Building a blush arsenal


As you can tell by my blush collection picture above (which I’ve since added about 5 more to), I’m a little bit of a blush junkie.  Daphne, one of our college interns from last summer, emailed me a few months ago to ask me about what NARS blush she should get as she’s a newbie to the whole blush scene.  This got me thinking back to when I was just starting to build my blush arsenal.  I use the word arsenal purposefully – ideally, the average girl wouldn’t want to own a ton of blush – just a few blushes that can complement essentially any look (a few select weapons for any occasion, if you will).  I think there are a few key colors and finishes that will go with just about any look, any time of the year.

We’ll keep this just to powder blush today, and I should mention, the tone of each of these color categories may differ depending on your skin tone – my skin tone is LIGHT MEDIUM (around MAC NC25, Chanel B30), so the product recommendations will likely work well for those around my skin tone.  Where applicable, I’ll give suggestions for brighter colors that can work for those with darker skin tones.

On to building a blush arsenal, in order of recommendation:

1. A dusty muted pink color / the “neutral” blush – this is typically the muted pink brown color that looks boring in the pan but AMAZING on your face.  This is considered a neutral blush, because it seems to go with almost anything, all year round, and it can really help give definition to the face.  The finish I would recommend is matte or satin (not shimmery), so it’s one of those throw-on-and-go products that will give your face some life and still look natural.

The reason I recommend this as a first blush is because you can wear it everyday – to work, to class, on a date – and it will complement your look without being the center of attention.

Blush recommendations:

blush 1

2. A light shimmery peachy pink – this is another universally flattering shade that everyone should have, so I almost put it as #1.  I find that blush lovers like myself are typically drawn to shimmery peachy pinks like moths to a flame.  This color category makes up the bulk of my collection, because it is just so easy to wear and somehow exudes sexiness.. which is also the reason I did NOT have it as #1.  For those occasions when you want to be super professional or conservative, I wouldn’t pick this one.

It’s the perfect 2nd blush, because it’s offers more brightness to the face, and it can be your go-to shade when you want to draw more attention to your cheeks.

Blush suggestions:

blush 2

These are slightly darker in color, so I wear them more in the summer when I have a tan:

blush 2a

While the color of the ever-popular NARS Blush in Orgasm would be here, I’m not including it because I personally find that the glitter in it is too conspicuous and not something I would personally feel comfortable wearing out in broad daylight to work/class.

3. The baby pink – the ever-cute light pink gives a youthful look to the face, and looks equally amazing with no other makeup on or a full-blown smokey eye.  I have it here as #3, because it’s not a color I would personally feel comfortable wearing to a professional work environment on my warm skin tone, but it’s a fantastic blush when you want a very girly look.

blush 3

Brighter pinks:

blush 3a

Honorable mention: the shimmery peach/light bronze – I LOOOOVE wearing these colors, because they are SO flattering on warm skin tones.  It makes your face glow and looks very healthy.  They’re not necessarily must-haves, but I love wearing them in warmer weather.  These blushes can give you a very Victoria’s Secret bronzed goddess-esque look (and who doesn’t want that?).

blush 4

And of course, we can’t really talk about building a blush arsenal without blush brushes.  Below are 3 of my most reached-for brushes to use with any of the blushes I mentioned.

blush brush

What are YOUR blush must haves?


  1. Mimi Shih

    Judy! you have so many blushes I love it. What is the baked blush that you got me called? I still use that one everyday. I also like Nars Orgasm Blush Stick for travel and my gym bag since you don’t need a brush for it and my brushes always get messed up when I travel with them – I do love my Real Techniques brush you got me!

    • Judy

      I got you Milani Luminoso, which would go into #2! I love NARS Multiple in Orgasm in the summer – I find it’s so much easier to wear than the powder version!

  2. Joyce (bronzerbunny)

    YAY! Blush! 🙂 I’m more of a bronzer girl these days, but I did have a hefty nars blush collection at one point. and i think i had chanel orchid rose and gave it away (what was i thinking?!) I also just gave away my real techniques blush brush, but now i’m not sure if I should have! lol!

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