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I love cream blushes in the summer for the same reason I love a creamy highlighter — they look good (better, even) when I sweat. Aside from being super lightweight, good creamy blushes almost melt into your face instead of just sitting on top of it; the goal is that perfect, dewy glow and long-lasting flush that just about everyone is aiming for these days.
If you've yet to give them a try, cream blushes can seem intimidating, but application honestly couldn't be easier. Dab up and out on the apples of your cheeks with a blush brush, or blend with your fingers in the same motion. It’s like finger paint for your face.
Here, we've rounded up five of our favorite, novice-proof cream blushes that will leave you with that healthy, summer-worthy glow.
RMS Lip2Cheek, $36: I have to admit, this two-in-one color has won my heart. A little goes a long way with this product — generally two dabs on each cheek is all you need for a really solid flush of color that, while it does fade from its initial application, lasts all day. The formula itself is really hydrating and super blendable, so even in its darkest shade (“Diabolique,” a really intense burgundy color great for late nights), it works for just about every skin tone.
NYX Rogue Cream Blush, $6: NYX is a tried and true drugstore brand — it's cheap and most of their products are actually really good, and this cream blush is no different. The formula isn't heavy or chunky, and it blends really naturally into the skin. There’s also a good range of color options to accommodate a range of skin tones. While it doesn’t look patchy or cake-y after re-applying, the color definitely doesn't last all day; when I tried it out, it had significantly faded by lunchtime. But the need for reapplication doesn’t feel like much of a problem when it costs less than $10.
Nars The Multiple, $39: This blush stick is probably the most popular product on this list, but with good reason: It’s basically mistake-proof because of how easy it is to apply, and the color intensity is really up to you because of how sheer it goes on. The versatility of this product is also key — you can use it on your cheeks, eyes, and lips. With 11 different shades to choose from, the creamy formula offers shimmery highlight and contour effects for every skin tone. It's definitely not cheap at $40, but if you're looking for a really dynamic, long-lasting blush, this one's for you.
Glossier Cloud Paint, $18: This blush made a buzzy debut earlier this year at the Oscars on the cheeks of Chrissy Teigen and Taraji P. Henson, to name just a few, but it really does live up to the hype. The paint-tube-like packaging is pretty cute, but can be messy if you squeeze too hard; here’s your warning to do so gently! While these tubes are relatively small given the price, a little product goes a long way. (Like, you really only need a small dab.) The color is sheer but buildable, and it gives your face a really healthy and natural glow. After Boy Brow, I'd argue this is one of Glossier's best products.
Wet n Wild Mega Glo Makeup Stick, $4: Did you forget about WNW after 10th grade? Probably, but it’s time to remember. This stuff is great for a few reasons: The stick applicator makes it an easy option to throw in your bag and re-apply on the go, the three rosy shades look great on pale to dark skin tones, and hello, it's less than $5. You get a really natural-looking lift of color on your cheeks, and you can even use it on your lips, too. The rounded stick is also nice because it gives you all of that control and precision you don't get when you use your fingers.