9 best blushers for dark skin tones

If there’s one unsung beauty product of the make-up world it’s the humble blusher.

It’s seldom considered an essential like some items, and yet it does so much to add warmth and depth to the skin, especially for us black and brown girls.

That said, it can be a bit of a minefield in knowing what colours and formulations suit best. Picking a shade too bright can make your skin look chalky, but your blusher will need to have enough pigment to stand out.

Plums, bronzes and deep reds are the colours which are most complementary to dark skin tones – but there is nothing wrong with a little experimentation, and while brighter shades like pumpkin, coral and gold may seem garish, they look stunning on black and brown skin.

We’ve tested a wide range of blushers which include gels, sticks and more traditional powder-based formulas to find our favourites.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Sleek Makeup blush by 3 palette in sugar: £13.49, Sleek Makeup

This blush compact offers three colours: a deep plum tone for everyday wear, a perky coral colour which is ideal to wear on holiday, and a bronzy shimmery shade for nights out. Sleek always comes up trumps with make-up products for dark skin tones, and this is no exception. The formula comprises of finely milled pigment that is packaged in a pretty, compact case.

The darker shades provide intense colour, while the lighter coral shade requires a few swipes to be highly visible. Our tester was impressed by the longevity of the blusher and the versatility of the compact, as the colours can be worn individually or stacked together. With a mirror that’s great for applying on the go, this palette is real value for money.

Bobbi Brown pot rouge for lips and cheeks in blushed rose: £22.50, Bobi Brown

Pot rogue is Bobbi Brown’s famous multi-tasker that adds a flush of colour to both cheeks and lips. It’s balm-like consistency was highly favourable to our tester whose skin tends to become dehydrated during the day, she felt that this formula was best suited to her skin needs. The subtle rose shade is ideal for her light-medium skin tone; just enough colour to give the appearance of a subtly flushed complexion.

Elf Cosmetics monochromatic multi-stick in radiant bronze: £4.50, Elf Cosmetics

This unassuming blusher stick surprised our tester due to its shade potency. On application it felt soft like a cream blush, but then transformed into more of a powder-like finish with specks of shimmer. Its rich brass tone is perfectly suited to her medium-dark skin tone and provides a warm flush of colour that emulates that perfect post-holiday glow.

Milani baked powder blush in red vino: £10.95, Beauty Bay

This is a steal of a product as it ticks so many boxes acting as blusher, highlighter and bronzer all in one due to its iridescent sparkle paired with deep bronze tones. It’s a baked powder formula which means it’s really finely milled, allowing for a smooth application and intense colour pay off. Our tester describes her skin tone as dark and observed that the bronze shade formed a striking contrast to her complexion and maintained staying power throughout the day. It gets extra brownie points for the mirror and applicator; it really is the perfect budget blusher buy.

Yves Saint Laurent couture blush in plum smoking: £32, Escentual

This blusher looks gloriously opulent, packaged in YSL’s iconic gold casing. This rich red wine shade is ideal for the winter months and for dark skin tones. Our tester felt like this had a weightless texture and is more of a buildable formula, requiring a few applications for noticeable colour. The results are stunning though, providing a flush of intense plum colour that endures throughout the day.

Illamasqua colour veil in consume: £16, Illamasqua

We love this blusher formula simply for its uniqueness – it’s packaged in a small pot and has a jelly like consistency. Consume, the warm terracotta shade we tried, provides supreme colour pay-off against our tester’s dark skin tone. Although it is only a relatively small 4.5ml pot, the product goes a long way. You only need to dip your finger into the pot to get an application’s worth of colour.

Nars blush in orgasm: £25, Nars

Proudly touted as one of Nars’ cult favourites, blusher shade orgasm certainly lives up to the hype and sexy product shade moniker. The coveted product gives a shimmer effect typically achieved with a highlighter, as well as a hint of rose hued blusher. That’s the beauty of orgasm – it’s a multi-use product in one neat 4.8g package. Our tester describes her skin tone as medium-brown said this gave a warm wash of colour to her cheeks, while the sheer gold finish gives off a shimmery glow.

This is definitely a buildable blusher. The colour is subtle and offers more of a flush of colour than unabashed intensity. Our tester applied a few layers before she felt satisfied that the colour was truly visible. This may be an issue for those who favour stronger pigments, but for those who prefer a more subtle, natural-looking finish, this is an ideal contender.

Marc Jacobs air blush soft glo duo in night fever and hot stuff: £28, Marc Jacobs

For a touch of luxe, Marc Jacobs air blush is an ideal choice, replete with its high gloss casing. The formula feels velvety soft and only requires a slight application of colour to leave a lasting impact. Our tester describes her skin tone as deep dark and is a dedicated wearer of blusher but feels limited in choice. She was duly impressed with the duo of shades in this compact – one rosy toned, the other plum – which gave instant colour pay-off. The beautifully rich shades add depth which made our tester’s cheekbones appear sculpted by the beauty Gods. It’s also paraben and sulfate-free.

Carron Cosmetics blush in terracotta: £14.50, Kushty Cosmetics

Carron Cosmetics is the brainchild of the late Carron Enwright-Richardson, a make-up artist of Afro-Caribbean heritage who set out to create a line of premium quality products for women of colour. Carron’s legacy lives on through her eponymous product line, and her line of seven blushers offers something for a range of complexions. Our tester, who describes her skin tone as light-medium, settled on terracota, a heavily pigmented powder blush that warms up the skin with a dynamic pop of colour that is ideal for both daytime and evening wear.

The verdict: Blushers for dark skin tones

Sleek makeup blush by 3 palette is our best blusher buy. Providing a versatile range of shades that are extremely flattering on dark skin tones, and priced under a tenner, it’s one of the most purse-friendly options available.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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