A touch of blush can put the spotlight on cheekbones you never knew you had, recreate the heated flush of a first kiss or turn you into an unfortunate Raggedy Ann doppelganger. Here’s our foolproof blush cheat sheet so you can start applying blush like a pro and getting a healthy, natural glow.

Makeup tips: Royal flush

The key to selecting the perfect shade is to find a colour that mimics your “natural flush,” which, as Gucci Westman, global artistic director for Revlon, explains, is rarely a true pink. “Women think blush and automatically think ‘pink,’ but very few women look good with that shade,” she says. “Fuchsia pink is actually the most commonly flattering colour.” According to Westman, women with fair complexions look best in a rosy-pink blush, those with medium complexions should opt for a peach or coral and those with darker skin tones look best in a vibrant orange or berry shade. “You also need to consider your skin’s undertones when selecting a blush,” says Westman. “If you have a reddish undertone, avoid pink and opt for an apricot or a cantaloupe. Yellow undertones are balanced with a bright peach shade.”

Makeup tips: Powder up
To create a natural glow, avoid cream blushes. These can create too much shine and don’t last the whole day. “People tend to think that cream blushes look more natural, but if you find your ideal shade, a powder blush looks just as natural and has a more lasting effect,” says Westman. Blush has come a long way from the days of rubbing rouge on your cheeks, but Westman says to keep it simple. “Mineral or vitamin makeup sounds great in theory, but you shouldn’t worry about skin care when it comes to blush. Blush is really only supposed to be about colour.”

Makeup tips: High bar
Most of us tend to make a Cheshire-cat-style grin in the mirror while furiously blending blush around the plump “apples” of our cheeks, but Westman says that blush should be applied on your “authentic cheeks,” beginning at the middle of your cheekbones and blending up and out for a natural glow. Despite an interesting trend on the fall/winter catwalks (Matthew Williamson, Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors, to name a few) of applying blush low on the face (specifically under the cheekbone), avoid road-testing this look. It can be unflattering because it goes against the natural contours and structure of your face. “Applying blush a bit higher on your face can help conceal dark circles,” says Westman, “but don’t apply it too close to your nose or mouth or you’ll look like a puffy hampster.”

Check out our best picks for blushes to create a natural glow.