The Best Liquid Blushes

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If you, like me, are afraid of blush (I think this has more to do with my clown phobia, but whatever), let’s overcome our fear together and consider a liquid blush, instead. These types of blushes won't sit on top of your skin, unlike their powdery counterparts, which have the potential to make you look like that dreaded clown if applied a little too heavy handedly. Rather, the best liquid blushes, and their creamy cousins, will blend seamlessly into your skin for a flushed, natural-looking finish.

Generally, water-based liquid blushes work nicely on oily skin, since they require a good amount of slip to blend. Liquids might pick up flakes in very dry skin, or they just won’t be as workable as you want them to be — but if you’re intent on a liquid blush, layer on a nourishing face oil or moisturizing primer before doing your makeup.

Dry and combination skin types will probably be better off with cream blushes, which usually contain butters, oils, and other nourishing ingredients that make them easier to blend. People with oily skin can definitely use cream blushes, too — you just might want to follow up with a setting powder so your blush won’t run, bleed, or disappear entirely over the course of the day. And across the board, both liquid and cream blushes should be applied over a liquid base. They might pill, clump, or simply refuse to blend over powder foundations. If you don't intend on wearing any base makeup, again, just make sure your skin has been properly moisturized before applying your blush.

Not so scary, right? Ahead, take a look at five of the best cream blushes, liquid blushes, and cheek tints — call them what you will — on the market right now. They’ll make you look like you just went on an invigorating jog, even if you most definitely did not.


The Best Drugstore Liquid Blush

Three things I love about this Maybelline liquid blush: 1. It’s water-based, so it glides on easily and feels like basically nothing on your skin. 2. It’s oil-free, so it won’t run, slip, or smudge, even if you have oily skin. 3. It has a slightly thicker consistency than a water tint, so you can build it up to achieve your desired level of pigment. Despite calling itself a gel-cream, I'd definitely consider it more of a liquid. Expect a flushed, natural-looking finish.

  • Available shades: Pink Scorch, Nude Burn, Rose Flush, Fuchsia Spark, Coral Ember, Berry Flame


The Best Creamy Liquid Blush

Unlike Maybelline Cheek Heat, which is more of a liquid-y gel, this blush has a creamy consistency that dries into a powdery finish when applied to skin. It also has a bit of a glow to it, so it can double as a highlighter when applied to your cheekbones.

  • Available shades: On Duty, Epic Final, Distinctive


The Best Lip & Cheek Cream

An absolute GOAT as far as two-in-one pigments go, this Stila Convertible Color is probably a less intimidating and/or less messy way to get some color on your face, as opposed to liquids and gels that tend to ooze. Just swirl your finger into the disc of creamy pigment, tap it lightly onto your cheeks and/or lips, and order is maintained. I also like to use my Stila tint as a cream eyeshadow, either as a base for a powder shadow or on its own.

  • Available shades: Camellia, Gerbera, Lillium, Magnolia, Peony, Petunia


The Best Liquid Lip & Cheek Tint

Technically, this Etude House Dear Darling Water Tint is marketed as a lip stain. But like the Benefit Benetint to which it frequently draws parallels, you can use this all-purpose Korean stain wherever you want to look fresh and flushed — whether that’s on your cheeks like a Jane Austen heroine, across the bridge of your nose like an E-girl, or somewhere else that I’m not inventive enough to think of right now. Even better: This gloop-free, water-based tint is one-sixth of the price of Benetint.

  • Available shades: Cherry Ade, Orange Ade, Strawberry Ade


The Best "Clean" Cream Blush

Reviewers love the quality, longevity, and lightweight consistency of this Honest Beauty Creme Cheek Blush. More to love: It’s packed with antioxidants and botanical oils and free from potentially irritating synthetic ingredients (like parabens, paraffin, and mineral oils), which should make you feel better when the product melts seamlessly into your skin. Like all good cream blushes, this one is formulated for gradual layering; but if you accidentally overdid it, sweep your foundation brush or makeup sponge over the offending patch to tone down the color.

  • Available shades: Coral Peach, Peony Pink, Plum Berry, Rose Pink