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

Falling For You

Model: Keanna


Products:
– Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter
– Make Up For Ever ULTRA HD foundation, concealer, & loose powder
– Anastasia Contour Kit
– MAC Cosmetics blush in Gingerly, highlight in Double Gleam, BlackTrack liquid eyeliner, lipstick in Velvet Teddy, Clear Lip Glass, & Give Me Sun bronzer
– Benefit Precisely My Brow pencil & Gimme Brow setting gel
– ColourPopAn Emerald Away eyeshadow palette
– Sigma brushes.

(Disclaimer: I do have Keanna’s consent to post the images on designated websites including Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and use in my digital portfolio.)

Mermaidcore Is Here To Glossify Your Beauty Routine

If you’re nearing the brink when it comes to all things “core,” then hold on for just a moment longer. Mermaidcore is here to glossify your beauty routine—and it’s a trend primed to stay put for the foreseeable future.

Blame it on Disney’s forthcoming remake of The Little Mermaid (or could it be our longstanding obsession with all things wild swimming?), but there were notable nods to the underwater world on the spring 2023 runways. Aquatic hair and makeup were everywhere.

Most obvious were the oceanic shades of blue (from cobalt to cerulean) and seaweed greens that were diffused in different ways around models’s eyes, as per Chet Lo, Off-White, and Etro—not so wearable, but beautifully ethereal. Meanwhile, at Jil Sander and Chloé, iridescent silver shimmers were swooshed over eyelids and, like scales, glistened in the light.

Wet-look hair was de rigueur, from Victoria Beckham’s grunge slicked look to Nensi Dojaka and Dries Van Noten’s damp salty strands, all of which were given an undone finish—an underwater existence is about much more than precise hair, after all. 

Models walked the aptly named Blumarine catwalk with longer-than-long mermaid lengths, both braided and straight, which ebbed and flowed like jellyfish tentacles. Botticelli waves—yes, like those belonging to the famous Venus, resplendent in her shell—were also very much present.

And, of course, skin took on a glossy, lacquered look at many shows, too, with skin-care brands becoming even more of a focal point during the backstage prep pre-show. Hydrated and plump, extra dewy skin was oft paired with a sun-burnished bronze glow, like at JW Anderson, where models could well have been lying on the rocks all day à la Ariel.

VOGUE

10 Winter Makeup Trends You Need To Copy ASAP

Fresh Skin

When in doubt, keep it minimal. “Some of the trends I’m seeing for makeup both on the red carpet and on the runways are fresh makeup looks,” says celebrity makeup artist Vincent Oquendo. You can accomplish this either through investing in impeccable skin makeup, or keeping it minimal with easy skincare.

Sunburnt Blush

The sunburn or [TikTok’s viral] W blush hack for one is something makeup artists have done for years to mimic a healthy glow, and is becoming popular with consumers now as well,” says celebrity makeup artist Kale Teter. Just swipe on some cream or powder blush–then add some more. And some more.

Graphic Liner

Making a statement has never been easier. By just adding a few stark lines with either a pencil or liquid eyeliner, you can become the coolest kid on the block in no time. Bonus points if you use a fun color like blue or pink to really make the look pop.

Grunge

The song “Teenage Dirtbag” is still all over my TikTok, and a return to our Tumblr grunge era is long overdue. Channel season three Jenny Humphrey by layering on black eyeliner, then smoking it out with powder eyeshadows.

Loud Lipstick

After years of forgoing lipstick altogether, it’s finally time to paint on your brightest lip. If it’s a long-wear formula, even better, but it’s back to traditional lipsticks this winter. Because nothing cuts through the cold quite like a bold lip.

Fluffy Brows

Whether you were born with naturally fluffy lashes or you could use a little help in that department, this is one of the easiest looks to achieve this winter. Just grab a strong-hold gel, swipe up, and you’re done.

Playful Eyes

I think we’re all kind of yearning for something a little playful and joyful,” says Teter. “It’s about having more fun now.” To achieve that joyous makeup look we’re all craving, lean into color. A single-toned, bright eyeshadow is an easy way to make a statement.

Euphoria Makeup

We’re still not over the Euphoria season finale–or the beauty looks. A statement color, glowing skin, and graphic eyeliner are not going out of style anytime soon. And don’t forget to add on your face gems–they’re a must-have (trust us).

Bleached Brows

Bleached eyebrows are the new breakup bangs, you heard it here first. And you don’t need to be an artist with a collection of vintage jewelry to pull it off. As long as you wear them with confidence, no one will bat an eye. The best part? The worse it looks, the better it looks.

Retro Liner

Seeking simpler times? The ’60s are an endless source of style inspiration, and this winter, let’s commit to the cat-eye like never before. Instead of a subtle swipe, go bold with the liner. A Mia Farrow-inspired pixie cut would pair perfectly.

ELLE

Smokin’ On

Products:
– Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter
– Make Up For Ever ULTRA HD foundation, concealer, & loose powder
– Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit
– MAC Cosmetics blush in Gingerly, highlight in Double Gleam, BlackTrack liquid eyeliner, lipstick in Russian Red, Clear Lip Glass, & Give Me Sun bronzer
– Benefit Cosmetics Precisely My Brow pencil & Gimme Brow setting gel
– ColourPop Stone Cold Fox eyeshadow palette
– Sigma Beauty brushes.

Lash Lifts Are The Low-Maintenance Alternative To Lash Extensions

 In short, a lash lift is a perm for your eyelashes, that provides lift and curl for weeks. To get more details, ELLE tapped lash artist Paula Ocot from tattoo studio Laurel NYC to explain everything you need to know about getting a lash lift.

A lash lift is a perm for your lashes.

The secret to a good lash lift? A safely formulated chemical solution. “A lash lift is essentially a perm for your lashes that offers eye-popping results by creating a natural curl and lift to your lashes,” Ocot says. “Everyone has different lash lengths and growth direction. Some lashes grow down while others grow straight out. The lash lift process creates a natural eye-opening lash swoop that lasts for several weeks.”

It requires little preparation.

Arrive at your appointment au natural. “Come with a clean face and refrain from wearing any eye makeup,” Ocot advises. “Thoroughly wash your eyes with soap and water. If you wear mascara on the regular, specifically waterproof mascara, it’s recommended to stop use for at least 3 days prior to your appointment as it can leave a residue that prevents lashes to adhere to the adhesive.”

Expect noticeable results.

Get ready for lots of compliments. “A lash lift will enhance your eyes by making them look more open and awake,” Ocot says. “You can also ask your artist to tint your lashes after they’re lifted, for darker and thicker looking lashes. Be ready to say goodbye to your mascara and lash curler and shave some time off of your beauty routine.

You can customize your lash lift.

All lash lifts are not created equal. “Your artist can alter the ‘tightness’ of lash curl and add a tint to make the lashes look darker and thicker,” Ocot explains. “During the consultation process, you and your artist can decide what look would best suit your eyes: a soft and natural lash curl or a tighter lash curl for a more dramatic look.

The process is pretty straightforward.

Have an idea of what you want your lashes to look like. “Every lash lift service starts off with a consultation,” Ocot says. “During this consultation, your artist will ask for your desired results and assess your natural lashes and eye shape. Based on your answers, the artist will then pick the appropriately sized silicone curling rod to shape, lift and curl the lashes.”

Then sit back, close your eyes, and relax for about 45 minutes. “Your artist will begin by thoroughly cleaning the eye area,” Ocot explains. “Once the eyes are cleaned off of any residual makeup and oils, a silicone curling rod is placed with a gentle adhesive on the eyelids bordering the lash line. The natural lashes are then curled over top of the rod and set with an adhesive.”

Your eyes will be closed throughout the session, so try listening to a podcast or music. “Once the artist ensures that all lashes are combed up and separated in place, a lifting lotion is applied to the lashes,” Ocot adds. “The lifting lotion will then mold the lashes to the shape of the curling rod. Following this, a setting lotion is applied which sets the lash shape into place. Finally, a nourishing lotion is added to add moisture back into the lashes.

Lash lifts typically cost $100 – $120 per session.

Pricing depends on which salon you go to, but the treatment is generally more affordable than lash extensions. Always make sure your lash artist is a licensed professional.

Results can last up to two months.

A lash lift will typically last about 6-8 weeks. Of course, this all depends on how you take care of your lashes.

The upkeep is low-maintenance.

The first 24 hours are crucial. “Keep your lash lift dry. No water, sweat (no heavy exercising), steam or sauna for the first 24 hours,” Ocot advises.

Keep your hands off! “Try not to rub your eyes too much as you can alter the curl with excessive rubbing of the eye,” she says. Ocot recommends using a clean spoolie to brush your lashes daily, to keep them airy, fluffy, separated, and tangle-free.

You can wear eye makeup and mascara but avoid waterproof formulas. “While using mascara isn’t necessary if you want to enhance your lift, sticking to water-based mascaras are the best option,” Ocot says. Water-proof eye makeup can weaken the effect of your lift and leave a residue. Only use oil-free makeup removers and cleansers.

Lastly, help your lashes stay healthy. “Nourish your lashes 2 to 3 times a week to keep your lashes hydrated,” Ocot says. She recommends castor oil for keeping hairs strong.

ELLE

Eye Of a Tiger

Model: Teanna
Products:
– Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter
– Make Up For Ever ULTRA HD foundation, concealer, & loose powder
– Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit
– MAC Cosmetics blush in Hushed Tone, highlight in Double Gleam, BlackTrack liquid eyeliner, lipstick in Morange, & Give Me Sun bronzer
– Benefit Cosmetics Precisely My Brow pencil & Gimme Brow setting gel
– ColourPop Freckle pen, Orange You Glad & Uh Huh Honey eyeshadow palettes
– SIGMA Beauty brushes.

(Disclaimer: I do have Teanna’s consent to post the images on designated websites including Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and use in my digital portfolio.)

The Best Drugstore Eyeliner for Every Makeup Look

Eyeliner is a makeup bag staple for a reason: that seemingly simple line traced around your eyes makes a statement. Heck, the use of eyeliner dates as far back as 10,000 BC across Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt where that statement read, the thicker the lines, the higher your status. Thankfully, in today’s modern world, finding a quality eyeliner doesn’t require a high standing status—or a splurge for that matter. One stroll down the drugstore aisles will reveal dozens of eyeliner options to meet the needs of beauty professionals and first-time liners alike; many of which have also lined the eyes of celebrities like Emma Stone, Camila Cabello, and Sofia Vergara.

But truth be told, the right eyeliner can mean the difference between crisp, lined definition, and a smeary, smudgy mess. That’s where we helped cut through the beauty clutter and rounded up a collection of editor- and makeup artist-approved drugstore eyeliners that you can rely on for any makeup look.

If you’re searching for a great everyday product, Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner received the best overall for its waterproof formula, always sharp tip, and wide range of colors—from neutrals to jewel tones.

From classic pencils in unexpected vibrant colors, to liquid and gel liners that hold up to the elements, these drugstore eyeliners are proof that it doesn’t take a designer liner to master a gorgeous eye makeup look.

Best Overall: Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner

What We Love: This creamy, waterproof liner has a built-in sharpener so you’ll always have a fine tip for easy lining.

What We Don’t Love: You will need a good makeup remover and gentle rub to take it off.

There’s a reason—scratch that—many reasons—why this eyeliner is a beloved favorite among beauty professionals and novices alike, and earns the top spot on our list. The hybrid design combines the precision tip of a twist-up pencil, with the ease-of-use of a traditional pencil liner. The dual-ended pencil houses a creamy, waterproof formula on one end, and a blending tip on the other, which also pops out to reveal a tiny, shreds-free sharpener for an extra-fine point. The pencil glides on smooth making it ideal for everything from simple lining to graphic swooping, and stays put until you decide to wash it away.

Type: Mechanical pencil | Color Range: 8 shades | Waterproof: Yes

Best Pencil Liner: L’Oreal Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner

What We Love: The soft, jet black pencil is intensely pigmented for dramatic lines.

What We Don’t Love: This pencil is only available in one shade.

This classic pencil liner strikes the delicate balance of having a just-soft-enough tip that is perfect for strategic smudging, without turning smeary and messy. “While sometimes we’re looking for a pencil that doesn’t move, we also might want something smudgy and sexy,” makeup artist, Ashleigh Ciucci told InStyle. “This pencil is super soft and creates nice density but it blends out effortlessly for a smoky liner look,” she adds. While the dark kajal pencil is only available in an inky black shade, it’s an intense black that’s perfect for a smoldering eye makeup look.

Type: Pencil | Color Range: 1 black shade | Waterproof: No

Best Liquid Liner: Milani Stay Put Matte 17 Hr Wear Liquid Liner

What We Love: The deep matte pigment is intensely bold at first swipe and holds up well to moisture.

What We Don’t Love: It doesn’t have the finest point for precision lines.

There’s something about the two-piece ink pot and applicator design that makes this drugstore eyeliner feel exceptionally fancy as you apply it. The rich pigment goes on smooth and dries in seconds, so that meticulously traced line remains smudge-free from the minute it hits your face. The pretty matte finish adds a softer, understated effect to the eyes that pairs well with bold shadows, and the long wear pigment lives up to its all day (and night) promise without so much as a crease, crack, or smear.

Type: Liquid | Color Range: 4 dark shades | Waterproof: Water-resistant

Best Ink Pot: e.l.f. cream eyeliner pot

What We Love: The creamy pigment is rich and inky, but sets in seconds and won’t smudge.

What We Don’t Love: It requires a fine point eyeliner brush for application.

If winged eyeliner is your beauty mantra, this gel-pot gives you ultimate control so you can pack as much (or as little) pigment onto your brush as you need. The rich cream-gel formula is silky smooth, making it easy to manage how thick, thin, subtle, or dramatic your eyeliner looks. A single pass of any one of the three highly pigmented shades (black, brown, and teal) delivers intense color payoff. Plus, the long-wear formula holds up impressively well through anything, including happy tears and hot yoga.

Type: Gel | Color Range: 3 shades | Waterproof: Water-resistant

Best Gel Liner: CoverGirl Ink It Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner

What We Love: The mechanical twist-up pencil gives you a fine tip for every use.

What We Don’t Love: The color selection is limited to only two shades, black and brown.

Here’s a tried-and-true eyeliner that strikes the goldilocks ideal. Its texture is just soft enough for an easy glide application; the tip, just fine enough to master a precise tightline or dramatic wing; and the formula sets just fast enough, so lines remain crisp without any bleeding. However, you also have just enough time to buff or blend for a sexy smudge. The twist-up mechanical pencil ensures a precise tip for every application and its waterproof-ability is a notch above the rest.

Type: Mechanical gel pencil | Color Range: 2 shades | Waterproof: Yes

Best Longwear: Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer

What We Love: The smooth glide formula traces a fine, yet bold line with one pass.

We Don’t Love: The long-wear waterproof formula is difficult to remove.

If you’re looking for a sharp line that you don’t have to continuously trace over for bold, striking color, this retractable twist-up pencil delivers. The dual-sided liner hosts a creamy gel formula on one end, with a built-in smudger on the other, which comes in handy for subtle blending when you’re going for a softer, blurred effect. The soft tip glides on like a dream without dragging or tugging, and once the lines set, it’s there until it meets a good makeup remover and a bit of rubbing.

Type: Mechanical gel pencil| Color Range: 8 shades | Waterproof: Yes

Best Felt Tip: NYX Epic Ink Liner

What We Love: The fine, flexible, pointy tip is ideal for precise lines and effortless wings.

What We Don’t Love: The inky formula has a longer dry time.

The flexible, paintbrush-like tip makes this liner stand out from the pack, and with good reason: it allows for an ease of use that makes cat-eye flicks and graphic, winged swoops completely effortless, no matter your beauty skill level. You’ll need to wait a good 20 seconds for the pigment to set before any fussing, but once it dries that crisp liner look will remain sharp and defined all day. The glossy hue is also rich enough that all you need is one coat for striking definition around the eyes.

Type: Liquid | Color Range: 2 shades | Waterproof: Yes

Best Cruelty-Free: Wet n Wild Mega Last Breakup-Proof Liquid Eyeliner

What We Love: The pigment gradually dispenses as you line for added control.

What We Don’t Love: The marker tip can dull over time.

This eyeliner looks more like a fine-tipped marker than a traditional pencil liner and that’s exactly what makes it special. The marker is thicker than most liners and sits comfortably in your hand, allowing for better control which is especially helpful for more novice makeup do-ers. “I love this marker’s fine point, it glides on smoothly and is blacker than black,” Ciucci told InStyle. The feathery tip is fed by a mini built-in ink tank that dispenses a steady flow of pigment as you line, helping with an even application. “The real selling point for this baby is that it’s beyond waterproof and doesn’t pill.”

Type: Liquid | Color Range: 1 black shade | Waterproof: Yes

Best for Cat Eye: Maybelline Tattoo Studio Liner

What We Love: The gel liner is sharpenable and available in a nice array of shades.

What We Don’t Love: The formula sets fast, posing a challenge for smokey eye looks.

This unique gel-pencil liner delivers the best of both worlds: a silky gel-like formula paired with a pencil-like fine tip. Unlike most twist-up gel liners, which fall short in delivering an ultra-sharp tip, this gel pencil is sharpenable, giving you a precise point for easy lining and allowing you to better control the thickness of the lines for more dramatic cat eye styles.

It also swaps the drier, waxier pigments of a traditional pencil liner with a rich, creamy gel that glides on smooth, saturated with color, and stays put, even along the waterline. It has a wide shade range of nine colors, in classic and playful hues.

Type: Gel| Color Range: 9 shades | Waterproof: Yes

Best Color Variety: Pixi by Petra Endless Silky Eye Pen

What We Love: The liner is available in tons of colorful shades and different finishes.

What We Don’t Love: This pencil requires frequent sharpening to maintain a fine tip.

The super-soft liner glides on smoothly and gives just enough time to smudge out for a sexy, smokey effect before it dries and sets for hours. It’s also available in a playful variety of vibrant and classic colors, which includes shiny, matte, and shimmer finishes, at an inviting price point that encourages experimentation. The creamy texture makes it especially comfortable for tracing along the waterline without tugging or poking at the delicate eye area, but you will need frequent sharpening to keep a fine tip for precision lining.

Type: Pencil | Color Range: 23 shades | Waterproof: No

Best for Waterline: NYX Professionals Slim Eye Pencil

What We Love: This intensely pigmented liner comes in an impressive range of classic and vibrant shades.

What We Don’t Love: The formula is not waterproof.

One pass of this superior pencil liner is enough to recognize it’s a cut above the other pencils of its kind — and at a fraction of the price. The vibrant range of ultra-pigmented liners are formulated with coconut oil which keep the pencil tips silky enough to glide along the delicate waterline without poking, tugging, or pulling. It also has impressive staying power so it won’t disappear after you blink. The $5 price tag is reason enough to add a pop of color to your makeup bag, and the vibrant mint green, baby blue, and purple liners will serve as a welcome change from classic black and brown.

Type: Pencil | Color Range: 24 shades | Waterproof: No

Best for Sensitive Eyes: Neutrogena Nourishing Eyeliner

What We Love: It’s formulated with conditioning olive oil and shea butter that won’t irritate the eye area.

What We Don’t Love: The creamy texture can smudge on oily lids.

Nourishing isn’t typically a word we associate with eyeliners but we’ll admit, this formula lives up to its name. The creamy tip contains olive oil and shea butter that gently conditions the delicate area as you trace with it, so you don’t experience any creasing or cracking from dry skin. The formula is also made to not irritate sensitive eyes and skin.

While the color selection is limited, the shades feature light-diffusing pigments which appear as a soft, subtle shimmer that, once applied, highlight the whites of your eyes for a more defined gaze. The built-in sharpener and smudger on the opposite end of the pencil also make for easy lining.

Type: Gel | Color Range: 4 shades | Waterproof: No


What to Keep in Mind 

Eyeliner Type 

Eyeliners come in many different forms, each with their own unique benefits when it comes to control, precision, and ease-of-use. There are traditional pencils which require frequent sharpening to maintain a point, and mechanical or twist-up pencils with a gel-like formula that sometimes have a built-in sharpener. You can also find liquid or cream pigments in pots that require a fine liner brush for application. These formulas tend to be for more advanced makeup wearers.

Finding the right pigment type (kohl, kajal, liquid, gel, or cream), and application mechanism (pencil, pen, felt tip, or brush) to match your comfort level and preferred style will make for easier application.

Formula 

Identifying the right formula for your eye makeup look will help guide you to the best result. If you’re looking to achieve a smokey effect, you’ll want to look for softer, creamier formulas that allow time for blending and buffing, but will also set so you’re not left with a smudgy mess. There are also long wear and waterproof formulas that promise to hold up through hot days, sweaty workouts, or marathon nights. In that case, look for a formula that sets quickly and won’t wipe away at the first sign of moisture.

Finish 

The finish of an eyeliner might seem like a subtle detail (as compared to the finish of an eye shadow), but shiny, matte, or shimmery liner can make a big impact on your overall look. Matte liners offer an understated definition, while shiny and shimmery liners can create a dramatic, eye-catching effect. In the end, choosing the finish comes down to personal preference.

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Best Beauty Looks From New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2023

Without a doubt, fashion’s greatest accessory is a glamorous beauty look.

There’s no denying that when New York Fashion Week rolls around that statement couldn’t be more true. Between the Alice + Oliva, Christian Siriano and Tommy Hilfiger shows (among many, many others), the spring/summer 2023 collections have ushered in a new era of beauty trends.

We’re talking huge clear beads adorning braided hairstyles, which created the illusion of bubble crowns, neon-colored wigs that showcased individuality and bright eyeshadows in electrifying shades of red-orange, pink and indigo.

Plus, designers like Jason Wu proved that simplicity in the glam department doesn’t equal boring. In fact, his show featured models with effortless bobs and buns that made a powerful statement, especially when paired with the right outfits.

It’s safe to say that everything from the hair and makeup to the nails brought NYFW’s collections to life, making the beauty looks just as swoon-worthy as the pieces displayed on the runways.

TOM FORD

ALICE + OLIVIA

PRABAL GURUNG

MARRISA WILSON

KEZIAH

TOMMY HILFIGER

CHRISTIAN SIRIANO

LOVE SHACK FANCY

JASON WU

E ONLINE

The 10 Best Lip Stains for Long-Lasting, Photo-Ready Pouts

Best Overall: Benefit Cosmetics Benetint Cheek & Lip Stain

There’s nothing better than a multi-use product that looks incredible no matter how you wear it — and few compare to Benefit Cosmetics Benetint Rose Lip Blush & Cheek Tint. Not only does it act as a stain for your lips, it also adds a gorgeous flush to your cheeks, too.

Upon application, the liquid formula looks pretty glossy, but as the color soaks into your lips and sets, the end result is very natural, leaving a tint that looks like you just finished a cherry popsicle. The best part is that the pigment won’t fade or budge — it’ll stay in place for up to eight hours, even if you’re eating and drinking. The swipe-and-go formula is ideal for those no-makeup makeup days to instantly add a pop of color to your face.

We do wish we could change the tiny applicator, though, because the brush is a bit flimsy and sometimes causes the stain to feather along the lip line. To avoid this, it’s helpful to use your fingers to blend out the formula.

Shades: 5 | Wear Time: 8 Hours | Finish: Natural

Price at time of publish: $30

Best Value: e.l.f. Glossy Lip Stain

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a quality lip stain. Case in point: The e.l.f. Glossy Lip Stain. The lightweight, glossy formula glides onto lips leaving behind a juicy, long-wearing sheen that’s completely buildable. One swipe gives you just a hint of color, while two coats increases the opacity — this customizable finish makes it a great lippie to transition your look from day to night. If you’re like me and need to have a lip product in every purse you own, this is one you’ll wish you had on hand in every single color. And at $6 a pop, it’s completely attainable to own each of the eight hues. The only downside is that the glossy finish is prone to fading, so to maintain a glazed look, you’ll need to reapply every so often.

Shades: 8 | Wear Time: 4 to 6 Hours  | Finish: Glossy

Price at time of publish: $6

Best Splurge: Dior Addict Lip Tint

It’s one thing for a product to have pretty packaging, but when the formula inside is just as impressive, it’s truly a winner. That’s the case for Dior Addict Lip Tint. The velvety tint feels and looks luxurious, making it worth the extra pocket change. While the lip stain has a semi-matte finish,  it’s still incredibly hydrating and keeps lips comfortable for hours thanks to its key ingredient, cherry oil.

As much as we love the formula, the color payoff isn’t where we want it to be. The product is actually quite sheer in comparison to other lip stains. Keep this in mind, especially if you decide on a darker hue because it won’t be as bold as you would expect it to be.

Shades: 12 | Wear Time: 6 hours | Finish: Semi-Matte

Price at time of publish: $38

Best Color Payoff: FENTY BEAUTY by Rihanna Poutsicle Hydrating Lip Stain

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Poutsicle Hydrating Lip Stain quickly went viral on TikTok shortly after its release in June, which ultimately led to the product selling out by the beginning of July. Luckily, the product is back in stock, and you’ll want to grab it stat.

The application differs from other stains because you actually want to wipe it off after you apply it — this removes the glossy excess, but you’re left with a beautiful, natural-looking pigment that makes your lips look like you just enjoyed a juicy popsicle. The shade names are just as delightful as the color payoff, too: Strawberry Sangria, Berry Banger, Mai Type, and Zesty Bestie are odes to the feelings and flavors of summer.

If your lips are prone to drying out, make sure to exfoliate before applying this lip stain. The formula tends to cling onto dry patches, and can make the overall finish appear splotchy.

Shades: 4 | Wear Time: 7 Hours  | Finish: Natural

Price at time of publish: $24

Best Matte: L’Oréal Paris Rouge Signature Matte Lip Stain



If you’re always on the go and looking for a lip stain that will get you through an entire day, this is the one for you. While lip stains are designed to stay on longer than other lip products, the Rouge Signature Lightweight Matte Lip Stain from L’Oréal Paris creates the ultimate transfer-proof look. Personally, I usually opt for more matte lip stains, and this is one of my favorites because I don’t have to worry about reapplying during long work days — even after lunch or a coffee break. The pointed applicator allows you to precisely apply the product, and makes it easy to line as well as fill in your lips. The formula feels heavy when you first put it on, but rest assured that once it dries you won’t be able to tell that you have anything on your lips.

Shades: 37 | Wear Time: 10 hours  | Finish: Matte

Price at time of publish: $6

Best Shade Range: Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick in Always Red

It’s not common to find a lip product that’s available in over 20 shades, let alone nearly 100. But Sephora is here serving variety and quality with their Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick. When testing the product I couldn’t help but fall in love with the color range, which includes everything from trending colors like Coral Sunset (a brick red), to all-year staples like Honeymoon (a nude pink). The best part is that once you apply the product it truly does not budge — I even tried Dare To Be Pink, a hot pink, and it stayed for hours without fading, feathering, or transferring. If you do choose a darker hue, you may need to swipe on an extra layer on the center of your lips because I find it to be a little sheer after just one swipe.

Shades: 79 | Wear Time: 10+ Hours  | Finish: Matte

Price at time of publish: $15

Best Plumping: Buxom Serial Kisser Plumping Lip Stain

If you want an extra boost in the pout department but are wary of getting fillers (we get it, needles can be scary), Buxom Serial Kisser Plumping Lip Stain is a great alternative and immediate solution that doesn’t require long term commitment. The serum-like formula features hyaluronic acid (an ingredient used in fillers) to hydrate and plump, and it coats your lips with a juicy, glossy color. You won’t experience the uncomfortable tingling sensation that you get with other lip plumpers, making it very comfortable to wear, too. Though the color payoff lasts for about four hours, you’ll probably need to reapply if you grab a bite to eat.

Shades: 7 | Wear Time: 4 Hours | Finish: Gloss

Price at time of publish: $22

Best Drugstore: Maybelline New York SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick

While this product is technically marketed as lipstick, it acts just like a lip stain, earning itself a spot on the list. The precision applicator is shaped like an arrowhead, which allows you to have the utmost control when applying — this is key, especially since matte finishes are more difficult to correct once dried. And once it’s dry, you best believe it’s not going anywhere. Like the name suggests, it has super staying power and is completely budge-, transfer-, and kiss-proof for up to 16 hours. I even went out for pasta with a friend after work, and there was minimal fading after the meal. Keep in mind that the formula does take a little bit longer to dry. As a result, it may feel stickier compared to other products on this list, but once the lightweight formula sets, you’re good to go.

Shades: 40 | Wear Time: 16 Hours  | Finish: Matte

Price at time of publish: $7

Best Moisturizing: Clarins Water Lip Stain

Lip stains have a tendency to feel more drying than other lip products, but this one from Clarins could double as a lip balm thanks to ultra-hydrating ingredients like aloe vera and raspberry. The four shades initially apply bold and bright, but as the day wears on they sheer out and look more natural. The watery consistency of the formula can be hard to control with the included applicator, so we recommend applying it with your fingers for the best results.

Shades: 4 | Wear Time: 8 Hours  | Finish: Natural

Price at time of publish: $29

Best Sheer: Victoria Beckham Beauty Bitten Lip Tint

Sure, Victoria Beckham Beauty Bitten Lip Tint looks gorgeous, but what makes it stand out is what it does for your lips behind the scenes as you wear it. Not only does it keep lips hydrated with ingredients like squalane, but it also subtly plumps lips thanks to sodium hyaluronate and mustard sprout extract, which also work to soothe the lip area so you won’t experience that irritating tingly feeling that comes with some plumpers. If you prefer a more sheer lip, this is the perfect product for you because it provides a very low-key, natural look — but if you prefer more dramatic color payoff you may want to go with something else.

Shades: 4 | Wear Time: 10 Hours  | Finish: Natural

Price at time of publish: $36

What to Keep in Mind 

Finish 

Similar to lipsticks, lip stains also come in a range of finishes. Although it’s more common to find matte or satin formulas, some lip stains can be glossy, too. While finish is totally a personal preference, matte and satin lip stains tend to wear longer than those with glossy ones. For a matte formula, we recommend Dior Addict Lip Tint, but if you’re after a more satin or natural finish opt for our best overall pick Benefit Cosmetics Benetint Rose Lip Blush & Cheek Tint. As for a glossy option, you can’t go wrong with Buxom Serial Kisser Plumping Lip Stain.

While you can’t really turn satin or glossy products matte, professional makeup artist and founder of Beia BeautyBrittany Lo, says that you can make matte products glossy by swiping a clear lip gloss on top.

Longevity 

Not only do lip stains look more natural, but they were also invented to be long-lasting. Most formulas will stay put for four to eight hours, but there are others that can last upwards of 10. (Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick can last up to 16 hours!) Keep in mind, though, that how you prepare your lips will impact the longevity of your lip stain. Lo recommends grabbing a lip scrub, then swiping on a layer of lip balm to give your lips a boost of hydration before applying your stain.

Ingredients 

Typically, a lip stain can dry out your lips much more quickly than other lip products, so it’s important to look for ingredients that maximize the hydration factor. Lo says to look at the label and opt for formulas that contain oils, beeswax, or humectants like glycerin and hyaluronic acid. All of these will help lock in hydration so your lips stay comfortable all day. We find Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Poutsicle Hydrating Lip Stain to be one of the most comfortable, non-drying lip stain formulas.

If the formula doesn’t have these ingredients Gloria Lu, Cosmetic Chemist in Residence at Revela and creator of Chemist Confessions suggests “layering a lip balm over top to keep lips moisturized.”

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