The best blusher options for a fresh, flattering pop of color

Pick the best blusher to add a healthy flush to your complexion—our beauty editor reveals her fail-safe favourites

A holding shot styled with polka dots showing three of the best blushers as picked by woman and home
(Image credit: Future/Canva)

The best blusher will help you look fresh-faced and glowing—who doesn’t want that? Most of us want makeup to help us look like the best version of ourselves. Healthier, radiant, and more polished, but crucially still like you on a good day.

Whether you’re after an easy makeup look or looking for the perfect accompaniment for spring-summer eyeshadow looks, picking out the best blusher is the ideal way of completing any look. Even the most natural makeup looks can benefit from a swish of color on the cheeks. 

There's a reason a good blush is one of the most loved items in our makeup bags. Even if you have no idea how to contour makeup, the best blusher has the power to highlight and sculpt your cheekbones, while adding a flattering pop of color. Along with finding the right product, knowing how to apply blush is also key—luckily MUA and IT Cosmetics ambassador Rose Gallagher and Gia Mills, MUA and founder of Skin In Motion have shared their best blush tips and tricks right here. 

How to pick the best blush, by makeup artists

  • Pick by skin type: "I like to think more in line with skin type rather than age." reveals Miller. "So, if you have very oily skin then a powder-based or cream-to-powder finish is good as it won't slip off too easily. For normal to dry skin, the best cream blush buys are gorgeous and give a lovely fresh healthy glow to the cheeks."
  • Think about texture: " If you have a more textured complexion, or have any bumps under the skin and want to add color but not shimmer, you might prefer something like a matte formula," says Gallagher. "Mattes won’t bring any attention to that texture and still gives you the lovely fresh finish."
  • Use your undertone: "Dark skin with cool or pink undertones comes to life with a potent berry or a fuschia." Explains Miller. "Dark skin with warm undertones warm brown or a hint of orange can be gorgeous. Medium cool or pink undertones work well with a touch of lilac, whereas medium warm undertones compliment deep peach. Light cool or pink undertone skin is great with a gentle petal pink. For light yet warmer undertones, go for peachy coral."
  • Worried about redness? Bright colors can be intimidating, especially if you experience redness or rosacea, but Gallagher (who has rosacea) insists, “You absolutely shouldn’t avoid blusher if you have red undertones. Start with your base all over the skin to eradicate redness and put your blusher on top. Press and pat your blusher on rather than rubbing it in, because if you’ve already got redness, rubbing the skin will exacerbate it. Go for coral if you want to detract from the pink or the red.”
  • Apply like a pro: "I’m a firm believer in applying products how they work best for you." says Gallagher. "If you want to add fullness to hollow cheeks, apply blush in the center of the cheeks. For a lifted look, apply it to the fullest part of the tops of the cheeks." She continues, "Bringing it higher up on the cheeks gives a really natural looking blush as if you have just been for a brisk walk or sat in the sun."

The best blushers, picked by our Senior Beauty Editor

Nars Orgasm blusher, one of the best ever blushers with a coral pink shimmery shade

(Image credit: Nars)

1. Nars Cosmetics Blush

Best classic powder blush

Specifications

RRP: $32/27.50
Formulation: Powder
Shades available: 26
Finish: Various available

Reasons to buy

+
Huge shade range
+
Available in different finishes
+
Highly pigmented
+
Global bestseller

Reasons to avoid

-
None, we love this

There's no way I could round up the best blushers without mentioning this absolute cult classic. Specifically, the Orgasm shade. The cheekily-named buy has been a global bestseller since its launch in 1999, and that’s because of the buildable color, the shimmering finish, and the universally flattering tone. 

It’s easy to take the classics for granted, but when I picked this up again recently I was just as impressed as I was from day one. It gave my complexion an instant lift, leaving my skin looking glowing, radiant, and fresh on a day when I was feeling particularly un-radiant. I find a big fluffy brush is the best way to apply this particular blush—the color is buildable so you can go as subtle or vibrant as you'd like. I also really like using it for eyeshadow looks, as pink is one of the best eyeshadows for blue eyes. This makes it an extra hardworking buy, truly earning its spot in your makeup kit

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge cream blush in a black compact, picked as one of the best blush options for older skin

(Image credit: Bobbi Brown)

2. Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge

Best cream blusher

Specifications

RRP: $34/£23.50
Formulation: Cream
Shades available: 4
Finish: Dewy

Reasons to buy

+
Can be used on lips and eyes too
+
Buildable color
+
Great staying power
+
Easy to blend

Reasons to avoid

-
More shade options would be great

This was the first cream blusher I tried, and I was instantly hooked. It took me a while to come round to try this formulation—initially I was worried a cream blush would smear my foundation application and look a bit sweaty, for want of a better word. One swipe of this totally changed my mind. It’s buttery soft and glides on effortlessly, adding an instant awake-ness to even the most tired of complexions.

You only need a little bit, and it’s best blended out with your fingers, as the product will warm up as you apply. In my experience, it works beautifully with your best tinted moisturizer or BB cream, for a gorgeous, sheer look. It remains the best blush in a cream formula that I’ve tried—pale pink is my shade of choice. It’s the ideal, cheerful, blue-toned pink.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Blush stick with brush on the other end in rose gold packaging, picked as one of the best blushers by woman and home

(Image credit: Anastasia Beverly Hills)

3. Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Blush

Best blusher stick

Specifications

RRP: $32/£30
Formulation: Cream
Shades available: 5
Finish: Buildable

Reasons to buy

+
Colors made to suit all skin tones
+
Quick to apply
+
Brush end to blend
+
Highly pigmented

Reasons to avoid

-
Easy to forget to wash the brush!

I like to convince myself I’m a minimal packer, although anyone who’s ever traveled with me will vouch that this is not the case (pun intended). Either way, I’m all about filling my best weekend bag with multitasking buys in order to take up less space and speed up my makeup routine. The brush end of this stick blusher gave it an automatic big tick in the ‘yes’ box for me. It means you don’t have to pack any extra makeup brushes and you can just swipe and go.

It’s a bonus that the blush formula itself is brilliant. It’s silky, light, and highly pigmented. When I’m feeling particularly minimal (read: lazy), I also use the color on my lips and eyes, for an easy, monotonal look. I've recommended this to countless friends—it’s the best blusher for truly effortless makeup.

Clarins peach blusher, picked as the best blush for travel by woman and home

(Image credit: Clarins)

4. Clarins Joli Blush

Best natural looking blusher

Specifications

RRP: $33/£27
Formulation: Powder
Shades available: 8
Finish: Matte

Reasons to buy

+
A shade to suit everyone
+
Handy mirror compact
+
Brush included
+
Easy to blend
+
Beautiful packaging

Reasons to avoid

-
You may up using a different brush

If you prefer a powder, this is up there as one of the best blushers in a traditional formula that I’ve tried. It almost feels like velvet. It’s so light but still has a brilliant color payoff, and the shade range is suitable for all skin tones. 

I prefer bright pinks for my pale complexion, but I’d recommend the coral Cheeky Peach option for darker skin tones. The result is gorgeous, but wearable for every day with very minimal effort. Orange hues also help to distract from any redness around the eyes, so it's ideal for tired or puffy eyes. The silky powder glides on with the ease of a cream, sitting well over make-up or bare skin. Plus, the handy brush makes it ideal for travel or keeping in your best designer handbag. It's a brilliant all-rounder. 

Barry M cheek and lip tint in a deep raspberry tone, picked as one of the best blush options by us

(Image credit: Barry M)

5. Barry M Fresh Face Cheek & Lip Tint

Best drugstore blusher

Specifications

RRP: $12.99/£4.99
Formulation: Liquid
Shades available: 5
Finish: Dewy

Reasons to buy

+
Brilliant price
+
Lovely shades
+
A little goes a long way
+
Multitasking

Reasons to avoid

-
None, we love this

This is one of the top makeup launches I’ve tried for a long time, as well as being one of my best blush picks. The bargain price is a bonus—I’d happily pay four times as much for this. Putting you on the fast track to fresh, dewy skin, this liquid formulation cheats a beautifully radiant complexion, as if you've just had an at-home facial (no matter how lazy your skincare has been lately). Pair it with your best BB cream and it will melt into your cheeks, allowing you to build up the color as you please. I like to dab it into my cheeks and blend with my fingers. 

The liquid formula does come out of the tube quite quickly, so caution is advised for the first few uses (your bathroom sink will thank you). I’m quite obsessed with the blackcurrant shade—it looks quite dark to begin with, but when buffed into cheeks or lips the color blends into a deep, jammy red. I’m stockpiling. 

Hourglass deep blush stick in gold tube, picked as the best blush stick by woman and home

(Image credit: Hourglass)

6. Hourglass Vanish Blush Stick

Best buildable blusher

Specifications

RRP: $55/£45
Formulation: Cream stick
Shades available: 6
Finish: Sheer

Reasons to buy

+
Application is smooth
+
Blends beautifully
+
Uses skincare ingredients to treat skin
+
Blurs large pores and imperfections

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

Blush sticks are ideal for speeding up your makeup routine. Just apply directly to cheeks, blend, and go! I don't believe you need to spend huge amounts of money on the best blusher, but this luxe-looking option is worth the spend if you can afford it.

This celebrity-favorite buy from Hourglass brings the light of summer to your skin while improving your complexion. The creamy, glide-on stick helps to enliven dull skin in an instant. As a bonus, the formula includes a blend of emollients and waxes that makes for even, easy application that treats skin while blurring imperfections and large pores. I love a hardworking, multitasking buy. Buttery pigments make for a believable veil of color on cheeks that's easy to blend and felt weightless on my skin. It's subtle to begin with but easy to build up for a more vibrant shade. It looked just as good over my best full coverage foundation as it did on bare skin. In a word? Lush.

Iconic London liquid blusher in gold packaging tube, picked by us as one of the best blusher options for illuminated glow

(Image credit: Iconic London)

7. Iconic London Sheer Blush

Best highlight blusher combination

Specifications

RRP: $27/£21
Formulation: Liquid
Shades available: 6
Finish: Shimmery

Reasons to buy

+
Beautifully illuminating
+
Sheer and wearable
+
A little goes a long way
+
I love every shade

Reasons to avoid

-
Not for matte fans

If serious glow is your goal, look no further. This is hands down the best illuminating blusher I’ve tried. Iconic London is known for mega-watt highlighters and this liquid blush sits nicely between a highlighter and a blush. The tiniest amount creates an irresistible, shimmery finish that makes every face look radiant and well-rested. But crucially—it does this without making you look like the Tin Man. You'd be surprised how much of a fine line that can be when it comes to the best highlighters

I'm not a mega glow fan normally—I'm always a bit conscious of looking shiny. I eased in gently by dabbing a tiny amount to the apples of my cheeks and under my brows to complete my spring makeup look. I was impressed with the result—shimmery, radiant, and flushed, without looking like I'd rolled in glitter. I also like applying the lighter shade to my collarbone and décolletage for nights out, for a subtle, sultry little hint of radiance. 

It cosmetics powder blush in a bright pink shade, picked by our beauty editor for the best blusher for all skin tones

(Image credit: It Cosmetics)

8. IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Blush

Best blusher for a poreless finish

Specifications

RRP: $27/£25
Formulation: Powder
Shades available: 3
Finish: Matte

Reasons to buy

+
Blurs large pores
+
Skin-improving ingredients
+
Easy to apply, powder formula
+
Not overwhelmed by choice

Reasons to avoid

-
More shades would be great

If you have larger pores, you may be conscious that you don’t want to draw too much attention to your cheeks or nose, so you may have been avoiding blusher. This is the best blush for tackling that problem—it's been formulated to help blur large pores while adding a pretty pop of universally flattering color.

It's blended with skincare ingredients like antioxidants, peptides, and silk extracts to help improve your complexion, so it's a sneaky little multitasker. Using the best primers will also help with pores, but hardworking products like this will make all the difference too. The colors are really wearable and the application was so easy—I just swirled a brush into the color, swept it over my cheeks, and voila. Pretty, flawless skin with a flattering flush. You can't really go wrong with this one.

e.l.f cosmetics blusher palette with four shades, picked by us as the best blusher palette

(Image credit: e.l.f cosmetics)

9. e.l.f Powder Blush Palette

Best blusher palette

Specifications

RRP: $8/£9
Formulation: Powder
Shades available: 1
Finish: Buildable

Reasons to buy

+
Brilliant price for four colors
+
Something for everyone
+
Easy to blend
+
Personalize for your complexion

Reasons to avoid

-
None, we love this

Is it a little bit 'extra' to use more than one shade of blusher? Sure. Is it still worth doing? Yep! Mixing a few tones together means you can personalize the tones for your exact perfect match, and it means you have some extra versatility from one buy. This is why you can't really go wrong with the best makeup palettes to create a try a mix of different makeup trends

I picked this as our best blush palette at any price and stand by that choice. Four highly pigmented shades for under a tenner It's a no-brainer! You can even use this to do some subtle contour, using the darker tones in the hollows of cheeks and using the lighter shades above it. It's an easy way of defining your cheekbones without having to faff with any extra products. I just love this—it's another big hitter from e.l.f. They're a seriously underrated brand.

Glossier Cloud Paint, one of the best blushers as picked by woman & home

(Image credit: Glossier)

10. Glossier Cloud Paint

Best versatile blusher

Specifications

RRP: $18/£15
Formulation: Cream
Shades available: 8
Finish: Sheer

Reasons to buy

+
Versatile
+
A little goes a long way
+
Tiny tube handy for travel
+
Flattering
+
Perfect shades

Reasons to avoid

-
None, we love this

I am a big Glossier fan—I have been since their launch, and I even have the sweatshirt to prove it. Not just because of the millennial, Instagram-based hype (although there is that too), so many of their products are just brilliantly hardworking, faff-free, and easy to use. They have some of the best cleansers on the market—in fact, generally, I much prefer their skincare to their makeup but let's not get too deep down that rabbit hole, or I'll be here chatting all day.

Cloud paint is one of the brand's original launches and it's still as brilliant as ever. They haven't launched any other options since the original and they're right not to—why bother when you've already mastered the best blusher? At first when I saw the tiny tube I was a  bit miffed—really £15 for this? But once you start using Cloud Paint it's spookily everlasting. Even with daily use, that deceptively tiny tube can last months or even a year. You only need a tiny bit for a gorgeous wash of color. My favorite is Spark for a pretty, peony pink.  You can blend with your hands or with a dense blusher brush for a flawless finish. 

Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks blush stick, the best blusher stick option for luxe budgets

(Image credit: Westman Atelier)

11. Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick

Best matte blusher

Specifications

RRP: $48/£44
Formulation: Cream stick
Shades available: 7
Finish: Matte

Reasons to buy

+
Luxurious-looking
+
Buildable color
+
Matte shades
+
Skincare ingredients included

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

Mattes are underrated, but they can be so flattering, especially if you have to cater to skincare for oily skin. I did slightly wince at the price of this blush, but once I tested it I did see why. Of course, the luxe-looking packaging is a factor—satisfyingly weighty to hold, and smooth. The color range is also beautiful—soft pinks are irresistible, but they also have some brighter options for bolder looks.

It glides on easily, blends in easily, and add a subtle, wearable wash of color. Nothing too dramatic, nothing too shouty. Just a beautifully soft, matte hint of flush. Is it the best value blusher for any money? Not necessarily, but if you have a higher budget and are looking for something seriously beautiful that will last many uses and sit nicely in your makeup bag, look no further. It's the ultimate 'treat yourself' buy. 


Woman & Home thanks Rose Gallagher and Gia Mills for their time and expertise.