you need to decide which blush texture is best for your skin. New York make up artist Meredith Hayman broke it down for us:
Powder blush is best for normal to oily skin and should be applied over a powder foundation. To apply, smile and use a soft blush brush, starting on the apples of the cheeks and blending up toward the hair line.
As a universally flattering powder blush, Meredith suggests Nars Blush in Orgasm ($25 at Sephora):
Cream blush is great for normal to dry skin. It should be applied to clean and dry skin or over a cream or liquid foundation. To apply, smile and dip your finger into the blush. Gently tap it onto your skin in a circular motion.
Meredith suggests Stila Convertible Color in Petunia ($25 at Sephora) as a universally flattering cream blush (bonus: it doubles as lip color!):
Convertible Color
Stick blush works for oily or sensitive skin and is the best choice for acne-prone skin. Like the cream, it is best applied on clean, dry skin or over cream or liquid foundation. To apply, smile and press the product from the stick directly onto the apple of your cheek. Gently blend in a circular motion with your finger tip.
For a universally flattering stick blush, Meredith suggests Clinique Blushwear Cream Stick in Rosey Blush ($18.50 at Clinique):
Blushwear Cream Stick
Cheek stain is pretty on normal to dry skin and is best applied when your face is clean and dry. To apply, smile and apply directly form the applicator stick. Gently use your finger tips to blend quickly, because the stain dries and sets onto skin within 15 to 20 seconds.
For a universally flattering cheek stain, Meredith recommends Tarte Natural Cheek Stain in Eco-cheek ($30 at Sephora):
Cheek Stain
A simple way to think about it is that cream or liquid products go best with cream or liquid foundation, and powder products look best when applied on powder foundation, Barbara said. “If you wear no foundation or powder, then any blush will work,” she added.
And if you’re ever in a pinch (such as the moment when I dropped my powder blush on the floor and it shattered) Barbara says your lipstick can be used as a blush and blended with moisturizer or foundation.

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