The best cream blushes for a 'no, I'm really this beautiful' rosy glow
AKA our secret weapons for waking up dull skin in two seconds flat
By Team BEAUTYcrew
February 07 2022
Blush is a godsend for bringing life back to a dull complexion; that touch of warmth on the cheeks can make skin look healthy and happy in an instant. And while a powder blush is a classic, we’re definitely partial to a cream blush formula when we’re going for that naturally flushing, no-makeup makeup vibe. Because that’s cream blush’s party trick – to make you look deliciously dewy and radiant with minimal effort.
As you can probably gather by its name, a cream blush is a cream formula, which means it blends beautifully into the skin and is pretty darn difficult to mess up (which considering we usually allow ourselves approximately two seconds to apply it, is truly a blessing). It’s also amazing for dry skin as it won’t catch on flaky patches; in fact, many cream formulas are packed with moisturising ingredients to help with dryness while imparting the gorgeous glow you came for.
Okay, now that we've convinced you re: just how incredible it is, here's how to use it like a pro...
How to apply cream blush
Using fingertips is our preferred method, as the warmth of your fingers helps the cream formula melt into the skin for a natural finish. Surprisingly, a makeup brush also works wonders - we recommend a stippling brush to ensure you don’t apply too much product.
Given that cream blush is technically a ‘wet’ formula, it tends to play best with other wet formulas, too. You’ll get a much nicer result if you apply it over a liquid foundation rather than a powder foundation, however, you can apply a setting powder (or even a powder blush) over the top of a cream blush if you're chasing a particularly long-lasting or pigmented finish.
So, if you're keen to nab a rosy glow that looks like the real deal, then you’ll need a good cream blush in your kit. You've come to the right place; we've found seven of the very best...
RARE BEAUTY Stay Vulnerable Melting Blush
Now that spring has officially sprung, we’re pulling out our cream blush formulas with wild abandon. A best-seller that we’ve been dying to add to our list ever since Rare Beauty launched downunder is the top-rated melting blush. Available in a range of uber-flattering neutral shades, it effortlessly melts into skin for a barely-there flush of blush and enviably plump cheeks every application. Plus, with a non-greasy, non-caking formula, you can forget any unsightly patches, creases or oiliness throughout the day.
$36 at Sephora
Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm
This oil-free cream blush stick allows you to achieve either super sheer or high-pigment payoff, all depending on how you apply it; just swipe and tap until you're satisfied. There’s no shimmer in the formula, either, so what you get is a really natural finish that could fool even the most eagle-eyed observers. Oh, and if you're still concerned your skin texture is too rough or dry to make blush work, this velvety cream will prove you (well and truly) wrong.
$46 at Clinique
Lilah B Divine Duo Lip & Cheek
Cheeks aren’t the only area this multitasking tinted balm will douse in rosy radiance – you can smudge it onto your lips and eyes, too for a gorgeously flushed tonal effect. It’s enriched with coconut oil and aloe vera for a glow that’s not just for show; it’s actually nourishing your skin as you wear it. But just for the record, the luminously lit-from-within show it puts on is a damn glorious one. Another thing worth noting? It comes in eight unique shades, so finding your fit will be a breeze.
$69 at MECCA
NARS The Multiple
Meet one of the OG cream blushes whose (beautifully flushed) fan base is still going strong. Available in 10 diverse shades, the formula is a unique cream-to-powder that offers the very best of both worlds: a fresh hit of colour that doesn't look painted on, and a long-lasting nature that won't budge during the day. It’s enriched with vitamin E and acai oil to pamper skin, and there’s a mix of a matte and shimmer finishes to choose from, too.
$58 at MECCA
LUMA Just A Touch Lip & Cheek Tint
A natural look is a favourite among us Aussies, so it’s not surprising that Australian model Jessica Hart channelled that believable rosy vibe with her brand's velvety tints. Besides how beautifully they make your skin beam, we also adore the pampering ingredients in the formula, AKA castor seed oil, lanolin, beeswax and soybean oil. There are three shades (two neutrals of varying depths and a bright), but we're obsessed with this juicy watermelon hue.
$29.95 at LUMA
Mecca Cosmetica Hydra Cheek Tint and Illuminating Balm Duo
If you’re a hardcore cream blush convert, chances are you love *all* cream makeup formulas, which means you’re going to get double the delight out of this duo. There’s a blush pot that gives you a dewy rosiness you've long been chasing, as well as a cream highlighter pot on the other end in a perfectly complementary shade. Whether you apply separately or mix for an extra radiant rouge is completely your call. It's all about maximum glow for minimal effort.
$45 at MECCA
Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush
By no means are peachy pinks the only option, either. If you want to go all out, go all out (but remember, don't be put off by braver shades like this punchy purple; you can go as sheer or bold as you'd like when applying). This one delivers a weightless wash of colour, and it's actually amazing on oily skin types thanks to its non-greasy formula. It also happens to boast waterproof status, so don't stress about sweat killing your vibe.
$35 at Sephora