These Drugstore Blushes Are True Gems

Our Best Overall Pick is Milani Baked Blush

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
woman wearing pink blush

 

Ken Browar Productions Inc./Getty Images

There’s nothing quite like blush to give you an immediate, healthy glow. And you don't need to drop upwards of $25 to get the look. Drugstore brands have evolved to be just as good, and in some cases better, than prestige brands. These TikTok-approved blushes are known for melting skin for a flawless and lightweight flash of color. From dramatically rosy cheeks to the smallest dust of color, these drugstore blushes blend beautifully. Choose from creams to powders, gels to sticks; they can all be found in the drugstore for a couple of bucks. We promise nothing on this list costs more than $20.

Byrdie Researched & Approved

Our best overall pick is Milani Baked Blush, a beauty-editor favorite that melts into skin with one swipe. This highly pigmented pick comes in 22shades, and gives a natural, radiant finish with just the right amount of shimmer. We also love Maybelline New York Cheek Heat, an oil-free formula safe for those who are acne-prone, which comes in a hygienic tube.

We conducted hours of research on the best drugstore blushes, evaluating each formula on shade range and finish, as well as pigment level, blendability, and how they feel on your skin. Our product testers tried out some of the top-rated picks, and shared their insights to help us narrow down the list. We also considered application, because we're always here for a good hack when it comes to applying blush. Many of the drugstore blushes on this list make it easy to use the "W" application technique that TikTok made famous for creating a sculpted, naturally-contoured look.

Ahead, the best drugstore blushes that are easy to apply and deliver the look you crave.

Best Overall: Milani Baked Blush

3.5
Milani baked blush
What We Like
  • Buildable

  • Great color payoff

  • Shimmer finishes double as a highlighter

What We Don't Like
  • Has a lot of fallout

Who else recommends it? Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, and Who What Wear all picked the Milani Baked Blush.

What do buyers say? 88% of 24,200+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

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 22 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.

Price at time of publish: $14

Shade Range: 22 | Finish: Satin, shimmery | Size: 0.12 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

What Our Testers Say

"I enjoyed my experience with Milani's Baked Blush, as it added a nice pop of color and luminous finish that sat well over my foundation all day long." — Celeste Polanco, Product Tester

Best Budget: e.l.f. Cosmetics Powder Blush Palette

elf cosmetics powder blush palette
What We Like
  • Versatile

  • Doubles as contour powder or highlighters

  • Great color payoff

What We Don't Like
  • Cannot buy single refills for the shades

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.

Price at time of publish: $9

Shade Range: 4 | Size: 0.14 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Mature Skin: L'Oréal Age Perfect Satin Blush

L'Oréal Age Perfect Satin Blush
What We Like
  • Hydrating

  • Isn't cakey

  • Buildable

What We Don't Like
  • Not long-lasting

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.

Price at time of publish: $13

Shade Range: 6 | Finish: Satin | Size: 0.31 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Fair Skin: Physicians Formula Powder Palette Custom Blush

Physicians Formula Powder Palette Blush
What We Like
  • Includes a blending brush and mirror

  • Blends easily

  • Buildable

What We Don't Like
  • Not long-lasting

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.

Price at time of publish: $10

Shade Range: 4 | Finish: Shimmer | Size: 0.17 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Olive Skin: Maybelline New York Cheek Heat Gel Cream Blush

4.4
Maybelline Cheek Heat Gel-Cream Blush

Amazon

What We Like
  • Oil-free

  • Blends easily

  • Buildable

What We Don't Like
  • Dries fast; may appear blotchy

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.

Price at time of publish: $6

Shade Range: 6 | Finish: Natural | Size: 0.27 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Dark Skin: Rimmel Maxi Blush

Rimmel Maxi Blush
What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Buildable

  • Doubles as an eye shadow

What We Don't Like
  • Color payoff could be better

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.

Price at time of publish: $4

Shade Range: 4 | Finish: Natural | Size: 0.31 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Splurge: Pixi Beauty On-the-Glow Blush

4.6
Pixi by Petra on the glow blush
What We Like
  • Soothes the skin

  • Blends easily

  • Easy-to-apply stick formula

What We Don't Like
  • Can feel heavy

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.

Price at time of publish: $14

Shade Range: 3 | Finish: Dewy | Size: 0.67 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Powder: Almay Healthy Hue Blush

Almay Healthy Hue Blush
What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Buildable

  • Sourced from paper

What We Don't Like
  • Can look intense if overused

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.

Price at time of publish: $10

Shade Range: 4 | Finish: Dewy | Size: 0.17 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Shade Range: Maybelline Fit Me Blush

Maybelline Fit Me Blush
What We Like
  • Blends easily

  • Dermatologist-tested

What We Don't Like
  • Color payoff could be better

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.

Price at time of publish: $6

Shade Range: 10 | Finish: Natural | Size: 0.16 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Sensitive Skin: Burt's Bees 100% Natural Origin Blush

Burt's Bees Blush

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Hydrating

  • Lightweight

  • Blends easily

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note packaging is flimsy

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.

Price at time of publish: $7

Shade Range: 5 | Finish: Radiant | Size: 0.19 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

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

 Revlon Insta-Blush
What We Like
  • Easy-to-apply stick formula

  • Great color payoff

  • Hydrating

What We Don't Like
  • Can remove heavy foundation

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.

Price at time of publish: $10

Shade Range: 4 | Finish: Dewy | Size: 0.31 ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Stick: Julep Skip the Brush Creme to Powder Blush Stick

Julep Skip the Brush Creme to Powder Blush Stick
What We Like
  • Easy-to-apply stick

  • Long-lasting

  • Doubles as a highlighter

What We Don't Like
  • Color payoff could be better

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.

Price at time of publish: $18

Shade Range: 8 | Finish: Dewy | Size: 0.2 ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Final Verdict

Our best overall pick is Milani Baked Blush, a cult-favorite that has a unique baked formula. We love how this blush melts into skin. We also love Maybelline New York Cheek Heat, an oil-free formula safe for those who are acne-prone, which comes in a hygienic tube.

What to Look For in a Blush


Color


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.


Blendability


You’re going to want a blush that blends beautifully into the skin. If you’re going for a cream blush, blendability is even more important because the last thing you want is streaks on your face. Blendability is also determined by skin type, as those with drier skin might require a more hydrating formula. It's important to feel comfortable with applying a blush, whether that means blending with your fingers, brush, blender, or sponge. There's no one recommendation—it's really what works best for you.


Ingredients


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 camellia oil, like the Burt's Bees pick on this list.

FAQ
  • Does cream or powder blush last longer?

    Powder blush generally lasts longer than cream blush, but you can always layer the two for even more long-wearing coverage.

  • How do I apply blush?

    When it comes to powder 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.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. The 16 best drugstore blushes for a gorgeous flush. Marie Claire. https://www.marieclaire.com/beauty/makeup/g28413197/drugstore-blush

  2. 12 best drugstore blushes under $20. Cosmopolitan. https://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/beauty/g37244964/best-drugstore-blushes

  3. The secret drugstore blushes that rival 10 high-end favorites. Who What Wear. https://www.whowhatwear.com/best-drugstore-blushes/slide4

Related Stories