If we were to hold a popularity contest for the contents of our makeup bag, certain products, like mascara and concealer, would land at the top of the hierarchy—the popular kids, if you will. Cream blush, on the other hand, would fall somewhere between lip stain and individual falsies—nice in theory (we do envy that lit-from-within flush, after all), but usually avoided for fear of resembling Bozo the clown.
But it may be time to re-evaluate. Cream blush, when applied correctly, can give you a glowy, slightly dewy flush that traditional powder blush can’t. Plus, the texture makes it ideal for people with dry or mature skin (read: no more cake-y finish!). We recruited our resident makeup expert, Lauren Andersen (responsible for the gorgeously-flushed cheeks of celebs like Jessica Alba and Chrissy Teigen), to show us the ropes.
Keep flipping to find out how to apply cream blush like a pro, then shop our favorite cream blush picks at the end!
Andersen says to be smart when it comes to layering products. “I wouldn’t recommend putting cream blush over powder, because the two formulas will grab each other, making a clump-y, splotchy finish,” she says. “You want to work with wet-on-wet textures.” In other words, choose a creamy foundation, tinted moisturizer, or BB cream, instead of a powder formula, to create a smooth base for your blush.
Not all cream blushes are created equal, so know your products before getting too smudge-happy. For daytime, we like formulas that dry to a silky, powdery finish, like Chanel’s Le Blush Crème de Chanel ($38). At night, you can add a bit of sparkle—try Nars’ The Multiple ($39). Andersen uses Tory Burch’s Cat’s Meow Lip & Cheek Tint ($38) in our tutorial.
Andersen suggests applying your powder blush mentality to your cream blush. “Start at the apples of your cheeks and move upwards and outwards,” she says. We recommend using a soft, slightly angled blush brush and moving your brush strokes in a slight C shape towards your temples.
Depending on your cream blush formula, you can also apply it with your fingers first—just tap the blush onto the apples of your cheeks, then use a blush brush to blend it up and out.
You are now officially a cream blush master! Just add a swipe of highlighter on your cheekbones to complete your glow.
Keep flipping for our favorite cream blush picks!
Chanel Le Blush Crème De Chanel ($38)
Nars The Multiple ($39)
Tory Burch The Cat’s Meow Lip & Cheek Tint ($38)
Chantecaille Cheek Crème ($25)
Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush ($13)
Stila Convertible Color ($25)