Coral is definitely my favourite colour for blush. It’s probably my favourite makeup item, period. Coral is one of those shades that doesn’t just vary between dark and light, it can also lean more pink or more orange, and if you add different finishes to that, you can end up with quite a lot of variations of blush that are all technically the same colour but are all very different at the same time.
Or so I tell myself.
Coral is definitely the largest “chunk” of my blush wardrobe. That’s why we have top seven instead of the typical five. It’s hard enough picking favourites among my coral babies, I couldn’t do less than seven. All of them are tried and true, I have nothing in this list that is super new on the market (so you know these are not a fad) yet they are all still available.
Nabla Skin Glazing Powder in Truth
Technically a highlighter, but it’s so saturated with colour that most skintones would be able to wear it as a blush. Truth is a transparent medium toned coral with an intense shine that you can build up to “clown cheeks” if that’s your preference. It has a soft, powder-gelée type formula, so it’ll be easy to control the intensity, and it’s easy to blend. If you build it up to get a stronger coral it will slightly emphasize skin texture, because the shine will get built up too, but a soft application doesn’t do that and has the ability to look very natural.
Clinique Cheek Pop in Peach Pop
I’ve raved about this blush line a ton before, and my favourite and most used shades are both coral. You would be fine to choose either Peach or Ginger Pop because they are very similar, but having to pick just one to recommend, I would say Peach Pop, because Ginger Pop is slightly darker and a bit less bright (but I’m really splitting hairs here).
Just like the Nabla blush, this is a powder-gelée formula. It has a very natural shine that makes it looks like it’s part of the skin, and not something applied on top. Pigmentation is easy to control, blends like a dream, and looks amazing on the cheeks.
Shiseido Blush InnerGlow Powder in Alpen Glow 06
I don’t mention this blush enough, but it’s a really solid choice. It’s one of the corals with the less pink than orange in it, so it’s warmer and can look peachier on the cheeks. It has a soft sheen finish, with visible but miniscule shimmer particles throughout the powder. Texture wise, it’s a soft but pigmented powder, easy to blend out and hard to overdo.
Packaging is quite impressive too: very thin, easy to store and travel with, looks very sleek and yet it still contains 4 grams of product.
Chantecaille Cheek Shade in Emotion (Bee)
The fanciest blush in this list, it’s one of my favourite coral shades on my skintone in particular: it’s light, bright, a very happy looking shade, and very flattering on my super yellow complexion. It is surprisingly pigmented (for such a light looking shade) and the powder is soft, easy to pick up with a brush and to blend on the cheeks. It has a satin finish and almost blurring on the skin. No issues with longevity either with this shade.
When you first get it it comes with a gold overspray over the bee, bit that goes away after two uses, and the powder itself has no gold particles in it.
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Captivating
Tarte has become a fast favourite for blushes ever since I tried them. They are very soft and buttery, the pigmentation is buildable, and they have great longevity – and I have one of them among my favourite corals: Captivating, a medium toned coral with quite a lot of orange in it. The finish is almost mate – I think there is a very subtle satin sheen in it, like the closest thing to mate with actually being so, which prevents it from looking so stark matte on the skin.
MAC Powder Blush in Melba
One of MAC’s more adored shades, this is the most neutral and wearable shade of coral in this list, at least for light skintones. The finish is matte, and because of it and the shade, it’s easy to pull off: you can make this look very natural.
I find it’s easy to blend, and lasts a considerable amount of time. My pan looks like it’s been through world war 3 – part of that happened when I dropped it, but some of it is due to a lot of wear, if that should tell you something.
Illamasqua Powder Blusher in Hussy
The most pigmented, and brighter shade in this list, Illamasqua’s Hussy is an intense medium pink-coral shade that commands attention. The finish is undoubtedly matte, and you have to be careful when applying it because it can turn from “blush” to “rash” very quickly: even though it’s very blendable, pigmentation is insane, so it’s easy to overdo. And it’s incredibly long lasting too.
There you have it, my top coral picks for those summer cheeks. Looking at these colours just makes me happy. All seven are great and perform well, and they are all different from each other. It was hard to get a picture where the colours were well represented – this one was the closest I got, however the finish on each shade is not that obvious. I tried to order them by the most matte to the shiniest, from right to left. Hope that is noticeable enough.