The 8 Best Cream Blushes of 2022

Best Overall: Makeup By Mario Soft Pop Blush Stick

What We Love: There is a brush included on the other end of the stick.

What We Don’t Love: This is a popular item with shades going in and out of stock often.

After sculpting and shaping the beauty looks of Kim Kardashian — makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic, finally launched his own line in 2020, called Makeup by Mario. The collection is impressive with a range of eyeshadows, contour products, brow pencils, and more. But it’s the blush sticks that really stood out above the rest and received high marks to earn the best overall spot.

All cream blushes could be described as creamy (duh), but this one in particular had a smooth, buttery texture that blended effortlessly. Plus, all the application methods worked with this formula. “It came with a blending brush, which was super helpful to get the product onto your skin evenly, then buff it out across your cheeks. You can also easily blend with your fingertips or a damp makeup sponge,” one tester said. Just a small swipe goes a long way as the product is deceptively pigmented and comes in five shades that would suit a range of skin tones, like deep plum, bright raspberry pink, and pale mauve.

Shades: 6 | Finish: Dewy | Size: 0.37 ounces

Best Value: MILANI Cheek Kiss Cream Blush

What We Love: This is incredibly pigmented — a dab goes a long way.

What We Don’t Love: The cream has a slick, almost tacky feeling, when first applied.

We all remember the horrors of drugstore blushes with chalky finishes sold in only two shades. Now, the aisles of your favorite impulse spot are filled with lots of hidden gems, like this Milani Cheek Kiss Cream Blush. The bright colors in clear packaging look like little cellophane wrapped candies — a sweet treat for your cheeks.

Now, your first thought upon seeing a blush compact might be, But a stick is easier to apply. And while that certainly can be true, this pick is still worth trying: The balmy texture glides across cheekbones with very little pressure. It can still be applied with fingers by tapping it onto cheeks or with a damp beauty sponge to blend. It shines as a minimal makeup product: “It’s very light and dries down quickly without leaving any feeling on your skin once it’s set,” one tester said. They did caution that it initially had a wet, bordering on slimy texture, but that faded quickly.

Shade Range: 4 | Finish: Sheer, dewy | Size: 0.37 ounces

Best Splurge: Victoria Beckham Beauty Cheeky Posh Cream Blush Stick

What We Love: This blush applies like a cream but sets (and lasts) like a powder.

What We Don’t Love: The tube is fairly small for the price.

This fancy stick is on the pricier end, but what did you expect from the beauty brand creator, Posh herself? The unique tortoise shell tube would look oh-so-nice sitting on a vanity. But aside from appearance, the tip of the blusher is smaller than a typical cream blush, which allows for a targeted application as you decide where and how much to apply.

The consistency starts out velvety, then as you blend it has a powdery finish. It’s the best of both worlds: the dew of a cream, but the lasting power of a powder. It was also easy to layer on top of itself for more oomph without clinging or streaking. I love that it’s a buildable formula with a very natural flush on the first layer and more bang from the second.

Shades: 5 | Finish: Buildable, glowy | Size: 0.17 ounces

Best Stick: Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Cream Blush

What We Love: Oily skin types may appreciate the more matte formula of this blush.

What We Don’t Love: The shades contain shimmer, which is not everyone’s jam.

Anastasia Beverly Hills is well-known as being the expert of brows, but if you haven’t tried their cream blush, it may be worth adding to your arsenal. There is a synthetic brush on the other end to buff out color after depositing onto cheeks. “It really melted into the skin and felt lightweight overall,” one tester noted. The chubby stick is available in five shades—light and deep peach, light and deep pink, and a rosy brown—all with a bit of sparkle. “The shimmer added a nice radiance to my cheeks, so the finish was very naturally glowy and beautiful.”

Shades: 5 | Finish: Radiant | Size: 0.28 ounces

Best Gel: Maybelline New York Cheek Heat Gel Cream Blush

What We Love: The gel texture looks fresh and dewy on your skin.

What We Don’t Love: This is a very sheer, watery texture that is best applied with your fingers. Brush enthusiasts may find it more difficult to work with.

Maybelline New York Cheek Heat Gel Cream Blush brings the heat with this launch. Well, not literally, but the water-based blush does give you that fireside flushed-effect. The product felt weightless on cheeks, one said, “This glides onto skin and is not sticky or heavy at all.”

While the lightweight texture was a point in the pro column, it is also very light in pigment. “It’s good for a dewy glow, but would be hard to do a brightly colored cheek. I needed to do a few swipes to really see the color and that means using up a lot of product, and opening yourself up to squeezing too much out of the tube.” However at less than $6 a pop, it’d be hard to beat this price point.

Shades: 6 | Finish: Dewy | Size: 0.27 ounces

Best Multipurpose: Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek Cream Blush Stick

What We Love: This handy little stick can be swiped over lips and cheeks.

What We Don’t Love: The oils in this hydrating product may cause it to slip off oily cheeks.

The versatility of this clean blush made it a fierce competitor for a winners list. The formula contains mango butter, avocado oil, and apricot oil for a hydrating boost and gives a reflective quality to your cheeks. And if careful selection of ingredients is a priority for you, this pick is vegan, paraben-free, and considered “Clean at Sephora.” The thick stick is also dual-purpose as it can be swiped across lips and cheeks, and the shades were developed to look great on both areas. One tester was “in love with how this one feels.” “The texture is lightweight and so comfortable, and I actually think it’ll stick to the skin to last all day. It looks and feels really natural,” she said.

This product also has the second largest shade range with eight options to choose from, including a lush berry tone and an uber pale baby pink. The end result: “I feel glowy and fresh. Pigment is just right and doesn’t need a lot of building to make it look good. It’s very natural and good for any occasion,” one tester raved. This sounds like an easy add to cart.

Shades: 8 | Finish: Buildable, dewy | Size: 0.21 ounces

Best Natural Finish: Rare Beauty Stay Vulnerable Melting Cream Blush

What We Love: It’s easy to apply with your fingers for the most realistic, skin-like finish.

What We Don’t Love: If you’re looking for a pigmented blush, this is not the one for you. This cream is a sheer formula.

Selena Gomez launched her makeup line Rare Beauty in 2020, because she wanted a brand that felt authentic. “I just felt like the beauty space started to get really crowded with a lot of unrealistic messages. I had a moment where I was like, ‘I’m not a makeup guru or the most incredible makeup artist, but I want to get involved,'” she previously told InStyle. And while authenticity and celebrity beauty lines can be a hard pairing, the actress is making a go of it. One of the best products in the collection, in my opinion, are her blushes. The liquid blush received rave reviews, while the cream blush was a winner with customers.

I have to say that the hype is real. This feels incredibly creamy; your finger just glides across the top. Plus, for how dewy it looks, I was surprised that it didn’t feel overly heavy or sticky. Aptly named, this blush quite literally melts into your skin. Other than having a really pretty flush, it wasn’t obvious where I had applied this blush in the best way possible. It’d be my ideal low maintenance makeup choice and looked good on top of bare skin without any concealer or foundation.

Shades: 5 | Finish: Satin | Size: 0.17 ounces

Best Shade Range: Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush

What We Love: Although it starts off very sheer, the colors are buildable for more intensity.

What We Don’t Love: There is a very small amount of product in each compact.

Leave it to a pioneer of inclusivity, Queen RiRi, to launch a product with an expansive color collection. While most blushes will have a peach, pink, and berry tone, Fenty Beauty took that a whole leap further and included colors such as violet, tangerine, and a poppy red. The creams start off sheer — so don’t be afraid to choose one of the fashion tones — for a subtle take on bold color.

One tester appreciated the no nonsense, buildable formula, saying “It was pretty easy to work the product into my skin with my fingertips and blend it around my cheekbone. It’s definitely a buildable option that doesn’t look blotchy when layered.” The texture was also great; “It’s not sticky or heavy, which is a plus, and also didn’t go on spotty nor settle into pores,” confirmed the tester.

Shades: 10 | Finish: Sheer, dewy | Size: 0.1 ounces

What to Keep in Mind 

Finish 

Cream blushes by their very nature are a dewier product. That can be a godsend for dry skin types craving more moisture in their products, and a nightmare for oily types afraid of looking like a grease slick by noon. Consider if you want to layer your cream blush with other products (specifically powders to mattify) or if you just want a supple wet cheek glow, says Brittany Whitfield, an NYC-based makeup artist.

Pigmentation 

Cream blushes span the spectrum from opaque pigmentation to sheer washes of color. Decide if you want a barely-there tint that’s easy to dab on with your fingers or a product with the impact that may take more finesse to blend out. In general, cream blushes are often more forgiving than say a powder, since it sinks into the skin for a natural-appearing flush.

Color 

Choosing makeup shades can have a lot of factors that come into play: what does your outfit look like, the colors in the rest of your makeup, and your unique undertones. And while it’s an artform, so there are no wrong answers when it comes to your blush shade, there are guidelines that can help you find the most flattering tone.

I like to choose an undertone similar to the client’s natural lip shade,” Whitfield says. “It also depends on how clients like their skin. If they love bronzer, they’ll tend to gravitate to warmer colors on the face — but if they’re a contour girl they might feel more comfortable with cooler undertones.” When in doubt, the easiest way to pick a blush color is to match the shade of your natural flush. Think: the color your cheeks become after a long walk.

INSTYLE

The Best Cream Blush Formulas for Real-Life Cherub Cheeks

The best cream blush can do it all, whether you’re going for a natural flush or want to take the sunburnt-blush trend for a spin. (Blame it on BlushTok—and Billie Eilish.) With all these trends popping up, cream blush is especially versatile compared to its traditional, powder-based counterparts.

After all, the beauty of a good blush is that it can be whatever you want it to be—which might explain why the multitasker appears in a ton of recent beauty hacks—and a hydrating, creamy formula makes the options endless, whether you’re mixing it with undereye concealer (for a lifted effect) or sculpting with it for a backlit look. Here, what you need to know.

What is cream blush?

Cream blushes have a, well, creamy texture. “They melt into the skin more easily, and, in my opinion, look the most natural,” says celebrity makeup artist Katrina Klein. “They are also more hydrating than powder blushes.” They usually leave skin with a dewy finish, and often the best cream blush will have moisturizing properties. They also tend to be buildable, too, so you can get more or less pigment, depending on how much you apply.

How to apply cream blush

You can use a brush to apply cream blush, which can give you more precision and help you control the intensity. For a more natural-looking flush, “use your fingers and melt it into the apples of your cheeks,” Klein says. Whichever way you prefer to apply, don’t forget: More isn’t necessarily better. “Cream blush is buildable, so start light and go from there,” she says.

Cream blusher also plays well with other products—for instance, you could mix it with a highlighter for an extra-glowy finish, or blend it with a creamy bronzer for a sun-kissed, back-from-vacay makeup look. You can also pair it with other types of blushes. “Powder will give you the best pop of long-lasting color, especially if you place it over a cream blush,” Klein says. You’ll also get a more matte finish, if that’s your thing.

Best Overall Cream Blush: Rare Beauty Stay Vulnerable Melting Cream Blush

While Rare Beauty’s liquid blush having gone viral, don’t sleep on this cream formula from Selena Gomez’s makeup line. It has the weightless feel of liquid blush in a cute, easy-to-pack compact and also offers skin-care benefits: The formula pairs pigments with a blend of botanical oils (think meadowfoam and sunflower seed) to nourish and hydrate.

Best Two-in-One Blush: Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek Cream Blush Stick

We love a multipurpose beauty product, and this blush-lip tint doesn’t disappoint. It offers an impressive amount of color payoff for a cream blush formula, and glides onto cheeks and lips to help skin look lit from within. Even better? It also gives skin a moisturizing boost with avocado and apricot oils, as well as mango butter.

Best Blush Stick: Makeup by Mario Soft Pop Blush Stick

Going somewhere? This clever dual-ended blush stick offers sheer coverage and comes with a built-in blusher brush for precise application whenever, wherever. And if the reviews are any indication, the Pale Petal is far and away a fan favorite.

Best for Dry Skin: Nars Liquid Blush

For those dealing with dryness, look no further than this liquid formula. It’s packed with pigment for a rich, immediate payoff, but what makes it stand out is the combo of monoï and tamanu oils, which moisturize the skin while you wear it. It also comes in the brand’s best-selling (and universally flattering) Orgasm shade—just saying.

Best for Oily Skin: E.L.F. Cosmetics Putty Blush

Lightweight? Check. Buildable? Check. This unique formula starts as a cream and dries to a matte powder finish, making it a winner for anyone prone to oiliness throughout the day—and ensuring it won’t slide off in the heat. It’s also infused with argan oil and vitamin E for a hit of hydration.

Best for Deep Skin Tones: Glossier Cloud Paint

This isn’t just a cream blush. It’s a gel-cream blush, not to mention a previous Glamour Beauty Awards Readers’ Choice winner from 2021. And its versatility, easy application, and buildable formula have kept it in the mix—not to mention the pigment payoff, which makes it ideal for those with darker skin tones. “The formula holds super well—only a tiny drop is needed for both cheeks, and you can apply as needed to get more of a vibrant look,” says one Glamour staffer.

Best Clean: Tower 28 BeachPlease Lip + Cheek Cream Blush

Tower 28 made waves as a sensitive-skin-friendly makeup brand, and this tinted balm does not disappoint. It contains a blend of green tea and aloe vera extracts to calm skin, and the formula is pigmented enough that a little goes a long way. “I’m making an exception for this lip and cream blush—it’s that good,” says a Glamour editor. “The shades blend in flawlessly with a Beautyblender on bare skin for a natural look, and when I dab a little on my lips, it gives that just-bitten look that I really love.”

Best Drugstore: Maybelline Cheek Heat Gel-Cream Blush

For some reason, it’s historically been hard for drugstore brands to get cream blushes right, but this one checks all the boxes. This gel-cream blush uses an oil-free, water-based formula to impart color without shimmer or shine. It goes on so sheer that you can apply it all over the cheeks without overdoing it—a boon if you tend to have a heavy hand while applying.

Most Versatile: Lilah B. Divine Duo Lip & Cheek

It doesn’t get more multipurpose than this formula, which works for lips, cheeks, and eyes alike. Inside you’ll find coconut oil, aloe, and algae to back up its skin-care chops, leaving skin better than when you applied. (The sculptural compact is also a nice touch.)

Biggest Shade Range: Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush

While most blushes offer five to seven shades (if that), Fenty Beauty has, once again, broken the mold with 10 shades. Even though the formula is superlight, it’s both sweat- and water-resistant—leaving behind an all-day wash of color. Yet again, we have no choice but to pay our respects at the altar of Rih-Rih.

Best for Contouring: Kosas Color & Light Crème Cream Blush & Highlighter Duo

This duo of a creamy blush and highlighter is a great option to throw in your purse (or luggage) and go. Thanks to a mix of apricot, avocado, and rosehip oils, these creams are particularly lush and blendable, and the wide range of shades has something for everyone. 

Best for Face-Lifting: Saie Dew Blush

If you’re not yet familiar with the face-lift hack, which involves not a scalpel but strategically placed cream blush, take notes: It involves placing blush directly on top of the cheekbones (instead of the apples of the cheeks) for a lifted look. And this dreamy formula was practically made for it. According to a Glamour contributor, “It goes on like softened butter and smooths right over your cheeks, leaving you with the most natural-looking wash of color—the same flush you’d get when Gran pinched your cheeks.”

GLAMOUR