Best Natural Blush Buying Guide (With Application Pics!)

February 11, 2019 (updated February 27, 2024) — Written by

The best natural blush is a stable in your makeup routine—but that does’t mean it’s simple to find the right one for you! Blush can keep your skin looking glowy, radiant and youthful OR it can make you look 10 years older. Either way, this is the ONLY best natural blush buying guide you’ll need.

A woman with long wavy gray hair wears RMS blush.
I’m wearing RMS “re” dimension hydra powder blush.

By: Lisa Fennessy


I think we a can all agree there is a good way to do blush and a bad way to do blush. Can I get an amen?!

But “good” vs. “bad” isn’t where we’re really living anymore either. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—it’s really less about “shopping to avoid ingredients” and more about “choosing what ingredients you want to use” on your skin. And to quote myself, I don’t know about you but I’ll take organic jojoba seed oil for $1,000, Alex.

RELATED: The red lipstick buying guide—what you need to know.

Blush color 101: synthetic vs. natural colorants

I’ve talked about the synthetic vs. natural colorants before, but let’s do a little refresher:

Some ingredients, especially in the color cosmetics category, can’t be “natural” and reap the rewards consumers want. Colorant pigments, which are such a hot issue among green beauty fans, brands and retailers, are a great example.

Synthetic pigments deliver the reddest reds and the pinkest pinks. Typically, brands that use these dyes are able to achieve true colors, while brands that opt to avoid fall short of true reds and/or pinks. But the downside is that these colors, originally derived from coal tar and now petroleum (1), have been linked to cancer (1), neurotoxicity (2), genotoxicity (2) and concerns with long-term safety (3). Most dyes, including Yellow 5, have been banned in Europe (4). (More here, if you want a deeper dive.)

Colorants derived from fruits, berries and botanicals are considered more natural, but it’s really hard to get a high color intensity when just using fruits and berries. (Again, more here, if you want a deeper dive.)

The last category of colorants, iron oxides, titanium dioxide and mica, is what you’ll see pop up in many better beauty brands’ blush ingredient lists. They’re natural elements that are found in the earth, and while they can have contamination issues, they can also be COSMOS certified, which is the third-party certification that we consider the best. (And one more time: more here, if you want a deeper dive.)

Overall, the most important things I look for in ingredient lists are:

RELATED: Are naturals *always* better than synthetics?

Should I choose a powder or a cream blush?

One big thing to consider about blush colors is the formula. You’ll likely run into three formula options: powder blushes, cream blushes and tinted balms. Let’s chat about the pros and cons of each.

Powder blush has a tendency to sit in the fine lines and collect in the inconsistencies of skin—especially as the day goes on. But, they’re easy to apply, and many people feel comfy using them.

Cream blush formulas go on smooth and dewy and bring life to the skin. They’re less likely to settle into creases. Plus, they’re buildable so you can rock a fresh wash of color or amp it up for more drama when you need it. On the flip side, some cream blushes also double as a highlighter, which can great because I don’t know any forty-something who wants to walk around strobing at lunchtime. However, if you’re looking for a more subtle glow, you might not want to rely on reflective micas that are prominent in some cream formulas.

If you want a subtle, dewy, refined look, a tinted balm will be your best friend. It’s a hint of a highlighter with a pop of color that will take your look NEXT LEVEL. These can be trickier to apply to get the wash of color you want, but practice makes perfect!

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The best natural blushes: my top picks

RELATED: Your guide to clean beauty and The ultimate list of clean beauty brands.

RELATED: Guide to clean beauty at Sephora

Best natural blush shopping guide

A container of RMS Blush

RMS ReDimension Hydra Powder Blush

Fitglow Multi-use ceramide lip and cheek palette

Fitglow Beauty Multi-Use Palette

ILIA Multi-stick

ILIA Multi-Stick

To save on other ethical beauty and lifestyle brands, check out our EXCLUSIVE coupon codes!

What’s your go-to blush?

xo, lisa in cursive

TNK Team Note: This article contains affiliate links. TNK uses affiliate links as a source for revenue to fund operations of the business and to be less dependent on branded content. TNK stands behind all product recommendations. Still have questions about these links or our process? Feel free to email us.


1. Kobylewski, Sarah; Jacobson, Michael F; Toxicology of food dyes; International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health July 2012.

2. Taylor, S.L.; Baumert, J.L.; Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Food Systems, 2014.

3. Nomination background D &C red no. 27 [CASRN 13473-26-2], D&C Red No. 28 [CASRN 18472-87-2]; National Institutes of Health, October 2000.

4. Food dyes; Center of Science in the Public Interest, 2008.

By Lisa Fennessy

Lisa is the founder of The New Knew. Passionate about clean beauty, organic eats and nontoxic lifestyle, Lisa writes to create awareness. Conscious consumerism and informed decisions will impact the marketplace, our health and THE WORLD!


  1. Reply


    Hi Lisa, as a woman over 40 myself I really love these posts! Just wanted to add that I never ever use powder because it dries me out, but Sappho’s powder blushes are absolutely amazing! They are not drying at all and give you a really nice glow. Hope you get the chance to try them out! (I have “Luv the Cheeks”)

    1. Reply


      Hi Eva! Oh AWESOME! I haven’t tried Sappho’s blushes yet but I love everything else I’ve tried by them so I will definitely give them a go. Thanks for reading girl!

  2. Reply


    Hi Lisa! Just found you and WOW. Sooo excited to learn from you. What oil do you use from “West of South”?

    1. Reply


      Hi Emily! My bad! They have only had one product until now – I need to amend the link, thank you! It’s the Prickly Pear Repair : ) So good!I have a coupon code on my “coupon code page” too! xo!

  3. Reply


    Loved this over 40 blush post and story. You mentioned an under eye coverup that you loved for the over 40 crowd on Instagram stories, would love to know what that suggestion was?

    1. Reply


      Was it an eyelid primer? If so it was probably this one – I love it!

  4. Reply


    Have you ever tried Beautycounter products? Most of their product are ewg certified. I just recently bought their cream blush and really like it,

    1. Reply


      Hi Lisa, I have! So glad you found something you like ; ) Lisa

  5. Reply


    Thank you for this article! I just ordered the cheek/lip tint by Olio & thank you for including the hyperlinks. I am 43, and I have a très simple skincare routine because she is hyper-sensitive, but I still want to add some flair now & again. I’m looking forward to trying this balm because it’s non-toxic & it’s multi-functional which will goes perfectly with my simple skincare & make-up routine.

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Kimber! Hope you love it, let me know what you think! xo, Lisa

  6. Reply


    You mentioned your eyeshadow is Obscur, what brand? The link doesn’t take me to a single item and Olio E Osso’s site doesn’t list it either. Thanks!

  7. Reply


    Have you tried Westman Atelier? I think that is my favorite blush of all!

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      I have! It’s beautiful!

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