Blush can be a truly transformative product—whether you’re going for fully contoured cheekbones or just need to add a little extra warmth and brightness to your face, a few dots of cream or swipes of powder can make all the difference. There are infinite ways to wear it, depending on what feature you want to emphasize. (This TikTok by Megan Lavallie is an excellent breakdown of how pigment placement affects your overall look). Finding the right shade and texture for your skin tone and needs can be a matter of trial and error, so we’ve rounded up the best powders, creams, gels, balms and everything in between to make your search a little easier. From a contemporary classic by Pat McGrath to TikTok’s trendiest oil tint, here are the standout products we’re loving right now.
The Best Two-in-One
Ilia’s balmy stick leaves a sheer, natural flush that’s easily blendable with your fingertips. It has a hydrating feel that’s not tacky or greasy, thanks to a combination of shea butter, avocado oil and orange peel wax. Swipe a single layer onto cheeks and lips for a fresh no-makeup glow.
Foolproof For All Skin Tones
This innovative product from Italian brand Espressoh goes on sheer, then transforms to your perfect pink based on your skin’s tone and pH. Bonnus: It also contains caffeine to perk up and tighten skin.
The Best For Sensitive Skin
These blushes have made countless W roundups for good reason—they’re foolproof, buildable and designed to be sensitive skin safe, thanks to soothing aloe vera and green tea.
The Best For Hot Summer Days
Saie’s ultra-pigmented, water-based gel blushes stay put, even when you’re sweating—perfect for all-day wear, all summer long.
The Highest-Impact Pigment
Pat McGrath’s pigment packed powder promises the color payoff you’d expect from the legendary makeup artist’s products, in eight bold shades.
A Tried-and-True Classic Powder
No best-of list is complete without this Nars classic. The legendary shade Orgasm (a peachy pink with golden shimmer) is famous for being widely flattering, but the full range delivers blendable, natural, lit-from-within hues.
The Best For Oily Skin
This matte cream blush from Lys offers full coverage while tending to oily skin concerns with lightly nourishing ingredients like kaolin clay, avocado oil and vitamin E.
The Best for Mature Skin
The multi-use miracle balm from Jones road, makeup artist Bobbi Brown’s latest venture, comes in a range of shades, some of which function best as highlighter or bronzer. But the three warmest hues—Dusty Rose, Flushed and Miami Beach—are fantastic blushes that go on sheer with the subtlest bit of shimmer. The thick, hydrating texture is a great way to create the look of a natural glow on dryer, more mature skin.
The Best For Everyday Wear
This multi-use cream stick is absolutely worth the splurge. The magnet-capped stick is as elegant as it is easy to use, and each shade is perfectly pigmented, silky, and incredibly blendable. The perfect thing to keep in your purse or travel kit for easy touchups.
The One That Doubles as Skincare
Steadily trending on TikTok and with a cosign from Euphoria makeup artist Doniella Davy, Youthforia’s color-changing blush oil (another pH-based product) promises better skin over time, just in case you’re the kind of person who forgets to take it off after a long day.
The Best Blush-Highlighter Combo
Charlotte Tilbury’s Beauty Light Wand is the product to reach for when you want a seriously radiant evening look—there’s nothing subtle about this product. It’s a lightweight, pigmented gel formula that you dot onto your cheekbones and blend for an instant glowy shimmer.
For a 30-Second Face
This creamy, translucent blush gives your cheeks a lovely natural tint and a balmy, hydrated glow. It’s blendable, quick and easy to apply—perfect for those days when you can’t deal with standing in front of the mirror for more than a few seconds.
For All-Day, All-Night Wear
This fan favorite blush from Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty is one of the most long-lasting liquid formulas we’ve tried. It’s pigmented but never fussy or streaky—a 10 out of 10.
For a Dewy, Low Maintenance Glow
Don’t be deterred by the “slime” name and initial texture—this collagen-infused blush from Freck Beauty goes on sheer and dries down quickly, offering a low maintenance glow for hours.
For a Hydrated, Effortless Flush
Inspired by the brand’s fan favorite tinted moisturizer, this lightweight, hydrating cream blush sinks instantly into the skin for a fresh, natural-looking wash of color.
For the Best of Both Worlds
Actually, you can have it both ways: This cream and powder duo from makeup artist Patrick Ta promises high pigment payoff whether used alone or together.
The Easiest Powder
Anyone who was a teenager in the early 2000s remembers Benefit’s classic Dandelion blush, with its baby pink hue and hint of floral scent. These days, the brand has expanded its powder blush line with 17 shades that are lightly pigmented and incredibly easy to apply. A hit of nostalgia that delivers.
This article was originally published on June 3, 2021
This post was originally published on W Magazine
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