The 12 Best Color Correctors to Put Dark Circles to Bed

Whether they’re caused by allergies, a sleepless night, or even genetics, dealing with dark under-eye circles can be a daunting task. Many eye creams and serums can help diminish their appearance over time, but if you’re looking for a quick fix, you might want to layer a color corrector underneath your concealer. These innovative products use color theory to balance discoloration on your skin by canceling it out with the opposite shade on the color wheel.

From color-correcting palettes that allow you to blend multiple colors to brush-on options or a brightening color corrector that makes you look more awake, there’s tons of different types of color correctors available. With so many options, it can be difficult to discern what color corrector is the best for your skin tone and needs. That’s why we found the best color correctors for every skin tone and under-eye concern.

When looking at these products, we took into consideration their shades, formula, and lasting-power in order to make the best recommendations. One clear winner was the Bobbi Brown Under Eye Corrector for its wide range of shades and hydrating formula that lasts for hours.

These are the best color correctors for dark circles.

Best Overall

Bobbi Brown Under Eye Corrector

What We Love: It has tons of different shades and is budge-proof.

What We Don’t Love: The cream formula can be tough to blend.

This Bobbi Brown color corrector is a very popular option and for good reason. Not only is the cream corrector infused with moisturizing ingredients to keep your under-eye area looking smooth and hydrated, but it’s also waterproof, sweatproof, and humidity-resistant, so it will stay put all day. Plus, there are 12 shades to choose from, so you should be able to find an option that works for your skin tone. Each shade has a pink or peachy base, which is great for canceling out the bluish-purple tone of under-eye bags. You’ll look well-rested and youthful in mere seconds!

Price at time of publish: $34

Size: .05 fl oz | Number of Shades: 12 | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Value

L.A. Girl HD Pro Concealer

What We Love: It’s very creamy and makes the skin look even and smooth.

What We Don’t Love: The coverage is not very buildable.

Looking for a long-lasting color corrector that won’t break the bank? We suggest this L.A. Girl option. Along with a brush tip that makes application a breeze, the color corrector is specially formulated to provide natural-looking coverage for hours at a time. It comes in tons of different shades, ranging from purple and green to orange and yellow, so you can easily tackle whatever type of discoloration you’re dealing with. The texture is so creamy and easily blends into the skin. However, a little amount goes a long way as it is very pigmented. If you’re looking for extra coverage, pair it with the L.A Girl HD Pro Concealer.

Price at time of publish: $5

Size: .28 fl oz | Number of Shades: 10 | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Stick

Maybelline New York Cover Stick Concealer

What We Love: It’s hypoallergenic and easy to apply.

What We Don’t Love: We wish this product lasted longer on the skin.

This Maybelline corrector is another affordable find that’s incredibly popular. The dermatologist-tested product is hypoallergenic and specially formulated to not clog pores. It’s also waterproof, so it will stay put through workouts and hot summer days alike. The best part is the stick-styled application, which makes it easy to brighten up the eyes in a pinch. It is offered in both a yellow and green corrective shade as well as multiple skin tone shades. It’s very pigmented, so one quick swipe will apply plenty of product.

Price at time of publish: $10

Size: .16 fl oz | Number of Shades: 8 | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Palette

NYX Professional Makeup Color Correcting Concealer Palette

What We Love: It targets every type of discoloration.

What We Don’t Love: The product feels a bit waxy and can look greasy under foundation.

This handy NYX palette comes with six different creamy shades that do everything from counteracting redness to combatting sallowness. You can mix and match to target all your problem areas or blend multiple shades for a custom corrector that works on your skin tone. It’s very lightweight and easy to blend, so you’ll hardly even notice it’s there. Once it does its job, you won’t need as much concealer or foundation either.

Price at time of publish: $12

Size: .05 fl oz | Number of Shades: 6 | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Pen

Maybelline New York Master Camo Color Correcting Pen

What We Love: It visibly brightens under-eye circles and works on all skin tones.

What We Don’t Love: It takes a while for it to set and moves around if not fully dry.

This correcting pen by Maybelline features a sponge-tip applicator that helps you apply and blend the perfect amount of product each time. The creamy formula provides ample coverage, and it doesn’t crease or become cakey in the under-eye area. It comes in a variety of different shades, which target various complexion issues and skin tones. It’s so easy to take it on the go and is sure to provide a brighter, more even complexion before applying makeup.

Price at time of publish: $8

Size: .05 fl oz | Number of Shades: 6 | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Brightening

Smashbox Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector

What We Love: It evens out discoloration and has an illuminating effect.

What We Don’t Love: It has a bit of shimmer in it, which may not be for everyone.

If you’re looking for a product that will brighten your under-eye area at the same time as it covers dark circles, look to this illuminating corrector. The color corrector’s tint cancels out the dark blue and purple hues of dark circles, while the backlight technology illuminates your skin. It is also formulated with vitamin E to keep your under-eyes hydrated and moisturized, which helps prevent makeup from cracking or creasing. There are four shimmery shades available: Fair/Light, Medium, Medium/Dark, and Dark.

Price at time of publish: $32

Size: .15 fl oz | Number of Shades: 4 | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Dry Under Eyes

Tarte Colored Clay CC Undereye Corrector

What We Love: This product doubles as an eye cream with lots of skincare benefits.

What We Don’t Love: The shade selection is limited.

The best beauty products can tackle more than one issue, which is why we love this multitasking Tarte color corrector so much. Along with providing long-lasting full coverage, the product is also formulated with sodium hyaluronate and squalane to hydrate and nourish the delicate skin under your eyes. For an even more youthful appearance, mica and silica work together to soften the appearance of fine lines, while caffeine improves puffiness. While we wish there were more shade options, this all-in-one product doubles as both makeup and skincare, giving you a lot of bang for your buck.

Price at time of publish: $21

Size: .08 fl oz | Number of Shades: 2 | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Crease-Proof

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Vanish Color Corrector

What We Love: It boasts a glowy finish that won’t crease.

What We Don’t Love: It’s on the more expensive end for a corrector.

This fan-favorite color corrector from Charlotte Tilbury is a full-coverage product that brightens dark under-eye circles quickly and offers crease-proof coverage. It’s specially formulated with carnauba wax, which prevents creasing, as well as flavonoids to help reduce the appearance of puffiness. To top it all off, the formula also boasts mica for a glowy, illuminating effect. It’s lightweight, buildable, and has a natural finish, so you’ll hardly even need concealer. There are four shades to choose from: Fair, Medium, Tan, or Deep.

Price at time of publish: $48

Size: .09 fl oz | Number of Shades: 4 | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Light Complexions

Chanel Le Correcteur de Chanel in Pêche

What We Love: The finish is illuminating even when set with powder, and lasts all day long.

What We Don’t Love: While it is comfortable to wear, it does crease.

A color corrector that is lightweight, long-lasting, and super creamy? Yes, please. Although this concealer from Chanel has four shades (a pink, green, apricot, and peach shade), the shade Pêche is a peach color correcting shade that is perfect for light to medium skin tones with deep-blue dark circles. Essentially, the purpose of using a peach shade on lighter skin tones goes back to the color wheel: orange/peach and blue are complimentary opposites, therefore they cancel each other out. Not only will this concealer help dark circles magically disappear, it will also help diffuse any imperfections, such as hyperpigmentation and dark spots, with its soft-focus pigments.

Price at time of publish: $80

Size: 0.26 fl oz. | Number of Shades: 4 | Cruelty-Free: No

Best for Dark Complexions

MAC Studio Fix Conceal and Correct Palette

What We Love: It’s a true all-over product that acts as a color corrector and concealer in one.

What We Don’t Love: The shades might be too warm for cooler undertones.

The MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix Conceal and Correct Palette offers the best of both worlds: four concealers and two color correctors. Those with medium to dark complexions will appreciate the shade range of this palette, which includes brightening shades, contouring shades, and the perfect orange and red shades to conceal dark circles and blemishes. We love that the palette is also infused with antioxidants and other skin-benefitting ingredients to leave a natural, buildable finish on the skin. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about it oxidizing, creasing, or transferring — it is that good.

Price at time of publish: $42

Size: 0.21 fl oz. | Number of Shades: 6 | Cruelty-Free: No

Best for Redness

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Camouflage Corrector in Green

What We Love: The coverage is so pigmented, you won’t need to build more on top.

What We Don’t Love: A little goes a long way, so if you use too much, your skin will look green.

Green color correctors are not just for concealing redness from hyperpigmentation, rosacea, and acne — it’s sufficient at covering darkness around the eyes, too. Similar to their Teint Idole Ultra Foundation, Lancôme’s color corrector is long-wearing, ultra-pigmented and truly feels like second skin. All you need is a pea size amount to use underneath the eyes, and it will do the rest. It is also worth noting the corrector is available in other powerful shades (yellow, lavender, and peach, to name a few) to help camouflage brown dark circles and stubborn redness, but the green shade happens to be our personal favorite.

Price at time of publish: $30

Size: 0.41 fl oz | Number of Shades: 6 | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Multi-Use

Live Tinted Huestick Corrector

What We Love: Not only is it the perfect shade to color correct dark circles, it also works as an eyeshadow, blush, and lipstick.

What We Don’t Love: There isn’t much product inside.

The Live Tinted Huestick Corrector is all about skin first, and makeup second. Its ingredients are packed with skin-loving benefits, including hyaluronic acid, squalane, and vitamins C and E to quickly brighten, moisturize, and soften the skin. But best of all, you can use this product outside of color correcting as a eyeshadow, lip, and cheek multi-stick (there’s a reason why it is called a 4-in-1 stick). Swiftly use the corrector to counterbalance blue and purple hues found under the eyes, then use it as a rose-y blush to highlight the face — the possibilities are endless.

Price at time of publish: $24

Size: 0.1 fl oz. | Number of Shades: 5 | Cruelty-Free: Yes


What to Keep in Mind 

Shade 

Many correctors have green and purple undertones, which are great for covering up blemishes and redness, but they do little for concealing dark circles (unless they have red undertones). Instead, you should choose color correctors in shades of red, pink, yellow, or orange, as these will help balance out the bluish-purple color of under-eye circles. The shade you choose will also depend on your skin tone. Peach-toned correctors work really well on light to medium skin tones (like the Chanel Le Correcteur de Chanel in Pêche), while oranges or reds work better for deeper skin tones (such as the MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix Conceal and Correct Palette, which has more than one color corrector). Yellow is another option for those with medium or tan skin and can also be used to counter dullness, bruises, or veins.

Coverage 

Some correctors also offer coverage, so you can wear them on their own and forgo concealer. If you plan to let your corrector stand alone, you’ll want to make sure it provides ample coverage and doesn’t allow for any creasing, cracking, or slipping. If you still plan on wearing concealer or foundation, a good corrector should create a solid, even base, so that you can use less makeup and it stays where you apply it.

Lasting Power 

Just like a concealer, you’ll want to make sure your color corrector can hold up for the entire day (our personal favorite is our Best Overall pick, the Bobbi Brown Under Eye Corrector). The product should not only keep discoloration at bay for however long you intend on wearing it, but a good corrector will also last consistency-wise and prevent makeup from creasing or drying out throughout the day. Look for a product that is resistant to common makeup woes, like sweat and humidity.

INSTYLE

The 11 Best Waterproof Foundations that Hold Up to the Elements

A waterproof foundation can be a lifesaver in the summer, on vacation, or whenever you need your makeup to last all day and night without turning into a muddy, cakey mess. But finding the right formulas can mean the difference between a clear, polished complexion, and a sticky, coated, smudge-y one. “Waterproof foundations are a great solution for when you want to wear a full face of makeup, but don’t want to constantly worry about touch-ups or looking like you’re melting,” Emily Amick, New York City-based Makeup Artist, told InStyle. The trick is finding a formula that strikes the right balance delivering a breathable lightweight texture with impressive staying power, and one that works into the skin, instead of caking on top of it. 

Our skin creates natural oils over the course of the day, and waterproof foundation will endure the buildup of natural oils,” Deney Adams, celebrity makeup artist at Blonde Artists, told InStyle. With more options hitting the market than ever before, we’re helping you weed through the clutter, and find the high-quality, outperforming formulas that will hold up despite water, sweat, and tears. 

Best Overall

MAC Studio Radiance Face and Body Radiant Sheer Foundation

What We Love: The formula feels light and comfortable on skin. 

What We Don’t Love: The coverage may be too sheer for some. 

Don’t let the new name fool you. This bottle houses the same beloved formula as the MAC Studio Face and Body Foundation, just with a fancier name and more shade options to choose from. It’s the familiar bottle you’ll find in almost every professional makeup artist’s kit because of its ability to withstand the elements — no matter if it’s long days on set or the sweat and tears of a hot summer wedding — while still looking fresh and natural. The formula strikes the hard-to-find balance of being delightfully creamy and hydrating without feeling heavy on the skin. It’s a buildable formula that starts sheer, adding a natural dewy finish to the skin, but can work up to medium coverage and will last all day and night without melting away. 

Price at time of publish: $39

Shade Range: 30 | Coverage: Buildable Size: 1.7 oz 

Best Value

Make Up Forever HD Skin Undetectable Longwear Foundation

What We Love: The long wear formula is vegan.

What We Don’t Love: The matte finish can be dry for some skin types. 

As the name suggests, this high-performance formula was originally designed to be undetectable under any light and look natural even under the most high-definition lenses, like those used in television production and on fashion runways. “The formula is beautiful for skin that really looks like skin but has the coverage to hide any imperfections,” Amick told InStyle. “It is long-lasting, waterproof, and designed to be undetectable on HD cameras, so it’s perfect for someone who fears cakey-ness and just wants luminous, perfect skin (a.k.a, all of us!).” 

Price at time of publish: $43

Shade Range: 40 | Coverage: Medium Size: 1.01 oz  

Best Splurge

Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation

What We Love: It’s great for use on face and body. 

What We Don’t Love: May not be hydrating enough for dry skin. 

If you’re looking to even out skin anywhere on your face or body, this buildable, lightweight formula will do the trick. It provides enough flexibility to build up to your desired coverage level, while also delivering the staying power to withstand a sweaty workout or hot day at the beach, without wiping away. “This foundation looks like a second skin and is buildable so you can layer it to the desired coverage,” Tobi Henney, celebrity makeup artist to Megan Fox, Barbara Palvin, and Poppy Delevingne, told InStyle. This is the perfect option for someone who wants to even out their skin tone because you can build it up in areas where you need a little more coverage,” Amick added. 

Price at time of publish: $40

Shade Range: 40 | Coverage: Medium Size: 1.6 oz 

Best Budget

Revlon ColorStay Longwear Makeup

What We Love: The texture is impressively lightweight and comfortable on skin.

What We Don’t Love: It may be too drying for some skin types. 

Don’t let the friendly price tag fool you. This high-quality formula feels luxurious on the skin and has a staying power that rivals that of its higher-priced counterparts. The oil-free formula and natural matte finish are great for combatting the greasiest, sweatiest days, or anyone who battles a naturally shiny T-zone come the afternoon. A small dab is enough to provide medium coverage and even out any redness or dark spots on the skin, so your complexion appears flawless. It also layers nicely if you need a little extra coverage in certain areas. The best part: you don’t have to worry about this budge-proof base wiping away in the summer heat, and it’s spiked with a shot of SPF 15 sun protection, too.  

Price at time of publish: $10

Shade Range: 43 | Coverage: Medium Size: 1 oz. 

Best Drugstore

Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation + Concealer

What We Love: The budget-friendly price tag. 

What We Don’t Love:  Some noted it can look orange against fairer complexions.

Here’s a multi-tasking formula that delivers on its promises as both a quality concealer and a high-performing foundation base. “I was surprised by its performance when I first tried it, but this affordable formula really holds its own,” Amick told InStyle. “It’s a great semi-matte, water-resistant foundation that packs a lot of coverage without looking heavy.” We also love the impressively inclusive shade range and the versatility of this product which helps to even skin tone and effectively disguise dark under-eye circles without caking or settling into fine lines. 

Price at time of publish: $12

Shade Range: 45 | Coverage: Full | Size: 1 oz. 

Best for Sensitive Skin

Morphe Filter Effect Soft-Focus Foundation

What We Don’t Love:  The coverage may be too light for some. 

We love a good makeup product spiked with skincare benefits, and this long-wear foundation is exactly that. The texture strikes a delicate balance being both soft, but not watery, and creamy, but not heavy, giving skin natural coverage that looks like your skin, but better. It’s formulated with hyaluronic acid and vitamin E, which deliver added hydration and a dose of skin-loving antioxidants that help improve skin texture overtime. The formula blends seamlessly into skin, without caking on top of it, and adds a natural dewy glow that won’t wipe away at the first sign of sweat or moisture. 

Price at time of publish: $20

Shade Range: 40 | Coverage: Medium Size: 0.94 oz.

Best Matte Finish

NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation

What We Love: It helps to reduce shine. 

What We Don’t Love: Some note it can settle into fine lines.

The luxurious formula may come at a price, but let that be your first clue that this is not your average foundation formula. The high-quality, sweat-proof makeup base is packed with oil-absorbing powders and micro-algae extract that eliminate any excess grease or shine from skin, even on the hottest, stickiest summer nights. It’s also spiked with hydrating hyaluronic acid to help keep skin supple, while still managing to give complexion the most gorgeous natural matte finish. “It looks great in photos and has great longevity,” Henney told InStyle. A small dab goes a long way in delivering full coverage wherever you need it, and rest assured that even base will stay put until you decide it’s time to wash it all away. 

Price at time of publish: $40

Shade Range: 34 | Coverage: Full Size: 1.5 oz. 

Best Natural Finish

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation

What We Love: The natural matte finish won’t leave skin dry. 

What We Don’t Love: The fancy formula, comes with a fancy price tag. 

A full-coverage, waterproof foundation that doesn’t feel heavy on the skin is hard to find. That was until the beloved celebrity makeup artist, Charlotte Tilbury, gifted us the prettiest bottle of dewy, hydrating perfection that feels like a second skin. The creamy foundation strikes the delicate balance of delivering full coverage, without feeling like a heavy blanket of pigment on the skin. It also features a host of skincare benefits including wrinkle-fighters that help to improve skin’s appearance long-term, instead of just temporarily covering things up. “This is such a stunning foundation, that’s sweat-proof, humidity proof, and transfer-proof and can last from day to night,” Henney told InStyle

Price at time of publish: $46

Shade Range: 44 shades| Coverage: Full Size: 1 oz. 

Best Stick

Hourglass Cosmetics Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick

What We Love: The creamy stick makes for easy application.

What We Don’t Love: It has a higher price tag, and comes with less product. 

Every element of this fancy foundation stick was designed with intention to make for an easy, fuss-free application, and flawless, long-lasting coverage. The unique slanted, triangular tip allows you to effortlessly navigate the hard-to-reach nooks and crannies around your face and nose. The creamy formula glides onto skin, making it easy to apply as foundation to cover larger areas for all-over coverage, or double as a concealer dabbed onto targeted spots like under the eyes. The coverage is substantial, yet still manages to feel lightweight and comfortable on skin. Plus, thanks to its impressive long-wear and waterproof benefits, you’re safe against the elements all day and night. 

Price at time of publish: $48

Shade Range: 32 | Coverage: Full Size: 0.25 oz. 

Best Clean

Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation

What We Love: The extensive shade range ensures a perfect match for most. 

What We Don’t Love: The coverage might be too light for some.  

A quick Google search will surface over 50,000 four- and five-star reviews of the beauty universe celebrating this beloved formula for a plethora of reasons. For starters, the all-inclusive range features 50 distinct shade options across the light to deep spectrum, delivering the perfect shade match to more beauty lovers than ever before. The meticulous formula balances tone and texture, delivering comfortable, all-day wear that isn’t too heavy, too matte, or too shiny. The gorgeous soft matte finish looks like your skin, but better, and is buildable so you can work up to your desired coverage level, without feeling like you’re caking on pigment. Added bonus: this polished base will remain flawless through sweat and tears. 

Price at time of publish: $39

Shade Range: 50 | Coverage: Medium | Size: 1.08 oz. 

Best Cruelty-Free

Smashbox Studio Skin 24 Hour Full Coverage Waterproof Foundation

What We Love: It’s easy to blend. 

What We Don’t Love: It can feel heavy on skin.

This is a feel-good formula for multiple reasons. One: it feels impressively pampering thanks to hyaluronic acid and vitamin E, which keep skin feeling smooth and hydrated. Two: special pigments help to create a special blurring effect which gives the complexion a polished, matte finish, without leaving skin dry and cakey. Three: it’s a formula built to last and one that will take you from humid beach days to all-night dance parties without wiping away. We also love the cruelty-free formulation which just adds to the feel-good factors.

Price at time of publish: $38

Shade Range: 30 | Coverage: Full Size: 1 oz.  


What to Keep in Mind  

When to Use 

There’s no wrong time to use a waterproof foundation. From hot summer days and nights, to beach vacations, or anytime you’re looking for your makeup to last for a long period of time. “If you’re a full-face-at-the-gym kind of person, or a stage performer, you might consider a waterproof formula for daily use! There’s no harm in wearing waterproof year-round as long as you’re cleansing properly at the end of the day,” Amick told InStyle. 

Skin Type 

Be sure to check out the ingredients when choosing a foundation. It’s often misunderstood that waterproof foundations are heavy and drying.  “We all have different skin types and skin needs, you’ll want to choose a foundation with ingredients that work best with your needs,” Adams, told InStyle. “For example, if you have oily skin you might look out for foundation with zinc oxide or serecite.” There are also formulas spiked with hyaluronic acid to help keep skin hydrated. 

Coverage  

Not all waterproof foundations are full coverage. There are many great formulas on the market today that offer medium, buildable coverage so you can be in control of the desired effect. You can also find waterproof foundations with both matte and natural finishes, so you can best meet your skin needs. 

INSTYLE

Artist Couture: The Official Glow Authority

Founded in 2014 by celebrity makeup artist and beauty influencer, Angel Merino, Artist Couture was created to inspire self expression and celebrate individuality through makeup artistry. They are more than just a brand, they are a community of artists, makeup lovers, and creators. They are the #GLOWGETTERS!

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #98 series on my blog.

Angel Merino AKA @mac_daddyy knows a thing or two about makeup.  The former MAC employee and celebrity makeup artist (Ariana Grande, Christina Milian and Mel B to name just a few) is the creator behind one of the hottest indie brands – Artist Couture.  Found at Sephora, Artist Couture is a YouTube love with many beauty creators raving about the accessible luxury brand’s first palette release – Supreme Nudes.  A YouTube star in his own right, with 167,000 subscribers and 1.4 million Instagram followers, Merino recently released the Caliente Summer Collection – an homage to his Latin heritage.  The launch was designed to complement all skin tones and includes a mini palette with an array of 8 wearable & vibrant shades, a red lipstick, and two high-shine glosses.  

There is something special about the Artist Couture formula.  Your products whether it’s the Supreme Nudes Eyeshadow Palette or your Diamond Glow Powders have received universal praise.  As a makeup artist, what was missing for you that led you to create Artist Couture?

From my experience in the industry, I always found myself having to mix multiple products to get the desired finish or the desired impact or the desired colour that I wanted. So, I took a look at my kit, my makeup style and what was trending in the makeup space at the time and I found this void for high-impact products which led me to create them. I started with the Diamond Glow Powders and those are loose highlighters, but they pack a really big punch. We’re all about high impact with minimal effort.

I was able to produce a product that is super high-impact without having to mix 5 different products or layer various products to get these results. Creating my own eyeshadow palettes now, I’m really able to create colour stories that I feel just kind of hit every mark. I’m doing it in a way that is compact, it’s sleek and it’s easy to carry. But, at the same time, it has everything you need to create wearable day looks – warm looks, cool looks and sultry evening looks. I’m able to create colour stories that fit my needs and fit the needs of makeup artists.

Colourful eyeshadow palettes and bold lipsticks are having a moment.  Caliente is different – the colours seem more vivid than other colourful collections.  You call it a tropical fantasy (fantasia tropical).  Tell us the inspiration behind the collection?

The collection is inspired by my culture and my heritage. I really wanted to pay homage to my upbringing and being able to translate all of those things within colours. I was actually really inspired by J Balvin – he’s a Latin star. He made an album called “Colores” where he named each song after a colour. I’m super inspired by music and art. When I was listening to the album, I was hearing the music, but I visually saw the colour. For me with creating this colour story, there were certain aspects that I wanted to bring to life. For example, the yellow shade is called “cultura,” which means culture. When I think of my culture and all that it encompasses, I thought that yellow was the perfect colour to represent that.

With every shade in the palette, I was able to think of something that I wanted represented or something that meant a lot to me and I was able to put a colour to those thoughts, memories or moments. That’s how I created Caliente. We created a really beautiful story and I also feel like it’s perfect for summer – super fiery and hot. You’re really able to create colourful looks with the collection. And for me, in quarantine, I wanted it to be a situation where people are able to have a little taste of summer, even though summer looks different this time around. It’s about being able to bring summer into your home through your makeup looks and really playing up your eyes since that’s all you can see with masks.

You can definitely create a bold look with the shadows, the lipstick and the glosses.  What application tips do you have for people who want to try a more colourful look but are intimidated?

I think a lot of people are intimidated by colour because they think that they have to include all of these colours into their look. Some of the shadows in the palette, whether it’s fuego, which is more of that neon orange, or libres which is more of that neon pink or mamasita which is more of that pink/red are vibrant. People automatically assume that you have to put those colours all over your eyelids which is not the case at all. You can really take a step back and do a look that’s more wearable for you. Even creating a really good graphic liner with these tones is a good way to start to get your feet wet with colour so it’s not overwhelming. I like to do a neutral tone on my lip but then add a pop of colour on my lash line. With this palette, the tones that are a little bit more vibrant are pressed-pigment so you can use them as blush as well.

Larger eyeshadow palettes with up to 30 shades are everywhere.  Your shadows are more compact and there is no colour duplication.  How does being a makeup artist who happens to be a makeup influencer impact your choices when it comes to developing a colourful launch like Caliente?

For me, one of my biggest things when I was a working artist and freelancing, you literally take so much stuff with you on set. When I first started, I felt like I needed to have every foundation in the spectrum, every finish, every colour, every brand, and I felt like that across all categories. I was just finding myself lugging a ton of bags onto set. It was really just inconvenient for me. So, with my products, everything is multi-use, everything is multi-functional – and that really is to diminish the idea that you need to use multiple things for one look.

Specifically, with my palette, the stories are carefully curated so that it is exactly what you need to create full looks. You have your transition shades, you have your pops of colour. You have a good balance of mattes, shimmers and high-metallics. All of the packaging is super thin and lightweight so it doesn’t take up too much space. So, even if you’re not a professional makeup artist, and you’re just a makeup enthusiast, you can have one of those palettes with you on the go and easily throw it into your backpack, your makeup bag or your purse and it doesn’t take up too much room.

What did it feel like the first time that you saw Artist Couture in Sephora?

It was literally a dream-come-true. That was one of my biggest goals, to able to walk into an environment like Sephora and see my brand. The first time that I saw it, I burst into tears. It was such a big moment for me in my career. You work so hard to get an idea off the ground and then when people start to support your brand and purchase your product, it starts to become a reality. But, when you see it in an environment like Sephora, it was the biggest validation for me as a brand and as an artist. It really made me feel like I was on the right path in my career and it made all of the hardships, blood, sweat and tears that I had gone through to get to that point completely worth it.

Artist Couture is really about a community, which is unusual for a makeup brand.  You call them #GlowGetters.  Why was creating community so important to you both personally and as a brand owner?

Community is really important to me. That’s the way I’ve been able to build myself as an artist, and an influencer, through my platforms – creating a sense of community. I think that the great thing about social media – something that it’s given us – is that we are able to find people that we can identify with, relate to, and connect with. Especially when you don’t have that around you. Growing up, social media wasn’t a thing, there weren’t a lot of gay men that I could ask questions to or have as examples. I went to middle school and high school and I think I had like one gay friend. But, now on social media, you’re able to find people that look like you, that you identify with and you’re able to have a sense of inspiration. So, for me, it’s all about finding that human connection and people you can connect with.

I wanted to ensure that everyone who was a supporter or a fan of the brand felt like they were a part of something bigger. I wanted it to be a safe space and a place that people could turn to. Now more than ever, people aren’t just buying into brands because of pretty packaging or pretty colours, but because of what the brand stands for. So, for us as a brand, it’s really important for us to scream at the top of our lungs our beliefs. We’re super pro-LGBTQ+ rights and initiatives. Obviously, I am a gay Hispanic male. So, it’s definitely really important for us to be vocal about what we believe in because I think that consumers identify with that and that also, in turn, creates more brand loyalty.

You always talk about the importance of skincare when it comes to makeup application. Is a skincare line something that you are looking at for the future? How do you get your flawless complexion?

I would love to develop skincare. That’s my goal when it comes to my brand. But I really want to make sure that I’m taking my time with developing it because I want to make sure that I’m creating really amazing formulations, using great ingredients, and creating skincare that’s effective. I think skincare is so important because in order for your makeup to look good, you want to start with a good canvas.

Growing up, my mom always taught me to moisturize your face, etc., so it’s always been instilled in me. I’m all about my skincare in the mornings and in the evenings. And you know, I recently turned 30, so now more than ever, I’m very mindful of my skincare routine so that we’re keeping those wrinkles and crow’s feet away. I’m trying to preserve my youth, so skincare is a really big thing for me.  

What’s next on the horizon for Artist Couture?

We have a couple more exciting collections that we’re launching before the end of the year. Something a little unexpected that I think people are going to be really excited about. But, looking forward to 2021 we are finally going to be playing into different categories. We’re going to start to get our feet wet with a little bit of complexion. I’m super excited about that because it’s something that’s been in the works for the last couple of years. To finally see it come to life and put it out there for people to experience is really exciting.

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These Are the Best Eyeshadow Primers That Stay Smudge-Proof All Day Long

Best Overall: NARS Cosmetics Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

What We Love: It has nourishing, gentle ingredients that give it a smooth, balm-like quality.

What We Don’t Love: The applicator’s handle is a bit too long for our liking.

This NARS option is one of the most popular eyeshadow primers around, and it’s for good reason. It comes in four different shades, ranging from light to dark — so there’s an option for almost every skin tone. The best part is that it’s super blendable and easy to manipulate, so even if you don’t have a perfect match, a little elbow grease will help get you there. “It felt like a smooth balm, so it was so easy to blend in,” our tester says. “Ultimately, it’s a no-fuss primer that works well.” 

One thing we wish we could change: The applicator’s handle. “I would make the handle shorter; it feels really long and too intense for how simple the product is,” she explains. “It feels like half of the packaging is an applicator, so I’d like more product in place of the larger handle.” 

Price at time of publish: $45

Size: 0.26 fl oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Number of Shades: 4

Best for Oily Eyelids: Ilia Natural Brightening Eye Primer

What We Love: This eyeshadow primer is derived from natural ingredients and won’t cause irritation for those with sensitive eyes. 

What We Don’t Love: It disappears into skin right away.

If you have oily eyelids, you know just how frustrating it is for your eyeshadow to slip right off, minutes after application. This clean eyeshadow primer from ILIA, which uses natural ingredients, is weightless and won’t contribute to slippage. In fact, thanks to botanicals like rosehip oil, arnica, and jojoba, this primer actually soaks up excess oil and offers long-lasting hold. And, as you may have been able to guess, it serves as an illuminating base for makeup that can be worn on its own for a glowy boost or under shadow, but whichever you choose, you can trust that it’ll stay put. 

One thing to note: It’s very serum-like, so it blends into the skin right away. While this is a great thing for some, our tester found it a little confusing. “It soaked right into my skin after I applied it, so I wasn’t totally sure if it was still there,” our tester explains. “But, I was surprised to find that it certainly was and it made my eyeshadow look more vibrant and smudge-proof.”

Price at time of publish: $24

Size: 0.14 fl oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Number of Shades: 1

Best for Contact Lens-Wearers: SEPHORA COLLECTION Beauty Amplifier Eye Shadow Primer

What We Love: This eyeshadow primer has been ophthalmologist-tested and proven safe for those with sensitive eyes. 

What We Don’t Love: The applicator isn’t very useful.

When you wear contact lenses, you avoid anything that weighs down your eyelids — it’s  just plain uncomfortable. Allow us to offer you a solution: This lightweight primer from Sephora. The formula contains chamomile extract to reduce redness and irritation on the lid, so even if you get a little in your lenses, you won’t be in too much pain. Slipping and sliding likely won’t be an issue though, since it’s designed to dry down, stay put, and leave behind a flawless, translucent finish.

Although the applicator tip is easy to use and manipulate, the tester found that it’s better suited for dispensing product, rather than using it to apply the primer directly to the eye. “A little goes a long way, so to avoid using too much I’d recommend tapping a few dots onto a finger and then rubbing it onto your eyelid instead of applying it directly,” she explains. 

Price at time of publish: $13

Size: 0.20 fl oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Number of Shades: 1

Best Smoothing: Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Amplifying Eye Primer

What We Love: The lightweight one-color-fits-all shade is designed to be used on all skin tones. 

What We Don’t Love: It goes on very light, so you may need to layer it on to get more coverage.

Rihanna’s beauty line Fenty Beauty is all about inclusivity, and this eyeshadow primer is no different. The product has a light pink tone that dries down clear all skin tones. According to our tester, it has a creamy, off-white color when you first put it on, but then, over time, it blends into your natural skin tone. “I couldn’t even see it after a few minutes,” she explains. “I didn’t notice it underneath my eyeshadow either.” 

The weightless formula offers light coverage, which means you might need to layer on some more to get your lids completely covered. “It took a little more product than I thought I’d need, but it went on smoothly, no matter how much I added,” our tester says. “Regardless, after applying a hefty amount of eyeshadow, I didn’t notice any creasing and barely felt like I had anything on my eyelids.” 

Price at time of publish: $22

Size: 0.27 fl oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Number of Shades: 1

Best Brightening: Rare Beauty Always An Optimist Weightless Eye Primer

What We Love: This no-fuss primer brightens eyelids and acts like a glue for eyeshadow. 

What We Don’t Love:  It only comes in one shade.

Using this eyeshadow primer is as effortless as it gets. A little goes a long way — just a dab is all you need to brighten and prep your eyelids. It goes on thick and creamy, but once you buff it out (your finger is the perfect tool), it turns velvety smooth and powdery, making it the perfect base for pigment to stick to. “It smoothed easily and provided consistent coverage across my entire eyelid,” our tester explains. “The tinted peachy color immediately brightened up my eye area, disguising the bluish veins I have on my lids.”

That’s not all, thanks to its unique tube shape, you won’t have to worry about it rolling around your bathroom sink countertop. “Tubes usually roll around my vanity if not propped up against something,” our tester says. “This tube’s flat edge ensures that it won’t roll onto the floor or potentially break.”

Price at time of publish: $18

Size: 0.10 fl oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Number of Shades: 1

Best Hydrating: MILK MAKEUP Hydro Grip Eyeshadow and Concealer Primer

What We Love: The primer’s gel-like formula is loaded with skin-loving ingredients and goes on completely clear. 

What We Don’t Love: The product is entirely made of plastic.

If you’re looking for a completely clear and totally clean eyeshadow primer, consider the Hydro Grip Eyeshadow and Concealer Primer from Milk Makeup your match. Despite being loaded with skin-loving ingredients like aloe water, niacinamide, hemp-derived cannabis seed extract, and hyaluronic acid, the formula is crystal clear — and dries down that way too. “It adds no color to the eyelid, that way you know the only color showing up will be the color of the eyeshadow and nothing else,” our tester explains. “Plus, the product is very light; it’s the perfect medium of creaminess and liquidity.” 

Our tester loved the fact that the product was entirely cruelty-free, but if she could change anything, it would be to ensure that the packaging used less plastic. “This product itself is perfect, I just wish the bottle could be made of recycled plastic bottles to eliminate waste,” she adds.

Price at time of publish: $32

Size: 0.29 fl oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Number of Shades: 1

Best Waterproof: Laura Mercier Eye Basics Primer

What We Love: The primer comes in several shades, including color-correcting hues like blue and orange. 

What We Don’t Love: It can feel thick upon application.

Most other eyeshadow primers on this list are subtle, skin-colored shades. This one from Laura Mercier, on the other hand, has a few unexpected ones. It comes in a range of beiges, plus a color-correcting blue and orange. The pigmented options were designed to help reduce the appearance of dark circles, spots, and redness to create a more even base for eyeshadow. If the idea of a tint turns you off, don’t worry, our tester swears it’s undetectable underneath eyeshadow. “I was worried when the product left a tint behind, but once I applied a light shadow, it wasn’t visible at all,” she admits.

If there’s anything to keep in mind, it’s that a little goes a long way. If you apply too much, like our tester did, it can feel thick. But, after a little buffing and blending, she noted that it worked just fine. 

Price at time of publish: $45

Size: 0.18 fl oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Number of Shades: 6

Best Longwearing: Benefit Cosmetics Stay Don’t Stray Eyeshadow Primer

What We Love: This formula has anti-aging properties and even works on the undereye area. 

What We Don’t Love: There is only one shade.

Noticing your under-eye concealer fading by the end of the day? Try using this long-lasting primer from Benefit. The dual-action formula can be applied both on the eyelids and the under-eye area, preventing eyeshadow color from fading and concealer from creasing. It melts into the skin with ease and dries down to a matte finish. 

What’s more, it is also infused with sodium hyaluronate to help hydrate the skin, along with vitamins C and E to help diminish signs of aging — meaning it’s effective as both a makeup and a skincare product. 

Aside from the impressive formula, it comes with a wand that makes blending a breeze. “The wand gives you options: I could either apply it with my finger, a brush, or straight onto my eye,” our tester, Senior Beauty Commerce Editor Shannon Bauer shares. “It has just enough pigment to cover dark spots and redness, but not so much that it looks cakey or requires a perfect color match.” 

Price at time of publish: $43

Size: 0.33 fl oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Number of Shades: 1

Best Clean Formula: bareMinerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer

What We Love: This eyeshadow primer combats greasy eyelids by soaking up excess oil. 

What We Don’t Love: We wish it was bigger.

Excess oil is one of the main culprits behind eye makeup slippage. So, if you have oily eyelids, check out this primer from Bare Minerals — it’s formulated specifically to prevent oil from ruining your eye makeup. According to our tester, the primer goes on watery, but once it dries, it leaves behind a smooth, silky base for eyeshadow. “To my surprise, it covered all of my little eyelid creases,” she says. Besides preventing any creasing from occurring, the primer also helps eyeshadow pigment stay intense and true-to-color all day long. We especially love that it’s oil- and fragrance-free, as well as allergy- and dermatologist-tested, so you don’t have to worry about irritation. 

Price at time of publish: $19

Size: 0.1 fl oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Number of Shades: 1


What to Keep in Mind 

Lasting Power 

The main purpose of using an eyeshadow primer is to make your eyeshadow last longer, so an effective primer shouldn’t budge for 12 to 24 hours. The consistency of the product can also play into its lasting power. If a primer is more tacky, it can provide a ton of grip for the eyeshadow and keep the shadow in place longer, acting like a glue. No matter what the occasion is, how long you intend on wearing eye makeup, or how dramatic your eye look is, the goal is to avoid needing touch ups and a long-lasting primer (like Benefit Stay Don’t Stray Eyeshadow Primer) will ensure this. 

Color Payoff 

On top of keeping your eyeshadow in place and preventing creasing or smudging, a good eyeshadow primer will also maintain the color of your eyeshadow or make it pop even more. Look for a primer that will increase the vibrancy of your shadow, like Ruby Kisses 24 HR Eyeshadow Magic Primer

Formula 

According to cosmetic chemist Julie Pefferman, primers for eye makeup are pretty similar to concealers and other face makeup. “They’re usually water-resistant and offer long-wear capabilities all while ensuring safety and comfort for the eyes,” she explains. When it comes to specific ingredients, Pefferman says that in order to get a crease-less, smudge-proof canvas, silicones are the way to go. “Silicones help the eyeshadow adhere to the eyelid and offer a ton of spreadability without weighing anything down,” she says. “Many of my esthetician friends swear by the NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, which makes sense given that the percentage of silicones makes it super spreadable and gives it that long-lasting film,” she shares. But, if you’re looking for a silicone-free option, she recommends the Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Eyeshadow and Concealer Primer, which works just as well, just without the added ingredients.

INSTYLE

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

Prestige Makeup & Skincare Brand Lilah B. to Shut Down in 2022

Indie beauty brand Lilah B. has announced that it will close by the end of the year.

In post on Instagram, founder Cheryl Yannoti Foland said: “My labor of love has run its course. I am so grateful for our Lilah B. community of friends. Your love and support over the past seven years is what continues to inspire me and what has kept us going even through challenging times. I thank you all.”

Lilah B. was an early entrant in the clean beauty channel, with a focus on mindful ingredients and thoughtful formulations. The packaging was minimalistic, encouraging a movement to declutter, minimize and simplify.

BEAUTY PACKAGING

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.)

Fall Is Calling

Model: Keanna
Products:

  • Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter
  • Catrice Goodbye Pores primer
  • Make Up For Ever ULTRA HD foundation & concealer
  • Laura Mercier translucent loose setting powder
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills contour kit
  • MAC Cosmetics blush in Peaches, highlight in Double Gleam, BlackTrack liquid eyeliner, lip pencil in Boldly Bare, lipstick in Velvet Teddy, Fix + Spray, & Give Me Sun bronzer
  • Benefit Cosmetics Precisely My Brow pencil and Gimme Brow setting gel
  • Melt Cosmetics Amor y Mariposas Pressed Pigment Eyeshadow Palette
  • Sigma Beauty brushes.

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

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.”

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The 13 Best Brow Gels Right Now

When you think of must-have beauty products, your brain will probably overlook eyebrow gel. However, if the latest innovative brow gel formulas are any indication, it might be time to change that. The truth is, eyebrows, and brow products, are severely underrated.

Eyebrows have the power to make a face by shaping, lengthening, and defining its features. Beyond the basics, filling and defining the brows can completely change and elevate a makeup look—much the way the right hairbrush, blow-dryer, or volumizing product is key to a bombshell blowout. You can’t have great hair without great hair products, and the same goes for eyebrows.

Whether you’re looking to tame, fluff, or simply keep your ’90s-inspired skinny brows in place, these products have your arches covered. Read on for the best eyebrow gels for all your grooming and glamming needs, according to Glamour editors.

Glossier Boy Brow

She’s an icon, she’s a legend, she’s been the moment since she first launched in 2015—she is Glossier’s Boy Brow. A legion of fans swear by her super-light but thickening formula, which delivers the softest and fluffiest brows. Just a couple swipes will make your brows look groomed and defined, never cartoonish. When I’m pressed for time or want to do a minimalist makeup look, this is my go-to. —Ariana Yaptangco, senior beauty editor

Kosas Air Brow Tinted Clean Volumizing Eyebrow Gel

My first experience with this eyebrow gel was testing it for the Glamour Beauty Awards earlier this year, and it’s stayed in my rotation ever since. I like how light the product texture feels—no greasy, clumpy sensations here. Instead I’m left with a perfectly subtle yet fluffy brow. —Anna Moeslin, deputy editor

Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel

I didn’t know I needed an eyebrow gel until I tried this one from Anastasia Beverly Hills. It holds my eyebrows in place and gives them a sleeker look. Sometimes I pair it with my Anastasia Brow Definer, but for the most part I’ll only use a few coats of this gel. It looks good regardless, and I will definitely be repurchasing once I run out! —Monique Wilson, editorial assistant

Patrick Ta Major Brow Lamination Gel

My go-to for hot summer days and special occasions, Patrick Ta Major Brow Lamination Gel is the Black + Decker of brow gels. Layer on a little too much, and you might end up leaving clumps of dried product behind (been there). But the tackiness is a godsend for arches that tend to fall throughout the day. Slicked on with a decisive hand, this gel will give you serious hold and definition. Plus, the dual-ended plastic applicator makes precision a cinch. —Hanna Lustig, staff writer

Tarte Big Ego Sketch & Set Brow Pencil & Tinted Gel

I’m obsessed with Tarte’s brow duo mainly because the gel side is pigmented enough to add some depth but not so much that I look as if I literally drew my brows in with a Sharpie. I’m also partial to eye products that are packaged in super-slim tubes, like this one, as they allow for greater control. Extra points for the inclusion of nourishing babassu oil, which leaves brows soft, never crunchy. —Perrie Samotin, digital director

Urban Decay Brow Endowed Brow Primer + Color

I’ve always appreciated my eyebrows, but after I shaved my head, I realized how lucky I was to have the same bushy eyebrows my grandfather has. Since my brows were now the focal point of my face, I got very into keeping them perfectly plucked and in place. The Urban Decay Brow Endowed Brow Primer + Color quickly became a regular in my beauty routine. I use the Primer side to keep any rogue hairs in place, while the pigmented side helps define my brows. The product is light enough to not make your eyebrows feel hard and allows for a more natural look. —Krystyna Chavez, senior social media editor

Refy Brow Sculpt Shape and Hold Gel With Lamination Effect

I have naturally thick brows, and while I used to be ashamed of them, I show them off proudly now. This gel is unlike any other brow product I’ve used before. It sculpts my arches while maintaining a natural look thanks to the laminating effect. I took one look at brand founder Jess Hunt’s brows and knew this would be a game changer for me. —A.N.

L’Oréal Paris Unbelieva-Brow Waterproof Topcoat  

Face sweat is my biggest enemy during the summertime—especially during the current heat wave. As a result, my makeup products have been given the impossible task of fighting off humidity and perspiration. This waterproof eyebrow topcoat from L’Oréal does not budge—ever. My brows stay in place from morning to night, no matter how much I sweat or how often I spritz cooling mist onto my face. —A.Y.

Nyx Professional Makeup The Brow Glue Clear Laminating Gel

I love a good drugstore find, and Nyx never disappoints me. With naturally curly hair comes naturally curly brows, so not every brow gel on the market can tame these bad boys. The Nyx brow glue keeps those brow ends down and straight with just a few swipes. I also love that I don’t have to worry about any sticky gel residue as the day passes. —Andrea Navarro, commerce writer

Benefit Gimme Brow + Brow-Volumizing Gel

I’ve used Benefit’s Gimme Brow + Brow-Volumizing Gel for as long as I can remember. It perfectly shapes, fluffs, and defines my brows without weighing them down—it’s not at all hard or crunchy. At this point I’m so attached that I don’t feel like my makeup look is done until it’s applied. It’s just that good! —Danielle Sinay, associate beauty editor

Milk Makeup Kush Fiber Brow Gel

I have basically nothing in common with Hailey Bieber, except for the fact that we share a favorite eyebrow product. In her viral Lazy Makeup Routine” on TikTok, the only thing the model puts on her brows is Milk Makeup’s Kush Brow Gel—and same here, girl, same. The gel perfectly fluffs up arches and defines hairs for a soft-soap brow look without any residue. I use a dark brown and tend to heavy-up on areas that are a bit more sparse. It may be a “lazy” product for Mrs. Bieber, but it’s an everyday thing for me. —Shanna Shipin, contributing editor

Too Faced Fluff & Hold Laminating Brow Wax

I typically don’t use eyebrow gel (just an eyebrow pencil and spool for me!), but when I want to make sure my brows stay in place for when I’m doing a full face of makeup, the laminating liquid wax formula of TooFaced’s Fluff & Hold totally does the trick. Plus, the dual-sided brush applicator makes it super easy to get the full-brow look I want. —Jessica Radloff, senior West Coast editor

Makeup by Mario Master Hold Brow Gel

I’m a huge fan of celebrity makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic’s beauty line because you are able to see his years of industry work reflected in his products. The Master Hold Brow Gel is no different—the slim packaging makes it easy to control and navigate the curves of your brow, while the spool is big and fluffy to catch every hair. —A.Y.

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