Cream Blush: The Easy Way to a Healthy Glow

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

The transformative power of blusher (and the best cream blush in particular) should not be underestimated. Yes, the perfect puff of pink will distract from tired eyes, inject a healthy glow into lifeless skin, and even vanquish the telltale signs of a hangover.

But finding the perfect blusher for your skin type between powders, creams, gels and liquids can be as tricky as trying to nail down the best foundation. Exhausting stuff, right? As we reach a certain age, when lines become more apparent and dryness takes a hold, it's advisable to switch to more nourishing, forgiving makeup texturescue the best cream blush! These little beauties deliver great colour pay-off, often with a healthy-looking, glowy finish. So dust off those fingertips and blend, blend, blend, it's time to reignite your love of the pink stuff. We've rounded up the best cream blush offerings that won't smear, crease or slide off after only an hour.

What makes the best cream blush?

Don't get us wrong, powder blushers have their place. For a start, they tend to be longer-lasting and can be a good option for oily skin types. But their longevity is a double-edged sword, given that they can feel cakey on the skin, particularly in summer, and accentuate fine lines and crinkles.

Even though powder blusher can be used on all skin types, the texture will always sit on top of makeup, making it more noticeable on the skin, explains NARS Senior Artist, Rebecca Moore. The best cream blush, however, are completely universalthey work on any skin tone, skin type and skin age. Those with oily and combination skin types might be deterred by words like glowy' and dewy', commonly emblazoned on the packaging of cream and liquid blushers. But in these cases, Rebecca says, as a final touch, dust over with finishing powder to lock your blusher in place.

Another winning asset? Their buildability allows you to truly customise your cheek colour to suit your mood, from a natural makeup look to a more sculpted and contoured, 80s makeup effect. Liquid and cream blushers are great for adapting your desired blush look, she says. The texture allows you to blend the product seamlessly onto the skin, mimicking the appearance of a natural flush, and the hydrating elements create a youthful glow.

How to find the best cream blush shade

You've found the best cream blush and now's the time to nail that perfect shade. Pinning down your skin's unique undertone is crucial, just as you would when finding your perfect foundation match. Usually, pale skin has a cool undertone that suits rosy pinks; medium skin tones can vary but generally have warmer undertones, suiting apricots and deeper rose shades; deep skin tones look best in rich burgundy and maroon blushers.

A nice easy shortcut to working out your perfect cheek match is to think about the colour you would naturally flush on a brisk walk and embrace those tones.

How to apply cream blush

To master a radiant complexion, you need to learn how to apply blush like a pro. If you want to create a truly natural-looking, just got in from a jog around the block' kind of flush, then the secret is to forgo foundation on your cheeks and apply blusher directly to skin. Smile, find the 'apples' of the cheeks, and work the blusher around to this plump area for a fresh, youthful and natural look.

When it comes to the best tools for the job, this depends on the format of the cream blush. A blusher stick, for example, is best applied directly on to the cheek and blended out with your fingertips. But a cream compact or liquid blush could be used with a fluffy brush to diffuse the colour across the cheeks for a more subtle look.

Rebecca's expert tip to create a totally natural finish with liquid blush is to, apply a pea-sized amount of liquid blush in the palm of your hand and push the product into the cheek.

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