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cream blush

Our Makeup Trick for Gorgeous Winter Skin

Plus, the 11 best formulas on the market right now.

By: Hannah Baxter

Being a beauty editor, there’s obviously no shortage of makeup products in my bathroom at home. You name it, I’ve slathered it all over my face. Still, people are always surprised when I tell them that the one makeup staple I adore above all others is blush. Call me crazy, but some expertly applied blush is one of the easiest ways to take your complexion from tired and sad to invigorated and radiant. Think about how amazing you look after you go for a run or, you know…hang out with your partner. That flush is courtesy of all the additional blood flow happening beneath the skin and the subsequent boost of oxygen.

Sadly, it’s not always feasible to incorporate a workout into your makeup routine every morning, which is why blush has been my go-to product for years. And not just any blush either—cream blush. It melts into your skin like a dream, perfectly mimicking the texture, and considering dry skin is a constant menace this time of year, a cream formula is essential for achieving the dewy look that I love. Even Alexx Mayo, the makeup artist for Lizzo, recently revealed that he, too, loves a cream blush. “Even if you don’t wear any makeup at all, it gives the most natural glow to the skin. It gives color and helps you look awake.” And so I rest my case—if it’s good enough for Lizzo, it’s good enough for me. Check out a few of my favorites cream blushes below.

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Shiseido Minimalist Whipped Powder Blush in Setsuko, $29

There’s so much bounce in the formulation of this blush, it’s crazy. I dab a fingerprint amount onto the apples of my cheeks and blend it outward with a damp sponge. The Setsuko rose shade looks gorgeous on any skin tone—trust me, I’ve forced enough friends to try it to know.

Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick in Poppet, $50

I know this blush looks like its an alarming shade of hot pink, but it applies beautifully and looks like you just slept for a hundred years while simultaneously getting a face massage. Trust me on this one. It’s also the most luxe clean formula I’ve come across yet.

Tower28 Beauty BeachPlease Tinted Lip + Cheek Balm, $20

Another winner from the clean beauty category, this blush is ideal for anyone who loves an exceptionally dewy finish. Pair it with the brand’s highlighting balm for a summery, sun-kissed look (even in the middle of winter).

Glossier Cloud Paint in Storm, $18

This will forever be my favorite Glossier product. They really nailed it with this formula, which blends so seamlessly I even use it for an eyeshadow look. This rich berry shade is equal parts alluring and youthful and is ideal for giving you some much-needed color in the winter months.

Ilia Multi-Stick in I Put a Spell on You, $34

If you want to fake a bit of sun, this warm tangerine blush is exactly what you need. A few dabs on the apples of your cheeks and the tip of your nose makes it look like you spent the weekend in Miami (rather than shivering under a wool scarf and a mountain of SPF).

Kosas Color & Light Palette in Velvet Melon High Intensity, $34

I’m all for a combo palette, which is why I’m so enamored with this blush-highlighter duo. Velvet is the perfect descriptor for the texture, which melts into the skin and makes you look dewy in all the best ways. Tap them onto your cheeks and cheekbones, or get a little wild and mix them together—makeup experimentation is the best.

Clé de Peau Beauté Cream Blush in Pale Fig, $60

When I imagine a pretty blushing bride, this Pale Fig color is exactly what comes to mind. It’s feminine but still bold and helps make those cheekbones pop. Just warm it up with your finger and blend outwards along your cheeks.

NARS The Multiple in Portofino, $39

If you want a little extra drama with your blush, then consider this shimmery coral shade your new go-to. Skin looks luminous and bright, to the point that everyone will demand to know your beauty secrets.

Chantecaille Cheek Gelée in Lively, $44

Worried that your cream blush will melt away by the afternoon? This cream-gel hybrid acts more like a stain so that your flush of color lasts all the way into the evening. The warm Lively shade provides the perfect subtle rosy hue.

CHANEL Beauty Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour Stick in No. 21, $45

There’s nothing more luxe than skin that looks like satin, and this contour stick can help you achieve that. Rose and cotton extract give the formula a silky feel, and this shade is exactly what I dream of for a faux post-coital glow.

Kjaer Weis Cream Blush Compact in Embrace, $56

If you want an extra dose of anti-aging ingredients in your makeup, then this all-natural cream blush has you covered, with added jojoba and castor seed oil. This Embrace shade also provides the faintest hint of color for a lit-from-within flush.

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