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From affordable finds to luxe options, these blushes for melanin-rich skin will have you blushing.
There are certain beauty products that can transform your face without much effort. One of them? Blush. But different skin tones need different shades. The best blush for dark skin tones gives a natural flush by providing a hint of color while also livening up your face, bringing dimension and life back to your cheeks. There’s a reason so many makeup artists say it’s essential.
“Imagine blush like building a house,” says Kierra Lanice, Los Angeles-based makeup artist and beauty educator. “You have the foundation set, but what makes it a home and breathes life into it is adding color and personality.”
This makeup bag must-have can also help shape your face depending on where on the skin you apply it. “When applying blush, find your cheekbone and identify the highest most prominent part,” says Ehlie Luna, a New York City-based makeup artist and beauty content creator. “That’s your starting point. You can also smile and use the apples of your cheek as a guide,” she adds.
If you have melanin-rich skin and are having a tricky time finding the right makeup for dark skin tones, don’t panic. Ahead, we’ve rounded up the best blushes out there to level up your beauty routine.
We asked makeup pros Lanice and Luna for their recommendations and combed through countless user reviews to find the best blush for dark skin tones.

With a velvety powder and demi-matte and satin pearl finishes, it’s no secret that anything that Pat McGrath creates is iconic—and exactly why Lanice recommends this blush. This one is for the person who loves to feel luxurious and is open to playing with colors outside of their comfort zone.
Coming in at just $6, Lanice recommends this blush for a number of reasons—but we love how affordable it is. Available in four different shades specifically designed for dark skin tones, we can see why Lanice loves it. The soft powder formula is great for all skin types and offers rich color. Reviewers rave about how easy it is to blend, leaving skin with a satin finish. Plus, the blush works double duty—it can be applied dry, and wet, too, if you want more color intensity.
This classic blush has been a makeup favorite for years and for good reason. It gives you everything you need from a blush. Buildable. Check. Long-lasting check. Various color options. Check. Lightweight. Check. It makes sense why Luna and other makeup artists love carrying this one in their kit.
It’s no wonder why this one is a bestselling, cult favorite. With three different finishes, shimmer, matte, and satin, you’ll find a shade that fits your makeup personality. Lanice says that because of its high-pigmented formula, those with skin that needs a blotting paper (or two) by the end of the day will find that the color will stay intact no matter how oily they get.
Yes, this one is a cream, but for Luna, this is a staple in her kit. First, the formula is long-lasting and waterproof meaning it will stay put all day. Second, with so many color options and finishes, you instantly become the artist by mixing and matching to create your ideal shade. Third, it’s a triple threat—it’s multipurpose so you can use it on your cheeks, eyes, and lips if you want to create an all-over monochromatic look.
If you want to bring to light your skin’s natural tone then Luna suggests this lightweight option. Perfect for enhancing your glow, you can choose from 10 different shades including Wine and Plum which both complement dark to deep skin tones.
Both Lanice and Luna recommend this buildable option from Rare Beauty. Not only is the formula weightless but the colors are ideal for many skin tones including dark skin ones. Opt for the hot pink shade Lucky or the bright rose mauve Grace. Tip: A little goes a long way since the formulas are highly pigmented.
Luna loves this beautiful formula because the color melts seamlessly into the skin. Apart from being buildable, this blush acts like skincare thanks to its all-day hydration ingredients like squalene, Vitamin E, and hyaluronic acid. And if you’re into sustainability, you’ll be pleased with its refillable component.
If applying blush scares you then Lanice thinks you can’t go wrong with this one. Its no-fuss formula is so effortless that all you need to apply is a tap of the product on your fingertips. Translation: there’s no way you can apply too much. Enjoy the sheer wash of color that will look natural no matter which of the ten shades you choose from.
The brand may be marketed towards millennials, but don’t let that turn you away. “Cloud Paint is amazing because the pigment is sheer and the formula gives a soft-focus effect that doesn’t accentuate texture including pores, fine lines, and wrinkles,” says Lanice. Plus, it’s easy to wear so you can even use your fingers to apply. Try shades Beam for a warm orange or Eve for a rich berry.
This multipurpose stick is great for mature skin (and a favorite of Luna’s) because of its cream-to-powder formula that blends seamlessly. It also gives skin a subtle hint of shimmer that doesn’t magnify lines and wrinkles. And, multipurpose is an understatement. Not only is this good for your cheeks, but also your lips and eyes, and it can be used as a highlighter and to contour. Can you say “multitasker?”
Find brands that offer an inclusive range. It’s a good idea to seek out brands that provide a variety of color options for all kinds of skin tones. “If brands clearly have dark skin in mind starting from the product development stage, then they’ve imagined their products being worn on a wide range of skin tones which will make finding the right blush easier,” says Luna. The more options you get to choose from, the better.
Know your skin type. Since there are different types of blush it’s important to know what type of skin you have to determine which kind of blush is best for you. For example, if your skin is oily, you wouldn’t want a cream blush because it can melt into the skin and slide throughout the day, says Lanice. Normal, combo, or dry skin can benefit from cream or liquid blush. If you have mature skin, blush with heavy sparkles can highlight and accentuate visible signs of aging. If you’re unsure, get started by trying out a powder blush first to see how it wears on your skin throughout the day.
Consider your undertones. If you have more yellow or golden undertones, Luna suggests sticking with orange blush, while if you have warm and neutral undertones, berry colors will complement your skin very well. Just know that vivid blush and varying shades of warm coral, rich pink, plum, and wine look radiant and glowing on melanated skin. And as for shades to avoid? Both Luna and Lanice warn to avoid pale, pastel, and chalky tones, as well as steering clear of the word “dusty” in the product name.

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