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 ($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).
Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour 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.
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.
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.
Becca 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Too Faced Love Flush 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.