Finding the right blush presents a bit of a Goldilocks situation. It used to be powder versus cream, but recently, liquid blush has become a major contender. And while “all three formulas are fantastic,” according to celebrity makeup artist Min Min Ma, “liquid blushes last longer on the skin and [leave] a stained glow-from-within look.” Even better, they’re incredibly versatile. Ma says liquid blushes are “especially great for someone on the go who doesn’t want to touch up their makeup throughout the day, during warm and humid weather, and for oily or combination skin.”
These blush formulas are unique in that they’re also versatile in how you apply them. “You can use it on top of your foundation or underneath, directly onto moisturized skin,” explains Ma, adding, “the latter creates more of a subtle effect.” Depending on the formula, you may only need a teeny bit for maximum results, too. “To apply, simply apply two to three tiny dots on the apples and high bones of your cheeks, and blend it into the skin with your fingertip,” explains the makeup artist.
Ready to find your just-right blush? Here are 16 formulas to consider for a natural, long-lasting look you’ll absolutely love.
1. Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez Soft Pinch Liquid Blush
Selena Gomez’s fantastic makeup line has eight blushes, with your choice of matte or radiant finish.
2. Nars Liquid Blush
Three of the brand’s best-selling shades—Orgasm, Dolce Vita, and Torrid—are also available in liquid form. Need we say more?
3. Jane Iredale Beyond Matte Lip Fixation Lip Stain
It may say lip stain on the packaging, but Ma swears this is one of the best liquid blush options around. “The texture is sheer and smooth,” according to the makeup pro.
4. Chantecaille Cheek Gelée Happy Hydrating Gel-Cream Blush
The word gelée just makes us feel fancy when applying this blush. The fact that it leaves a gorgeous, sheer glow doesn’t hurt either.
5. Giorgio Armani A-Blush Liquid Blush
Don’t be turned off by the boldness of these seven water-based colors in their packaging—they each look nice and natural when applied.
6. Benefit Cosmetics Benefit Tinted Cheek & Lip Stain
Slightly NSFW origin story alert: First invented back in the ’70s to help make dancers’ nipples stand out in the company’s hometown of San Francisco (the more you know!), this lip-and-cheek stain remains a cult favorite to this day.
7. Glossier Cloud Paint
When it comes to liquid blushes, there are two time periods: BCP (before Cloud Paint) and ACP (after Cloud Paint). Each of the eight super-creamy hues lends a perfectly lit-from-within glow, and the buildable color makes them completely foolproof.
8. Flower Beauty Blush Bomb Color Drops
Does any celeb have a natural aura quite like Drew Barrymore? (We’ll wait…) If this gel blush from her makeup line, Flower Beauty, can capture even a fraction of that radiance, you’re in good shape.
9. Surratt Beauty Artistique Liquid Blush
This pretty blush is applied directly from the tube itself, so you just twist, dab on, and blend.
10. Saie Dew Blush Liquid Cheek Blush
The blushes from this cult line leave a natural flush and have skin-loving ingredients like evening primrose.
11. Nyx Professional Makeup Sweet Cheeks Soft Cheek Tint Blush
Considering the under-$10 price point, you’ll be amazed at the color payoff with this (vegan!) formula.
12. Natasha Denona Puff Paint Liquid Blush
Just a dab of this super-pigmented formula will give you a wash of color that stays put all day long.
13. Ilia Color Haze Multi-Matte Pigment
We love a dual-purpose product, and this jojoba oil–enriched formula looks just as gorgeous as a lip stain as it does on the cheeks.
14. Freck Beauty Cheekslime Blush + Lip Tint With Plant Collagen
This jelly-like tint is not only fun to apply, but it also imparts a wash of color that dries to a pretty matte finish.
15. Elaluz by Camila Coelho Lip and Cheek Tint
Camila Coelho’s makeup line isn’t your run-of-the-mill influencer venture. This buildable lip-and-cheek tint is the prettiest universal red and contains moisturizing coconut water and prickly pear extract.
16. Maybelline Cheek Heat Gel-Cream Blush
This oil-free gel blush comes in six of the prettiest, most natural-looking shades—in or out of the drugstore.