If there’s one thing beauty editors are good for, it’s an emphatic product rec (and the subsequent raving and discussion to follow). We are a fiercely loyal crew and will shout our praises for our holy grail products from the mountaintops behind our computer screens with all the enthusiasm of someone who has achieved the perfect contour for the first time. I know that when I ask the editors of Team Byrdie for their favorite foundation or their number one skin-transforming product, I will receive lots of impassioned answers in response. As someone who has recently discovered the face-brightening abilities of blush, I was curious about the picks my fellow editors always have on rotation. Would they stack up to my current favorite? Would I find a new number one?
As much as I trusted their words, I knew the only way to truly see if the blushes lived up to their claims would be to put them to the test—and photograph the results. From Nars to Hourglass to MAKE, keep scrolling to see me try on Byrdie editors’ favorite blushes!
My current blush: Tom Ford Cream Cheek Color ($68) in Pink Sand
I am hopelessly devoted to this fancy blush from Tom Ford. The texture is incredibly creamy and applies beautifully with a brush or just your fingers—it’s easy to blend either way. Though it looks flamingo-pink in the packaging, it’s actually the most flattering light pink with flecks of gold. It gives a dewy, naturally flushed finish, and I get compliments every time I wear it. Though it’s definitely pricey, I’ve found that it lasts forever; I’ve had it for almost a year and haven’t seen a hint of the bottom of the pan. But as much as I love this blush, I wanted to see what else was out there. I have a roving eye, what can I say?
Lindsey’s blush pick: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Luminous Blush ($34) in Camellia
I’m usually impressed with every Becca product I try, so I was looking forward to trying Byrdie managing editor Lindsey’s blush pick. The shade Camellia is described as “ballerina pink” and looks fairly approachable online, but I was slightly alarmed to open the blush and be greeted with a shade more of the fuchsia Pepto-Bismol variety—with major shimmer, no less. I ignored my growing anxiety and gingerly dusted the blush along my cheekbones—then proceeded to be pleasantly surprised. The key here is to use a very light hand when applying; a little goes a long way. The finish, however, is truly gorgeous. If you’re a fan of Becca’s cult-favorite highlighter or just like your cheekbones to reflect light from every angle, then you’ll love this blush. It’s basically a blush-highlighter hybrid, and I loved the way my skin gleamed (though I prefer a dewier finish overall). It’s not really a blush you can just haphazardly apply—like I said, the key is to use a very light hand—but I took it home after this experiment anyway for special occasions.
Victoria’s blush pick: MAKE Terrazzo Bronzer ($32) in Tower Isle
Byrdie news editor Victoria told me she’s “not really a blush person” so when she wants to add some color to her cheeks, she reaches for this bronzer-blush-highlighter hybrid from MAKE. I love a good multitasking product and was eager to see if it could truly condense three steps into one. The first thing I noticed about this product is that it’s incredibly pigmented. Like the Becca blush, you need very little product to see the intense color pay-off. I dusted some along my cheekbones and liked the way it made me look like I had just spent a week in Tulum. It’s definitely more of a bronzer than a blush, and I ended up grabbing a large fluffy brush and applying it across my forehead and down my nose for an all-over glow. Though it promised to be an illuminator, I found the finish was mostly matte. I liked how it warmed up my complexion overall, but it definitely feels more like a bronzer than a blush.
Amanda’s blush pick: Nars Dual-Intensity Blush ($45) in Frenzy
These duo blushes from Nars look and feel utterly luxurious—and supposedly, can be used wet or dry. I chose to test out the blush dry for a more subtle effect (and also because I’m not really sure how I would apply the blush wet…? A trial for another time, perhaps). The shade Amanda chose, Frenzy, contains a tangerine-tinged reddish hue and a golden shade for highlighting. I prefer my blushes to be more cool-toned and in the pink family, but—like the open-minded beauty editor I am—swiped it onto my cheekbones anyway. The finish is more metallic than sparkly, and the pigment was lighter than I expected from Nars—I had to apply a few layers before the color stood out. I also found that it didn’t blend as easily I would have liked, and I had to go back with a large fluffy brush to evenly disperse the color along my cheekbones. If you prefer less shimmer and a more metallic glint, you’ll like this blush.
Hallie’s pick: Nars The Multiple ($39) in Luxor
At this point in the experiment, I started to realize that my fellow Byrdie editors 1. love Nars and 2. may not be as on the blush bandwagon as I am. Our senior editor Hallie chose a gleaming, iridescent shade called Luxor from Nars The Multiple line, and I knew right off the bat it would feel more like a highlighter than a blush. However, though the shade had no pink or red in it whatsoever (it was a pearly cream hue), I found that when I swiped it across my cheekbones, it magically brightened up my face just like a traditional blush would have. What was this sorcery? My entire face looked brighter and it was almost like the creamy finish brought out a natural tinge of pink on my cheeks—as if I had pinched my cheeks, or stepped outside in the throes of a New York winter. I didn’t understand how this could possibly be, but didn’t complain and tucked this product in my makeup bag to take home.
Deven’s pick: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder ($46) in Mood Light
Deven and I are both fans of Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush ($6), but we found out sadly it was going to be discontinued at the time of this shoot. Her alternative was a silky little compact from Hourglass in the prettiest lavender-pink hue. I dusted it onto my cheeks and didn’t see much color, even after multiple applications. However, I did notice that my pores seemed to have disappeared, and my skin was lightly reflecting light in an angelic way. I ended up applying the powder all over my face with a big fluffy brush, and I marveled at the way it made unevenness and imperfections disappear. My skin looked airbrushed. I was so pleased with the result I didn’t even notice that it barely added any color to my complexion.
The Takeaway: Though I enjoyed my time experimenting with my fellow editors’ favorite blushes and found a few that I will be keeping on rotation, I still found that my current favorite reigned above all else. The color, formula, and finish just can’t be beat. Which just goes to show that at the end of the day, when you find something really, really good, you shouldn’t let it out of your sight. Tom Ford: I’m finally ready to pledge my devotion, now and forever.
What's your favorite blush? Click here to read what happened when another Byrdie editor tried our favorite mascaras!