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Cosmetics

Best Blush

It’s not easy putting a look together from head to toe. Forgetting blush could mean the difference between looking almost perfect and completely pulled together. It adds warmth to your skin and transforms a look from "so-so" to an attention grabbing "whoa." You can find the perfect blush (or 2) and create professional looking results. Brush the light color onto the apples, and then add a shade slightly darker right below it; blend and go.

Nars Cream Blush

Nars is famous for powder blushes, but it also offers a great cream blush. Enriched with Vitamin E, the silky texture gives you a natural, sheer glow that lasts for hours. It is available in four colors: Constantinople, a deep rose; Enchanted, a soft peach with gold sparkle; Gold Member, a golden hue with a hint of pink; and Montenegro, a rich mahogany. All four offer a rich pigmentation that blends easily into a sheer wash of color. While some cream blushes can be tricky to apply, this one has been described as mistake-proof because its silky texture makes it easy to apply.

Stila Convertible Color Blush

Stila Convertible Color has been selected “Best Cream Blush” by InStyle magazine since 2005, and it’s no wonder why. Its rich hues are easy to blend, giving a healthy glow to cheeks and a rosy tint to lips. There are 10 colors to choose from, and even the most vibrant shades blend easily into a sheer wash of color. While it can be applied with your fingers, it is recommended that you use a firm brush and light strokes to achieve an airbrushed effect. Toss the mirrored compact into your purse and you are ready for your day!

Yves Saint Laurent Crème de Blush

If you don’t like the moisture in a typical cream blush, give Yves Saint Laurent Crème de Blush a try. It has a lightweight, velvety texture that is easily applied for a long-lasting flush. Colors include Velvety Peach and Powdery Rose, which look great on most skin tones, to Audacious Orange and Baby Doll, which are better suited for those who prefer a more vivid color on their cheeks. It was chosen by WWD magazines as “Prestige Brand of the Year” in 2012 and by Allure magazine as “Best Crème Blush” in 2011. And its beautiful compact, with its gold lid and signature YSL logo, adds a little luxury to your make-up bag.

e.l.f. Studio Cream Blush

Although this blush comes in only two colors and the packaging is bulky, the quality of the product and its extremely affordable price make it definitely worth a try. Both colors give a luminous glow on most skin tones. The texture is somewhere between a cream and a mousse, and you can apply it with your fingers or a stipple brush. Because it contains no oil, the blush isn’t greasy on your skin. Rather, it gives you a silky, powdery finish. Blendable and buildable, it can also be used as a stain for the lips.

NYX Cream Blush

If you are looking for a blush that offers a vibrant range of colors and is easy on the pocketbook look no further than NYX Cream Blush. While its rich formulation can feel a bit sticky at first, it dries to a sheer matte finish. Using a damp makeup sponge makes it a little easier to apply. The colors can be easily blended to give your cheeks a natural glow, or layered for a more dramatic pop of color. Whichever look you prefer, use the blush sparingly because a little goes a long way.

Milani Baked Blush

This beautiful blush really illuminates the face for a natural-looking glow that lasts all day. A generous compact size holds plenty of product, which is baked on Italian terracotta tiles. Each blush features a combination of colors, so they look good on a variety of skin tones – there’s something for everyone. Some compare the color Luminosoto the iconic Nars Orgasm, while others liken them to MAC blushes. While the packaging and brush may not live up to expectations, don’t judge this book by its cover: Milani Baked Blushes offer high quality for a fraction of the price.

Physicians Formula Happy Booster Blush Glow & Mood Boosting Powder

Soft hearts in a spectrum of colors enable you to create a natural-looking glow. The subtle shimmer highlights your cheeks, while the darker colors can be used to contour. The long-wearing, violet-scented formula is made with natural ingredients. Plus, it’s hypoallergenic, so it is as good for your skin as it is for your mood. If you’re looking for a happy start to your day, Happy Booster blush is perfect for you.

CoverGirl Cheekers Blush

Cheekers offer a buildable, believable glow that lasts for hours. Color options range from naturals to pinks, plums to peaches. Try mixing them to customize your own look. The packaging is plain and it’s best to use a fluffier brush to apply your color, but you can’t beat Cheekers for variety, especially if you like to change your make-up look often. Plus, its small size makes it perfect to pop in your purse and go. No wonder women have been choosing it as their go-to blush for decades!

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush

An Allure Best of Beauty Award-winner in 2012 and a Readers’ Choice for 2013, these dome-shaped blushes have a unique consistency. They give you a long-lasting, dewy finish, perfect for dry or aging complexions, without the greasiness that cream and gel blushes can sometimes have. No brush required – just swirl it into your cheeks with your fingers. One layer gives you a delicate hint of color; layering it gives you a more dramatic look. It’s the perfect choice for travel, too, because it won’t break up in your purse or suitcase like a powder can. While the concept may be a bit gimmicky, it’s definitely worth giving a try.

L'Oreal Paris True Match Naturale Blush

Available in 12 natural shades, this blush truly offers something for everyone. Its lightweight, highly pigmented formula is easy to apply and long-lasting, perfect for the girl-on-the-go. Once you find your ideal color, you can blend and layer it to further customize your look. Plus, it’s vitamin enriched, so it’s good for your skin! Some have noted that the product is so delicate that it sometimes crumbles with use, but with a little care, this is a good morning-to-night option.

NARS Powder Blush

With so many options to choose from, anyone can find the perfect color for them. The blushes are perfect for both warm and cool-toned complexions. Girls who like shimmer can find several options, as can those who prefer a matte finish to their cheeks. And although the colors may look intense in the package, it is easy to apply them in a way that gives a natural flush. They are long-lasting and never look chalky.

Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Colour

Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Colour blush comes in 18 colors, from matte-finish Heather Pink, to Orange Blossom, a high-shimmer apricot. All give you a “lit-from-within” flush. Blendable and never cakey, the finely-milled powder diffuses light for a flattering glow that stays true from dusk to dawn. As a bonus, these blushes can be taken out of their compacts and placed in Laura Mercier’s cusomizable pallettes. And a little goes a long way, so you’ll be able to use these blushes for months at a time.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush

This fade-free formula is infused with Amazonian clay that minimizes oil and hydrates the skin, so it is great for all skin types. Its velvety consistency enables you to apply it with a brush or your fingers. Go sparingly at first, then build the color to the perfect intensity for you. It’s packaging is durable, so it’s the perfect blush to travel with. For a no-fade blush that is good for your skin, Tarte is a perfect choice.

Milani Baked Blush

This beautiful blush really illuminates the face for a natural-looking glow that lasts all day. A generous compact size holds plenty of product, which is baked on Italian terracotta tiles. Each blush features a combination of colors, so they look good on a variety of skin tones – there’s something for everyone. Some compare the color Luminosoto the iconic Nars Orgasm, while others liken them to MAC blushes. While the packaging and brush may not live up to expectations, don’t judge this book by its cover: Milani Baked Blushes offer high quality for a fraction of the price.

CoverGirl Cheekers Blush

Cheekers offer a buildable, believable glow that lasts for hours. Color options range from naturals to pinks, plums to peaches. Try mixing them to customize your own look. The packaging is plain and it’s best to use a fluffier brush to apply your color, but you can’t beat Cheekers for variety, especially if you like to change your make-up look often. Plus, its small size makes it perfect to pop in your purse and go. No wonder women have been choosing it as their go-to blush for decades!

Tarte Cheek Stain Gel

We’ve all been there – in a hurry to apply blush and you end up with a streaky mess instead of a radiant glow. Well, with Tarte’s Cheek Stain that won’t happen. That’s because it takes a full 20 seconds to dry, so you have plenty of time to blend it into your cheeks for a natural, sheer flush. Once it sets, it’s set for the whole day – no touch-ups necessary! And application could not be easier – just dab the stain directly from the container to the apples of your cheeks and blend to your desired look. You can build the colors for a more dramatic look, too. It comes in eight shades, from a sheer red to a pink coral. While the price is a little steep, the product’s skin beautifying properties and ease of use justify spending a little more.

Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee

This blush is so easy to use, even a gel novice can achieve the ultimate glow. It’s a breeze to blend and build for results that go from subtle to dramatic. And you don’t need a lot to create a healthy flush that feels silky going on and lasts all day. With all-natural ingredients including coconut water and argan oil, your cheeks won’t dry out, so you’ll never get that chalky, end-of-the-day look that other blushes can give you. It comes in a variety of colors, from Getaway Red to Honeymoon Honey (are you sensing a theme here?), so there’s sure to be one that works for you.

Pixi Sheer Cheek Gel

Pixie cheek gels deliver a sheer wash of color that is easy to apply with your fingertips. Formulated with aloe vera, it is both soothing and healing for your skin. The super-hydrating formula won’t clog pores or settle into fine lines. It can also be used as a base for your powder blush or bronzer if you want more depth to your color. Although it comes in only four shades, the colors offer a good range, from pinks to red to peach.

Per-Fékt Cheek Perfection Gel

Just a drop of this highly concentrated gel is enough to impart a pop of color to the apples of your cheeks. Its creamy consistency never becomes sticky, so you can easily blend and build the color to your desired intensity. Per-fékt’s Smart Color Technology takes the guesswork out of choosing which of the three shades are right for you. And if that wasn’t enough, the formula contains good-for-you-ingredients like vitamins A, E and B3 to enhance your skin. Multi-tasking at its best!

Yves Saint Laurent Voile De Blush

Voile de Blush is a sheer, lightweight formula that is easy to apply for a healthy, lit-from-within glow. If you want a more obvious flush, you can build the blush to your desired shade. It applies easily with your fingers, and lasts for hours. It can also be layered under powder blush or bronzer for a more dramatic look. Its water-based formula keeps your skin hydrated and feels refreshing on your cheeks. This isn’t the blush for someone who likes a lot of color, but if you prefer an understated look, this gel delivers.

Bare Essentials bareMinerals Ready Blush

Bare Minerals is one of the top sellers in the mineral makeup industry and it’s easy to see why. The colors look good on women of any age and they are easy to apply for a natural look. The award-winning formula is so light you won’t feel like you’re wearing any makeup at all. The ingredients include antioxidants and camellia oil, giving it a silky feel that is said to deliver softer, smoother skin. Best of all, this blush allows your skin to breathe, and boasts that you can even sleep in it!

Pür Minerals Pressed Mineral Blush

This talc-free blush comes in five colors, from Burnished Bronze to Polynesian Pink. Each color is easy to apply and blends well, giving a natural look to the cheeks. They are highly pigmented, so it’s best to use a little at a time and build until you get your desired shade and intensity. You can also use them to contour. Once you’ve achieved your perfect look, the color will last from morning until night without fading. The amount of product in the compact will last for months, too.

Jane Iredale PurePressed Blush

PurePressed Blush goes on easily and lasts for hours, giving a fresh flush to your cheeks. It comes in a variety of colors, from subtle and natural to dark and dramatic, and even the palest complexions can find the perfect shade. Its highly pigmented color is easy blend and it has a soft shimmer that isn't too glittery. The compact holds a generous amount of product that will last for months. Its versatile formula can even be used on the lips and eyes.

Physicians Formula Powder Palette Mineral Glow Pearls Blush

This powder-soft blush brightens your complexion with a skin-conditioning formula that has real pearl extract. It comes in two shades: Rose Pearl and Natural Pearl. Both offer just the right amount of luminescence to give a healthy flush to your cheeks. Use sparingly for a highlight effect, or layer for a more dramatic look. The color is long-lasting and won’t settle into lines or pores as the day goes on. The compact includes a brush and mirror so you can touch-up on the go.

Avon Smooth Minerals Blush

Avon’s mineral blush rivals the quality of more expensive products. It comes in eight beautiful shades ranging from Hearty Peach to Blushing Mauve, Golden Glow to Copper Glow, so you’re sure to find the perfect color for you. This long-lasting formula blends easily, and a little goes a long way. The mineral glow pearls give it a nice shimmer without being too glittery. Just dip your brush into the blush, tap off the excess and blend into your cheeks for natural-looking pop of color.

Benefit Cosmetics Benetint Blush & Lip Tint

This award-winning, multi-tasking blush comes in a bottle with its own brush. However, the liquid consistency is quite thin, so it is recommended that you apply with your fingers and blend quickly for the most natural, streak-free look. The color out of the bottle may look too deep, but it is a beautiful, see-through rosy glow when applied to your cheeks. The color can be built to your desired intensity, and it looks great on all skin tones. Once applied, it lasts all day.

Daniel Sandler Watercolour Fluid Blusher

Enriched with Vitamin E and jojoba, Watercolour Blush nourishes the skin while creating a natural, sheer glow on your cheeks. Its buildable color blends easily and doesn’t dry as quickly as some other liquid blushes, so you have time to adjust the color to your perfect intensity. There are 13 colors to choose from, ranging from So Pretty, a medium-toned pink that looks great on all skin tones, to Truth, a barely-there nude shade that is perfect for the fairest of skin. Using the specially designed Waterbrush ensures a perfect application every time, but you can also put some on the back of your hand and apply with your fingers. The dewy, see-through color will last all day.

By Terry Rose de Rose - Sheer Liquid Blush

This blush is said to use “ultra-smoothing technology to reveal pink, plump and velvety-soft cheeks.” It is ultra sheer and can be easily blended and layered to give a beautiful radiance to your cheeks. Unlike other liquid blushes, this one gives a satin finish with just a hint of shine, so if you don’t like a shimmer, this is a great option. It is also a perfect choice for the fairest of skins because it is not too bright. Suitable for all skin types, it can also be applied to other areas of the face and neck to illuminate forehead, chin and décolleté for a diffused effect.

e.l.f. Studio HD Blush

This creamy liquid is long-wearing and contains Vitamin E to hydrate the skin. It can be layered for a dramatic look, or used sparingly for a natural glow. It is easily blended into the skin with your fingers or the recommended stipple brush sold by e.l.f. The small pump bottle is portable, but can dispense too much product at once. It’s best to apply to the back of your hand first and blend it to the desired intensity before applying to your cheeks. It can also be used as a lip stain. For versatility and affordability, e.l.f. Studio HD blush is definitely worth a try!

Sonia Kashuk Super Sheer Liquid Tint

Sonia Kashuk Super Sheer Liquid Tint

This liquid tint comes in three buildable colors that can be applied with your fingers or with a sponge wedge using a circular motion. It’s not as sheer as other cheek stains, but it doesn't dry as fast, either, so you have the time you need to blend for your perfect pop of color. In fact, this blush was recently selected as Real Simple’s Most Foolproof Stain. The pump can be difficult to use because it tends to dispense too much product, no matter how lightly you press. Despite this, there is a generous amount of blush in the bottle, so it will last for months. A great option for those who want to give liquid blush a try.

Lisa M
I'm a writer/editor with a passion for makeup and skin care. I've been a "beauty junkie" since I was 13 years old, and I'm an avid reader of beauty magazines and a frequent participant in sample programs because I love to try out different products to find the next "big thing." I am also an Allure Beauty Enthusiast, a More Opinionista, and a LHJ Beauty Ambassador, and I subscribe to a variety of beauty enewsletters to stay current with the latest products and trends. I am especially interested in "affordable luxury": options that offer quality at a reasonable price.
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