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Best Blushes | Holiday 2016 Gift Guide

Best Blushes | Holiday 2016 Gift Guide

It’s that time of the year again:  holiday gift guides aplenty!  This year, I’ve broken out my gift guides into best of selections for blush, eyeshadow, highlighter, lipstick, lipgloss, palettes, and brushes.  These guides feature permanent formulas so that they can be useful anytime during the holiday season or even into next year.  For limited edition holiday products, you can check out our list of the top 50 highest-rated holiday products, which updates as I post more reviews for holiday products.  I hope you find this list of top performing blush formulas useful 🙂

Tom Ford Cheek Color

Tom Ford Cheek Color

Tom Ford Cheek Color ($60.00 for 0.28 oz.) has been a go-to blush formula for me since I first tried it many years ago. As time has passed, I have tried many more blush formulas from brands, but I still go back to this one frequently. I keep a few of my favorite shades (Love Lust, Ravish, Wicked) in my go-to drawer, where I keep products I want to wear again and again (when I’m not testing something!). The formula is soft, moderately dense, and smooth, which results in good pigmentation, a satin to pearly sheen, and easy application–plus, they wear long on me (over eight hours).

Availability

Bergdorf GoodmanNeiman MarcusNordstromSaks

Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Blush

Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush

Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush ($26.00 for 0.23 oz.) is a powder blush with medium, buildable coverage and a more satin-to-luminous finish. I like how the range includes a mix of more “wearable” neutrals along with brighter pops of color, so it’s a versatile range that can work for many skin tones. Some of my favorite shades are Rapture, TMI, Fetish, and Crush.

Availability

Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom

Clinique Cheek Pop Blush

Clinique Cheek Pop Blush

Clinique Cheek Pop Blush ($23.00 for 0.12 oz.) is well-worth checking out if you have more mid-tone blush colors paired with pearly, luminous finishes. The finish is what draws me in with this formula, because it sits well on the skin–lightly glowing but never emphasizing. The consistency is smooth, dense, and blendable on the skin. Some of the shades I’ve been reaching for often (at least, more recently) are: Black Honey Pop, Peach Pop, Ginger Pop, Fig Pop, and Rosy Pop.

Availability

Sephora, Nordstrom, Ulta, Neiman Marcus, Clinique

Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush

Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush

Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush ($45.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a formula I’ve come to appreciate more over the years for its more buildable, blendable coverage and forgiving finishes. The texture is incredibly soft, smooth, and silky without being too dusty or powdery in the pan. The range of colors is more typical, but the brand occasionally releases the surprise bolder or richer hue (typically limited edition). Some of my favorite shades are Jersey, Alezane, Malice, and Evening Beige.

Availability

Nordstrom, Chanel, Neiman Marcus, Saks

Becca Luminous Blush

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Luminous Blush

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Luminous Blush ($34.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a newer powder blush formula that will be best for those who like a lot of shimmer in their blush (the name of the formula does not lie!). There are too many shades in the range–just six–but they are brighter, bolder shades with good pigmentation and frosted to metallic finishes. Some of my favorite shades are Tigerlily and Dahlia.

Availability

Sephora, Ulta, Lord & Taylor

Make Up For Ever HD Blush

Make Up For Ever HD Blush

Make Up For Ever HD Blush ($26.00 for 0.09 oz.) is a long-wearing, blendable, and easy to use cream blush. There aren’t as many cream blushes that are more than just a tint, so HD Blush is one I’m really glad exists, as it is very versatile with its range of colors and pigmentation levels. Some of my favorite shades are 310, 330, and 225.

Availability

Sephora

Marc Jacobs Air Blush

Marc Jacobs Air Blush

Marc Jacobs Air Blush ($42.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a new formula for the year, but it is permanent and, surprisingly, quite good. The brand actually made a rather extravagant claim for wear, but it lived up to it better than anticipated–14 to 16 hour wear was definitely possible for me. They had good color coverage that was blendable and sat well on the skin. There are only five shades presently, but here’s hoping for a greater variety in selection in 2017! Some of my favorite shades are Flesh & Fantasy and Lines & Last Night.

Availability

Sephora, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Marc Jacobs Beauty

ColourPop Super Shock Cheek

ColourPop Super Shock Cheek

ColourPop Super Shock Cheek ($8.00 for 0.15 oz.) is a cream-based formula, but it is a much “drier” cream than your typical cream blush. The texture is more sponge-like, where it doesn’t have the same wet, emollient feel as traditional cream formulas. They range from matte to metallic, and they are best applied with fingertips or a fluffy, synthetic brush. I love the more pearly shades, which I find are most consistent in quality and easiest to apply. One aspect that I particularly enjoy about the formula is how long-wearing it is–anywhere from eight to ten hours. Some of my favorite shades are Might Be, Wisp, Sticky Sweet, and Highly Waisted.

Availability

ColourPop

Sephora Colorful Blush

Sephora Colorful Blush

Sephora Colorful Blush ($14.00 for 0.17 oz.) is a powder blush that’s supposed to be buildable, long-waring, and easy to use. I’d say they tend to veer more semi-opaque to even opaque, but they are, generally, blendable, wear around eight hours, and build and sheer out as you need them to without a lot of work. I like the shade variety, and I like that they have brighter, bolder blushes along with more subdued hues–plus, there are even contouring and highlighting shades. Some of my favorite shades are Lovesick, Passionate, and Jubilant.

Availability

Sephora

Surratt Beauty Artistique Blush

Surratt Beauty Artistique Blush

Surratt Beauty Artistique Blush ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is one of those formulas that is just easy to use–the silky, incredibly finely-milled consistency makes short work out of blending and diffusing a chosen shade on the skin. The shade range is rather extensive now, too, which is nice; some pops of color with a lot of more neutral, everyday kind of shades are available. Some of my favorite shades are De Cherubique, Coup de Genie, Parfait, and La Vie En Rose.

Availability

Sephora, NET-A-PORTER, Barneys

Too Faced Love Flush 16-Hour Blush

Too Faced Love Flush Long-Lasting 16-Hour Blush

Too Faced Love Flush Long-Lasting 16-Hour Blush ($26.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a good powder blush for thsoe who aren’t too concerned about a full 16-hours of wear, because it’s lovely in every way but that (but they do wear around eight hours for me, so they are in line with most formulas). The texture is soft, smooth, and blendable, while most shades have a more natural finish, so they don’t look flat or dry on the skin but aren’t overtly shimmery either. Some of my favorite shades are Baby Love and Your Love is King.

Availability

Sephora, Ulta, Ulta

, Ulta, Too Faced

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This is the handiest shopping guide I have ever seen! Thankyou so much for all the work you put into this site, Christine. Wading through the avalanche of holiday releases actually seems feasible now.

Thank you so much Christine! Excellent idea with this breakdown by category of the best beauty products for the holidays . You are the best !!! 🙂

I’m glad the Cheek Pop blushes made the list, I really am a fan of them.
Just looking at the Marc Jacobs blush to the left made me want to go buy one immediately.
Thank you for doing handy things like this, much appriciated!

I tried Clinique Color Pop blushes because of your review. I’ve loved every one I’ve tried and I’ve tried almost all. My favorite is Heather Pop. Thanks for the list and all that you do for us makeup junkies.

You always manage to pull out your best in budget in these seasonal guides. Very much appreciated. It’s not always a good idea to give higher end m/u to people who cannot afford it themselves. And it’s not that they don’t recognize/appreciate it. It S.t. backfires, because they think you are too extravagant; if you give something HE to someone who never goes he, it can be seen as showing off. That’s why some of these BH and city selections are excellent. Good quality, but not seen as extravagant. My night job coworkers are in retail, and by their thinking, I make a S..ton of $, bec I have a p.t. Professional job. Truth is, not true. Comparatively speaking, it may be. That gives rise to that snarky ‘well, of course she gave me a UD palette; she can afford it.’ Baby, I am pushing 70 and still have to work 2 jobs to survive. You always remind us that awesome may be had on a shoestring. Highly appreciated.

Oh wow! This is so nice and helpful Christine. I have to say the Marc Jacobs Air Blush is my top favourite blush at the moment, I have just one shade, but am planning on buying one more during the Sephora Rouge sale! The next one I love is Becca luminous! So pretty, I want more shades in that too! I am a bit crazy about blushes, you have me pondering on the Surratt blushes now! Love this <3

Glad to see I’m not too far off the norm in that some of my favorites are here — Clinique Pink Honey Pop and Surratt Vie en Rose. Also Laura Geller Pink Grapefruit baked blush is a go-to.

Hey Christine, hope it’s ok to ask this here! I would like to get *one* daily use blush during the upcoming Sephora VIB sale. I’m currently torn between the Marc Jacobs, Surratt, and Clinique formulas, all of which you’ve recommended in this post! If I’m looking for a glowy (not glittery) blush that doesn’t accentuate skin texture issues and that is easy to blend / has a generous learning curve for blush beginners, which of the three formulas (or maybe a different one entirely) would you recommend?

They all give you a glowier finish that isn’t overly shimmery, but I would say Surratt and Marc Jacobs will be subtle and the least shimmery of the three, so maybe one of those. Marc Jacobs gives you more product, I believe 🙂

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