Want to look radiant no matter what time of year it is (minus the sun damage)? Look no further than one of the best blush sticks on the market. Blush sticks are cream-based blush formulas that often contain skin-nourishing ingredients like shea butter or squalane and can be used on the go in different ways. Compared to powder blushes, “blush sticks work with the natural oils of your skin instead of sitting on top of it,” explains New York-based makeup artist Nam Vo.
Blush sticks are perfect for the “no-makeup-makeup” crowd, as they provide a natural-looking radiance without appearing cakey or obvious like powder sometimes does. Los Angeles-based makeup artist Kirin Bhatty loves the dewy texture they provide, as they “really lend themselves to creating a glowy complexion and truly look like skin,” describing them as “the perfect summertime product.”
If you constantly find yourself with only 10 minutes to get ready (a.k.a. every “get ready with me” influencer on TikTok), blush sticks can be real lifesavers. These multipurpose sticks can be used as eye shadow, blush, and lip color, making them the perfect “if you could only have three beauty items with you on a deserted island” hack. “Blush sticks are multiuse products, so you can also tap them onto your lids and lips for a monochromatic flushed look,” Bhatty adds. Whether you’re getting ready in a car, subway, train, or plane, a blush stick is all you need to quickly enhance your look.
While you have the option to use a makeup brush or Beautyblender, using your fingers works just as well, especially when you’re on the go. In terms of application, Bhatty suggests, “I like to apply the product with my fingertips and then blend out and upward with a cream blush brush toward the hairline for perfectly dewy cheeks every time.” Conversely, if you desire a more intense pop of color, you can build the color by using blush sticks as an initial layer and then layering powder blush on top.
Fortunately, you can shop a wide range of blush sticks at various price points, making it possible to find “the one” without breaking the bank. Whether you’re drawn to newer brands like Makeup by Mario or Ami Colé, or prefer luxury, heritage brands like Chanel and Hourglass, we’ve selected the 13 best cream blush sticks to help you achieve a dewy glow.
Our Top Picks:
- Makeup Kit Staple: Makeup by Mario Soft Pop Blush Stick, $30
- Best Soft-Matte Finish: Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Matte Beauty Blush Wand, $42
- Best for Layering: Pat McGrath Labs Divine Blush, $29
- Best Blush Stick for Dry Skin: Ami Colé Blush and Lip Multistick, $40
- For a Vacation Glow on a Budget: E.L.F. Monochromatic Multi Stick, $5
- The “Quiet Luxury” Blush: Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick, $48
- Best for Oily Skin: Hourglass Vanish Blush Stick, $46
Best Overall: Makeup by Mario Soft Pop Blush Stick
One swipe of Makeup by Mario’s Soft Pop Blush Stick is all it takes to realize that this should be a staple in anyone’s makeup routine. It comes in six shades, including Pale Petal, a baby doll pink pictured here; Raspberry, a vibrant Barbie pink; and Earthy Pink, a rose shade that Bhatty never leaves out of her kit: “It has really good payoff,” she notes. “The formula is buildable and pigmented, allowing you to mix different shades together to create your own unique color. The travel-friendly packaging also conveniently comes with a brush at the bottom, so that you’re never without the option of a quick refresh.
Best Blush for Layering: Pat McGrath Labs Divine Blush
“Mother never misses,” says Bhatty, and we agree because Pat McGrath Labs Divine Blush is the perfect blush for those seeking a balmy, luminous cheek look. When applied with a brush, it provides a sheer wash of color (Fleurotique, a cool rose, pictured here), but if you desire more pigment, using your fingers or applying directly to your face is recommended. This blush stick has a gel-like texture that is neither sticky nor greasy; but if you have oily skin, adding a powder on top may be necessary.