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There’s nothing quite like a blush to give you an immediate, healthy glow. Blush has been a fundamental part of makeup routines for centuries. Of course, as science has evolved, we no longer have to settle for unblendable powder or repurposed lipstick to emulate pinched cheeks. Many of the products on the market now are so lightweight that they all but melt into the skin for a totally natural look. The shade ranges have also evolved to include all complexions and skin tones across the spectrum. The best part? This kind of quality can all be found in your local drugstore.
Whether you're all about rosy cheeks or opt for only the smallest dust of color, there’s a range of blushes out there that will blend beautifully without bleeding out your bank account. From creams to powders, gels to sticks, we rounded up the best ones to give you that perfect glow.
Read on for the best drugstore blushes.
Best Overall: Milani Baked Blush
It’s amazing to believe a blush of this caliber could be available at a drugstore. Milani proudly asserts the product is sun-baked on terracotta tiles in Italy, creating a formula that melts into skin for the best buildable glow. With 11 shades to accommodate all tones of pale, olive, and dark skin, these blushes are highly pigmented . They're also available in either a satin or shimmer finish (which can even double as a highlighter). Talk about bang for your buck.
Best Budget: e.l.f. Cosmetics Powder Blush Palette
This brand is synonymous with super affordable luxury, and their blush palette is no exception. With four different colors in the one compact, you’re given the option to switch up your shade depending on your mood, or mix several of the colors together for a custom blend. With each option finished in either matte or shimmer, this blush palette can be used to contour, color, or highlight to your heart’s content.
Best for Mature Skin: L'Oréal Age Perfect Satin Blush
Visible Lift, Loreal's long-acclaimed blush for mature skin, has been discontinued—but luckily the brand has come out with a great new option. The Age Perfect Satin Blush is Visible Lift’s successor and it's even better than before. It’s the same cake-free finish but is also formulated with antioxidant-filled camellia oil so it shouldn’t dry out your skin.
Best for Fair Skin: Physicians Formula Powder Palette Custom Blush
One of the most famous powder blushes (drugstore or otherwise), this cult favorite features a mosaic of different complementary hues that naturally adapts to your skin tone upon application. It also comes with a baby flat brush and mirror within the compact, which is ideal if you want a product to take on the go.
Best for Olive Skin: Maybelline New York Cheek Heat Gel Cream Blush
There’s truly nothing like a liquid blush for a natural glow. The Cheek Heat is oil-free, so it won’t clog your pores when you’re wearing layers of makeup all day long. The water base allows it to easily blend and build if you’re going foundation-free. Available in six shades ranging in pigment intensity, there’s a blush for every preference.
Best for Dark Skin: Rimmel Maxi Blush
For those of you who enjoy a subtler glow, there’s no way to overdo it with Rimmel Maxi Blush. The powder consistency is so fine it easily competes with a gel or cream in the soft finish. Its four-shade range looks natural, but is pigmented enough to offer darker skin tones a real pop of color.
Best Splurge: Pixi by Petra On-the-Glow Blush
The downside of cream blushes is often that they’re so pigmented they can be difficult to nail on the first go, forcing you to tone down your application with additional blending or excess foundation. This vitamin-packed blush eliminates that issue, promising perfect color in just one swipe. Also, if you’re acne-prone, it’s formulated with aloe vera and ginseng to help heal and balance the skin.
Best Powder: Almay Healthy Hue Blush
Almay is always a drugstore favorite for hypoallergenic ingredients and natural results—their fool-proof blushes express this ethos tenfold. The four tones are designed to vary in intensity upon application, making this the ultimate buildable powder that's lightweight enough to never look cakey. The Healthy Hue blush is also created from sourced paper—sustainable makeup all the way.
Best Shade Range: Maybelline Fit Me Blush
Did someone say 10 shades? Don’t mind if I do. This even-wearing, true-to-tone blush is designed to suit every skin tone and level of makeup proficiency. With a creamy texture and matte finish, there’s a reason the Fit Me has been a crowd favorite for so long. Of all the powders, this should work best on make-up free skin to elevate a natural look.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Burt's Bees 100% Natural Origin Blush
You can always count on Burt’s Bees for an all-around great product. Available in six shades, this blush is free from harsh chemicals and includes bamboo honey, jojoba oil, and vitamin E—leaving skin nourished and hydrated.
Because the blush is shimmer-free, it makes for an ideal warm contour. For lighter to olive skin tones the “toasted cinnamon” might just be your perfect bronzer.
Best Cream: Revlon Insta-Blush
Fans claim this is the product that encouraged them to throw out their powder blush, and it’s easy to understand why. The stick makes for easy application (although beware—this one is highly pigmented when built so you’re going to need to blend with a brush rather than fingers). The high coverage can also remove heavy foundation when applied direct-to-skin, so the product works best with minimal additional makeup. This is a great option for dry or mature skin that needs that extra boost of hydration.
Best Stick: Julep Skip the Brush Creme to Powder Blush Stick
This stick is the creme-to-powder option of your dreams—it glides on silkily and sets into the skin for all-day wear. Fans believe it to be one of the easiest-to-apply blushes out there, claiming just a swipe and a few finger dabs is enough to achieve a seamless blend. Just to take it a step further, it also boasts luminescent pearls for an extra glow, although this does mean it’s slightly less pigmented than other cream-based products out there. Still, if you’re looking to save money on an additional highlighter, invest in a blush that truly does it all.
What to Look For in a Blush
When selecting a powder blush, the most important thing is finding a shade that flatters your skin tone. If you’re struggling to find the perfect shade, pay attention to what your cheeks look like when they flush naturally, and purchase something similar. Also, as a general rule of thumb, the darker the skin, the deeper the blush.
You’re going to want a blush that blends beautifully into the skin while retaining its pigment. If you’re going for a cream blush, bendability is even more important because the last thing you want is streaks on your face.
With so many options out there the last thing you need is a blush that’s jam-packed with harsh chemicals. Scout for blushes that contain nourishing and hydrating ingredients like aloe vera, vitamin E, or camelia oil.
What lasts longer cream or powder blush?
Powder blush generally lasts longer than cream blush, but you can always layer the two for longer-lasting coverage.
How do I apply blush?
When it comes to powdered blush, we suggest going in with a light hand and gradually building to your desired look. For a sun-kissed look, tap a little blush on the tip of your nose.
Does blush look good on everyone?
Yes! While some shades might be unflattering for your skin type, the right shade of blush is exactly what you need to bring out the natural flush in your face.