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The Best Liquid, Cream & Stick Blush

Last updated on August 22, 2022

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

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Our Picks For The Top Liquid, Cream & Stick Blushes

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Runner Up

Maybelline Cheek Heat Oil-Free Dewy Finish Cream Blush

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Cheek Heat Oil-Free Dewy Finish Cream Blush

Maybelline's natural-looking gel-cream blush is water--based and oil-free, so you won't have to worry about shininess. Just a few dots will tint your cheeks for a smooth, blendable and buildable look to complement your skin tone.

Overall Take

Has Water-Infused ShadesWith this gel-cream blush, you'll achieve a dewy look that subtly highlights your cheeks.

 We Also Like

HAN Organic Shea & Argan Oil Vegan Stick Blush


Organic Shea & Argan Oil Vegan Stick Blush

This fantastic blush stick contains Vitamin E, organic argan oil and organic shea butter. The natural minerals and plant pigments provide long-lasting, natural color for cheeks, lips and eyes and are free of parabens, synthetic fragrances and GMOs.

Overall Take

Versatile and Skin-FriendlyUse this multi-tasking blush stick on your eyes and lips for a look that you'll love every time.

 Strong Contender

BOOM! by Cindy Joseph Cosmetics Blendable Stick Blush

BOOM! by Cindy Joseph Cosmetics

Blendable Stick Blush

Designed for mature skin, Boom! by Cindy Joseph works can be used as a blush, bronzer and lipstick. You will appreciate how natural-looking and universally flattering it is; this sheer and lightweight little wonder works with all skin tones.

Overall Take

Subtle, Sophisticated and StunningThis universally flattering blush stick will make your face look refreshed and luminous.

 Also Great

Palladio I’m Blushing Cheek & Lip Tint Stick Blush


I'm Blushing Cheek & Lip Tint Stick Blush

This sheer roll-on stick blush contains pretty pearlescent pigments that create an appealing flush of color. It contains vitamins along with botanical extracts like aloe, safflower, ginseng, chamomile and ginkgo biloba. This blush is also cruelty-free.

Overall Take

It's Infused With VitaminsYour skin will thank you for all the moisturizing ingredients this sheer cream blush made with!

Buying Guide

Blush is makeup that gets traditionally applied to the cheeks, but some multi-tasking versions are also designed to be used as lip gloss, eyeshadow and bronzer. You can find this multi-use blush in shades of red, pink, orange, brown and even tones like blue and purple.

Blushes come in many forms, from stains or tints to liquids. Powder and cream blushes have been around for ages, while stick blushes are a newer kind of cosmetic that use a particular format to apply a creamy base. 

Liquids are especially blendable, highly pigmented and offer great control with a radiant look. This type of blush is also known for lasting longer while offering additional hydration

Cream blushes are recommended for mature, dry skin and those seeking dewy, natural-looking makeup. They’re sheerer, so they can be built up more easily.

Instead of using a brush, blush sticks are applied to the apples of the cheeks or other parts of the face and then blended in with your fingertips. They can take longer to apply overall, but use of a blush stick can be faster and neater.

The good thing about stick blush is that you don’t have to dip your fingers into a pot, making the stick more hygienic. Unlike powders, they can contain oils and moisturizing ingredients that are good for your skin; they also don’t highlight textured areas of your skin or irritate dry spots. The sticks also travel well; they don’t fall apart like some powders when you drop them. There are sheer and more pigmented blush sticks to shop for, and most are lightweight, blendable formulas.

However, powder blushes have the advantage when it comes to absorbing oil, providing a matte and polished look. This means they’re better for oily or combination skin. They’re highly pigmented and require a lighter touch, and can be applied more precisely than with a stick. You can get them in loose or pressed versions.

Many makeup products are also cruelty-free and vegan and also free of potentially irritating or harmful products that you might not want, like parabens. Still, there’s always the possibility that you might be allergic to a makeup ingredient, so if you experience an itchy, red rash, hives or a burning sensation, stop using it and wash it off. It’s also best to apply cosmetics with clean hands, so wash up first!

What to Look For

  • Apply your blush (in any form) after cleaning and prepping your skin and putting on foundation. You can add a highlighter and bronzer after that.
  • If the blush stick is described as “sheer,” you may have to use more of it to get the look you want on some occasions.
  • You can also find blush sticks with shimmery, pearlescent finishes and colors to match every skin tone imaginable.
  • Using blush sticks takes a little getting used to, so start with a light hand. Too much pressure will push the product into your skin, creating a heavy or uneven look.
  • If your skin needs hydration, look for blush sticks with ingredients like shea butter and orange peel wax.
  • Choose fragrance-free makeup products if allergies are a concern.
  • Roll your blush stick back down and close the tube when finished to prevent it from drying out.

More to Explore

Ancient Egyptians were the first to use blush, creating a red tint from ground red ochre and fat that they’d use on lips and cheeks to go with the black kohl they put around their eyes. Greeks used red vermillion while Romans preferred crushed mulberries for the same effect.

Blush fell out of favor when white complexions became fashionable in the Middle Ages (and rouged faces were associated with prostitutes). It went in and out of style over the years. In the 1500s, Queen Elizabeth I used blush (or rouge, the French word for “red”) as part of her signature look, and it was also popular in 18th-century France — but during these times, blush was often made from toxic materials.

In 1863, the French cosmetics company Bourjois created the first powder blush, which was initially used as an alternative for theatrical greasepaint. And around 1900, makeup became industrialized. This allowed companies to use more natural, less toxic ingredients on a mass scale and turned blush into a makeup staple starting with the flappers in the 1920s.

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