If you’re anything like me, after two+ months of trying (and failing) to battle the heat with an arsenal of mattifying powders and blotting papers, you are ready to admit defeat and just embrace a dewy look. Enter: Cream blush.
If Hollywood is any indication, the old-school staple’s popularity has been on a major upswing recently, with everyone from Chrissy Teigen to Reese Witherspoon swapping matte powders for the creamy product’s more luminous glow. And with good reason. Where powders tend to smear or migrate in the heat and humidity, cream blushes meld with skin, giving a softer, longer-lasting, and more natural look on the red carpet—and IRL.
If you’ve never tried cream blush before, keep in mind that a little dab goes a long way. And we mean a long way. So, rather than slathering it on in one go, build it up by stippling on a little and blending out, adding layers as needed.
The only essential tool you need is your fingers. (A little pro tip: Use your middle and ring finger for more control.) If you’d like, you can employ a Beauty.Blusher by Beautyblender sponge as your final step. Make sure to bob it over skin rather than rubbing it to avoid erasing your (not so hard) work.
Ahead, 10 of the best cream blushes on the market.
Make Up For Ever HD Blush
It might have been formulated to be worn on screen, but Make Up For Ever’s HD blush works just as well on life’s stage (aka Instagram). It blends on so smoothly that you won’t even need to lie the next time you tag a photo #nofilter.
Glossier Cloud Paint
Although it’s packaged like a paint tube, this cream-gel doesn’t require art-school training to apply. Just tap on one of the four universally flattering shades with a finger then blend it out with a sponge, building up as much—or as little—color as you’d like.
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips & Cheeks
The most reviled fruit in every salad bar turns out to be far more appealing when translated into a blush. Bobbi Brown’s Fresh Melon hue gives a dewy, cantaloupe-inspired glow with just the tiniest dot of product.
Nars The Multiple
Getting flushed cheeks the old fashioned way is certainly more fun, but Nars’s infamous blush in Orgasm is far more convenient, letting you fake a glow anytime, anywhere, without risking bed head in the process.
Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm
The chunky little tubes... The sweet colors with cute names like Roly Poly Rosy and Plumped Up Peony... Everything about this classic color balm is adorable. The formulas, however, are all business. Just a streak blends out to serious coverage that lasts all day.
Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll Kiss & Blush Duo Stick
Sometimes there’s an advantage to indecisiveness. Case in point: YSL’s duo stick, which comes in contrasting colors like “Prude to Nude” and “Darling to Hottie” that let you flip-flop your beauty look on a whim.
E.L.F. Beautifully Bare Blush
Ringing up at just $4, this super-sheer blush could be priced five times higher and I wouldn’t feel like I was getting ripped off. Favorite hue? Peach Perfection.
Smashbox L.A. Lights Blendable Lip & Cheek Color
The little domed tube couldn’t be easier to apply, with a super-creamy formula that goes on super smooth. Plus, all the colors are inspired by L.A., and I like to imagine that everyone’s skin looks just a little bit better in the City of Angels.
Sonia Kashuk Creme Blush
This option blends out as easily as you’d expect of a cream blush but with a more matte finish than your average formula.
L’Oreal Visible Lift Blush
Even though this cream blush gives off a subtle metallic sheen, it manages not to highlight the fine lines that I’d much rather pretend aren’t there. Rose Gold is the perfect choice for the oncoming cooler temps.
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