How to Apply Cream Blush Like a Pro

how to apply blush


If we were to hold a popularity contest for the contents of our makeup bag, certain products, like mascara, concealer, and lipstick would have a permanent place in the spotlight. Cream blush, on the other hand, would fall somewhere between bright lipstick and individual falsies—nice in theory (we do envy that lit-from-within flush, after all), but usually avoided due to fear of looking too clown-like.

But, it actually might be time to re-evaluate this cream blush trend, altogether. 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 cakey finish!) Since it's important we know how to apply cream blush correctly, here's a video and a simple step by step guide on how to do so, you won't be disappointed. Ahead, watch celebrity makeup artist Bob Scott's cream blush tutorial for a natural, seamless flush.

Meet the Expert

Bob Scott is a celebrity makeup artist with clients among the likes of Karlie Kloss, Padma Lakshmi, and more.

Step One: Prep Skin and Apply Foundation 

To ensure your skin is prepped and hydrated for cream blush, go through your usual skincare routine before applying any makeup. It's important to use products that will add some dew to your skin such as hydrating moisturizers and face oil. A great moisturizer to use for hydration is Tatcha's The Water Cream ($68), and Tata Harper's Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil ($150) is super nourishing.

Once your skin is ready, you can certainly apply whatever makeup you want (i.e. mascara, brows, and lipgloss), but the key is to start with just foundation or a tinted moisturizer on the face, along with concealer. When you think about using cream-based products, liquid foundations are best to use with cream blush, because they work well together as far as texture is concerned. When you apply cream blush alongside powder products, they can tend to get splotchy or not glide as easily as you'd hope.

Step Two: Apply Cream Blush to Apples of Cheeks

juice beauty blush
Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Cream Blush $25.00

You can apply your cream blush to the apples of your cheeks in a sweeping upward motion with a blush brush. If you don't have a brush, your fingers are okay to use, just make sure they have nothing else on them. To learn where the apples of your cheeks are, give a slight smile and apply the cream blush right where your cheek looks the most round in the center. Blending upward along the cheekbone adds more depth, and helps you avoid looking like you placed two large dots of blush.

If applying color to your cheeks feels out of your comfort zone, it's totally okay to start lightly and blend more as you go. You don't need to add a ton of product to get the natural, flushed effect. I've chosen Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick ($50) and am using Clé de Peau Beauté Cream Blush Brush ($50) to apply it.

Step Three: Add Highlighter and Bronzer

After you've applied your cream blush, you can go in and add highlighter or bronzer, or both if that's what you fancy. I'm applying Hourglass Cosmetics Ambient Lighting Palette here that can be used on top of cream products, to give some extra radiance and glow to the skin. Since cream will grab anything that's placed on top of it, highlighter is the perfect choice when wanting to add a healthy glow to your complexion.

If you're adding bronzing powder to the face, go ahead and sweep it over the forehead, down under the cheekbones in the natural hollows of your face. An easy way to find the hollow parts is to suck them in and purse your lips like a fish. When you apply bronzer in this area, it helps to give you an instant contour. You can even bring it as far as the jawline to create warmth all over the face that looks natural.

Step Four: Ensure the Color is Even

For the final step, take a look at your cheeks and make sure that the color is even on both sides and looks flattering. If you've over-applied, it's really easy to correct by blending the color down with your brush some more, or a makeup sponge. Make any last-minute touch-ups you might need, and congratulate yourself as you're now officially a cream blush master.

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