Rant & Rave: Cream Blush

Tell us what you love and hate about...

Cream Blush

I love cream blush for often being very blendable, longer-wearing, and intensely pigmented, plus they usually have a soft, natural finish. Some formulas are harder to blend, especially when they are thinner, and look splotchy applied.

— Christine


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Calijn Avatar

I second this, Illamasqua Velvet Bluster is great, pigmented and not patchy. The best cream blush I have found. And yes, with fingers it works best.

Donna Avatar

Sorry a big no from me.

Firstly I leave my next day make up out and ready to apply in the morning. So cream blush I either forget to apply before the finishing powder.

Or two do use, but then realize after the finishing powder its not enough, I then have to apply powder blush on top.

I did love the old Becca ones. Turkish Rose was very pigmented.

Katherine T. Avatar

I have Teflon cheeks, so I have to pack on a cream blush as base, then a powder blush on top, otherwise, everything fades within hours. I love cream blushes, although they can be trickier to blend, and they don’t last as long as powder blushes. One trick – I use MAC cream base in Summer Wind as a cream blush on my cheeks, then put a a powder blush on top. Summer Wind is close to my skintone, so it’s easier to blend, it doesn’t change the color of the powder blush, or intensify the color too much, and it saves me from having to buy 4 different colors of cream blush to match the powder blush. And it gives the blush a slight shimmer

Nancy T Avatar

Hi Katherine! Another fan of MAC Summer Wind, I see! I personally love it myself, too, for the reason you stated and especially as my cupid bow/ center of nose/ cheekbone highlight. It’s truly a great workhorse of a product.

Eileen Avatar

At 71 my skin is quite dry and so I use a lot of serums, a moisturizing sunscreen, and a moisturizing foundation. With all that “moisture” going on, powder blushes can sometimes “grab on” unevenly and look a bit uneven. Consequently, I find my preference has been shifting towards cream blushers. A good one glides on easily and evenly without disturbing my makeup, its level of pigmentation is easy to control, and it wears as well as a good powder when finished off with a whisper of finishing powder. Of the new generation of cream blushers, Clé de Peau had a great LE one a couple years back, Tom Ford’s new LE one is awesome and I hope he releases more, and MUFE has a great set of basic creams that are everything a cream blushers should be. The only negative I can think of is that there are so many bad ones on the market–stiff, dry, hard to blend, etc. 🙁

Katie Avatar

I love that cream blush is so long lasting and gives a dewy finish without looking cakey at all. However, cream blush takes exponentially more time to apply than powder blush, especially if I apply to my hand and then stipple it on or apply a powder blush on top. It can also get patchy, and I feel like I’m rubbing so hard to blend that it’s messing up my foundation. Cream blush is a once in a while product for me, and I own about 4.

Joan Avatar

I love cream blush for all of the reasons you mentioned but I dislike that it expires so much quicker than powder blushes! Otherwise my entire blush collection would be cream.

Ginny Avatar

I actually don’t like them so much because they can be *too* pigmented. They also can make me look oily later in the day. Unless they are cream to powder, like Colourpop’s, which I like.

Olivia Avatar

I think they look amazing on, but I can’t blend them for the life of me. I have tried several different brands and just gave up a long time ago. I do love the way they look though, and because of that, I do wish I could blend them.

Kelsey Avatar

Can someone explain cream-to-powder formulas to me? For me, the point of a cream blush is to provide a dewy, non-powdery finish, so this formula really confuses me. Why not use a powder blush?

Rachel R. Avatar

For me, it’s that you can use your fingers and get a sheerer application, but by turning into a powder, it lasts longer on my oily skin. I don’t know if that’s the official reasoning behind them, or if there is one. It may just be a cool gimmick.

xamyx Avatar

For me, personally, I find it easier to reapply sunscreen over a cream blush; however, as I have drier skin, and therefore use heavier moisturizers, traditional cream blushes don’t hold up particularly well-especially during SoCal Summers. A cream-to-powder formula allows me to reapply sunscreen and/or blush throughout the day without having to “set” my makeup with powder.

Eriu Avatar

I gotta ask…how do you reapply your sunscreen without disturbing your makeup? Living in Florida, sunscreen is a must for me year-round, but in the summer I feel like I really need to reapply.

LaughinGirl Avatar

At 55, I’m using almost nothing else (unless I find a powder blush I love and can’t find anything similar in cream). They give a youthful, soft glow to the skin, and most are difficult to overapply. I also find them (and cream shadows) faster to use than powders. I apply base, then shadow and blush, eyeliner and brows, dust a little powder over all, and finish with mascara and lip products–no brushes necessary except maybe for blending. Much faster and you can get a lovely, soft watercolor glow–perfect for summer.

Lulle Avatar

I love cream blushes! I like the ease of application (I use my fingers to apply makeup whenever I can) and the fact that they can look very natural without any visible powderiness. They also wear much longer on me than powder blushes and they tend to be more pigmented, but that depends on the product.

Hayley G Avatar

I love the dewy finish of cream blush, and that it takes just seconds to apply and can be taken on the go – and used on the lips! Gotta love a multi-tasker…my one and only gripe with it would have to be fluffies or brush hairs getting stuck in them, but that really can’t be helped. 🙂 x

Kelsey Avatar

Hayley — Use the e.l.f. Studio Small Stipple Brush. I haven’t had an issue with brush hairs getting stuck in my creams while using that brush!

Nancy T Avatar

Wow, what a coincidence! I just received my 2nd ColourPop order in my mailbox maybe 5 minutes ago, and immediately swatched Rain Blush, how nicely it applied and blended! Ok, so…I definitely love cream to powder formula the best over straight up cream. I do have 2 cream blushes/ highlighters that I love, however. MAC Summer Wind and Nyx Water Lily. Both make my powder blushes last better during these infernal Arizona summers!

Rachel R. Avatar

Rant: They don’t last on oily skin. Some drugstore creams can be underpigmented, or too emollient and don’t last; others are too dry and putty-like (I hate those). They can melt in hot weather, so they’re not as good for travel or keeping in your purse. Less choices available than for powder blushes. They go bad more quickly than powder blushes. They get messy if keep with powdered items.

Rave: They’re easy to use. They give a sheerer, more natural-looking finish. They’re good for people with dry skin. You can scoop out a little bit to keep in smaller container or palette for purse or travel. Can be used as lip color in a pinch. Can be used as a base for powder blush.

ilovemakeup Avatar

I agree with you! They don’t really last on oily skin, it seems. Not only that, they dry down so fast on me, personally, that I have to be as fast as possible when I apply them or they look like a hot mess.

I get suckered in, though, because they look so pretty in the tube that I feel like I just HAVE to buy them and then I’m so disappointed. Obviously not the product’s fault, it just doesn’t mesh with my chemistry!

Rachel R. Avatar

I couldn’t ever wear them until the last few years, since my oily skin has calmed down enough on my cheeks. Even then, I recently had about 6 weeks where they were oily again due to hormones, and I had to give them a break. I just started wearing creams again this last week.

Have you tried ColourPop’s blushes? The are kind of a cream-powder hybrid, and they last really well.

xamyx Avatar

As a fairly pale, dry-skinned gal, they are ideal. I reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, so I need something that allows layering product throughout the day. Most powder blush lists talc as the very first ingredient, and I find most to get “cakey” as I reapply sunscreen.

Anne Avatar

For me the toughest part is also application. I have like one cream blush so I’m just not practiced with them. I managed to get my hands on the new Charlotte Tilbury x Norman Parkinson Sunlight & Suntan (the cream version of her Filmstar Bronze & Glow) so I expect I’ll get more practice with cream products in the future.

Kat Avatar

Rant: Personally, I find that cream blushes don’t last very long on me at all, even though I’m not oily at all. They don’t really flatter me because I have a lot of scarring on my face, and cream blushes for whatever reason seem to cling to the scars and make them look really obvious and inflamed. Also I don’t know why, but I just have a really hard time applying them and blending them out! Everyone else seems to think they’re easier and quicker, but for me powders are much quicker and more foolproof. *shrugs*

The only “cream” blush formula I like is ColourPop, maybe because it’s drier and not as wet? I feel like it applies a lot smoother and more like a powder than other “cream” blushes. And I don’t have a problem with the CP highlighters, even those are more like a traditional cream formula. Maybe because I don’t need to apply the highlighter over the scarring. *double shrugs*

Bea Avatar

I love cream blush! I have dry skin and I always moisturize before I begin applying any makeup, so it usually blends nicely into my skin (where powder might cling onto the moisturizer and get patchy). I use a stippling brush to pat it on evenly, which avoids the blendability penitence as well.

Danielle Avatar

I usually stick to powder blush because I feel it works better wih my combo/leans oily skin. But I did try colour pop’s blush because I tried a bunch of their products in one order. I really, really dislike it. I find it hard to apply even with your fingers like suggested. Definitely got pushed to the back of my makeup drawer.

Eriu Avatar

I love cream blush, especially in the summer for a dewy, natural look that won’t go cakey if I sweat a little in the Florida heat. But that also means I’ll probably have to touch it up later in the day also.

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