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13 best cream blushers for a natural and long-lasting glow

These picks include matte, dewy, and satin effects for a colourful cheek pop

Helen Wilson-Beevers
Monday 21 August 2023 14:23 BST
We looked at formula, shades, staying power and finish
We looked at formula, shades, staying power and finish (The Independent)
Our Top Picks

Blusher is a classic make-up buy for adding an uplifting pop of cheek colour, and this beauty staple offers a failsafe way of infusing skin with a healthy-looking glow.

While it’s important to pick the shade which works best with your skin tone, formula is pretty crucial too. Compact powder blush picks will always be a popular choice, and they’re undoubtedly a timeless make-up buy. But, if your skin is prone to dryness, or you’re wary of choosing a product which might cling to fine lines, cream blush is your cheek-brightening best friend.

Whether you seek a lightweight or rich consistency, the beauty of these blendable buys is that they’re easy to layer and build, so the exact amount of cheek coverage can be tailored to your preference. They can be applied with a brush or fingertips and the creamy texture serves up a smoothing splash of colour, which may either be matte or dewy. Plus, these gel, liquid or balm-like formulas are easy to dab on throughout the day for a colourful boost.

With all that in mind, we’ve been researching the best cream blushers to buy, in pink, coral, neutral and warm tones. From subtle shades to long-wearing options, read on to see our full tried and tested findings.

How we tested

Our reviewer sampled a selection of cream blushersduring a testing time of a few weeks to several months and these picks include old favourites and brand-new finds. We looked at formula, shades, staying power and finish, when worn as part of our usual make-up routine. Look no further than our pick of the best cream blushers across all price points.

The best cream blushers for 2023 are:

  • Best overall cream blush – Merit flush balm cheek colour, Beverly Hills: £32,
  • Best cream blush for a sheer finish – Glossier cloud paint, puff: £20,
  • Best cream blush stick – Pixi Beauty on-the-glow blush, fleur: £18,
  • Best multi-tasking cream blush– Jones Road lip and cheek stick, tawny nude: £30.50,
  • Best cream blush for a satin effect – Rare Beauty stay vulnerable melting blush, apricot: £18,

Merit flush balm cheek colour, Beverly Hills

merit balm blush
  • Best: Overall
  • Size: 9g
  • Shades: Nine

Presented in a sleek, gold pot, this dome-shaped cream blush is perfect for easy application. There are nine shades to choose between, including orange, peach and berry in warm and cool shades, and our tester has been using the earthy pink Beverly Hills option almost daily for several months. Although the finish is comfortingly lightweight, this creamy blush offers an instant pop of colour which creates a gorgeous glow. Plus, you can easily build it up for a bolder look that doesn’t slide off. The dewy finish also offers a skin plumping effect, and key ingredient vitamin E provides smoothing hydrating too.

Whether applying it on a bare face or full make-up day, a swipe of this Merit cream blush never fails to offer a healthy-looking flush, with minimal effort. It’s become our secret weapon for a speedy make-up pick-me-up.

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Glossier cloud paint, puff

Glossier cloud paint.png
  • Best: For a sheer finish
  • Size: 10ml
  • Shades: Nine

Presented in cute paint tube packaging, complete with a twist-off lid, there are eight shades to explore including coral, fuchsia, peach, and mulberry. Puff is a pale pink number, offering a sheer wash of cheek colour that we found to be buildable too.

Ideal if you prefer a natural-looking glow, our tester squeezed a drop out of the tube and blended the fragrance-free gel-cream hybrid onto the skin. We saw a brightening make-up lift, which could be easily made into a bolder layer with extra product. The blush colour lingers for hours on end and the fun tube fits neatly into our make-up bag too.

  1. £20 from
Prices may vary
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Pat McGrath Labs divine blush: legendary glow colour balm, peach lotus

Pat McGrath Labs divine blush legendary glow colour balm.jpg
  • Best: For a glassy effect
  • Size: 7g
  • Shades : Six

This brand-new cream blush from make-up legend Pat McGrath’s eponymous brand comes in six colours, including the pretty pink lotus shade which we’ve been wearing. It’s presented in a stick applicator and because of that, the balm-gel formula makes for an ideal lip product too. One slick of the glossy formula offers a beautiful glassy finish, minus any stickiness or greasiness.

Key ingredients include shea butter, squalane, and passionfruit extract, so it’s supremely softening and hydrating. Our tester recently took this beauty staple on holiday and swore by it for lip and cheek radiance. We also love the pink and gold packaging and find this chic product a joy to apply.

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Victoria Beckham Beauty cheeky posh cream blush stick, playground

Cheeky posh.jpg
  • Best: Luxe cream blush
  • Size: 5g
  • Shades: Seven

Just one slick of this cream blush stick serves up bold cheek colour available in peach, pink and poppy shades, with terracotta nude being our current favourite pick. Our tester appreciated how well the texture perfects that tricky balance between being glossy and staying put, with our cheeks showcasing a soft, velvety finish. The tube packaging is suitably posh too and the stick itself has a signature VB logo stamped on it.

Ingredients include skin-softening blue lotus wax and soothing ginseng extracts, with the highly pigmented product delivering a powerful pop of long-wearing cheek colour. Plus, the formula doesn’t settle into pores and its slimline stick adds extra precision application ease.

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Pixi Beauty on-the-glow blush, fleur

Pixi Beauty on-the-glow blush.png
  • Best: Cream blush stick
  • Size: 19g
  • Shades: Three

A twist-up cream blush stick available in three shades, we particularly like this rosy pink fleur colour. The robust packaging means we’re not afraid to take the cream blusher out and about or chuck it in our bag. Plus, our tester found the creamy cheek colour slides onto the skin quickly and effortlessly, with aloe vera ingredients making it feel soothing.

The pale sugary pink shade accompanies a sheer, glossy finish, creating a glowing, dewy effect. A buildable formula, you can add as little or as much product as you’d prefer, and we find the pink tones work well as a lip tint too.

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Jones Road lip and cheek stick, tawny nude

Jones Road lip and cheek stick.png
  • Best: Multi-tasking cream blush
  • Size: 8.4g
  • Shade: Eight

There are eight shades to choose between when shopping this lip and cheek stick, including pink, coral, mocha and plum, and our current favourite is the earthy tawny nude option. The lightweight formula feels gentle on skin, and we particularly like using it as a quick make-up pick-me-up when our face looks a bit tired. Plus, because of the easy stick applicator, this can be done in a rush.

We notice a demi-matte finish when popping it onto lips and cheeks, with the formula smoothing over creases rather than clinging to them. This is a versatile make-up buy, whether you prefer to apply the blush with fingers or a brush.

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Rare Beauty stay vulnerable melting blush, apricot

Rare Beauty stay vulnerable melting blush, apricot.png
  • Best: For satin effect
  • Size: Not specified
  • Shades: Five

Presented in a chic rounded compact, complete with an application mirror and metallic detailing, we instantly appreciated how luxe this cream blusher’s packaging looks. The lightweight creamy formula added a satin effect to our tester’s skin, while the blush texture feels extremely smoothing. There’s no greasiness, just an initial lightly glossy effect that melts into skin and leaves a lingering sweep of silky, cheek colour.

While a few colours are available, we especially like the earthy apricot, for a healthy-looking natural finish. If you favour a blush which delivers pigment smoothly but doesn’t slide about, this is the perfect pick.

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SUQQU shimmer liquid blush, 03

SUQQU shimmer liquid blush, 03.png
  • Best: For moisturising skincare ingredients
  • Size: Not specified
  • Shades: Three

This glass bottle of liquid blush has a pump nozzle applicator releasing the creamy formula, for easy and mess-free use. The 03 shade is a sunny coral colour, with light and bright pink options to discover too. We liked how moisturising this blush feels and that’s thanks to the inclusion of nourishing ingredients often seen in skincare, such as sunflower seed oil, olive oil and jojoba oil.

Our tester found the texture to be lightweight and smoothing, while leaving a subtle wash of flattering cheek colour. Being a liquid blush, it’s satisfyingly buildable too.

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Ateh Jewel Beauty blush of dreams, Watson watermelon

Atel Jewel blush of dreams.jpg
  • Best: For pigmented colour
  • Size: 3ml
  • Shades: Three

This brand-new blush is a fresh launch from beauty expert Ateh Jewel, and we were instantly drawn to the aesthetically pleasing transparent packaging. It’s available in red and plum, plus the gloriously bright pink Watson watermelon shade we favoured most. The vegan-friendly formula combines the highly pigmented colour a cheek stain may create with the dewy effect of a midweight cream blusher. Ingredients include aloe vera, cocoa butter and sunflower seed oil, so the product offers a moisturising and soothing skin finish too. We’re big fans of the colourful joy this long-lasting blush added to our make-up look.

  1. £25 from
Prices may vary
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Illamasqua colour veil, tonic

Illamasqua colour veil, tonic.png
  • Best: Lightweight formula
  • Size: Not specified
  • Shades: Six

This unique cream blush has a gel-like formula which feels refreshingly lightweight on skin and offers a similar powder effect to a compact. The 4.5ml glass pot is a handy compact size, and we think its contents would last a while as a tiny amount offers strong cheek coverage.

Meanwhile, the jelly blush consistency makes it a blendable buy for layering up our cheek colour without creases. Available in six shades, our tester likes the neutral-toned tonic, for a subtle flush of colour which we’ve noted remains in place all day.

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Beauty Pie supercheek cream blush, universal pink

Beauty Pie supercheek cream blush, universal pink.png
  • Best: For a matte look
  • Size: 5g
  • Shades: Eight

Immediately after opening this cream blush pot, our tester noted the bright cheek colour has a similar texture to lipstick. Also available in berry and peach tones, we were impressed that dabbing just a small amount of product created a vibrant, matte pink effect on our tester’s cheeks. Vegan-friendly ingredients include synthetic waxes, silica and mattifying powder, with the Italian-made composition delivering strong pigment and a powdery finish which doesn’t slide off.

The texture blends well, but doesn’t budge, making this a brilliant cream blush should you like smoothing cheek coverage with excellent staying power.

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Nudestix nudies bloom, poppy girl

Nudestix nudies bloom, poppy girl.png
  • Best: For an integral applicator
  • Size: 7g
  • Shades: Seven

Ideal for easy application, this cream blush comes in a tin complete with its own internal mirror. Plus, the dual-ended stick has a brush tip as well as its main cream blush end, meaning we didn’t need to source a separate make-up tool to use for blending.

The cream blush is a chubby shape reaching our entire cheeks easily, whether we fancied going for this range’s pink, red, earthy, or brighter poppy shade. The latter added a brightening boost to our cheeks, with the colour gliding over skin, and we also found this versatile blush lends itself well to lips and eyelids too.

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Mii Cosmetics colour wonder lip and cheek balm, au naturelle

Mii Cosmetics colour wonder lip and cheek balm,.jpg
  • Best: Cream blush compact
  • Size: 3.2g
  • Shades: Three

This lip and cheek balm compact has an integral mirror, which we’ve found helpful for top-ups on the go. It’s a versatile buy, as the product doubles up as both a blusher and lip colour, and the creamy formula glides on without slipping off. Key component hyaluronic acid offers hydration, so is smoothing on any fine lines or dry patches. Meanwhile, additional ingredients like apricot oil, argan oil, castor oil and jojoba oil provide welcome moisture, which we’ve found soothing on parched skin too. There are three shades to sample, and we particularly like the earthy nude au naturelle option. It creates a natural cheek and lip colour, while simultaneously offering a softening skin finish.

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The verdict: Cream blushers

Our best overall buy is Merit’s flush balm cheek colour for delivering a bold pop of dewy cheek colour, with a wide shade selection. Meanwhile, if you favour a stick applicator, Pat McGrath Labs’ divine blush: legendary glow colour balm offers lip and cheek radiance and a gorgeous glassy finish. Finally, for a natural-looking flush, we also love Glossier’s cloud paint.

Looking for a new pout purchase? We’ve rounded up the best lip oils from Dior, Charlotte Tilbury and more

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