Jul 25, 2023

13 Best Blush Sticks 2023 for a Lit

By Iman Balagam

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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.

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.

"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.

Makeup artist Nam Vo is also a huge fan of the brand and recommends adding their Skin Fetish Xtreme Highlighter + Balm Duo on top, which she describes as a blend of blush and highlight.

Blush wand, blush stick, tomato, tomato. There are few things more satisfying than squeezing Charlotte Tilbury's Pillow Talk Matte Beauty Blush Wand. However, it's important to exercise caution and not go overboard. Generally, applying two to three dots of the product is sufficient, but the formula is buildable, allowing you to add more or less as desired.

Despite its matte finish, all four shades (Pillow Talk pictured here, Pillow Talk Peach Pop, Pillow Talk Pink Pop, and Pillow Talk Dream Pop) don't diminish the natural glow or dewiness of your skin, which is a common concern with matte formulas. Additionally, there are matching matte lip shades available or you can use the wand directly on your lips — it's basically a buy-one-get-one-free deal.

With the convenience of multisticks, it's easier than ever to achieve a full face using just one or two products. This Ami Colé cheek & lip blusher blends seamlessly into the skin, creating a natural glow. The buildable, creamy formula contains nourishing ingredients like Africa-sourced desert date oil, which provides antioxidant protection and nourishment that's particularly beneficial for dry skin types.

So, not only does this product enhance your appearance, but it also hydrates the skin, ensuring a long-lasting effect throughout the day. The multistick is available in four flattering tints: Flame, a vibrant red shown here; Dune, a warm brown; Hibiscus, a berry shade; and Spice, a plum hue.

The Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick beautifully enhances the texture of the skin (thanks to hydrating jojoba seed oil and firming vitus vita fruit extract), striking a balance between a dewy and glossy finish. It offers a diverse range of shades, including Poppete, a bright pink; Minette, a peachy pink pictured here; Dou Dou, a warm rose; Bichette, a rich red berry; Chouchette, a nude peach; and Petal, a dusty nude rose that complements any makeup look.

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For an added touch of "Yeah, I summer in the Hamptons" energy, a small amount can be applied on the forehead and nose. Westman Atelier also offers a mini version of Petal, perfect for swatching before committing to a full-size product or for convenient travel purposes.

Blush is often underestimated — some might even call it like the middle child of makeup — yet it plays a crucial role in bringing the entire look together. Victoria Beckham Beauty's Cheeky Posh sticks are renowned for their long-lasting formulas that seamlessly blend into the skin and retain their vibrancy even after hours of wear. The secret is that each blush stick is infused with botanical actives like blue lotus wax, jojoba esters, and ginseng extract to smooth the skin, blur imperfections, and glide across the skin like butter.

The collection offers seven velvety shades, including Fever, a lively poppy red; Major, a versatile neutral pink flush; and Playground, an earth-toned terracotta shade that Vo particularly loves and is pictured here. While some shades may seem extra vibrant in the tube, they have been thoughtfully formulated to suit all skin tones and can be sheered out or built up.

There's no greater flex than pulling a Violette_FR Bisou Blush out of your makeup bag. First, it means that you're in the know, as French girl beauty is the crème de la crème. Second, the matte cream blush melts into the skin to create an aura of effortlessness and a natural-looking flush. There are three marbled shades to choose from that not only look beautiful in the tube but also on your face: soft pink Inès, neutral beige Louise (pictured here), and Aïssa, a pink for darker skin tones.

Plus, there's a soft yet sturdy, detachable brush at the bottom that allows you to easily blend on the go. "You can tell a makeup artist made these," says Bhatty. "The shades are thoughtfully chosen and are perfect for those who love a 'no-makeup-makeup' look."

If you want to shine bright like a diamond, the Chanel Baume Essentiel Glow Stick is the perfect choice. This multitasking product is a moisturizing highlighting balm designed for the face, eyes, and lips that provides a natural flush, whether worn alone with sunscreen or as part of a full-face makeup look. The sheer formulation allows for easy application in a C shape, starting at the apex of your cheek and blending the product into the temples.

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While it may not be as pigmented as some other options on this list, you can build up the color (which is Dragée, a petal-like pink, here) by gently tapping the product into the skin. Whatever is left on your fingers can be applied to areas of the face that naturally catch the light, further enhancing the glazed donut look.

After Sophia Richie Grainge used the Nudestix Nudies Blush during her epic Italian wedding celebration, it's no wonder it's at the top of all of our wishlists. (Editor's Note: Sophia is affiliated with the brand as an investor and Nude Beauty Director.) With 22 shades to choose from and three different finishes — satin, matte, or radiant — this blush (shown here in Salty Siren, a coral-forward peach) offers a range of options to suit different preferences. It can be applied on the eyelids, temples, cheeks, and even the nose for a cohesive look.

The best part is that it's impossible to use too much of this blush because it's just so blendable. So, while you may not have designer clothes or a wealthy yet kind-eyed husband, at least your face will be sporting a quiet luxury look.

While on the pricier side of the spectrum, the Hourglass Vanish Blush Stick could easily be the sole item in your makeup kit. Its cream-to-powder formula is neither overly dewy nor excessively matte, resulting in a natural pop of color (like Adore, a rich berry, shown here) that can be applied anywhere on the face. This blush stick offers comfortable wear and keeps the skin hydrated, no matter what you put it through — be it the Eras tour, a trip to Portugal, or simply going outside in the summertime.

Nars The Multiple is a makeup stick designed to be used as a blush, highlighter, contour, and whatever else your heart desires. To apply, simply put a small amount on your fingertips and gently tap it onto your eyelids, or directly apply the stick to your face. The cream-to-powder formula glides on smoothly and effortlessly, requiring minimal pressure for application.

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The iconic shade, Orgasm, remains a beloved favorite, offering a gorgeous, slightly shimmery peach-pink that's the ideal combo of blush and highlighter. If you prefer a deeper look, Orgasm Rush is your girl. For added convenience, the Multiple is offered in two mini sizes, making it perfect to carry in your tote bag or for hassle-free travel.

The best drugstore creamy blush, in our minds, is E.L.F.'s Monochromatic Multi Sticks. At only $5, you'd worry that they'd skimp on pigment, but that’s definitely not the case here. This cheek tint blends like a dream and even has some sparkle for those who want a bit of extra oomph. It's long-wearing and nongreasy, thanks to a lightweight formula that contains moisturizing shea butter and vitamin E.

There are seven different shades to choose from, but one shade that truly stands out is Glimmering Guava (pictured here). With its pretty peachy tone, it imparts a sunlit glow that gives you that coveted, fresh-off-the-beach look.

According to Bhatty, the Ilia Multi-Stick is "clean beauty at its finest, offering a wide range of shades to choose from" and compact enough "to carry around in your bag for easy touch-ups." No, seriously, you can fit it in your pocket.

There are 10 shades (All of Me is pictured) to choose from, each one packed with ingredients like creamy shea butter, nourishing avocado oil, and conditioning orange peel wax that gives your skin a breathable feel — because there's nothing worse than feeling heavy makeup on your skin. It's lightweight yet buildable, so whether you need a quick midday refresh or want to add a romantic touch to your routine, this multiuse stick is essential.

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