If you’re venturing slowly back into the world, welcome, there are a lot of things we’ve forgotten. As well as saying goodbye to permanently living in leggings, pyjamas and matching sweatsuits, we’ve said hello again to the societal pressures to ~look nice~ and be ‘presentable.’ While we’re all for throwing those out the window, sometimes you do want to have a play with the neglected pops of colour hiding in your makeup drawer. But, uh, nearly four months of not doing much more than brushing our teeth has really taken a toll on those eyeshadow blending skills. A cut-crease? I don’t know her.
Thankfully, if you’re still going through the painstaking process of re-perfecting your cat-eye, there is one fool-proof makeup product that will never let you down. Blush, because there’s nothing that says “I’m alive and happy to be here” like a pair of gently emphasised cheeks. For ultra-simple, no fuss application, you also can’t go past cream blush. Modern formulas offer healthy flushes in all manner of finishes, whether you’re after soft, diffused mattes, hydrating creams or super dewy but not sticky—for when you also want a semi-highlighter effect.
How do you apply cream blush?
Cream blushes aren’t that different to your powder formulas in terms of where you want to be putting ’em, but there are a couple of tips to make application seamless. Fingers work well, as the heat from your hands can help melt the product into your skin or whatever base product you might be wearing underneath it. Good cream blushes are going to be as buildable and pigmented as a powder version, so start with a couple of taps of the product on the upper-cheek. From there, tap and smooth it up and out to blend.
If you can’t give up a brush, a densely-packed, medium-sized synthetic blending brush would work well here. Synthetic fibres can stand up to thicker cream products a little better than their natural-hair counterparts.
Below, we’ve collected a few of our fav sticks, pots and tubes of the good stuff. Now go blush yourself.
The Kosas cosmetics line is one of our favourites for makeup that does double duty as skincare. The high-performance ‘clean’ beauty brand uses lush marula, rosehip seed, grape seed, green tea and myrrh oils in their cream blush formula, making it one for the dewy skin fans. The blushes also have a co-coordinating highlighter in the same palette, perfect for adding a bit more glow on the cheekbones, brow and inner corners of the eye.
Kosas Colour & Light Creme Palette, $54.00 at Mecca.
The RMS Lip2Cheeks have inspired hundreds of copycats, but in our eyes, nothing beats the original. These blushes are super highly pigmented and thanks to their organic coconut oil base blend into the skin seamlessly, leaving a soft-matte finish. We’re glad a little goes a really long way though because we’re also fans of swiping a quick wash of colour on the eyelids and lips for a colour-coordinated look you can put on in 30 seconds. The earthy, my-lips-but-better shade ‘Illusive’ works extremely well for this.
RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek, $58 at Mecca.
Fans of glowy blush and people who are still hanging on to the ‘strobing’ highlighter trend, can we interest you in some refined shimmery blush? The Fenty Match Sticks in the ten shimmery shades are our go-to when we’re feeling like blush with a little something extra. The shades range from a tangerine sheen to all-out violet iridescence, and the long-wear cream-to-powder formula is weightless, blendable, and layers without getting heavy or chalky looking.
Fenty Beauty Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick, $39 at Sephora.
The latest and greatest from Rihanna are the Cheeks Out cream blushes. They looks seriously bright in the pan, but actually are very forgiving. The shades go on as a light, non-greasy wash of colour that can be built up a little. We’re also really into the range of colours, which include a few unexpectedly wearable bright shades like orange and grape.
Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush, $33 at Sephora.
Let’s say you wanna try this whole cream blush thing out, but you have a deep aversion to putting even clean fingers into a pot and you CBF to carry a makeup brush with you. Say hello to the ILIA Color Haze tubes. These babies are designed as multi-use lip and cheek products, though you know everything is a multi-use product if you believe. The formula can be tapped onto the cheeks for a low or high-key flush and worn on the lips where it dries down to a soft matte finish.
Ilia Color Haze Multi-Matte Pigment, $51.00 at Mecca.
Another cream blush we’re really into comes from the Aussie natural makeup brand Ere Perez. Inspired by homemade beauty remedies and the founder’s experiences growing up in Mexico with a traditional medicine man grandfather, these little pots are excellent lip and cheek multi-taskers. The colours are all richly pigmented but blend out super easily, thanks to the skin-friendly carrot oils in the formula. Plus in a pinch, the mirrored silver lid doubles as a touch-up mirror.
Ere Perez Carrot Colour Pots, $32 at Ere Perez.
Kjaer Weis is a long-time green beauty favourite and even now they have some of the best packaging design in the biz. Once you’re finished with one of their highly pigmented but super blendable blushes, you have the option to purchase it as a refill and pop it back into the luxe silver case. One of the pitfalls that ‘natural’ or ‘clean’ makeup often faces is a lack of shades or colours for darker skin tones. Not so with Kjaer Weis, the 11-shade cream blush range includes a bunch of punchier and deeper colours. The formula is extremely buildable though, so if you’re drawn to the bright pinks or intense berries, rest assured they’ll show up on darker skin tones too.
Cream Blush, $46.00 for a refill or $80.00 for a refill and reusable compact at Clean Beauty Market.
If you’re looking for something quick, easy and impossible to mess up, this one might be your best bet. The cream blushes from Luma are on the sheerer, moisturising end of things. If you’ve got a very heavy hand and often veer too far into clown territory, these tints have got your back. Or face, we guess.
Luma Just A Touch Lip And Cheek Tint, $29.95 at Priceline.
Lead image via Instagram @kosas.