Jul 18, 2023
The 14 Best Blushes of 2023
The makeup product you need for a youthful and vibrant flush. Jump to a Section We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive
The makeup product you need for a youthful and vibrant flush.
Jump to a Section
We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.
Real Simple / Brian Kopinski
The best blushes add warmth and life to your complexion in stunning hues and finishes. What sets this makeup staple apart is how the tone and formulation work with or against your natural coloring and skin type.
“Understanding your undertones and overtones is crucial in selecting the best blush shade for you,” says Drita Paljevic, Kevyn Aucoin brand ambassador and celebrity makeup artist. “The undertone refers to the subtle hue beneath the surface tone or overtone of your skin. Overtone may change due to factors like tanning or season changes, but the undertone remains the same.”
We researched countless blushes on the market, considering formula type, finish, number of shades, and the amount of product in the packaging. When it comes to color cosmetics, personal preference plays a critical role when purchasing. However, the attributes we prioritized mean the difference between finding your everyday blush or adding another product that goes untouched to your collection.
This matte blush blends flawlessly into the skin for the perfect flushed look.
The color payoff of some of the shades is lacking.
Beloved for its clothing and bags, Chanel's makeup feels like taking home a piece of the brand at a fraction of the price. The Joues Contraste Powder Blush is a hallmark product used by many celebrity makeup artists because it blends flawlessly into the skin for a subtle yet impactful blushing look. The formula is a buildable silky powder that comes in 14 shades variants, including rose, corals, and berries. Some of the shades are more pigmented than others, however.
Even with a slightly elevated price, the product's longevity, customizability, and shade range make it an apparent standout in the blush category. Also included in each embossed compact is a small blush brush and mirror for on-the-go application.
Price at time of publish: $50
Type: Powder | Finish: Natural | Shades: 14 | Size: 0.21 ounces
This product blends onto bare skin as well as other complexion products.
The product can get onto the walls of the packaging easily.
The Soft Pop Plumping Blush Veil from celebrity makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic's namesake comes in six highly emollient cream shades to enhance cheeks in a buildable veil of color. The formula is a color reiteration of the brand’s best-selling SoftSculpt Transforming Skin Enhancer that includes the skincare ingredient hyaluronic acid, which is known for its hydrating and plumping benefits. This blush is like a dual makeup and skincare product, as it blends effortlessly into the skin like your favorite cream or serum. It also features pearlescent pigments that catch the light in an ultra-flattering and natural capacity, unlike most shimmering blushes that leave chunks of mica or shimmer behind.
Additionally, the blush veil is free from pore-clogging ingredients, which can often be a barrier of entry for anyone with textured or acne-prone skin. The minimalist packaging makes this product portable, however, be aware the product does get onto the sides of the compact fairy easily. Overall, with the shade range and "your skin but better" finish, this blush is a universal crowd-pleaser.
Price at time of publish: $30
Type: Cream | Finish: Radiant | Shades: 6 | Size: 0.17 ounces
The formula is matte but does not look aging on the skin.
This product only comes in four shades.
Drugstore-staple brand L'Oréal Paris offers a product line meant to last all day and night. A recent addition to the Infallible line is the 24H Fresh Wear Soft Matte Blushes. Despite the limited shade range of four hues, these opaque blushes easily blend into the skin, giving a youthful flush for hours on end.
Each shade is transfer-proof, water-resistant, and withstands heat and sweat, making it ideal for warmer months lounging by the pool. And, despite the matte finish, the product doesn't settle into fine lines or emphasize texture, which is a common complaint against powder blushes.
Price at time of publish: $16
Type: Powder | Finish: Matte | Shades: 4 | Size: 0.31 ounces
The level of pigment in each shade is comparable to higher-end blushes.
If you’re looking for a certain shade, you have to check at different retailers since only the brand's website offers all the colors.
The cream-to-powder formula of the e.l.f Putty Blush gives the blendability and hydration of a cream with the longevity and color payoff of a high-end powder. This blush is infused with vitamin E and argan oil and promises a lightweight feel that keeps skin plump and hydrated while minimizing skin texture. It's best applied with fingers to work the product into the skin for maximum effect. It can also be applied with a synthetic bristle makeup brush so as not to waste product.
The entire collection of eight shades is available on the brand's site, with a select assortment available across retailers, making the product accessible plus affordable.
Price at time of publish: $7
Type: Cream | Finish: Natural | Shades: 8 | Size: 0.35 ounces
The smallest amount of product goes a long way given the formula’s intense pigmentation.
Because of how little you need, you might not use all the product before it dries out or goes bad.
Rare Beauty's products never disappoint, so it's no surprise the Soft Pinch Liquid Blush makes our list of best blushes. Highly pigmented and offered in an expansive collection of 13 hues, this ergonomically packaged flush-enhancer comes in radiant and matte finishes.
While the matte shades are limited, there are no discrepancies in how well the product performs. In fact, many users note the formula is so pigmented that it's hard to finish a bottle before the expiration date since you only need to use a little. Still, with how easily it blends into the skin and the product's overall wear time, you're hard-pressed to reach for another formula day-to-day.
Price at time of publish: $23
Type: Liquid | Finish: Radiant and matte | Shades: 13 | Size: 0.25 ounces
This multipurpose product can be used on both the cheeks and the lips, making it perfect for travel.
Given the short shelf life of clean makeup, having more travel sizes may be more cost-effective for consumers.
Clean beauty and luxury cosmetics brand Westman Atelier's Baby Cheeks Lip + Cheek Cream Blush Stick is a blendable and multipurpose product. It effortlessly blends into the skin and lips for a look the brand describes as a "naturally effervescent flush." With six shades, all in a natural finish, this cream is universally flattering on all skin types and all ages. The formula also utilizes berryflux vita, jojoba oil, and vitus vita fruit extract and promises to boost hydration and skin firmness.
This universality, attention to ingredients, and chic packaging make this higher price point justifiable. And, if it feels like too much (or if you don’t use enough before the expiration date), a mini version of the most popular hue is available.
Price at time of publish: $48
Type: Cream | Finish: Natural | Shades: 6 | Size: 0.21 ounces
The shimmer in the formula is not chunky like similar products on the market.
The travel sizes only come in limited shades.
People with mature skin often shy away from shimmer in blush, thinking it will emphasize fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. Fortunately, the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes were created to give cheeks depth and dimensions without sitting heavy on the skin to provide a youthful flush. The brand incorporates Photoluminescent Technology into each of the eight shades, subtly reflecting light and offering a seamless blend.
Additionally, the blush is not a singular tone but a swirl of shades that allow the overall color to be the same for each shade, yet no two physical products are alike. There are eight shades to choose from, however, be aware the travel or mini sizes are only available in three shades.
Price at time of publish: $45
Type: Powder | Finish: Radiant and shimmer | Shades: 8 | Size: 0.15 ounces and 0.04 ounces
The doe-foot applicator dispenses the perfect amount of product with each use.
Other colors in the line, except Peachy, do not have accurate descriptions of how they look on the skin.
Saie's Dew Blush Liquid Cheek Blush in 'Peachy' is comparable to the Georgia state fruit from which it gets its name. Lightweight, pigmented, and glowy, this beginner-friendly blush looks effortlessly chic on most skin tones. Best of all, the formula is full of skin-loving ingredients like brightening mulberry extract, radiance-enhancing elderberry extract, and nourishing evening primrose extract, giving wearers a multi-functional product.
We're fans of the teardrop-shaped doe-foot applicator that ensures just the right amount of product is applied to the skin, which is ideal considering the pigmentation level across all six shades. It may be helpful to try out the other shades in a store, as some users noted that the descriptions of the other colors don’t match up to how they look on the skin. Silicone and fragrance-free, there are plenty of reasons to love this TikTok-trending formula.
Price at time of publish: $25
Type: Cream | Finish: Dewy | Shades: 6 | Size: 0.40 ounces
The pigmentation levels of this blush strike the perfect balance for just the right flush of color.
This product could have more diversity of shades along the color spectrum.
Don't let the idea of luminous matte fool you; these Gucci Luminous Matte Beauty Blushes don't contain any shimmer or glitter. Instead, the idea of a glow simply comes from the hydrating ingredients in this blush formula. Examples include shea butter to decrease noticeable dryness, hyaluronic acid for continuous hydration, and black rose oil to keep the skin smooth and soothed. These three skincare powerhouses create a blush that looks and feels like a second skin.
A little more diversity of shades along the color spectrum would be nice, but there are nine shades in the recognizable vintage flare Gucci Beauty packaging is known for. The blush shades are also highly pigmented for the perfect pop of color. As a bonus, it includes a handy little mirror to ensure touch-ups are quick when you're running around.
Price at time of publish: $49
Type: Powder | Finish: Luminous matte | Shades: 9 | Size: 0.19 ounce
This matte blush has a nice blurring effect despite being a balm.
The blush can feel a bit heavy on the skin, even after blending it out.
Danessa Myricks Beauty's Yummy Skin Blurring Balm Powder Flushed Matte Color for Cheek & Lip uses the brand's beloved Blurring Balm Powder formula and turns it on its head for a highly-pigmented balm to powder blush.
Available in six matte shades ranging from vibrant red to vivid plum, this texture-reducing, blurring, and smoothing formula works across skin tones and also includes Upsalite, an ingredient designed to absorb sweat. Other ingredients include vegan-derived squalane to balance out sebum production and hyaluronic acid to keep skin feeling hydrated and not stripped. It can feel a bit heavy on the skin, but this formula won't settle into fine lines and withstand hours of wear.
Price at time of publish: $25
Type: Balm | Finish: Matte | Shades: 6 | Size: 0.21 ounces
The formula is non-comedogenic, making it great for even those with acne.
The packaging could be more sturdy and ergonomic.
Ranked highly in blendability and color payoff, the Merit Flush Balm Cream Blush is a clean beauty staple—and we think the shade 'Stockholm' is the perfect choice for those with fair skin tones. The baby pink hue is cool in its undertone with subtle hints of blue that synchronize themselves to the redness often accompanying lighter complexions. This shade, like the rest of the products from Merit, is formulated to be free from acne-causing ingredients, ensuring that skin stays glowing and clear during and after every wear.
The small stick packaging is portable and made of 100 percent recyclable plastic, however, it isn’t very sturdy and can be difficult to manipulate for some. The product is also cruelty-free and vegan.
Price at time of publish: $30
Type: Cream | Finish: Radiant | Shades: 9 | Size: 0.31 ounces
This stick packaging is travel-friendly, with the product on one side and a brush on the other.
Not every retailer carries the entire Nudestix shade range, so some shades may be hard to find.
Individuals with olive skin tones should look for blushes with peachy, coral, or bronze undertones. These warm hues flatter the natural warmth and green undercurrents of medium skin. The Nudestix Nudies Matte Cream Blush in 'Sunset Strip' is sure to be a travel staple thanks to its grab-and-go packaging and vibrant pigmentation. A part of the Nudies expansive line, this warm, bright coral gives a summer vacation feel that blends seamlessly onto the cheeks, eyes, and lips for a natural flush. Be aware that not every retailer may carry this particular shade.
What makes the formula unique is that, even with its matte finish, the cream blush doesn’t look dry or dull on the skin, further enhancing a youthful complexion.
Price at time of publish: $35
Type: Cream | Finish: Matte | Shades: 22 | Size: 0.25 ounces
The vibrancy and pigmentation level that comes from the shade gives a luminous look.
The blush compact can be hard to open.
Another celebrity makeup artist line that checks off all the boxes is Pat McGrath Labs, with Skin Fetish: Divine Powder Blush being a great choice for deeper complexions. With six sticking matte hues and two shimmering shades, this opaque and easy-to-blend blush sits flesh on the cheeks, giving a distinct artist feel to the cheeks. The Cherish shade, which is a neutral pink demi-matte, is particularly flattering on those with darker skin tones as the pigmented blush has a vibrancy that gives deeper complexions a pop of flushed color and radiance.
What stands out in the formula is how even the pigment applies to the skin. Simply sweep a powder brush over the floral embossed product and apply it to the cheeks in an upward motion for a lifted and sculpted makeup look. The packaging is pretty, however, some may find the compact a bit tricky to open.
Price at time of publish: $39
Type: Powder | Finish: Matte | Shades: 12 | Size: 0.34 ounces
The creme blush blends easily and gives a radiant finish, while the powder blush provides the perfect pop of color for a long-wearing finish.
The packaging gets very messy when using the product consistently.
The Patrick Ta Major Headlines Double-Take Crème & Powder Blush is a multi-formulated palette that offers sheer, long-wearing, buildable, and opaque coverage in a convenient compact. Available in eight neutral hues, both radiant finish formulas utilize Patented Biomimetic Pigments to ensure the product mimics skin's natural texture, resulting in a true-to-color application.
The brand suggests first applying the cream to sculpt the cheek, followed by the powder to set the formula and intensify the color payoff. Of course, you can use one without the other. This palette blush is perfect for the “cold girl” makeup trend. The packaging can get messy, but the two different formulations won’t transfer into each other.
Price at time of publish: $36
Type: Cream and powder | Finish: Radiant | Shades: 11 | Size: 0.21 ounces and 0.14 ounces
The Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush is our favorite powder blush thanks to its blendability, shade range, and color payoff. If you're looking for an affordable drugstore option, check out the L'Oréal Infallible 24H Fresh Wear Soft Matte Blush, which falls below $20 and does not sacrifice quality.
There are a few main types of blushes, including cream, liquid, and powder. Each formula lends itself to various finishes, but the primary difference is what skin types they perform optimally on. For example, individuals with a dry skin type may find matte powder blushes to cling to texture, resulting in a thick and lackluster appearance to the skin. Instead, someone whose skin lacks moisture should opt for cream blush as they blend into the skin easily and offer hydrating benefits. Alternatively, someone with oily skin that finds makeup barely lasts an hour or two will find longevity in powders.
Radiant, natural, shimmering, and matte are the typical finishes you'll find in mass-market blushes. These finishes indicate how the product will appear on the skin in natural and artificial light.
Shimmering offers light reflection, which can be beneficial in a powder formula for individuals with youthful and bouncy skin. Radiant offers a lit-from-within glow that anyone with mature or dehydrated skin might crave. Matte finishes work nicely on oilier skin types or anyone looking to work with more vibrant hues. And, of course, natural finishes strike a balance between all the variants and are deemed more universally flattering in the beauty space.
The best finish for you is ultimately a personal preference, but consider your skin type and the overall effect you want your look to accomplish.
Drita Paljevic, celebrity makeup artist, says recognizing the under and overtone of your skin will "help guide you in choosing the most flattering blush shades for your complexion." Because the pigmentation of our skin completely controls how certain hues will appear, it is easier to enhance them with the right tones of blush.
Someone who is incredibly cool-toned would look better with matching blushes of bright pink with subtle hints of blues. Those with olive undertones, no matter how light or deep their skin tone, look best in shades that offer warmth, like bronzes and corals.
Pigment refers to how much color payoff a product has or how vibrant and noticeable it appears on the skin. While it is more beginner friendly to opt for a product that is less opaque and allows you to build on the level of pigment, choosing a formula that requires a small amount of product to get the maximum color payoff, like the Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush, means you won't run out of blush as quickly. Plenty of blushes strike a balance between the two, so you don't have to be overly cautious when shopping.
Typically, a blush should last as long as the rest of your makeup does. There are formulas on the market claiming to be 12- or 24-hour wear, but makeup shouldn't exceed a 12- to 16-hour wear time. This wear time is typical for a day job or night shift, as makeup should be removed before bed to prevent clogged pores and breakouts.
If longevity is important to you because you have oily skin, a physically demanding job, or want your makeup to withstand things like inclement weather, blushes that are stain formulas, have a matte finish, or offer intense pigment will offer longer wear times than a product like a traditional cream blush.
The ideal shade of your blush depends on your skin's undertone and naturally-occurring pigmentation. Paljevic explains that individuals with pink or cool undertones should consider peachy tones to counteract the redness their skin is prone towards.
"Neutral skin tones, both peach and pink shades work well,” she says. “If your skin has more yellow overtones, pink blush shades are a great choice." Personal preference also comes into play. As long as you feel confident wearing the hue, the shade of your choosing is fair game.
Blush application is two-fold; there is how you apply it to the skin and where you apply it. Cream and liquid blushes look best when blended into the skin with fingertips for a more natural glow or with duo-fiber brushes to build up product intensity and prevent excess pigment from being absorbed by the bristles. Powder blushes typically work best with natural fiber brushes that are less dense to help evenly blend the formula onto the skin.
As for placement, Paljevic says, "Begin by applying blush to the outer corner of your cheekbone, starting from your ear and blending towards a point below the outer corner of your eye. Additionally, adding a touch of color near your temples, moving towards the center of your forehead, can help create a balance between your forehead and chin."
If your blush breaks, denatured alcohol offers an easy fix. "Simply press the broken pieces back together, and the alcohol will evaporate, leaving your blush intact," Paljevic says. The alcohol will not alter the product's pigmentation, finish, or blendability.
If the blush vessel is a material that shatters, it is safer not to attempt to put it back together or decant any salvageable product into a new container. You risk broken shards contaminating the formula and potentially damaging your skin.
This article was written by Samantha Parsons, a beauty industry veteran and writer with experience across the cosmetics, skin, and wellness industries. She researched countless blushes to come up with this list, considering formula type, finish, available shades, and more. She also worked alongside Drita Paljevic, Kevyn Aucoin brand ambassador and celebrity makeup artist, to help consumers navigate finding the right blush to fit their needs.Price at time of publish: $50Type: Finish:Shades:Size:Price at time of publish: $30Type: Finish: Shades: Size:Price at time of publish: $16Type: Finish: Shades: Size:Price at time of publish: $7Type: Finish: Shades: Size:Price at time of publish: $23Type: Finish:Shades:Size:Price at time of publish: $48Type: Finish:Shades:Size:Price at time of publish: $45Type: FinishShades:Size:Price at time of publish: $25Type: Finish: Shades: Size:Price at time of publish: $49Type: Finish: Shades:Size:Price at time of publish: $25Type: Finish: Shades:Size:Price at time of publish: $30Type: Finish:Shades: Size:Price at time of publish: $35Type: Finish:Shades:Size:Price at time of publish$39Type: Finish:Shades: Size:Price at time of publish: $36Type: Finish:Shades: Size: