Blush Has Become *the* MVP Beauty Product, so I Found the 17 Best Money Can Buy

If you clicked on this article, there's a good chance that you, like so many others, have been on the hunt for a blush that does everything you need it to and more. I've always preferred a naturally flushed finished to my makeup—which, at times, has been challenging to accomplish given my deep skin tone and a seemingly jarring lack of complementary blush shades among the products trending on social media platforms. However, as a beauty editor, I've been extremely lucky to try out a number of best-selling blushes firsthand as part of my job description. With my makeup bags (yes, there's definitely more than one) spilling over with options, it's important to weed through the ones that are all hype and no substance to identify those that deliver instant results.

To me, blush is the easiest way to upgrade a makeup look from just pretty to stunning. Not only can blush be used to add warmth back into the face after building up a flawless base, but depending on the product, it can also transform the appearance of your natural face shape, accentuate your favorite facial features, chisel cheekbones, and be swept across the tip of the nose, eyes, or even the lips for added color. In other words, it's one of the most versatile products anyone could have in their collection, but it all comes down to selecting the best one for your specific needs.



The 411 on Blush

Despite the overwhelming results accompanying an internet search for "the best blushes," shopping for your ideal blush can be made simple. One of the biggest determining factors when I'm on the hunt for a new blush product is, without a doubt, its formula. Most blush formulas fall into one of the following categories: powder, cream, gel, or liquid. Recently, cream-based blush formulas have been on the rise, with makeup lines providing them as alternate versions of their best-selling powder blush products. For example, Nars's cult-classic powder blush in Orgasm has been launched in the form of a multiuse stick.

I flock toward cream and gel blushes that have a sheer yet buildable quality to them since they tend to allow space for teeny-tiny mistakes and a chance to build up the product to my desired pigment. My skin type happens to be dry, so I prefer using products that are chock-full of long-lasting skincare benefits. Blush comes in a number of finishes that can impact a finished makeup look. Whether you're in the mood for matte or longing for something dewy and fresh, there's something out there for you!

Before we dive into the blushes I was completely obsessed with long before becoming a beauty editor, I thought it would be helpful to reach out to one of the beauty industry's most reputable celebrity makeup artists who doesn't shy away from adding a gorgeous flush of color any chance she gets. Courtney Hart, who has worked with the likes of Anna Cathcart, Kristen Bell, Hilary Duff, and Chelsea Handler, shared a couple of the blushes she's always reaching for in her makeup kit. Check out her picks and a number of my personal favorites below!

"These blushes are silky and luminous and leave an almost pearlescent finish on the skin," Hart says of this eye-catching blush by Hourglass. "[It's] very soft focus. They combine the hue of a blush but the finish of an illuminating pressed powder." If you're looking to add even more of an ethereal glow to your finished look, you're in luck—the Ambient Lighting line includes everything from bronzer to finishing powder.

Hart is also a huge fan of this cult-classic, putty-like blush by MAC. "These have been my go-to blushes for at least a year now," she continues. "Not quite a cream, not quite a powder—these blushes melt seamlessly into the skin and are beautiful on their own or layered with others to add dimension." 

Best Overall: Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush

If you haven't given Rare Beauty's best-selling blush a try yet, where have you been? It comes in several gorgeous shades that complement all skin tones, giving a soft, healthy flush.

Customer review: "100% worth the hype. I finally caved and bought this blush. It's absolutely stunning and beautiful on the skin. Looks amazing in photography. Blends like a dream and you need to use almost nothing. It did not pick up my makeup underneath at all."

Pro: Perfectly pigmented and long-lasting

Con: None

Best Cream Blush: Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Lip + Cheek Cream Blush Stick

I'll always be a fan of multitasking products like this cream blush stick by Westman Atelier. It glides effortlessly onto the skin and delivers an effervescent flush of color with a simple swipe. What's more, it's formulated with ingredients that support your skin's moisture barrier.

Customer review: "Amazing blush. I started with Poppy and have bought three more colors (Petal, Dou Dou, and Couchette). I'm obsessed. They have replaced all my other blushes. The formula is so creamy, blendable, and perfectly pigmented. This is the best formula out there!"

Pro: Applies smoothly and evenly on the skin without splotches or patches of color

Con: High price point for the given amount of product 

Best Stick Blush: Nars The Multiple Cream Blush, Lip and Eye Stick

Ideal for accentuating the eyes, lips, and cheeks, this multipurpose stick blush creates dimension and highlights the skin with sheer color and shimmering accents. It's even available in the brand's classic shade Orgasm. (My personal favorite is Maui.)

Customer review: "I love this product, it adds such a pretty glow with light color. It also builds really nicely on top of other cream blushes if I want a bolder color but still want a natural-looking glow/highlight!"

Pro: Offers a natural flush of color

Con: Formula is not extremely buildable, applies semi-sheer

Best Liquid Blush: Benefit Cosmetics Benetint Liquid Lip Blush & Cheek Tint

I've been rotating this liquid blush by Benefit Cosmetics in and out of my makeup routine since my tween years, and I'm still obsessed. Now available in three natural-looking shades, this liquid tint is smudge-proof, transfer-proof, and kiss-proof.

Customer review: "I absolutely love this product. I use it every day in my makeup routine. The product has just the right amount of pigment and it looks great on both lips and cheeks. I personally use it for both. The product is very easy to blend. Now that I've started using it I don't think I could ever go back."

Pro: Long-wearing, nondrying, and transfer-proof

Con: Can be somewhat drying when applied to the lips

Best Gel Blush: Chantecaille Cheek Gelée

There's a good chance your favorite beauty editors and makeup artists have been gatekeeping this one, but luckily for you, I'm in the mood for sharing. This hydrating gel-cream blush by Chantecaille is the secret to achieving an effortless "my cheeks just got pinched" look.

Customer review: "The Chantecaille Cheek Gelée melts seamlessly into the skin and blends very nicely without leaving harsh lines. The finish appears to be very natural and provides a sheer wash of color, more product can be added gradually to achieve the desired effect, and the blush lasts well on the skin. I would highly recommend and very much look forward to trying other shades from this range."

Pro: Produces a stunning illuminating effect

Con: Not extremely buildable since it gives a more subtle flush

Best Matte Blush: Haus Labs Color Fuse Talc-Free Powder Blush

If an ultra-pigmented matte blush is what you're after, it's time this one is on your radar. Haus Labs' Color Fuse Powder Blush offers a natural-looking yet matte, finish and is formulated with fermented arnica to reduce redness and hydraberry to reinforce your skin barrier.

Customer review: "Love the Haus Labs blushes. I pare them with the Saie liquid blushes, and I am obsessed with the way my blush looks after I'm done. I never used to be a girl who was obsessed with blush, but these are making me rethink that! They look and feel great on my skin. Some brands' blushes break me out, but I've never had a problem with these."

Pro: Transfer-proof product that stays put all day

Con: Application can be patchy when layering with other products

Best for Fair Skin: Nars Blush

You knew it was coming! Offered in a matte, satin, and shimmer finish, Nars's award-winning blush in Orgasm is my top pick for fair skin tones (although it's highly complementary on all). This blush uses superfine micronized powder pigments to create that luminous finish we all know and love.

Customer review: "I've been into cream blush lately but this is such a nice powder blush. I can see why it's considered a classic. It's a very nice pink that melts into your foundation and has just a little bit of shimmer. It doesn't look dollish or too bright. I have a fair/light complexion with red undertones so I avoided blush for years, but this gives a very pretty subtle glow. It's easy to apply too—don't overthink it, just sweep a little over your cheekbones."

Pro: Offers a luminous, natural flush of color

Con: Limited color payoff

Best for Olive Skin: Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek Cream Blush Stick

Sun-kissed olive skin tones shine in the presence of vibrant coral, and Milk Makeup's Lip + Cheek Cream Blush Stick in Perk is my favorite one. It's formulated using mango butter, avocado oil, and apricot oil to help boost hydration, nourish the skin, and allow for ease of application.

Customer review: "I've been wanting to try a coral blush and was excited to try Perk! It's a beautiful shade that is buildable and blendable on skin. I have tan skin so it leaves a light flush, but I also love it on lips! The size also makes it perfect to throw in a purse and take it on the go!"

Pro: The formula is extremely creamy and blendable

Con: Not ideal for oily skin, as product tends to become slick with wear

Best for Deep Skin: Kulfi Mehndi Moment Long-Lasting Radiant Cream Blush

If you have a lovely deep skin tone like mine and haven't yet tried Kulfi's line of cream blushes, you've been majorly missing out. Every single one of the Mehndi Moment shades looks incredible on deep skin tones thanks to their long-lasting, vibrant pigments.

Customer review: "Absolutely love this blush! It has the prettiest berry color that you can apply sheer or layer for a bolder look. A little goes a very long way so this will last forever! I love a unique shade and this is perfection."

Pro: Delivers blendable and buildable pigment

Con: None

Best for Brown Skin: Merit Flush Balm Cream Blush

I might be biased, but I'm in love with how well shades of terra-cotta complement brown skin. Merit's mistake-proof, flexible balm blush comes in the ideal terra-cotta shade that provides a veil of natural-looking color and long-lasting glow while letting your skin shine through.

Customer review: "These Flush Balms are absolutely amazing! Terracotta is the perfect warm neutral orange/bronze barely there shade. I love the glow it gives to the skin, it's a very dewy look. Often times I'll layer it under other blush colors just for the glow. It's my everyday shade!"

Pro: Layers easily over other cream- and gel-based products

Con: Reapplication needed for all-day wear



Best for Mature Skin: Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish Divine Powder Blush

As your skin ages, fine lines may grow deeper, and natural textures become more visible. Path McGrath Labs' Skin Fetish Divine Powder Blush provides a featherlight, softly diffused finish without enhancing anything you'd rather not draw attention to.

Customer review: "Ever since splurging on this gorgeous blush, it's been well-loved in my collection. It's very pigmented but blends into this almost airbrushed finish. The formula also plays well with other products I have! I have half a mind to pick up other shades."

Pro: Does not settle into fine lines or highlight texture on skin

Con: Extremely pigmented formula applies heavily

Best Pink Blush: Saie Dew Blush Liquid Cheek Blush

A universal pink blush can be hard to find, but Saie has made it easy with its Dew Blush Liquid Cheek Blush in Chilly. Not only is it the mauve pink of your dreams, but it will also give your skin a stunning lit-from-within pop of color.

Customer review: "Significant pigmentation, long-lasting, fantastic texture, easy to apply and spread, and provides a beautiful glow and color. I have been using this blush for months now, along with some other blushes, and this is my favorite. It actually has me coming back from work and being impressed by what I see in the mirror!"

Pro: Offers the ideal amount of natural-looking shimmer

Con: Blush may separate and shift makeup underneath 

Best Long-Lasting Blush: Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Glow Blush

When applied to a product, the term "nude" means something different for every skin tone. (I've had enough salmon-pink shades shoved my way to last a lifetime.) So trust me when I say Armani Beauty has cracked the complicated code with its Luminous Silk Glow Blush in the shade Warm Nude. 

Customer review: "I had pretty high expectations from Armani, but I did not expect this product would exceed all of them! This is a blush that looks so natural and flawless, like that youthful glow that young women have naturally. It goes on perfectly smooth, blends really well with both dry and wet foundation, and stays on forever! Doesn't fade like some of the other blushes I've tried in the past. Highly recommend you give this a shot, it's definitely worth the money, and then some!"

Pro: Delivers a luminous finish without additional shimmer or glitter

Con: None

Best Blush Palette: Code8 Blush Palette

Feeling creative? Try combining the berry-toned shades from this Code8 blush palette to create a blush shade that's uniquely yours. If you'd rather go the simplistic route, you can swipe one on and go—they're all just that good.

Customer review: "I love this blush palette so much! It gives my skin a bit of a lovely, soft, and sparkly look. I usually use it both on my cheeks and eyes during winter and summer times. Just love it!"

Pro: Product is silky, lightweight, and blendable

Con: High price point

Best Drugstore Blush: E.l.f. Cosmetics Putty Blush

You don't have to fork out the big bucks for a high-quality blush. E.l.f.'s Putty Blush is proof of that with its selection of lightweight but buildable, versatile shades. Its highly pigmented, putty-like formula even melts seamlessly into the skin to enhance the cheeks with a semi-matte, glowy finish.

Customer review: "I'm heavy-handed with my blush so I like to use this when I do under painting and use a powder foundation on top. It gives me a beautiful glow from within look."

Pro: Easy to use alone or layered with other products

Con: Can appear patchy without using a brush or Beautyblender for even application