I have some staples that work for pretty much every makeup that I can conjure up. Here are the colors that I do have:
- a pink toned blush;
- a red with brown undertone blush;
- a red with purple undertone blush;
- a peach colored blush.
And I find that that's pretty much what I need. I did end up getting two additional ones through the Ipsy subscription, which are baby pink and coral and I do like them. But I could have lived without them.
While, yes, the exact blush color will make a subtle difference for overall look of the makeup, I just find that it's such a small difference that it's not worth spending on different shades... I'd rather buy more eye shadows instead or lipstick. ;)
Now I would advise that, if you are going to invest in just a few shades, make sure that you do love them and consider splurging for a better brand or at least a better payload. Blush is a product that not only stays good for a long time but also a little goes a long way so the product will last you a long time.
Blushes can come in different formulation: pressed powder, loose powder, cream, and liquid. I do like both pressed powder and loose powder formulations. The application is identical. When it comes to the cream and liquid formulation, I find that it's harder (for me) to apply. I've tried to apply the cream ones using a brush and that just didn't work well. I tried with my fingers (for both cream and liquid formulation) and it's hard to have a good application with those as well. I also don't quite like the finished look and feel of those formulations. So I just stick to the powder ones.
You want to apply the blush on your cheek bone, from the tip of the bone (closer to the nose) towards the hairline. Definitely start with soft brush strokes at first and add a little bit more as needed. Blushes tend to be very pigmented so it's super easy for it to apply much more intensely than you want. If that happens, you can use your hand to smudge it away.