Whether you’re into powder, cream, or liquid formulas, blushes are kind of the perfect way to finish off any makeup look. But there are a lot of options out there, and it can be hard to figure out which kind of blush is the best one for your cheeks. (Plus, some of them are so darn expensive.) No worries though! That’s why Women’s Health rounded up the best pro-makeup artist-recommended blushes you can buy online and IRL right now.
But first, here’s what you need to know before your make your next blush purchase. “When shopping for a good quality blush you should be looking for a smooth and microfine texture for both powder and cream blushes,” explains professional makeup artist Renee Loiz. “Swipe the texture onto the back of your hand to make sure there is a good color payoff, that it is blendable, and has good staying power. If the powder blush is too powdery, chances are it won’t stay on your cheeks for long,” Loiz says. And yep, if the color looks bright in its container but is super dull when you apply it, that means it doesn’t have a good color payoff and it might fade away once it’s on your face for a bit, Loiz explains.
And if you’re wondering how you should properly apply your new-found blush, we’ve got you covered. Each face shape has its own technique. “On a round face, apply high on the cheekbones and extend the color out to the temples for a lifting effect,” explains Cong Liang, YSL Beauty’s National Makeup Artist. “On a heart or diamond-shaped face, apply below the apples of the cheeks and blend out to the hairline. On long face, apply blush just under the apples,” Liang says. And a quick PSA: If you’re someone with a darker skin tone, you’ll want to pick out a blush that’s bright, explains Molly R. Stern, professional makeup artist. “It will show up better on darker complexion and really offer some heat to the skin.”
Alright, now that you’re basically a blush pro, let’s get a little more specific with the shopping. Keep reading for the 16 best blushes to buy this year, according to makeup artists.
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Best For All Skin Tones
Jillian Dempsey Cheek Tint
“For cream blushes, I love the Jillian Demspey cheek tint in poppy,” Stern explains. “The color is rich and looks fabulous on all skin tones.” A bonus? It’s vegan, cruelty-free, and super buildable, too.
Best Wet-to-Dry Blush
“YSL Beauty’s Couture Blush is my favorite,” explains Liang. “The innovative wet-to-dry blush provides color payoff and a weightless feel. It is very easy to blend and is buildable from a natural finish to an intense finish.” Noted! We love a product that is #versatile.
Best For Glow-y Looks
BeachPlease Tinted Lip + Cheek Balm
This cream blush is a personal favorite of Loiz. (And me!) “These cream blushes give you a natural glow with a tint of color,” she says. They have a super strong, glossy pigment that will look good whether you’re swiping it on your lips, cheeks, or eyelids. And yep, these shades complement every skin type.
Best For Matted Looks
Neo Nude Fusion Powder
“To dust over any of these creams, I really love adding Armani Neo Nude fusion powder in the darker shades,” Stern says. “Starting at color no 8., this soft powder dusts on a warm sun-kissed glow which is a perfect finishing powder for any blush look.” And yes, it’s quite the splurge, but it’s certainly a fav of makeup-pros and amateurs alike.
Best For Darker Skin Tones
Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush
It’s blush, but make it purple. “For a wide variety of deeply pigmented cream blushes, I reach for Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Cream Blushes,” Loiz says. Fenty knows how to create pigments that pop, so you’re gonna love trying out this hue. It’ll give your ~meh~ looking skin some life—all you have to do is apply to the apples of your cheeks and blend upward.
Most Pigmented Blush
This buildable, super pigmented blush looks great on every skin tone. It also contains Vitamin E, which means that it won’t dry out your skin even though it’s a powder formula. Plus, its staying power is *chef’s kiss*, Loiz adds.
Best For Medium Skin Tones
You’re getting a two-for-one deal with this compact: In it, you’ll find both a dark bronzer and a glowy, red-hued blush. If you’re searching for the perfect feature-enhancing duo, look no further.
Best For Fair Skin Tones
Nudies Matte Blush & Bronze
This double-sided blush is great for both serious makeup looks and on-the-go touchups alike. Just dab the blushed end on your skin and then blend with the soft-bristled brush on its other side.
Most Bang For Your Buck
We can’t talk about blush if we’re not including Cloud Paint. This little tube is only 18 dollars and will legit last you forever. A little goes a long way with this one, so you only need the teeniest amount of product to create a statement look.
Best Budget Purchase
Yep, this product has over 14,000 positive reviews on Amazon. Why? Not only does the blush come in a bunch of different shades, but it also costs less than seven dollars. It’s a major steal.
Most Versatile Blush
Formulas that double as lip and cheek tints are very much *in* right now, and if you like them, you’re going to love this one from RMS beauty. It includes ingredients like cocoa seed butter, shea butter, as well as other hydrating oils that will keep your skin looking plump and dewy all day long.
Best Drugstore Blush
Crème Cheek Blush, Peony Pink
Attention! This blendable cream blush has over 2,500 positive ratings on Amazon, and it costs just 13 dollars. The product comes in four different skin-tinting hues that, TBH, will match just about any look you want.
Best Powder Blush
Fit Me Blush, Mauve
You do *not* need to break the bank just to get your hands on a quality blush. This one by Maybelline New York is less than five dollars, and it has over 6,200 positive reviews on Amazon.
Best For On-The-Go
Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm
Chubby blush stick for the win! This stick is super convenient for adding a touch of color to your look while on-the-go. There’s no precision required here: Just dab the product where you want it and blend with your fingers.
Best Blush Stick
In the new world of ‘skinimalism,’ a buttery-textured, easy-to-apply multi-stick is just what your makeup bag needs. This product contains sunflower seed oil and shea butter, which means it both hydrates your skin and glides on easily.
Most Blendable Blush
Okay so, this compact is straight-up gorgeous. It transitions from a light, peach-y hue to a darker pink, which means that you can either blend them all together on your face or switch it up with single colors as you please.
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