How to Choose the Right Blush for Your Lipstick



Blush is a necessity when you wear a bold lip.  If you don’t wear some color on your cheeks, your lips could wash out your complexion.  Think of blush as a complement to your lips . . . your lips are the center of attention and you don’t want your cheeks to “steal the show.”  Wearing too much blush or the wrong color is an easy mistake to make.  To make it simple, I paired a number of Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-hr Blushes with different lip colors.  This is my absolute favorite blush because of its pigment, blendability and staying power.  (If you don’t want to invest in multiple colors of blushes, Too Faced recently released a “blush wardrobe” that I included as well . . . I listed the colors that would work below the list of products used in the photos).





Orange is the new red.  Ok, I hate sayings like that but you’ve seen the J. Crew models wearing it, right?  Classic like red but more modern.  To choose the right blush, you’re going to want to stay away from pinks and reds.  Choose an orange, peach or coral color to complement the orange.


Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Tipsy

MAC Lipstick in M’Orange

Urban Decay Lip Pencil in Bang

**Too Faced Love Flush Blush Wardrobe in Baby Love





Purple is tricky.  I love the color on the lips because it’s somewhat unexpected, but the blush is harder to choose.  Find one with purple or mauve undertones and stay away from reds and bright pinks.  Just a small amount will work – let the lips do the talking for this look.


Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Flush

Stila Stay All Day Lip Color in Como

**Too Faced Love Flush Blush Wardrobe in Justify My Love





For wine lips, you’ll need more blush than you probably think you do.  The dark dramatic color of your lips can drain color from your face if you don’t choose a dark enough blush.  Try one with a bit more brown than pink and don’t be afraid to use a little bit of a heavier hand!


Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Vampira

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Dazzled (Blushing Bride would also be a great option if you prefer a matte blush as Dazzled has a shimmer finish)

**Too Faced Love Flush Blush Wardrobe in Your Love is King




Red is always a favorite – classic, timeless, and a perfect way to add a little glam to everything from jeans to your favorite little black dress.  You can always go with a neutral blush with this color, but I like playing up the cheeks a bit with a red lip.  Finding a color that matches (like a red or dark pink) will work great.


Sephora Luster Matte Long Wearing Lip Color in Scarlet Letter

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Natural Beauty

**Too Faced Love Flush Blush Wardrobe in How Deep is Your Love




Nude is a favorite of mine.  It looks especially good with a dark smokey eye.  For a nude lip, you’ll want a blush that is similar in color and apply it with a light hand.  Highlighter looks especially pretty with nude lips and cheeks.  (This is my favorite).


BareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lip Liner in PumpedToo Faced La Creme Color Drenched Lip Creme in Naked DollyToo Faced Lip Injection Extreme Gloss (this gloss has mixed reviews but I absolutely love it, ESPECIALLY over a nude color . . . it softens the look a bit and adds depth so it doesn’t look like your lips are erased!)

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed

**Too Faced Love Flush Blush Wardrobe in I Will Always Love you




Dollface is one of my favorite blush colors and it looks especially pretty with a pink lip.  If bright pink isn’t your thing, it looks just as pretty with a softer pink.  Pink blush adds the perfect “I’ve just been outdoors in the cold” flush to cheeks and warms up paler skin.


MAC Tinted Lipglass in Pink PoodleUrban Decay Lip Liner in Anarchy

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Dollface

**Too Faced Love Flush Blush Wardrobe in Love Hangover 


Lipstick & blush is my favorite way to add a little color in the dreariness of winter!  It’s a nice way to brighten up your skin when the sun is nowhere to be seen.  For more makeup tips and tricks like this one, check out our Beauty section!




  1. Second post this week that I have been DYING for. How uncanny. THANK YOU, ladies!

    Question Scotti: my everyday look is easily your wine pairing. I was thinking of going pink this spring/summer – but as you talk about coral, I have some wonderful coral tops I can’t wait to wear. Coral blush, or is it too matchy? Which blush would you lean towards when wearing coral clothing?

    And while I am at it – TME ladies – what color flat shoe for spring with my coral ensemble? (SO FUN!)

    • Ooh . . . coral is one of my favorite colors to wear! I’d recommend Blissful or Tipsy (Tarte). Both have a beautiful gorgeous hue, one is just darker (tipsy) and has a bit more color. I wear both depending on the look I’m going for, and I definitely don’t think it’s too matchy-matchy! For shoe color I’d personally either go with a tan/camel/beige type color that kind of matches my skin color OR a turquoise color (love turquoise and coral together) for more of a statement. Leopard print would also be fun!

  2. Gurl, this is the most important thing I’ve read this week! Genius! I’ve never thought about this before but it makes so much sense. I was planning to sort my makeup anyway (I have no idea what I have, jammed into seven different Ziplocs, hashtag classy) and I’m going to use this info to sort lipsticks and blushes together. Thanks Scotti! ps any thoughts on the Urban Decay-Gwen Stefani blush palette?

    • So glad I could help!! Organizing makeup is one of my favorite things to do . . . so have fun! 🙂 I haven’t personally used Gwen Stefani’s blush palette, but you know I LOVE Urban Decay’s makeup and it has really high reviews. The only thing I’d mention is that there are highlighters and bronzers in the palette as well . . . so if you’re looking for more blush colors, I’d go with something else. If you wanted the blush/bronzer/highighter combo this would be perfect.

  3. I don’t know if the “lipstick-needs-blush” rule applies so much to women with medium/dark complexions. I frequently throw on some bright lipstick by itself to brighten my face–no other makeup, although I rely on my glasses to add more visual balance to the eyes. I have dark hair and dark eyes and medium skin, so a bare lip tends to wash me out.

    • I totally understand the bare lip thing . . . it’s really hard to get that perfect “nude lip” color that doesn’t wash you out. The bright lip is a great trick! Try a darker blush and see if that makes a difference . . . maybe it could be a “special occasion” look for you? I’d also recommend highlighter – it can add such a pretty glow to all different skin tones.

  4. Apropos of nothing in this post, I have decided you should get a short edgy haircut for spring/summer. Your cheekbones look so fierce when you pull your hair back & your eyes/eyelashes would pop even more. You could rock it. Seriously. Consider it! 🙂

      • Oh no! I was not being snarky. I truly think her cheekbones look amazing when she pulls her hair back & I love how she plays with her hair styles (wavy, straight, different colors). I just thought she would look great if she ever wanted to try a short haircut. No offense intended Scotti!

  5. Scotti, I have larger lips with a lot of natural color (plumy-pink) in them. I am fair with red hair. I find that lipstick that does anything but mimic my natural color to be a real challenge (looking like a little girl that got into her mom’s makeup). Do you have some lipstick ideas for those wanting to branch out from “nude” without looking clownish?

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