Sunday, May 26th, 2013

Temptalia Asks You


What blushes are necessary if you’re just starting out? Which ones can you wait on?

Temptalia's AnswerDon’t be afraid to mix two or three blush shades to help create more shades! A good neutral blush can work with a lot of looks, too, but neutral depends on your skin tone. For me, a brown with light warm undertones is neutral but adds some definition/color.

Thanks to Jen for today’s question! Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.

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41 thoughts on “What blushes are necessary if you’re just starting out?

  1. Neapolitan Lane by Tarina Tarintino is the perfect neutral blush for many skin tones and it is one of the highest quality blushes I personally own.

  2. I would say if you can find a great pink, peach, neutral, and plum shade one would be all set for a while. Elf’s Studio Blush is a great option for beginners. You can get a wide range of colors that are pretty good quality for $3.

  3. Safyre

    In general I’d suggest sticking to more “every day” colors (depending on one’s tastes) if they are just starting out or unsure where to start. Brighter or deeper colors (depending on complexion) can wait. I absolutely adore Tarte’s Amazonian Clay blush in Peaceful if someone doesn’t mind a slight bit of shimmer (I think it adds more of a radiance but I’ve seen people go a little nuts about the slight amount of shimmer it has). It’s a mid-tone peach that, I’ve found, looks gorgeous across skintones and adds a nice color and radiance to the face, warms up the face, without screaming “hey look I’m wearing blush”

  4. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Rachael pockykami

    I started out with orgasm, but I think it was too bright/shimmery for a first-timer so it sat unused for a long time. Tarte exposed became the first blush I used on the regular. It is a very pretty rosy tan color. But I honestly think you can find similar blushes for a better price. It’s gonna vary based on skin tone, but melba, gingerly, coppertone, and blushbaby from mac are great options. I know that a lot people say to match the color of your natural blush, but I think that blushes with that coloring would be very red and many people do not want to add more redness to their cheeks. Though that kind of look can be gorgeous on some. If your fair I would avoid extremely pigmented and bright colors until your ready to branch out and your technique has improved. If you have a deeper skin tone, lighter colors may not be a good idea, because they can look ashy. I would avoid overly shimmery or glittery blushes in the beginning, because they will not be as versatile.

  5. Just starting out? I say SKIP the blush! Use your lipstick for a blush, save the money you’d spend and buy MORE EYE SHADOW instead!! Wee!

    P.S. Dear Christine, you might want to think about installing some kind of breathalyzer devise that prevents people from posting when they are as drunk as I am…

    P.P.S. I couldn’t help it. The HBO Liberace movie was on.

  6. I think you should go for a go-to colour, a colour you can almost always use in a look. One that isn’t too bright or dark (depending on your skintone) and compliments your natural skintone. I have olive skin and I like more muted, orange toned blushes on me rather than pinks.
    But like you already said, you can always mix them up !

  7. I would lean towards picking up 3 blushes to start: a pink or rose depending on your preference, a coral, and a neutral.

    I’m neutral light skinned NC20ish, GA Maestro 4.0, Illamasqua 5.5

    Can’t go wrong workhorse blushes in my stash:

    Illamasqua – Naked Rose – a subtle light rose, very neutral
    Nars – Pierre Hardy LE – Boys Don’t Cry or Nars Gilda – both are a pink coral with a bit of red
    Nars – Madly – light brown neutral with a hint of peachy pink

    If you want to amp the blushes up and go for broke:

    Tom Ford – Frantic Pink (light yellow pink and great for light skin tones)
    Tom Ford – Flush (orange coral) or Chanel Joues Contraste in Fleur de Lotus (pink coral)
    Chanel Joues Contraste Tempting Beige (neutral leaning on the warm side)

    • Hi :) Do you think Illamasqua’s Naked Rose or another one would look better on my MUFE #118, light, skin tone? I already have Nars Mata Hari but it is so bold and I need a more neutral blush to go with smokey eyes and neutral lips…any suggestions? I’ve been eyeing Illamasqua’s blushes but haven’t tried one because I hate hate hate ordering on-line and that’s the only way I could get it. Any help would be appreciated:)

      • Hi Christina:
        I grab Illamasqua Naked Rose when I just want a hint of rose on my cheeks. It’s a little more pink than nude.. by nude, I mean beige or orangey/beige. Personally, I think it is perfect for smoky eyes. I’m wearing a darker blue eye today smoked out with taupe and this blush pairs perfectly with it. My lips are neutral as well. Your skin tone is quite similar to mine, this could work for you if a soft neutral rose is what you are looking for. It is WAY more subtle than Mata Hari and not nearly as cool toned. If you want more of a beige nude, I would go with NARS Madly.. which is supposed to be a seashell pink. It pulls neutral beige on my skin.neither pink nor orange. I just thought of another good neutral by Illamasqua: Ambition. It looks darker in the pan, has a bit of shimmer, but produces a really nice naked look, perhaps a bit more sculpted than Naked Rose since it has more brown in it.
        Personally, I don’t think you can go wrong with Naked Rose.. it’s a matte, so no hint of shimmer or anything, and very easy to apply and looks great with virtually anything.

  8. SarahKita

    A good quality coral shade like Illamasqua SOPHIE or NARS Orgasm is a great starting colour which flatters a ton of skintones, warm and cool.

  9. Dominique

    A Chanel JC blush : Rose Initiale
    A M.A.C blush : Well Dressed
    A NARS blush : Sex Appeal
    A Dior duo blush ( Bird of Paradise 2013 ) : 001 or 002
    2 Benefit blushes : Hervana, Bella Bamba or Dallas

  10. MAC Warm Soul! I’ve found the colour flattering on a lot of skin tones (I usually use it for stage makeup). I’ve almost hit the pan in less than a year and have bought another one.

  11. The blush I use most of the time, is the one that fits exactly my natural cheek colour when I blush. Just nip yourself in the cheek or have a look at your cheek colour after you worked out – this is what you should go for! For me, it is a very light but intensive and cool pink – looks gorgeous!

  12. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Lauren Lauren

    I own about 9 million blushes. I think everyone needs: (1) a neutral blush, (2) a pink or coral, summery blush, and (3) a fall plum blush. My favorite blushes in my collection in each category are (1) neutral: MAC Small Vanity, Smashbox Warm Glow, Tarte Exposed; (2) Pink or Coral Summery Blush: MAC Dollymix, Tarte Amused, Tarte Glisten, and Tarina Tarantino Feather; and (3) Fall Plum Blush: Tarte Blushing Bride, Smashbox Blissful.

  13. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of fabiola fabiola

    To me mac springsheen, tarte exposed, are my everyday blush, and of course mac margin will never let you down with any look. Tarte exposed is a neutral pinky/rose not too bright. Mac springsheen is close to nars orgasm, and in my opinion a lot better and much cheaper. Margin is another neutral blush, and has that gorgeous sheen, and goes with everything in my opinion.

  14. I started with a neutral-to-cool dusty pink, and a warmer brown-ish orange color. Both are very wearable and not too bright. The brighter colors I found more interesting when I knew how to apply blush perfectly.

  15. becca

    I would pick one that’s flattering for your your skin tone but that can work with many looks. for me it’s a neutral pink, not too warm or cool. for others a peachy pink can work or a nude blush. It depends on your coloring, i’m very pale with dark hair and brown eyes. I can wear blushes like mac well-dressed with any look and i can add bronzer to warm it up if i need to for a certain look.

  16. It is hard to recommend a specific blush shade as your skintone greatly impacts which blushes look the most natural or complimentary to your skin. The most natural looking blushes are those that match the shade that you get after a workout. It is best to try out swatches against YOUR skin. What looks great on one person may just look strange on another. Don’t be afraid of color. Just remember that you can always use more, but it is difficult to take off what you already have on. If you do use too much you can always use the brush that you used for your foundation and buff out the blush. Cream blushes are great if you want a natural flush, just make sure you use them before you powder your face. You can also layer a powder blush in a similar shade over top of the cream blush to help the color last longer. Also, make sure you blend. You could find the perfect shade for your skin and, if you just slap it on, the stripe of color will just look horrid. If you have difficulties with blending, take your foundation brush and just run it around the edges of your blush and it will help it blend into your skin. The tools you use will also impact how a blush looks. Duo fiber brushes pick up minimal product which helps to stop you from using too much. Big fluffy brushes will disperse the pigment over a larger area. The more dense the brush, the more dense the pigment.

    That being said, some (permanent) blush shades that look good on me (Bobbi Brown Alabaster, MAC NW10) are: NARS Orgasm, NARS Sin, and Bobbi Brown Pale Pink. Again, these are just ones that work on me and my skin tone.

  17. Alyssa

    A basic, neutral, matte everyday blush is best thing to have. A color that goes with any look, whether bold and colorful or a simple daytime look. My favorite is Cargo molokai, which is great dusty pale peach that goes great on my fair skin. I’m not sure if it is sold anymore–I got it about a year ago on hautelook.

    Then it’s good to have a good “winter” color–something a little darker and warmer. I tend to go for lighter plums or roses. And good, bright summer pink or coral is great to have too.

    ELF makes great, cheap blushes but going and getting some good quality high end blushes is not a bad thing. Blushes last a long time and spending a little more to get a good quality, long lasting blush is a great investment.

  18. LM

    I’d say that when you are starting out, all you need is just one good blush (that’s not too shimmery) that mimics the color of your cheeks when you’re flushed, but doesn’t make you look too flushed.

  19. Ashton

    I’d say shy away from cream blushes if your not sure what your doing. Powder is much more forgiving.

  20. Deb

    I have an embarrassing number of blush at this point, but some of my favorite everyday staples are Nars Douceur (neutral), Deep Throat (pinky on me) and MAC Melba (peachy). I also like MAC Warm Soul for a summery natural bronze look.

    I have many other blush that I adore, but many are LE and are no longer available.

  21. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Sarah Sarah Grace

    I’d recommend Tarina Tarantino’s Dollskin Cheek Palette. It has a neutral, a gorgeous coral, a cool pink, and a shimmery pink and the packaging and quality are great.

  22. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Rad Rad

    I started with a few MAC Dollymix (dusky pink with shimmer), Azalea (bright pink) and Peaches (light peach). All three are great colours and would suit most skintones. Just remember to not be too heavy handed as they are all very pigmented. Also, they last ages! I also recently purchased Poised (its a light brown LE and i’m surprised that it didn’t sell out as quickly as the colour is amazing!)

  23. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of ANTIGONE ANTIGONE

    Sheer blushes are best as they are easier to control and give a more natural glow effect.
    My favorites are:
    – Mac Sheertones
    – Chanel Joues Contraste European version
    – Sisley Blushes
    – Armani Sheer blushes
    – Burberry Sheer blushes
    – Yves Saint Laurent Cream Blushes are also so easy to blend and look so natural too

  24. I really like Warm Soul by MAC because it goes with almost everything.

  25. stacey

    It is not necessary to buy hi-end blushes when starting out. One wants to try all the possible tones…plum. brown, peach, pink, raspberry, coral, apricot. And you can do that with the drugstore brands galore like Cover Girl or Loreal. Yes, they are not PETA friendly, but high end blushes are costly and cannot be versatile like shadows or lipsticks. Too much blush or too glittery gives the look of theatre, disco, poorly applied or even worse a porn star or someone ready for “the streets of San Francisco”

  26. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Terese Terese

    LUMINOSO Baked Blush by Milani. It is THE perfect blush!!!!

    • Stacie

      OMGoodness! It really is! I’m surprised the Milani baked blushes haven’t gotten more love in the comments. I love them. Luminoso, dolce pink, coralina. I have all of them. Even red vino which is difficult for my fair skin to pull off. I use a duo fibre and it still looks amazing! I think they are all great and there’s a color for everyone!

    • alyson

      i also love that blush.. i love all of milani blushes.. for a newbie i’d say to go for a natural blush.. it depends on skin tones so i do not want to say a specific color..

  27. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Caroline Caroline

    Nars Lustre for warm tones (warm apricot) and Nars Madly (seashell pink but a nice pinky-brown) for cool tones! These are great for everyday, when you only want to wear blush with no contour, or when you’re wondering what color blush to wear with a dramatic bold lip.

  28. I love cream blushes or gel like ones because you can mix them together, experiment or wear them over bare skin :) Me and my friend are NC30 and NC20 and we are both huge fans of coral and a kind of plummy blushes. Both look really natural and are great to start out with :) We also are both huge fans of angled contour brushes to apply it!

  29. Jay

    I’m an NC40 gal, and have to agree with Tarte Exposed as an all-around fool proof color that suits just about anybody and is great for every day. Also NARS Douceur along the same lines, for a bit of a more brown, less pink color.

    Coral colors, I’m kind of in love with MAC’s Pinch Me, which on me comes off a lot more coral than pink, although I find this one needs a light hand, and MAC Sunbasque is a beautiful color that’s also pretty fool proof.

    Nars Lovejoy is great for winter, and because it doesn’t give off as much color as some other nars blushes, it’s easy to wear without going overboard quickly.

  30. VickyM

    I think there are two main essential blushes for me, one warm toned like Chanel In love, that has warm undertones and is suitable with brown, red, orange, beige colors, a neutral one like Chanel Rose Initialle that goes with most colors because of how soft it is, and another pinker, rose color with cool undertones for colors like pink, purple, red… cool based colors. I think with those three you already have the main blush looks covered, I have the first two now I just need my perfect pink, rose color, searching for that now :P .

  31. Monibackincali

    Omg, I love this question! For reference I’m NC40. I picked a handful blushes that compliment all skintones.

    MAC peaches
    Mac warm soul
    Mac blush baby
    Mac harmony

    These are classic blushes are great for begginers and for lack of a better term, fool proof.

  32. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Corline corline

    My very first blush was Angelika by Nars which wasn’t the best choice. I use it now and love it, but back then I wasn’t confident enough. My beginner favourites were nude peach by Bobbi Brown and Deep Throat by Nars. I’m very pale and I think both these blushes work very well with pale skin. I also think Melba by Mac is a good choice. Nowadays I love a bright blush and I think they look really good on me :) It’s all about trying out new things.

  33. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Karla Karla

    When I was very fair this winter (NW20) I found a wonderful blush in the Drugstore. Rimmel’s Blush in Spring Flower. It’s a little pink/mauve, and has a highlighter stripe in the middle. It’s a good cheap all in one blush.
    I really love a good neutral blush, if you can find it my first blush EVER was MAC’s STRADA. It’s my all time favorite. It’s a little to light for me now (NW30)… I used to use it as a blush/contour. It’s AMAZING!
    It’s always good to have Matte/Satin Blushes to start… Anything to crazy with shimmer I would avoid.

  34. Adele

    I would start with a natural-looking brownish pink, orgasm or a similar shade (since it seems to work for so many people!), and something at least a little bit coral/orange or mauve/purple depending on your undertones.

    Super bright blushes can wait, as can super sparkly ones — nothing against them, but they’re generally going to be less useful on a daily basis.