I used to be scared of blush. I loved when makeup artists used it on me, but whenever I tried to use it on myself I would freak myself out. There definitely is such a thing as too much blush, and when you see it, it’s undeniable. Growing up around Aunty (name redacted) laid the foundation for my fear. She wore her blush in two thick stripes like war paint.  It took a little bravery and a lot of trial and error to figure out how to use blush and bronzer, but once I did there was no looking back. Now my look feels incomplete if I’m not wearing a beautiful blush on my cheeks and bronzer in a 3 formation like Sam Fine taught us all.

I love a peachy pinky gold blush on myself most of all, and I’m learning to work with bolder blushes and deeper bronzers. For an ultimate guide to which blushes would best compliment brown skin and dark skin tones, I reached out to my MAC insider and go-to Los Angeles makeup artist Nicole Evans (@NicoleEvansMUA). She did such a great job with the 25 Best MAC Lipsticks for Women of Color, I had to ask for her top picks for blushes for her kit, and for every woman of color who wants beautiful blush on the apples of her cheeks. These are her best blush selections for dark skin tones, from brands like MAC and NARS. Take it away, Nicole!

Best Blushes For Dark Skin

I love blushes! They bring so much expression to any makeup look. The following is a shortlist of blushes/cheek colors that I highly recommend for dark skin. But trust me, there are many more that I love! In no particular order:

MAC Blunt

MAC Blunt

MAC Format

Mac Format blush

MAC Raizin

MAC Raizin blush

MAC Fever

MAC blush Fever

MAC Motif (eyeshadow, doubles as a beautiful blush)

MAC Motif eyeshadow

MAC Lovejoy

MAC lovejoy

MAC Sweet as Cocoa

MAC Sweet as Cocoa

MAC Ambering Rose

MAC Ambering Rose

MAC Fever

MAC Fever blush

MAC Pink Bronze Pigment

MAC Pink Bronze Pigment

  10 is such a hard number to stop at…here are a few more that I couldn’t not let you know about:

MAC Hot Paprika (longwear eyeshadow doubles as a gorgeous dimensional blush!)

MAC Hot Paprika

Don’t forget the PRO colors!

MACPRO Salsarose



Then there’s NARS Exhibit A

NARS exhibit A

Nars Taj Mahal

Nars Taj Mahal blush

Kevyn Aucoin Fira

Kevyn Aucoin Fira

…I’ll stop there, but I know I could list more. Enjoy!

Thanks for your recommendations  Nicole Evans!! You can follow her on Twitter @NicoleEvansMUA. See any of your favorite blushes, or blush that’s been on your radar?


Tori says:
February 24, 2014, 3:47 pm
I'm not "dark skin", but I do use sweet as cocoa as my go-to. Leaves nice bronze look on my sweet cheeks! lol
Lakia says:
February 24, 2014, 3:48 pm
Hi Afrobella- Thank you for this post! I currently have Sweet as Cocoa and Raizin but I am going to try a few more on this list!
Katrina says:
February 24, 2014, 4:12 pm
Bobbie Brown's cream blushes are awesome on brown girls and can be used as a lipstick. My favorites are Calypso Coral, Blushed Rose, & Raspberry. http://www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com/product/2323/20488/Makeup/Cheeks/Blush/Pot-Rouge-for-Lips-Cheeks/SS12/index.tmpl
Vickie says:
February 25, 2014, 7:32 pm
Great list. Would also like to add Nars exhibit A. Its awesome against my dark chocolate.
Stella says:
March 17, 2014, 1:45 am
Girls with whitish or dark skin tone have always problem with choosing right shade because of limited color shades. But here i found number of shades that will solve this problem and these shades seems very beautiful and attractive.
Lacquerholic says:
April 1, 2014, 11:49 pm
A kit staple for me is MAC "frankly ms scarlet". devil is also in my kit. Love it!
Kendrick Beattie says:
April 16, 2014, 12:08 pm
I've been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this web site. Thank you, I?ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your website?
Gabriel Fitzgerald says:
May 26, 2014, 11:11 am
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Home Skin Lightening says:
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July 11, 2014, 4:52 pm
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natonya says:
September 16, 2014, 11:15 am
hey Tori :) im actually looking for a blush and happened to come across this blog providing feedback on some great selections! I've used Black Radiance toasted almond, however the MAC lovejoy looks cool!
Zion Spertus says:
September 30, 2014, 5:53 pm
Very well written information. It will be supportive to everyone who utilizes it, as well as me. Keep doing what you are doing - can'r wait to read more posts.
Natural Hair Earrings says:
January 5, 2017, 9:27 pm
Have you updated this list for 2017?
Y. Davis says:
May 31, 2017, 5:38 pm
I know I'm about 3-years late with my comment but I've literally just read your blog today! Another Brand that's an Old School (one of the first for women of color) is Fashion Fair's "Earth Red" Blush. I keep this brand & color in my arsenal of all my newer brand blushes like MAC and Nars! Believe it or not, this is the only product I've ever liked & used from them.