Best cream blush: 17 fresh formulas for a healthy flush

Our pick of the best cream blush, from dewy jellies to long-lasting liquids and pat-them-on pots

Collage of three of the best cream blush formulas by milk makeup, Jones Road, and Rare Beauty
(Image credit: Future)

The best cream blush is worth getting very excited about. Why? Because in all our years of interviewing pro makeup artists, they all recommend blusher as the product that can transform a makeup look. This makes finding the best cream blush - because they are the easiest to use - an essential task. 

But why choose cream blush over your best blusher in powder form? “Cream blush allows you to play with texture a little more than powder,” says makeup artist, Lisa Caldognetto (opens in new tab). “But more importantly, because you can blend it into the skin so much more, cream blushers look more like part of your skin. There’s a huge trend where we want skin to look like skin. With cream, you have the option of building the coverage in a more natural and authentic-looking way compared to powder.” 

Finding the perfect cream blusher for your skin type between creams, gels, and liquids can be as tricky as trying to nail down the best foundation. That's why we’ve rounded up our pick of the best cream blush that won’t smear, crease, or slide off after only a few hours. 

How we tested the best cream blush for this guide

We tried an array of blush options in several liquid textures, from thicker creams and putties to dewy gels and stains. Each was assessed on how well it blended into the skin, how sheer or opaque it appeared, and how well it lasted. 

We also looked at shade ranges. Although cream blush tends to be more sheer and forgiving than powder, brands that offer flattering shades for a range of skin tones scored highly with our testers. Finally, we evaluated the finish of each blush, from sheeny and dewy to soft matte dry-downs, as this will determine which skin type each product suits best. 

The best cream blush, chosen by our beauty team

Honest Beauty Creme Cheek Blush

(Image credit: Honest Beauty)

1. Honest Beauty Creme Cheek Blush

Best cream blush overall

Specifications

RRP: $15.99/ £12.80
Shade range:
Finish: Fresh flush

Reasons to buy

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Mirror in the compact
+
Creamy formula
+
Good price point
+
Can be used on lips too

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited shades

This blusher blends in easily and beautifully with a sheer formula that warms up on the skin and spreads a juicy veil of color onto cheeks (and lips if you like) It lasts well for such a dewy formula, although you will need a top-up for all-day wear. However, that's made far easier as, unlike many blushers, this has a really handy mirror in the compact so you can apply it wherever you are and whenever you need a touch-up. 

You can use a brush to apply this, but we found it easier to use our fingers, dab it onto the apples of our cheeks and blend in, as most brushes will be too big for the compact. Shade-wise, the brand offers four, with a good spread from light to deep - although because the product is so gorgeous we'd like to see a few more on offer for our collection.

Revolution Superdewy Liquid Blush

(Image credit: Revolution)
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2. Revolution Superdewy Liquid Blush

Best budget cream blush

Specifications

RRP: $6.99/£5
Shade range: 8
Finish: Natural flush

Reasons to buy

+
Buildable color
+
Medium pigment
+
Vegan & cruelty-free
+
Incredible value 
+
Long-lasting

Reasons to avoid

-
Easy to make mistakes
-
Hard to remove if you apply too much

Wondering if something this affordable could ever be good? We had the same thought. But after blending it onto our skin, we were instantly hooked. The creamy moisturizing formula glides on and can be applied directly to the cheek, however, if you err on the side of caution you may want to use it via a hand or palette first. We personally preferred the brush option as it gave a more polished finish, but if fingertips are all you have, they will work nicely too.  

It lasts longer than most blushers as once applied it temporarily stains the skin. However, mistakes are not welcome as this dye-like effect means it can be challenging to rectify if you overload on color.  We did find that we occasionally needed to apply concealer to shape the area afterward, and it’s also worth noting that a little goes a long way, so ease in with caution. But if you take it steady and apply a tiny amount at a time, the pretty effect is easy to build. 

Jones Road Miracle Balm

(Image credit: Jones Road)

3. Jones Road Miracle Balm

Best luxury cream blush

Specifications

RRP: $38/£34
Shade range: 8
Finish: glowy and dewy

Reasons to buy

+
Can be used on eyes and lips too
+
Super hydrating
+
A little goes a long way

Reasons to avoid

-
You have to break the seal to make it work properly 

There is something you need to know about this balm before you use it, otherwise, you won’t think it’s amazing. And believe us, it is amazing - creamy, sheeny, in gorgeous soft focus shades that never look OTT or dissolve into nothingness. 

So what's the secret? There is a very light film covering the top, which you have to break to get to the color properly, otherwise, you don’t get the full impact. And it’s simple to do, we used the end of a makeup brush and simply ran it over the top (it’s immensely satisfying). Then dab some of the balm onto your cheeks. You can use your fingers but we like a short, dense brush to buff it in for an amazing glowy, sheeny - but not shiny - finish. 

Milk Makeup Bionic Blush

(Image credit: Milk Makeup)

4. Milk Makeup Bionic Blush

Best hydrating cream blush

Specifications

RRP: $22/ £21
Shade range: 4
Finish: Sheer and dewy

Reasons to buy

+
Contains skincare ingredients
+
Gorgeously creamy
+
Looks so natural

Reasons to avoid

-
Not very big

This is like one of the best skincare products and the best cream blush formulas all in one. Interested? You should be! As soon as you apply this to the skin, it feels like you’re applying blusher combined with an amazingly hydrating serum. This is all thanks to the clever formulation, which contains moisture-making hyaluronic acid and mushroom extract that also cares for the skin. 

The colors are all utterly gorgeous - although we love dusky rose Infinity best of all, for its versatility on medium to deep skin tones. And because this sinks into the skin so well, it truly creates that effect that your cheeks are naturally flushing rather than looking like you have applied anything to them. 

Charlotte Tilbury Easy Lip & Cheek Wand

(Image credit: Charlotte Tilbury)

5. Charlotte Tilbury Easy Lip & Cheek Wand

Best multi-tasking cream blush

Specifications

RRP: $26/ £20
Shade range: 5
Finish: Soft and matte

Reasons to buy

+
Can be used on the lips too
+
Matte but not drying
+
Refillable

Reasons to avoid

-
Might not like matte finish

Designed to deliver a pop of color in seconds, this handy, portable wand does just that. Simply swirl some onto your cheeks, or wherever you want a flush of grown-up matte but not chalky blush, and blend in with either your fingers or brush. It is creamy and has enough pigment to also work on lips. We also used it on our eyes to create a sheer yet bright eyeshadow look and it was, quite simply, *chef’s kiss* 

Rare Beauty Stay Vulnerable Melting Blush

(Image credit: Rare Beauty)

6. Rare Beauty Stay Vulnerable Melting Blush

Best longwear cream blush

Specifications

RRP: $21/ £18
Shade range: 5
Finish: Natural flush

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight
+
Water resistant 
+
Doesn't clog pores

Reasons to avoid

-
Packaging is a bit bulky

We know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, or a beauty product by its packaging, but it’s hard not to when it looks as good as this. Sure, the pot isn't the most streamlined or travel-friendly, but what it lacks in portability it makes up for in glamor and tactile appeal (the click of the lid is very satisfying indeed).

Thankfully, what’s inside is awesome too. This gorgeous creamy blush contains spherical powders that let it dry down to a slightly powdery finish that we think also gives it more longevity. However, being a waxy-cream formula it also has that sheer, dewy effect on the skin as well - it's not easy to achieve both, Kudos to Rare Beauty. 

Glossier Cloud Paint

(Image credit: Glossier)
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7. Glossier Cloud Paint

Best cream blush gel

Specifications

RRP: $18/£15
Shade range: 8
Finish: Fresh and airy

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to blend
+
Buildable formula
+
Enriched with collagen

Reasons to avoid

-
Tube can be difficult to control

The airy, translucent finish means that this is one of the more foolproof blushers on our shortlist. There’s very little chance of ending up with ragdoll-pink cheeks with this cream, making it the best cream blush for anyone who wants a natural look. Although the squeezy tube can be a little hard to control - take our word for it when we say you only need to lightly press the tube. Overzealous squeezing aside, the gel-cream is very blendable and smooths across the skin as silkily as a skin cream. We dotted it onto our fingertips and then blended it across our cheeks. The blurring powder pigments made our skin look like an Instagram filter. It’s even infused with moisture-binding collagen that ensures this pillowy-soft formula won’t pill, crease or gather in lines. 

Maybelline Cheek Heat Sheer Gel Cream Blusher

(Image credit: Maybelline)
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8. Maybelline Cheek Heat Sheer Gel Cream Blusher

Best refreshing cream blush

Specifications

RRP: $5.98/£8.99
Shade range: 6
Finish: Sheer and natural

Reasons to buy

+
Refreshing feel 
+
Luminous effect 
+
Buildable 

Reasons to avoid

-
Can be patchy if worn on top of foundation

This product is meant for those who prefer a softer effect and it's great for people who choose to forego a base and apply blush directly to bare skin. That's not us as we're very much a foundation person, but we can also confirm that it looks great on top of make-up. But what is the effect? Well, it’s sheer, almost stain-like, without being too shouty. The colors are made to emulate a natural flush and really complement freckles, making this product an ideal choice for hot weather and vacations. 

But perhaps it's biggest USP is that this has a cooling gel-based formula. You may find the texture a little odd at first, but it made our skin feel really refreshed. 

Pixi On The Glow Blush

(Image credit: Pixi)
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9. Pixi On The Glow Blush

Best cream blush when you’re in a hurry

Specifications

RRP: $25.99/£18
Shade range: 3
Finish: Creamy and dewy

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to apply 
+
Beautiful colors
+
Highly pigmented
+
Contains skincare ingredients 

Reasons to avoid

-
Needs a better shade range 

Life just wasn’t the same before this arrived, we’d always have leftover blush on our hands and our cheeks would take forever to look even. But now one swipe of this clever little stick, a quick blend and we’re out the door. It’s so incredibly fool-proof that we can even apply it without a mirror, although that does seem a little brave. 

And what about the payoff, you wonder? Well, that’s good too! The pigment is strong but not overly bold, so you spend ages trying to tone it down.  As cream blushers go, it’s pretty long-lasting, not overly so, but we say ‘who even cares?’ when it’s so quick and easy to reapply. 

The texture it gives the cheek is deliciously dewy, and thanks to the long list of skincare ingredients, it leaves your face looking very moisturized and plumped. The only disappointing factor is the shade range, as we know Pixi has so much more to offer, but the product only launched in 2021, so we surmise with enough pestering they’re likely to add more colors to the collection. 

Florence by Mills Cheek Me Later Cream Blush

(Image credit: Florence by Mills)
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10. Florence by Mills Cheek Me Later Cream Blush

Best cream to powder blush

Specifications

RRP: $23.49/£7
Shade range: 6
Finish: Powdery

Reasons to buy

+
Long lasting 
+
Strong pigment 
+
Great value

Reasons to avoid

-
Isn’t dewy

We didn’t know we wanted this product until we tried it. To be honest, we’ve always steered towards a cream blush that smooths on and gives our cheeks a real sheen. Don’t get us wrong: This is perfectly glidey, but the buttery formula transforms as it dries and magically turns into a pretty powder that we’re surprisingly fond of. 

You apply it in the same way as most other cheek pots, and all you need is a dab of your fingertips to smooth it on. Use a brush if you like, but we found it wasn’t necessary. Powderiness aside, a real plus point of this product is the staying power, as one of the worst things about cream blushers is that they tend to slip and slide. But this stays put without making your face look dry or caked. Plus, the clever mix of moisture-loving candelilla wax, and oil-absorbing kaolin clay, keep your complexion looking fresh and not at all greasy

Morphe Cream Blush

(Image credit: Morphe)

11. Morphe Cream Blush

Best cream blush for a natural finish

Specifications

RRP: $12/£12
Shade range: 5
Finish: Light and luminous

Reasons to buy

+
Makes skin glow 
+
Looks natural 
+
Blends easily 
+
Soft texture

Reasons to avoid

-
Has slight shimmer 

Ever applied too much blush and regretted it? Who hasn’t? Thankfully this product takes the stress out of coloring your cheeks, as the soft texture glides on, leaving a very subtle wash over the skin. It’s also fuss-free as the formula almost melts on to your complexion, meaning brushes aren’t necessary for application, or for blending. This could have something to do with its rosehip oil enriched formula or the nourishing vitamin E it contains. Either way, it works. 

The result could be too barely there if you like your blusher to pack a punch straight away, but for those who want to take it steady, it’s perfect as you can keep building the shade up gently. We’re not sure you’d ever get it to a bold finish, but we doubt you’d want to anyway. The product has a subtle shimmer, which adds luminosity to the face, and personally, it’s one we love. However, if even the slightest glimmer sends you into a flurry, then this isn’t for you. 

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge

(Image credit: Bobbi Brown)
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12. Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge

Best cream blush for oily skin types

Specifications

RRP: $34.50/£23.50
Shade range: 3
Finish: Natural matte

Reasons to buy

+
Handy mirrored compact
+
Multi-use
+
Great color pay-off

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited shades

This best-selling blush is a cult favorite, owing to its multi-use capabilities. The color can be used to flush up cheeks and blotted on to lips to create an elegant stained effect. Add to this the fact it comes in a mirrored compact and you’ve got yourself a truly portable, take-anywhere-and-everywhere hero. 

This cream is absolutely packed with pigment so please believe that the color in the compact is the color you’re going to achieve on your cheeks. In fact, the cream is so punchy that it can be easy to go overboard so our advice is to build up and blend out gradually. The finish veers on the more matte, velvety side so this a great option for oily skin types, particularly in summer when skin tends to feel a little more slippery. This color isn’t going anywhere.

Rimmel London Jelly

(Image credit: Rimmel London)

13. Rimmel London Jelly Blush

Best cream blush for a healthy glow

Specifications

RRP: $6.99/£7.99
Shade range: 4
Finish: Dewy
RRP:

Reasons to buy

+
Light water-based formula
+
Radiant finish
+
Pleasant texture

Reasons to avoid

-
Can clag up in the pot
-
Not quite as long-wearing

There are very few makeup products out there that are as thrilling to apply as they are to wear. This is one such blush. The bouncy, springy gel feels fun and strangely satisfying to the touch. Just dab a finger into the pot and bounce across your cheeks until blended. It gives a soft and subtle effect but is easily built upon. 

What we love most about this wash of color is how natural it looks. There’s a dewiness to the finish that looks super healthy and youthful. And because the formula is water-based, it feels weightless. The one downside is that once you’ve had the pot for a few months, the jelly coagulates and we have, on more than one occasion, opened the pot to spill a blob on our pants/vanity table/carpet after the blusher stuck to the lid. But even this has not put us off. The formula is too gosh darn flattering. 

Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick

(Image credit: Westman Atelier)
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14. Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick

Best cream blush for on-the-go

Specifications

RRP: $48/£44
Shade range: 6
Finish: Naturally radiant

Reasons to buy

+
Travel-friendly
+
Easy to control
+
Multi-purpose

Reasons to avoid

-
May require touch-ups
-
Pricey

This is higher up there—no question—but from the moment you pick up this weighty, supremely tactile swipe-on cheek cream, it feels worth it. The stick glides across cheeks—no pulling, dragging or yanking and it blends out with the faintest of feathery finger strokes. The finish is quite natural, not too shiny, yet not matte. The Petal shade,  seems like it would suit anyone and everyone. I found I needed to go in with a second application after a few hours but the stick format makes this easy and enjoyable, rather than a chore. 

Great for gym bunnies and frequent travelers, who need something quick, easy and exceptionally pretty. We've enjoyed a long-standing love affair with stick blushers (I used to sneak in a No7 rouge into school to top up in the girls’ loos on my lunch break) Judging by Gucci Westman’s latest incarnation, twist-up blushers have come a long way.

Trinny London Flush Blush

(Image credit: Trinny London)

15. Trinny London Flush Blush

Best cream blush for buildable color

Specifications

RRP: $26.50/£20
Shade range: 4
Finish: Naturally matte

Reasons to buy

+
Punchy pigment
+
Easy to blend and build
+
Stackable storage

Reasons to avoid

-
Pot is quite small

Trinny London's clever cylindrical pots stack together so you can store your makeup neatly, or even select your favorites to 'click' together for a night out or weekend away. While this is undoubtedly clever and very helpful, it does, however, mean that the cream blush pot, which is intended to be applied with your fingers is a little on the small side. I have short nails so it wasn't too much of an issue for me but longer talons may struggle. 

One of the many upsides to this cream blush, however, is the formula. It's a little denser and less creamy than the others, which actually makes it easier to handle and harder to go overboard. Plus, once it's on the skin, it's a whole different ballgame. It diffuses across the cheeks beautifully, feels incredibly lightweight, and the color can be revved up gradually. The finish is on the matte side, which makes it long-lasting too. 

Nars Liquid Blush

(Image credit: Nars)
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16. NARS Liquid Blush

Best cream blush for long-lasting color

Specifications

RRP: $30/£26
Shade range: 4
Finish: Available in matte or shimmer

Reasons to buy

+
Pump dispenser
+
Great color pay-off

Reasons to avoid

-
Quick-drying

NARS is THE authority on blusher. There aren't many beauty lines where the shades are as iconic as the brand itself—hello Orgasm. So why do I love this Liquid Blush? For starters, this is the only liquid in our list with a pump dispenser, which makes it user-friendly—squeeze straight on your fingertip to dot and blend across cheeks, or squirt some on the back of your hand and diffuse with a fluffy blusher brush for a softer effect. 

The pigment is so incredibly punchy that even with the most modest amount this can look a little full-on but a bit of speedy blending (the formula does dry fairly quickly) will soften the look. It must be the added tamanu and monoi oils that give this such a soft and silky feel—you need not worry that the color will sit in lines or cake after a few hours. It looks entirely natural, like second skin.  

Chantecaille Cheek Gelée

(Image credit: Chantecaille)
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17. Chantecaille Cheek Gelée

Best cream blush for dry skin

Specifications

RRP: $45/£40
Shade range: 3
Finish: Sheer

Reasons to buy

+
Multi-purpose
+
Intensely hydrating
+
Buildable color

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey

This clever, understated formula benefits from both the fresh, featherlight feel of a gel with the unyielding staying power of a cheek stain. The hybrid gel-cream texture is ridiculously easy to apply and effortless to blend, even when applying on top of other makeup—no chance of pilling or caking. What is so appealing is the soft-focus, airy, 'like you but better' effect this blusher creates. 

The brand's own website labels this as a multi-use product. We obliged using the 'Happy' shade across the eyes, cheeks and lips, and actually this monotone effect is a shortcut to a modern and elegant makeup look. There's nothing not to love about this, except maybe the price, but when you consider how little of the blush is needed to create a beautiful, all-day flush, one of these little tubes is sure to go a long way. 

How to choose the best cream blush for you

Don’t get us wrong; powder blushers will always have a place in your makeup bag. They tend to be longer-lasting and are a great option if you have oilier skin. But their longevity can come with a double-edged sword, especially in summer when they can feel cakey and heavy on the skin. Cream blush is also a great option for those that are perhaps a little wary of blusher. 

Another winning asset? Their buildability allows you to truly customize your cheek color to suit your mood, from a natural makeup look to a more sculpted and contoured '80s makeup effect.

“Cream blusher is more easily manipulated and sheered out if you do go a bit ‘Aunt Sally’. Whereas powders can be a little bit trickier to work with, especially if you find powder blushers go a bit patchy over your makeup,” says Lisa. 

How to find the find the best cream blush shade 

And when it comes to choosing the perfect tone of cream blush then it’s all about working with your complexion. “If you’re looking for a really natural shade to wear everyday or for work, choose a blush that has the same undertone as your skin. So, if you have a warm undertone, choose a warm toned blusher. It will look really fresh and healthy,” advises Lisa.

But if you’re looking for a bit more of a statement look, then you simply do the reverse. “To create a bit more impact, which is really nice to do in summer for a bit more colour, choose the opposite tone to your skin tone. For example, if you’re very golden, choosing a cream blush with a cool blue or pink undertone will look amazing.” 

And remember, the great thing about cream blush is that they are very easy to correct. “If you find you have gone a bit heavy, then take your concealer or foundation brush you’ve used to apply your base, and lightly go over your blush to tone it down a bit,” says Lisa. 

How to apply the best cream blush

There are a few different ways to get your cream blush on once you’ve found it. The most common is to apply it straight onto the apples of the cheeks and blend it out using either your fingers or a brush. “This will plump up your face and looks very youthful,” says Lisa. Or you can place it a little higher along your cheekbones. “When I’m working in this area, I actually like to apply the blusher down the cheekbones, rather than up. I start towards the top of the ear or wherever I want the blush to hit, and then work it down towards the cheek. It gives a softer finish and avoids that blob of product placement that you can sometimes get.”

And when it comes to finding the right brush, Lisa advises to have a slightly Goldilocks approach. “Too small a brush will apply too much product in one place. Too big a brush means you won’t have enough control. You need something in the middle that’s quite dense but soft.” Lisa recommends Vieve 121 Blush & Bronze Brush, £28

However, Lisa also has her own technique for applying cream blusher which ensures a natural effect every time. “I like to apply it to the heel of each of my hands, I then rub them together to sheer the product out and then I use the heel of my hand to pat it along the middle of the cheek, blending upwards using my fingers to soften the edge as I go.” Head to her Instagram page to see her technique in action.