Confession: Even though it's now one of my favorite product categories, blush hasn't always been high on my list. In fact, up until college, I wouldn't touch it with a 10-foot pole. (Instead, logically, I opted to dump pans of orange sparkling bronzer on my face. I'm not proud.) Anyway, it wasn't until I discovered my first gateway blush—a coy, peachy little number from Nars called Sex Appeal ($30)—that I began to dabble in the world of flush-filled wonder. And once I noticed how fresh, healthy, and natural the result could look (not to mention how instantly photogenic I became), I was hooked. Yep, I sold my soul to crimson- and berry-stained powders, creams, and borderline fairy dusts roughy five years ago, and I haven't looked back since. However, it was only recently I noticed how closely tied all my favorites were with my natural flush—in other words, what my sweaty face looks like post-workout. And I mean, isn't that kind of the goal?
People always say your best blush match will be one that emulates the way your skin naturally flushes, so really, it shouldn't have come as such an epiphany. Yet I did find it funny that somehow, subconsciously, my tastes have pointed me in the right naturally inclined direction. So with that in mind, I decided to call on some of my fellow Byrdie editors for the ultimate makeup challenge: to find the two natural-looking blushes that most closely resembles our coloring after hitting the gym, getting in from a run, or what have you. And of course, I requested photographic evidence. Ahead, the eight natural blushes Byrdie HQ swears by for creating a post-workout faux glow. Keep reading!
Lindsey Metrus, Managing Editor
"This cream blush is so divine. It melts on contact and beautifully blends into the skin for the most gorgeous dewy pop of color on your cheeks. Rose Glow is almost an exact replica of my post-workout flush. I love using it in the summertime to fake some natural rosiness."
"Not only is this blush cute as can be with it's compact, flower-shaped palette, but it also delivers the perfect amount of color so you're not overly flushed or wondering if you even applied any in the first place. I have very fair skin and love the shade Pink Pop, a soft rosy pink that matches my natural pink undertones."
Amanda Montell, Features Editor
"Kjaer Weis makes one of the most luxurious cream blushes money can buy. It's highly pigmented, but the all-natural formula is so blendable and the shade is so natural and flattering that it mimics how skin naturally flushes."
"As someone with really warm undertones, I am obsessed with brownish-orange blushes, which I think look the most natural on me. That's exactly the effect I get from Glossier's Cloud Paint in Dusk, which gives my skin the exact dewy glow I find fresh out of a Pilates class."
Erin Jahns, Assistant Editor
"Okay, I know this blush looks intense, and yes, this would resemble my post-workout flush after Spin versus Pilates, but it truly epitomizes my naturally dark blush. (Unfortunately, I flush deeply and easily. You'll always know when I'm embarrassed or uncomfortable.) However, I will say that while the shade Seduction looks almost costumey in drama, it doesn't translate that way upon application. Instead, it delivers the prettiest saturation of berry—think winded but not brink-of-death exhaustion. I receive compliments on my makeup whenever I wear it, and people always are shocked when they see how dark the shade looks in the pan. And then they proceed to buy it."
"I saw celebrity makeup artist Monika Blunder use this exact shade of blush on Phoebe Tonkin back in 2015, and to this day, it remains my number one go-to when I seek a vibrant yet natural-looking blush (a statement that would have so much more impact if you could see my drawer-full of blush at home). It lends a radiant cast which could be mistaken for a light yet pretty sheen of sweat or dew, and the color is exactly as the shade name describes: a diffused heat—aka the color my cheeks burn post–morning workout. I'm utterly convinced I'll use this blush until the day I die, so Hourglass, please, do a girl a favor and never discontinue it?"
Kaitlyn McLintock, Byrdie Contributor
"I prefer cream blush for daytime wear—especially when I'm trying to mimic that healthy, flushed look that comes after a hard workout. Onomie's Boosting Lip and Cheek stick is bouncy and creamy, and there's not much left to say other than I swear by it. All three shades are staples in my makeup bag, but I find myself reaching for Tamar the most. It's a rich red wine color that makes my skin look fresh and oxygenated."
"Rituel de Fille's blush is less creamy than Onomie's, but that's okay with me because I find that it stays put longer (even without setting spray). I simply swirl my ring finger in the circular compact and tap it over my cheekbones. It's ultra pigmented, so it leaves the most gorgeous rosy glow behind. Sometimes I even tap it over my nose and chin for a particularly flushed look."