The best cream blushes for an ‘I woke up like this’ rosy glow
Psst, they’re our secret weapons for waking up dull skin in two seconds flat
Beauty Crew Contributing Editor / August 01 2019
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 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 all dewy and radiant with minimal effort.
As you can 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. It’s also amazing for dry skin as it won’t catch on flaky patches and many cream formulas are packed with moisturising ingredients to help with dryness while it imparts its gorgeous glow.
How to apply cream blush: Using fingertips is our preferred method, as the warmth of your hand 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 works best with other wet formulas. You’ll get a much better 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 desired - just make sure you give the cream blush time to ‘set’ first.
Good to know: A lot of cream blushes look brighter in the packaging than they do on your skin. Always do a swatch test first - many cream blushes have quite a sheer colour payoff on first application, which you can layer for a more vivid result.
Keen to nab a rosy glow that looks like the real deal? Then you’ll need a good cream blush in your kit. We asked our Beauty Crew team and SUPERcrew members what they think the best cream blush is. These are their favourites right now.
#10 / Rimmel London Royal Blush
If you like your blush to pack a punch, this budget-friendly cream blush hits the mark. The shades are great for enhancing your skin’s natural radiance (there’s a peach, coral and rose hue to suit most skin tones) and thanks to the opaque colour payoff, it delivers an unmissable pop that warms up your complexion. The cream-to-powder formula sets this one apart, making it the perfect introductory cream blush for those who love a powder but want a more natural finish.
The review: “These are easy to apply, and I prefer using my fingers for this - one swipe on and across the skin with a bit of blending is all you need! This has a cream to powder texture, and it's easy to blend without causing streaks. I've started carrying Coral Queen around in my handbag, so that I can touch-up on the fly, and it's been absolutely perfect!” Leah, SUPERcrew member
#9 / Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm
This is an oil-free cream blush stick and you can achieve both a sheer and high-pigment colour payoff, depending on the look you’re after. There’s no shimmer in the formula, so what you get is a really natural finish (hint: it’s great for mature skin).
The review: “It is very flattering on my cheek; the texture is creamy and very easy to blend.
I simply swipe on each cheek and use my finger to blend it out. It always ends up providing a very natural glow and dewy flush to my cheeks. I just can't get enough of these sticks. The applicator allows me to have complete control over where I want the blush as opposed to a powder blush.” Rebecca, SUPERcrew member
#7 / Lilah B Divine Duo Lip & Cheek
Cheeks aren’t the only area this multitasking tinted balm will douse in a rosy radiance - you can smudge this cream blush onto your lips and eyes, too. It’s enriched with coconut oil, aloe and agar for a glow that’s not just for show - it’s actually nourishing your skin as you wear it. Good to know: This cream blush comes in eight diverse shades.
The review: “This Lilah B. cream blush is ideal for reviving my complexion during winter. I like to push this into the skin with a stippling brush, focusing on the upper half of the apples of my cheeks for flushed, plump-looking cheeks. My go-to shade is B. Lovely.” Briar Clark, Beauty Assistant
#6 / Maybelline New York Master Glaze Blush Stick
If you love a soft shimmery sheen from your blush, this one is right up your alley. It catches the light beautifully, but isn’t too glittery. Shea butter in the formula helps it glide on like a dream and blend a treat.
The review: “I was very surprised by how much I liked this blush. Just the perfect amount of colour to give you natural-looking, glowing pink cheeks. The staying power of this blush is also rather good, and I find that because it settles and dries quickly it will last the good part of the day (at least 6-8 hours) without having to reapply. The formula is very nice, creamy and not at all oily on the skin. It does have the slightest shimmer to it but not much; it just gives your skin a brightness to it which looks lovely.” Georgina, SUPERcrew member
#5 / LUMA Just A Touch Lip & Cheek Tint
A natural ‘no makeup’ look is a favourite among us Aussies, so it’s not surprising that Australian model Jessica Hart channelled that believable rosy vibe with her LUMA Just A Touch Lip & Cheek Tint. Besides how beautifully it makes your skin beam, we also adore the pampering ingredients in the formula - castor seed oil, lanolin cera, beeswax and soybean oil.
The review: “This is my Holy Grail cream blush - of all time! I have very dry skin that is dull in the mornings, but a sweep of this just brings it back to life instantly. The formula is super creamy and nourishing, without being overly shiny or oily. It lasts 5-6 hours on me and provides a healthy wash of colour to the apples of the cheeks. I got the shade ‘Muse’, which is a pigmented pinky-nude that would flatter many skin tones, from fair to medium. Highly recommend. LUMA is SO UNDERRATED! LOVE.” Christina, SUPERcrew member
#4 / 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, happy-kinda rosiness, and a cream highlighter pot on the other end in a perfectly complementary shade. You’ve never looked so glowy for so little effort.
The review: “So many things to love about this little pot. First, the blush itself is beautiful. The formula is creamy and blendable (and buildable for those who want some added punch) and it doesn’t leave a tacky feeling afterwards. And the icing on the cake is the illuminating balm that sits at the bottom of the pot. Applied on the cheekbones and temples, it gives a beautiful soft glowing sheen when the light hits it. Plus, the size is just perfect for any on-the-go touch-ups or refreshers that are needed.” Carli Alman, Beauty Crew’s Editor
#3 / NARS The Multiple
Meet one of the OG cream blushes whose fan base is still going strong. Available in 10 diverse shades (psst, a lot of the shades are great for fair skin - we just thought we’d make special mention since we know how tricky it can be for you pale-skinned gals to find a blush shade), the formula is a cream-to-powder and is lightweight and easy to blend. It’s enriched with vitamin E and acai oil to pamper skin, and there’s a mix of a matte shades and soft shimmery hues to choose from.
The review: “There really is something so spot-on about the iconic NARS shade Orgasm, and it’s in its element in cream blush form. It lifts your entire complexion in an easy sweep of the stick, it takes zero effort to blend in for a real-looking finish, and it has just a touch of shimmer to brighten the complexion. That said, I’ve tried other shades of The Multiple and I honestly love them all - they just make your whole face beam.” Chelsea Tromans, Beauty Crew’s Contributing Editor
#2 / Guerlain Meteorite Swirl Cream Blush
The price may be a little steep, but the rosy glow you’re going to get with every swipe is oh so worth it. It mixes together a shimmer-free hue with a glistening swirl of colour for gorgeously luminous cheeks. We guarantee your skin will never look tired again!
The reviews: “I’m really into cream blushes at the moment because they work amazing on my dry winter skin. My current fave is the Guerlain Meteorite Swirl Cream Blush in Rose – I use it every day and I’m literally *obsessed*. It gives my skin the most natural, fresh, healthy glow (it’s kinda like a blush and highlighter in one) and it’s an absolute dream to blend. Side note: It also smells really good!!” Erin Docherty, Beauty Crew’s Beauty Writer
“I’m a big fan of dewy makeup looks so cream blush is an essential in my makeup kit. At the moment I’m loving the Guerlain Meteorites Swirl Cream Blush. The application is totally foolproof – all you need to do is remove the cap and tap the blush across wherever you’d like some colour, then just blend it in using your fingertips. My favourite part about this one is that it has a swirl of highlighter through it so you get a really pretty, shimmery finish.” Isobel Larkin, Beauty Crew’s Junior Beauty Writer
#1 / L'Oréal Paris Infallible Longwear Shaping Stick Blush
Super creamy with a good colour payoff (although a light hand will give you a subtle effect, if that’s what you’re after), shimmer micro-pearls in this formula imparts a radiance that looks like it’s coming from within your skin, not from your makeup. We also love how long-lasting the formula is.
The reviews: “I use this as both blush and highlighter/illuminator. Very buildable and creamy, with a flattering colour that gives a healthy glow. Lasts all day and night and doesn't feel heavy or sticky on the face. I really love the applicator - so handy to travel with or have in your bag.” Georgia, SUPERcrew member
“L’Oréal Infallible Longwear Shaping Stick Blush is really easy to blend and 001 Sexy Flush is a perfect pink shade for my pale skin. It doesn’t undermine foundation and lasts all day without needing powder.” Kylie, SUPErcrew member
Looking for the best red lipstick for your skin tone? We all know MAC Cosmetics’ Ruby Woo shade is a cult favourite, but check out which other lippies made our top 10 red lipsticks list (spoiler: two CHANEL shades made the cut!).
Do you prefer a cream blush or powder blush? What’s your favourite cream blush product? We’d love to hear your product recommendations below.
Main image credit: @nadineleopold
Chelsea is BEAUTYcrew’s Contributing Editor. She has a sweet spot for anything that claims to make skin glow and won’t leave the house without a slick of mascara. Chelsea has 10 years of experience as a beauty editor and her words can be found on BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health, Daily Addict, The Joye and Primped.