3 Easy Steps For Applying Cream Blush (And My 3 Favorite Formulas)

Cream blush is the truth, and I’m gonna show you the way!
Publish date:
May 21, 2014
blushes, cream blushes, Hourglass, How-To, Josie Maran, Kevyn Aucoin, cheek stains

When it comes to beauty, there are a trillion things I cannot (and have very little interest in being able to) do. I can't do anything to my hair except for clean it and comb it, like, once a month. Seriously, I can’t even blow-dry it all the way because my arms inevitably get tired and I just give up.

Other things I can't do: paint my own nails, wear fake eyelashes without having a panic attack, and pluck my eyebrows.

At this point, I’d imagine you’re wondering what the hell I’m doing writing here. This B can’t even paint her nails and she’s gonna tell me how to put on my blush? A LIKELY TALE. However, dear reader, for as many things as I suck at, there’s an equal number of things at which I excel, one of which I didn’t even realize was a skill until I started reading this here website and kept seeing people complain about it in the comments: cream blush, y’all! It is the truth, and I’m gonna show you the way!

I’ve been using it for a really long time, so it’s pretty much second nature to me at this point, but I think it’s SO much easier to blend it and get a natural-looking flush.

If there is one thing that you take away from this, let it be this: use your hands. In my highly scientific opinion, the reason I’m able to get such a natural application with cream/liquid blush is because the heat from my hands warms up the product so it soaks into my skin better. This way, when I blend, I’m able to erase any trace of a hard line between where the blush stops and my skin starts.

Enough chitchat--let’s gets to blushin’!

My favorite cream blush is The Creamy Glow in Patrice by Kevyn Aucoin. In the packaging (you can see how much I love this stuff by how busted mine is) this color reads bright red, but it gives me the perfect dramatic flush.

Like all of his products the formula of this is some next-level business and the shade range is great and interesting. It goes on so smoothly and is so pigmented, I doubt I’ll be able to use it all up before it dries out.

For totally different reasons, I also really love the Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee in Getaway Red by Josie Maran. This goes on so sheer at first but is totally buildable, so I can have as much or as little blush as I want.

I love it for when it’s hot out because it feels so light on my skin, and I don’t feel like I’m gonna sweat it off. I also like that Josie’s products are paraben-free and all contain argan oil, which my face seems to like. It comes in six different shades so there’s definitely one for everybody out there.

The newest addition to my blush family is the Aura Sheer Cheek Stain in Flush by Hourglass. It comes in a tube with a spongey applicator thing on the end and is definitely a liquid as opposed to a cream. One could argue that it’s a gel, but why on earth would we argue about that?

I don’t really use the applicator on the tube but it’s a good delivery system for getting the product out in a controlled fashion. It only comes in two colors, but I think the one I use is pretty universal; it looks bright pink in the tube but is quite natural looking on the skin.

No matter if I’m using a cream, gel (gelee?), or liquid blush, I apply in the same way. I’m gonna demonstrate with the Kevyn Aucoin blush because the color is the most heavily pigmented and it’ll be the easiest to see.

Step 1

Apply a SMALL amount of product to the apples of your cheeks and rub in a circle. Start small because you can always apply more.

Step 2

Put your first and second fingers in the middle of the blush you just applied to the apple of your cheek and pull the color back toward your temple. You’re basically making a cone shape with the blush that starts at your temple and ends at your cheek.

Step 3

Using your fingertips, blend the blush using short feathery strokes. Basically, you just rub outward, away from the center of the shape you’ve created with the blush. It’s not very technical, but it’s the best way to get it blended.

A couple things to keep in mind: don’t try to use a sponge for either the application or the blending. If you apply with a sponge, you will definitely get too much product, and if you try and blend with a sponge, you won’t have the added benefit of the warmth from your finger tips to spread out the blush.

Also, when you apply, make sure you stay on the higher part of your cheek. If you apply the blush too far down (like the area where your face gets hollow when you suck in your cheeks) you will look weird and jowly. Like Droopy Dog with makeup on or something.

Just for kicks, here’s me in all three blushes applied with my very difficult technique.

So don’t let non-powder blushes intimidate you. Y’all are capable of some seriously complicated beauty endeavors, so I know for a FACT that you can handle smearing a triangle of color on your cheek.