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If you're looking to achieve that fresh-looking, lit-from-within glow, cream blush is a must. Creamy formulas make it easy to add a natural-looking flush, and unlike their powdery counterparts, they're hydrating, often nourishing, and super blendable. Plus, many can be applied with your fingers, which makes them ideal for on-the-go makeup.
Cream blushes also come in many shapes, sizes, and finishes. You can find them in stick form, as well as options that come in little pocket-sized pots. Then there's sheer, long-wear, and cream-to-powder formulas in just about every color and at every price point. To help make it easier to find the right one for you, we hand-picked the top options across all the board.
Below, the best cream blushes on the market, now.
Best Overall: Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush
Rihanna's makeup and skincare lines have been dominating the cosmetics market as of late, so it should be no surprise Fenty's offering is our number one choice. This non-greasy, never sticky, brilliantly lightweight cream blush melts onto your cheeks and enhances your complexion, leaving a natural-looking flush of color in its wake.
This blush is also favorite of MUA Andreea Ali, who appreciates that it's available in a "fantastic range of colors, has a satin finish, is super easy to use, and blends like a dream!" From purples and oranges to pinks, peaches, and bronzy browns, there's something for every skin tone.
Best Budget: e.l.f. Cosmetics Monochromatic Multi Stick
On a budget? No sweat! The Monochromatic Multi-Stick from e.l.f. comes in a handful of stunning colors and provides your cheeks with a soft, slightly shimmery touch of color. You can also dab it onto your eyelids or lips for a cohesive glow.
Best Drugstore: Maybelline New York Cheek Heat Gel Cream Blush
Another affordable pick we're loving is Maybelline's Cheek Heat. This water-based blusher glides effortlessly onto your skin and leaves behind a sheer hint of pigmentation. "The gel formula will give the cheeks just a pinch of color," says Ali. It won't actually heat your cheeks, but you can expect a flirty flushed effect like you've been sitting by a fire or have just finished a cocktail.
Best Splurge: Clé de Peau Beauté Cream Blush
This fancy blush from Clé de Peau Beauté is on the pricier side, but it might be worth a splurge if you can swing it. The luxuriously creamy formula contains a low-viscosity oil, a medium-viscosity oil, and a volatile oil to deliver the smoothest finish. As for the color, each of the four shades offers a perfect kiss of a natural-looking flush. You can create a sheer, supple effect or build up to a more striking hue.
Best Stick: NARS The Multiple
You can't talk about the best blushes without mentioning NARS. The brand is well-known for its Orgasm powdered blush, but if you haven't tried its cream blusher, this might be a good time to add it to your arsenal. The Multiple comes in a handy little stick and is available in six colors (including the shimmery golden-peach Orgasm shade). It's easy to apply, blends effortlessly, and leaves your cheekbones with a velvety smooth, warm glow.
Best Natural: Honest Beauty Crème Cheek Blush
Like all products from Honest Beauty, the ingredients in Crème Cheek have been carefully selected. This natural, cruelty-free product is made with nourishing castor oil, beeswax, and fruit extracts to moisturize the skin while delivering the perfect touch of color. It blends easily and comes in a few versatile, buildable colors.
Best Clean: lilah b. Divine Duo Lip & Cheek
Ali appreciates the clean formula and unique packaging of this versatile product. "It is packed with pigment, can be used on the cheeks and lips as well, with fingers or with a brush," she says. This multi-purpose cream blush comes in a chic little compact. Though it's notably tiny, a little goes a long way. Also, it's made with minimal ingredients and doesn't contain any synthetic preservatives like sulfates and parabens.
Best for Dark Skin: HAN All Natural Multistick Cheek and Lip Tint
For those with dark skin, we recommend the Multistick from HAN. It comes in several flattering, berry-inspired hues with bronze, pink, and purple undertones. With shea butter, acai oil, argan oil, coconut cream, and other earth-sourced ingredients, it's hydrating and actually good for your skin. The compact stick is ideal for on-the-go applications, too.
Best for Olive Skin: Wander Beauty On-The-Glow Blush and Illuminator
We're also big fans of the multi-tasking blush and illuminator stick from Wander Beauty. The coral pinks and berry-inspired shades are ideal for olive skin tones. They go on sheer but are notably buildable, so you can get the perfect subtle or vivid color you crave. Then you can use the light-reflecting highlighter to enhance your complexion with a dewy sheen.
Best for Medium Skin: Stila Convertible Color
This two-in-one product from Stila works as both a cream blush and a lip color. It comes in a few colors, including a brownish rose, a nude mauve, and a peachy brown, which flatter medium skin tones. And the fresh pigment blends into your cheekbones for a radiant flush.
Best for Fair Skin: Tarte Sugar Rush Beach Cheeks Cream Blush
Sugar Rush Beach Cheeks is a great pick for those with fair complexions. It comes in two pink shades—one rosy and the other peachy—that leave your cheeks with a flirty, flushed finish. With avocado oil, shea butter, and mango seed butter, this cream blush leaves your skin ultra-soft, hydrated, and ready for your close-up.
Best Shade Range: Danessa Myricks Beauty Vision Flush
With 12 highly pigmented color options (including purples, reds, oranges, pinks, browns, and golds), Vision Flush definitely offers the best range of shades. But that's not all this blush has going for it. The highly pigmented creamy liquid formula can be used on your cheeks, eyes, and lips. It goes on smoothly and creates a semi-matte, satiny finish that highlights your best features.
Best Sheer: Glossier Cloud Paint
Glossier's Cloud Paint is the best sheer cream blush around. The user-friendly, buildable gel formula contains blurring pigments for a smooth, soft-focus effect. "It won't set, so it allows you to move it and stretch it the way you want and can be applied on top of foundation or bare skin," says Ali. This blush comes in eight seriously stunning colors and goes on sheer. It leaves you naturally flushed, glowing skin, like you stepped outside just as the sun was setting.
Best Matte: Nudestix Nudies Matte Blush & Bronze
For a matte effect, reach for this double-sided blusher from Nudestix. The soft cream glides onto your skin and leaves a non-greasy, velvety smooth finish. After dabbing it onto your cheeks, flip it over and blend with the attached brush.
Best Long-Wear: L'Oreal Paris Infallible Longwear Shaping Stick Blush
If you want something that'll last all day (and maybe even all night), we suggest this blush stick from L'Oréal's Infallible line. This long-wear cream blusher is formulated to hold strong for up to 24 hours. It won't cake, crease, or fall flat throughout the day, and you can count on a radiant, flushed complexion for hours on end.
The best cream blush overall is Fenty Beauty's Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush, on account of its ultra-lightweight, non-sticky formula and natural-looking, complexion-enhancing color options. Having said that, e.l.f. Cosmetics Monochromatic Multi-Stick is a pretty impressive product too. It delivers a soft, illuminating hint of color and will only set you back a few bucks.
What to Look For in a Cream Blush
When selecting a cream blush, the most important thing is finding a flattering shade. Some people like to switch up their blush color depending on their outfit or mood, but most have a go-to color. "Get a cream blush that complements the skin tone," says makeup artist Kemi Kings. "The darker the skin, the deeper the cream blush."
Another important aspect of cream blush is the finish. When choosing from different textures and formulas, consider your skin type, as well as the look you're going for. "When choosing a cream blush, just like with foundation, you need to tailor it to your own needs … You can have different finishes like matte, satin, or slightly shimmery, so it all depends on your preference," says Ali. "If you have oily skin, I suggest you use formulas that are a bit more intense in pigment because oily skin tends to 'melt' all cream products."
Additionally, you'll also want to opt for a buildable formula. Even very highly pigmented blushes can go on sheer for those who prefer a subtle effect and allow you to slowly add product for a more vivid flush.
How do you apply cream blush?
Can you apply cream blush over powder foundation?
Generally speaking, cream blushes should be paired with liquid foundations, and powder blushes should be paired with powder foundations. However, if you're using a powder foundation or a setting powder, it's best to apply your cream blush first to avoid caking and creasing.
How do you make cream blush last longer?
While we don't recommend applying a cream blusher on top of a powder foundation, you can apply powder blush in a similar hue over your cream blush. Similar to setting powders, this will help lock in the color and provide you with a long-wear finish.
Why Trust Byrdie?
This shopping guide was written by Theresa Holland, a professional writer and cosmetics enthusiast specializing in makeup and skincare. She has extensive experience researching, testing, reviewing, and writing about beauty products and has tried a wide range of cream blushes, including many of the products on this roundup. You can find more of her work on The Spruce and MyDomaine.
How We Test Cream Blushes
Our team works hard to be transparent about why we recommend certain products; you can read more about our product review methodology here.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find enough cream blushes from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business to meet this percentage. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at email@example.com and we will evaluate the product ASAP.