If we were to hold a popularity contest for the contents of our makeup bag, certain products, like mascara, concealer, and lipstick would have a permanent place in the spotlight. Cream blush, on the other hand, would fall somewhere between bright lipstick and individual falsies—nice in theory (we do envy that lit-from-within flush, after all), but usually avoided due to fear of looking too clown-like.
But, it actually might be time to re-evaluate this cream blush trend, altogether. Cream blush, when applied correctly, can give you a glowy, slightly dewy flush that traditional powder blush can’t. Plus, the texture makes it ideal for people with dry or mature skin (read: no more cakey finish!) Since it’s important we know how to apply cream blush correctly, here’s a video and a simple step by step guide on how to do so, you won’t be disappointed. Ahead, watch celebrity makeup artist Bob Scott’s cream blush tutorial for a natural, seamless flush.
Click Play to Watch MUA Bob Scott’s Cream Blush Tutorial
Meet the Expert
Bob Scott is a celebrity makeup artist with clients among the likes of Karlie Kloss, Padma Lakshmi, and more.
Step One: Prep Skin and Apply Foundation
To ensure your skin is prepped and hydrated for cream blush, go through your usual skincare routine before applying any makeup. It’s important to use products that will add some dew to your skin such as hydrating moisturizers and face oil. A great moisturizer to use for hydration is Tatcha’s The Water Cream ($68), and Tata Harper’s Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil ($48) is super nourishing.
Once your skin is ready, you can certainly apply whatever makeup you want (i.e. mascara, brows, and lipgloss), but the key is to start with just foundation or a tinted moisturizer on the face, along with concealer. When you think about using cream-based products, liquid foundations are best to use with cream blush, because they work well together as far as texture is concerned. When you apply cream blush alongside powder products, they can tend to get splotchy or not glide as easily as you’d hope.
Step Two: Apply Cream Blush to Apples of Cheeks
You can apply your cream blush to the apples of your cheeks in a sweeping upward motion with a blush brush. If you don’t have a brush, your fingers are okay to use, just make sure they have nothing else on them. To learn where the apples of your cheeks are, give a slight smile and apply the cream blush right where your cheek looks the most round in the center. Blending upward along the cheekbone adds more depth, and helps you avoid looking like you placed two large dots of blush.
If applying color to your cheeks feels out of your comfort zone, it’s totally okay to start lightly and blend more as you go. You don’t need to add a ton of product to get the natural, flushed effect. I’ve chosen Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick ($50) and am using Clé de Peau Beauté Cream Blush Brush ($50) to apply it.
Step Three: Add Highlighter and Bronzer
After you’ve applied your cream blush, you can go in and add highlighter or bronzer, or both if that’s what you fancy. I’m applying Hourglass Cosmetics Ambient Lighting Palette here that can be used on top of cream products, to give some extra radiance and glow to the skin. Since cream will grab anything that’s placed on top of it, highlighter is the perfect choice when wanting to add a healthy glow to your complexion.
If you’re adding bronzing powder to the face, go ahead and sweep it over the forehead, down under the cheekbones in the natural hollows of your face. An easy way to find the hollow parts is to suck them in and purse your lips like a fish. When you apply bronzer in this area, it helps to give you an instant contour. You can even bring it as far as the jawline to create warmth all over the face that looks natural.
Step Four: Ensure the Color is Even
For the final step, take a look at your cheeks and make sure that the color is even on both sides and looks flattering. If you’ve over-applied, it’s really easy to correct by blending the color down with your brush some more, or a makeup sponge. Make any last-minute touch-ups you might need, and congratulate yourself as you’re now officially a cream blush master.
It’s no secret that as the seasons change, our makeup bag inevitability changes, too. One product that we consider a staple year-round, though, is cream blush. In the summer, we love it for its ability to give our skin a flush of color while imparting that dewy, wet finish because we all know summer is all about the glow. And in winter, the hydrating formulas are lifesaving for our dry skin. With that said, applying a cream versus a powder blush can be a little intimidating, especially if you’re new to the wet formula. Luckily, here to give us all of his golden tips is professional makeup artist Kasey Spickard. “The goal of blush is to add flush and warmth back to the skin, which you may have covered up with your foundation and concealer,” says Spickard. “And cream blushes are fantastic because they are blendable and melt into the skin to give a true-looking flush without drying the skin.” To find out exactly how he applies cream blush, keep reading. TIP #1: Warm it Up Unlike a powder blush, cream formulas can get a little cold in between uses, which makes them a little hard to blend. To make it easier to use, Spickard says it’s best to warm it up. “Before applying to the face, I like to take my ring finger and swipe it into the cream blush in a circular motion, then swirl it onto the back of my hand to warm it up,” says Spickard. Warming up the product on the back of your hand will allow it to blend more easily into the skin and create a more natural finish. TIP #2: Buff it Out When applying your cream blush, it’s super important to blend it out onto your cheeks and into your temples. “Smile, then lightly tap the product with your ring finger onto the apples of the cheeks and up the cheekbone,” says Spickard. Next, buff the product into your skin in circular motions using a brush like the Urban Decay Optical Blurring Brush. We suggest pairing this brush with the Maybelline New York Cheek Heat blush as it’s a gel-to-cream formula that creates a buildable, beautiful and natural finish.
TIP #3: Powder to Finish “A great way to make your cream blush last throughout the day is to layer a powder blush on top of it to set it,” Spickard suggests. After you’ve applied your cream blush, set it with a powder of the same shade. We love the Maybelline New York Fit Me Blushes for the creamy powder formulas and large shade range that complements many skin tones. “It’s the same idea as using a powder to set your foundation to make it last all day,” adds Spickard. Read More: Why Your Blush Looks Splotchy — and How to Fix It Hydrating Lip Products From Target That Will Save Your Chapped Lips The Best Blushes for Medium Skin Tones, Hands Down
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Today I am going to give you all the information I know about cream blushes. I know some of you are intimated by them and how to use them. The main questions I hear are how to apply them and what kinds are best. So for this video I am going to provide everything you need to know about how they work, when its best to use them, how to apply them and everything else you need to make sure you get the most from these remarkable products.
Who is Cream Blush best for?
- Dry Skin – If you have dry skin then cream blushes are going to work amazingly for you. If you use a powder blush on top of your dry skin the powder can enhance the dry look of your skin and make your cheeks look very dull. However, using a cream blush will add extra moisture to your skin and add a youthful glow to your skin that a powder blush won’t provide.
- Aging Skin – As we age our skin tends to get drier. Using a cream blush will automatically add a youthful glow back to your face along with a dewiness we tend to lose as we get older.
- Cold Climates – A cream blush is ideal for those of you who live in colder climates, or during the colder months. Cream blushes sit on the skin and add moisture that the cold air takes away. For those of you who live in warmer climates or where it’s humid, a cream product can actually slide, melt or make you look more oily. It’s best to use a cream blush in the colder seasons or if you live in a cold climate.
My Favorite Cream Blushes
- Stila Convertible Cream Blush
I love this because it’s a dual purpose product that can be used on the lips and cheeks. These are very highly pigmented and not sticky which makes them easy to apply. This non-greasy, creamy formula adds the perfect glow to the cheeks.
- Illamasqua Cream Blush
This rich and creamy blushes are highly pigmented and glide on the cheeks smoothly and evenly. They give a perfect glow to the cheeks and have a great range of colors for fair skin to dark skin.
- NYX Cream Blush
These are by far the least inexpensive of the bunch. However, they don’t lack on quality. They are highly pigmented, aren’t sticky and don’t leave your skin looking oily. They come in a wide range of colors for fair skin to dark skin.
How to Apply
- Fingers – This is by far my favorite method of applying cream blush. Using your clean two middle fingers, pat your fingers into the blush picking up some of the product. Smile and apply the blush to the apples of the cheeks and blend the color backward. If you feel you have applied too much color, use a sponge like a Beauty Blender and pat over the top to pick up some of the color until you get your desired color.
- Cheek Highlighter Brush – This brush has a soft, flat top that allows you to stipple the cream blush onto your cheeks. Gently stipple the brush into the blush picking up a small amount. Apply it the same way by smiling and placing on the apples of your cheeks and blend backward. Using a brush isn’t my favorite method as it applies too much and you will probably have to go back with a sponge and remove some color.
- Beauty Blender or Sponge – The only thing I recommend using this for is for tapping off any excess color on your cheeks and blending the color out.
I hope all this information is helpful for you all! Don’t be afraid to use cream blushes as they give such a nice finish to the skin. Always apply lightly and build as needed.
Learning how to apply blush correctly is trickier than it might seem. “Smile, and dust it onto the apples of your cheeks,” is the common advice. Even with this seemingly simple direction, it’s easy to go overboard and find yourself looking a little clownish. But there’s at least one good reason you should be wearing blush: It brightens up dull skin and gives you an instant glow.
To make things easier, keep scrolling for the six mistakes almost everyone makes when applying blush.
#1: Thinking It’s Just For Cheeks
When you spend a lot of time in the beauty industry, you pick up tips from makeup artists. One of the best blush tricks we’ve learned is from Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s go-to makeup artist Florrie White, who suggests that blush isn’t just for your cheeks. As well as subtly applying the color to the apples of your cheeks, you should also add some to your temples to create a natural highlight, according to White. Not only will this pull your whole face together (kind of like matching the color of your accessories), it’ll create an all-over glow. You can even dust a little across the bridge of your nose for that just-been-on-holiday look.
#2: Choosing the Wrong Color for Your Skin Tone
Makeup artist Katey Denno, who works with Amanda Seyfried, Isla Fisher, Mindy Kaling, and more, says that when finding the right shade of blush for your skin tone, “The goal is to pick a shade that matches the color of your cheeks when you have a natural flush.” So how do you pick correctly? If you’re really pale, you want a cool pink; olive complexions want an apricot shade; and for darker skin, a super-pigmented blush is the way to go. You can see more of how to find the right shade for you with our guide to the perfect blush color for your complexion.
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Get a gorgeous glow of blush with our guide on how to apply cream blush. This step-by-step guide will ensure you always have a flawless complexion.
- 22nd January 2018
- By Team Tilbury
Cream blush is a great alternative to powder variations if you love a blendable colour that you can build up. Even if you have oily skin and naturally shy away from cream products, a cream blush can always work in your favour. It’s all in the application, so we’ve compiled our top tips for how to apply a cream blush so you can rock your favourite colour every day.
Our Favourite Cream Blush
Make Sure You Prep Your Base
Our top tip for any application of any kind of blush would be to perfect your complexion first. If you start with a beautiful canvas, you will be able to master any makeup. Treat your skin to the Goddess Skin Clay Mask for baby-soft skin, and always prep with Charlotte’s Magic Cream moisturiser, Magic Eye Rescue cream and Wonderglow face primer. Whether you follow up with foundation or not, this routine will give you a gorgeous glowing complexion perfect for cream blush application.
Apply With Your Fingers
For best results, apply using your fingertips. By applying cream blush with your fingers, you can control the amount of blush you wear and build up coverage to your desired intensity. The warmth of your fingers will allow the blush to slightly melt with your touch so you can blend easily into your skin. You can then build this up without worrying about applying too much! If in doubt, blend it out!
Airbrush Your Finish
If you are applying powder after your makeup, always wait until after your cream blush for the smoothest application. This way you can set your blush if you have oilier skin, and you can see exactly where you need the powder to blot any excess oiliness for a truly airbrushed finish.
Those of us with dry, dehydrated or combination skin know that sometimes a powder based product doesn’t always work the best. Powdered blush and foundation can sometimes enhance dry patches. If you’ve ever looked in the mirror at the end of the day and have noticed how dry and cracked your skin looks you know what I mean. That tight skin feeling is super uncomfortable too.
Sometimes I can use powder, and other times it doesn’t do the trick for me. I used to mix loose powder foundation with my moisturizer all the time but eventually found a serum foundation that I love. Recently, I was thinking about blush. I honestly do love our blushes. The powder is lightweight and super fine, so it blends into the skin easily giving a very natural look to your complexion. However, thinking about achieving that dewy summer skin look got me thinking about my powder plus moisturizer past and wondering if it would work with the blush too.
Taking to social media, I asked if you would be interested in this makeup experiment and what came back was a resounding yes. I’ve done the testing with the blush in Gotta Glow, and now I can share the results with you. I’ll also share exactly how you can turn your powder blush into a cream.
TEST #1: Water
First, just for a baseline, I mixed blush with water. I used a facial mist that is water-based instead of tap water. I had an inkling that this would not work before doing the test, but I wanted to give a try just in case. The result is a dry powder. Water evaporates, so this is not a surprise, but what I didn’t expect was for the blush to be even dryer than the pan blush itself. Water mixed with blush does not create a desirable effect. I didn’t apply it to my skin and I likely wouldn’t unless maybe I wanted to use it as an eyeshadow, but even still I’d be more likely to use the pan itself without water.
TEST #2: Facial Oil
The second test is blush with a facial oil. The powdered blush mixes easily with the oil and turns into more of a liquid serum consistency. The oil enriches the color the most out of all the mixtures. The vibrant color made me nervous at first, but similar to the powder blush, you only need to apply a minimal amount. It blends so easily into the skin, giving a glowy flush of color to the cheeks and even though the color looks dark, it applies softly. For me, it does not feel oily or greasy. It doesn’t feel like anything at all. Now, if you were to use say coconut oil, it might feel heavier so I would recommend using a lightweight oil that is for your face.
TEST #3: Moisturizer
Finally, the blend that jump-started this whole idea, moisturizer, and blush. Mixing the blush with moisturizer takes a little more work as it doesn’t melt into the moisturizer as it does with oil. I thought I would get a creamy consistency, and I did, but it feels more whipped and airy similar to a mousse. This mixture is still relatively easy to blend into the skin. You have to work a little quicker with the blush and moisturizer combination, but this could depend on what type of moisturizer you use. I did notice that the color was slightly darker by a hair. My theory about this is that the oil blends into the skin while the moisturizer blends but sits a bit more on top of the skin, making the color appear slightly more.
How To Make A Cream Blush:
- Using a clean makeup spatula or utensil scrape roughly a dime size amount of blush onto the back of your hand or a plate
- If using an oil base start by adding one drop to the loose powder and then add one or two more and mix until you get a glossy liquid consistency and vibrant color
- If using a moisturizer, the ratio of powder to cream should be roughly the same to a little less moisturizer. You may need to work the mixture together a little bit more than the oil and the result should be a cream or mousse constancy with the color being softer than the oil
How To Blend And Apply Your Cream Or Oil Based Blush:
There are a couple of ways you can apply your cream or oil blush. Either way, you’ll want to use a small amount first. You can always add more.
Start by dabbing a dot or two to the apples of your cheeks. I start two fingers width away from my nose. Then either with a brush or a makeup sponge in a dabbing motion blend the color to your temples. Depending on your skin type, if you use the brush, you could also try light circular motions back to your temples. Keep blending until the color is evenly applied. Having dry skin, I prefer a makeup sponge and dabbing or stippling because I’ve found that brushes and sweeping or swirling motions tend to enhance dry patches and can end up streaking if not done correctly. I encourage you to try both and see what works best for you.
This experiment turned out beautiful, and I can’t wait to try it with the other blush colors, Dolly is calling my name, and I’m also interested in trying it with the Sundrop Bronzer as well. I highly recommend trying this, especially if you tend to have dryer skin. When you do try this, I’d love to hear how it went. Leave a comment below and better yet feel free to share a picture as well.
Cheers to glowy skin! – To watch a video version go here.
Beauty Guide, Ashley Teague, is a makeup professional who is dedicated to helping women discover and grow in their own unique beauty journeys through the encouragement of makeup play and self-expression.
Number 3 is very important…
When it comes to applying our makeup, there’s something extra satisfying about applying blusher.
A quick sweep of blush instantly adds a flush of colour and a dose of healthy radiance to the face, making it a makeup bag essential.
However, if done wrong, blusher can look splotchy, odd and rather ageing.
Here, Karla Powell, makeup artist and brand ambassador for MUA Cosmetics, runs us through the blusher mistakes that make you look older – and how to fix them…
You don’t select the right colour
“Look at your skin tone first and foremost – as general rule I suggest subtle rose and baby pink shades.
“If your skin tone is medium to olive you can opt for dusty mauve shades or peachy, apricot tones. Berry and Tangerine shades look amazing on dark skin. Also consider your lipstick choice if you’re wearing a bright lip – apply your lip shade before your blusher, to avoid clashing tones and looking ‘over done’.”
We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
For fair skin, try the NARS Blush in Orgasm, £23. Medium skin tones will suit Benefit’s GALifornia, £24.50, while darker skin tones will look lovely in MAC’s Melba Blush, £19.50.
You don’t apply the blusher in the right place
“For a youthful glow opt for light liquid and cream blushers to add a touch of colour to your face, we’re always taught to place blush on the apples of our cheeks, but as we age these can drop, so for a more youthful effect try adding your blush a little higher up, nearer to your cheekbones for a ‘lifted’ effect.”
You don’t pick the right formula for your skin type
‘If you have an oily complexion opt for powder formulas, as these will give a matte effect and absorb any excess oil. For drier skin types cream formulas work much better as they leave a dewy fresh looking finish.
“If you have lots of lines around the eye area, choosing a powder blush can look cakey and accentuate these instantly aging you! So for older skin types I suggest a cream or gel formula which will leave a subtle hint of colour.”
You apply too much
“You want to aim for blush to look almost like you’re a bit flushed, so your ‘glow’ looks as natural as possible. When applying it, it’s tempting to just pile it on with one application but this often ends in disaster. I always take half the amount of product you usually would, and after application if it still looks like you need a bit more colour, you can subtly build it up, until you have the desired effect.”
You don’t blend it enough
“If using a powder blush, avoid small dense brushes, and opt for large fluffy ones, sweep it into the product and tap off any excess, then lightly take the brush onto the apples of your cheeks and up and outwards towards your temples and hairline. For cream formulas I recommend using your index and middle finger to gently dab and blend the product out, pat the product up and outward.”
For this, we love the ZOEVA 127 Luxe Sheer Cheek Brush, £13, available here.