by Ava Welsing-Kitcher

When it comes to complexion, there’s been a historical lack of shades on offer for deep skin - especially so for blusher and bronzer. What adds warmth and life to lighter skin often shows up chalky or lurid on brown, so of course they’ve been sidelined - but the shades of today are something else. Rich tawny berries and earthy pomegranate reds bring out the very best in brown skin, while the bronzing scale of terracotta to deep chocolate browns add life and dimension. Whether you’re well-versed in the powers of blusher, or have yet to dive in, these formulas and hues have been hand-picked for their ability to make darker complexions somehow look even more beautiful.

THE SUPER-NATURAL ONE

Water-light and ultra buildable, Iconic London’s {Sheer Blush} is here to bring out the very best of our skin. 'Berry Boom' is a shade managing to grace the line between brown and berry so perfectly, you won’t find another like it. Dab a tiny blob (a little goes one hell of a way) onto each cheek and blend the pigmented gel out to perfection with a finger or firm round brush, and pass the remnants over the lids and nose bridge to give a harmonious bursting-with-health light.

FOR SERIOUS GLOW

Now, this is the one for disguising hangovers and late night Netflix binges. NYX’s {Sweet Cheeks Creamy Powder Blush Glow} delivers both blusher and highlighter in one swift swoop in a surprisingly buttery formula for a powder. Torn between 'Red Riot', the sumptuous wine, or 'Boom & Bloom', a velvety bordeaux? At that price, steal both.

THE ALL-PURPOSER

If you’re hesitant about trying blusher, this isty-bitsy mini version of Milk Makeup’s hit {Mini Lip + Cheek} is here to help you dip your toes in. While the deep cranberry 'Quickie' and russet raspberry 'Quirk' are the most dreamy shades on brown skin (chef’s kiss), venture outside the borders with 'Flip', a just-slightly electric coral that blends into both cheeks and lips with just a hint of colour. As the formula transforms from solid to creamy to tint-like, the rich blend of avocado oil, mango butter and peach nectar really works hard to condition the skin and help the colour sink in just that much easier. Add on a 100% vegan and cruelty-free stamp and we’ve got ourselves quite a catch.

BRING THE DRAMA

Think red blush is one to skip? Think again. As long as it’s got a flattering brown base, it’s super easy to master. Take Patrick Ta’s {Major Headlines - Double-Take Cream + Powder Blush Duo} in 'Oh She’s Different'; the brick red cream complements the slightly lighter powder perfectly without even a hint of garishness. With biomimetic pigments designed to mimic the ceramide structure of skin (meaning it lasts) and tiny mica for luminosity, both can be used separately or together for a truly unique effect.

BRONZE PERFECTION

Unlike contouring, which carves out bone structure by creating a shadow, bronzers are designed to give light and life to skin, no matter how deep it is naturally. Look for shades that add that touch of health to skin rather than darken it significantly. The deepest shade of Charlotte Tilbury’s {Airbrush Bronzer} has the finest pigment particles and an actual hyaluronic acid infusion (yes, the stuff that makes skin juicy and bouncy - in a powder!) to blur skin into perfection while adding a divine warmth. Build it up to reach contour-level or simply leave it as a natural bronze flush.

HOLIDAY IN A TUBE

Although pretty and glowing on the surface, Drunk Elephant's miraculous {D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops} boast some hard-working brains, too. Made with a chronopeptide to recreate the antioxidant powers of vitamin D, there are some antioxidants and virgin marula and blackcurrant seed oils thrown in there too, plus fatty acids to keep that skin barrier happy and healthy. Use neat for mega glow, or mix into moisturiser or foundation for a lit-from-within finish.

THE SELFIE BOOSTER

If you like your complexion matte, but still glowing, Kosas {The Sun Show Moisturizing Baked Bronzer} is your one true pair. Buttery and hydrating with shea and meadowfoam oil, yet void of drying talc or silicones, it recreates that covetable golden hour light flooding through the window come evening time - only all day long. We’ll take three. 

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