Welcome to Deep Reviews—your one-stop destination to discover the absolute best products and brands the beauty industry has to offer. Every month, our beauty crew and editors will research, test and review the market's most sought-after and buzzed-about products to see which are truly worth your hard-earned money and attention. You can expect honest, completely uncensored feedback and no-BS recommendations our hard-to-please testers endorse without reservations. To put it simply, stick with us, and buyer's remorse will be a thing of the past.
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If there is one makeup product that gets the Who What Wear UK team's hearts racing, it's cream blusher. It's the one product that can instantly make your complexion look glowing and healthy, imparting radiance and a healthy flush in equal measure. And with over 17 million views and counting on TikTok, it seems we're all chasing that glow. But here's the thing. Not *all* cream blushers are made equal.
Call us fussy, but the best cream blushers (or any blusher, in fact) need to meet a tall order of requirements—impressive and inclusive shade ranges, blendable formulas and unparalleled levels of dewiness. Among the Who What Wear UK team, we have some hard-to-impress editors when it comes to testing beauty products. In fact, for this Deep Review, I gathered both blusher stans and sceptics, all with different skin tones and skin types, just to put the below cream blushers through their paces. (Spoiler alert: Those who don't use blusher in their usual makeup routines have since been swayed following testing.)
To find out what the best cream blushers *really* are, I called upon the most hyped, the highest rated and the most editor-loved cream blushers around and gathered the team to test. You'll find our honest reviews, before-and-after photos and application videos ahead.
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Photo:@jerrylynmae for Who What Wear UK
I'll have to admit. I was a little apprehensive when being asked to take part in the Deep Reviews series for cream blush, as it's never been part of my makeup routine. I typically opt for no-makeup makeup looks, and with my skin being on the drier side, I tend to keep it simple with mascara, eyeliner and concealer on a daily basis.
Having said that, seeing the resurgence of cream products all over TikTok and Instagram has definitely piqued my interest, and I was excited to hear that I would be testing the cult-fave Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush, which is available in matte and dewy shade options. I much prefer a glowy look, so I went for Joy, a muted peach shade with a dewy finish.
The blush is super pigmented. As it's in a rich liquid form, it's easy to apply, and a little goes a long way. Despite this, it blended effortlessly (I used a brush) and also felt very buildable, so I'd suggest starting with a small amount and then adding more if you need it. I loved that it didn't feel cakey at all, and the finish came out really natural with a subtle dewy glow that lasted the day without drying out.
I'd honestly recommend the blush to anyone and everyone. Whilst I can vouch specifically for people with dry-to-normal skin, I've also had a few friends with an oilier skin type say that it has great staying power and doesn't disappear throughout the day. With 13 shades, Rare Beauty also makes sure it caters to all skin tones. I found it especially helpful to see all shade swatches online.
At £22, it's a little on the pricier side for a blush, but after trying it out, coupled with the fact that you don't need to use a lot to achieve the perfect healthy glow, it's well worth the money considering the product would last a while before running out. I’ve truly got nothing bad to say about this blush. I can confidently say I'm now a cream-blush convert and will be adding the Soft Pinch Liquid Blush to my daily routine!
Photo:@eleanorvousden for Who What Wear UK
I've tried a handful of products from Milk Makeup, and so far, I've been super impressed with everything I've tested. (The Future Fluid Concealer is my ride-or-die, FYI.) The Lip + Cheek blusher stick has been spotted on Hailey Bieber many times (Smirk was the shade she wore to Coachella this year), and after hearing glowing reviews from other beauty editors, I knew it was time to road-test it for myself.
As someone who is generally on the oilier side, I like to embrace my natural dewiness rather than fight it and opt for cream blushers in my day-to-day anyway. I chose the shade Enigma, a rosy muted brown, to test, which I feel is most suited to my skin tone. The blusher comes in a twist-up stick, which I'm a big fan of. I recently took this on holiday with me, and the dinky size easily fit in my hand luggage. Because the formula is so blendable, I could have gotten away with leaving a brush at home and just used my fingertips to pat into the skin. That being said, I prefer to swipe it directly on my skin and then use a fluffy angled brush to blend it all in. These apply very pigmented but almost melt away to leave a healthy flush, making blending an absolute dream. They're practically foolproof.
As for the finish, it has a radiant texture that isn't overly dewy, which makes your skin look healthy and flushed with a hint of colour. I would say the result is quite subtle, but you could definitely layer up the pigment for more colour payoff. I also own the shade Smirk, a coral pink infused with subtle gold flecks, which is more sheer, so the finishes may vary slightly depending on the shades you're choosing. I'm also impressed with how it wears throughout the day. It didn't separate on my skin, even in warm weather, but if you want high-impact colour, I'd recommend topping it up throughout the day to maintain the hue. The creamy yet non-greasy formula lends itself to working well across all skin types.
As for the shade range on offer, there are 11 shades to choose from, ranging from deep plum and burgundy to bright pink and dusty rose. I feel the range of colours feels considered and will suit a range of skin tones, from dark to fair. I really can't fault anything with this blusher, so I'm giving it my very first 10/10 for our Deep Reviews series. I'm already planning what colours to buy next.
Photo:@sophie_cookson for Who What Wear UK
I am a strong advocate for a cream blusher, using Hourglass Vanish Blush Stick as my usual weapon of choice, but I jumped at the chance to try Merit's Flush Balm. I have been using cream blush since my early 20s after an expert at a makeup counter told me it would be better for my combination skin type. I also like cream blushers because they make my skin shine more compared to a powdered blush, which I think can sometimes make my skin look a little dull.
I tried the Merit cream blush in Stockholm, which is a lovely light pink that is different to my usual peachy hue. I felt like it brightened my face, but in a soft way that seemed natural. The lightweight formula means that it glides over the skin and can be blended in easily. It is easy to build up the colour if you want to add more. It looks dewy but also radiant on the skin, and it isn't overpowering so looks really natural. I mix between using my fingertips or a brush, as both work well. The staying power is strong. It keeps until I get home from work. However, if I had plans, I would reapply to freshen up. I would recommend this to anyone with any skin type, as it has vitamin E in it and is formulated without acne-triggering ingredients so won't irritate your skin. I only tried Stockholm, but there are nine shades in the Flush Balm range. I think they are easy to mix and match on every skin tone depending on your preferences. They are on the more expensive side for cream blushers, but I would recommend Merit to anyone who will listen! This is now a firm staple in my makeup bag, and I will be putting it on if I am just popping out to the shops or with my full face of makeup on.
Photo:@poppynash for Who What Wear UK
I'm a blusher girlie. Fact. From Benefit's powder-pink Dandelion to Nars's iconic Orgasm, I've always loved a touch of blush, but in recent years, I've put my powder-based compacts to the side in favour of a cream formulation. If I'm honest, I don't think I'll ever go back. I like a dewy, glowy look in general (especially as I have quite dry skin), so a cream blush fits in perfectly with the rest of my routine. I'm always on the hunt for a formulation that feels nourishing and moisturising too. I'm also pretty lazy when it comes to makeup, so I like something that is easy to use and that allows for very little room for error. Thankfully, the Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick ticks all my quite high-maintenance boxes.
I opted for the shade Minette, as I like a peachy tone as opposed to red. I have a slightly yellow undertone to my skin, so I find that peaches and pinks work better for me than deeper hues, especially when I've also applied a spot of bronzer. There are seven shades in total to choose from, all of which are gorgeous, but I would like to see a slightly more varied shade range like the brand's offering in the best-selling Vital Skin Foundation Stick.
The texture is, quite frankly, stunning. Buttery and blendable, it melted into my skin and left me with a glowy coral hue that earned me quite a few compliments in the office (always a plus!). It's also multitasking, so you can use it on your lids and lips as well. It wore well throughout the day and sat beautifully on my slightly drier-than-average skin thanks to the inclusion of a blend of nourishing Ayurvedic oils, meaning I didn't need to reapply it even when heading out for a post–6 p.m. drink. Overall, I was really impressed with the formulation and colour as well as the packaging, which has got to be one of the chicest on the market.
One thing worth mentioning is the price. It is more expensive than other cream blushers on the market so is certainly a big investment in your kit. My ultimate review? If, like me, you like hardworking, beautiful products that leave you with a glowy finish, it's totally worth it.
Photo:@maxineeggenberger for Who What Wear UK
As someone who has a naturally rosy complexion, I've largely steered clear of blusher over the years. My adolescence fell during a time when makeup wasn't as subtle as it is now, and pigment was of the highest priority. (Looking at you, Barry M Dazzle Dust.) Blushers seemed to follow suit. The last thing I wanted was to look even pinker in the face than I already did, haunted by my early forays of sweeping layers of powder blush onto my cheeks. Now, though, with so many creamy formulas that boast a delicate but buildable payoff, I was eager to see if they could help rewrite my blusher narrative.
I like my makeup on the dewy and radiant side and have been using Chanel's latest Les Beiges formulation—its Water-Fresh Complexion Touch Foundation—for the past few months. It gives my skin a luminosity without any sparkle, precisely what I look for in any base product. It was upon stocking up on a new bottle at my local Chanel counter that I realised the Les Beiges collection also includes a blusher. Cue my interest being instantly piqued. On impulse, I bought it without so much as testing the colour on the back of my hand. Apparently, I like to live on the edge. Still, being the fan I am of the Water-Fresh Complexion Touch that I am, I was confident that I'd also enjoy the blusher if it bore even the slightest similarities in consistency.
If I had to surmise Chanel's Les Beige Water-Fresh Blush, it'd be glowy, which I think tells you where my review is going. While it might look like a gimmick, the thing that sets the Les Beiges Fresh-Water Blush apart is the water content. The blush is made up of 75% water, which gives it an ultra-lightweight finish. The blush comes into play in the form of micro droplets which are discernible in the clear solution. Let me tell you—they may be small, but their pigment is seriously impressive. A handful of the colours were out of stock, so I ended up grabbing the Light Pink colourway—hypocritical of me, I know!—but it turned out to be the perfect shade for my complexion. There are six in total, and this would normally make me wary about the inclusivity of a product, but in this instance, I do think the shades are considered and would work across different skin tones.
The blush itself is beyond easy to apply. Pressing the pump down as gently as possible, I only need a tiny drop on the end of my short-pile makeup brush, which I then dab onto each check to distribute the droplets. I then lightly blot until it's seamless with my base—we're talking two or three sweeps. I'm no makeup pro, and even I find it a doddle to use. The colour is buildable, too, so although I've tried to go for a subtle payoff, you could absolutely make it more impactful should that be more your thing.
Genuinely, alongside my Les Beiges Water-Fresh Complexion Touch, this is my best beauty buy of the year. In the interest of constructive feedback, I would say the bottle could be more streamlined. It takes up more room than necessary in my makeup bag, and with a few trips planned this summer, it's not exactly economical in terms of it fitting into a tiny plastic bag along with my other fluids at airport security. I would also like to see a more appropriate dispenser. If I were to push the pump mechanism down fully, it would give out far too much product, which is wasteful—a quarter press is all I need to get an adequate amount of product onto my brush. This being said, when you work out your dosage preference, I do believe this blusher will last a very, very long time. This, of course, is what you'd want for a £42 blusher.
For transparency and as I've alluded, I bought this product myself and was so impressed with it that I asked if I could review it specifically. This was no freebie press sample. I love it, and honestly, I think you will too.
I'm splitting hairs here, but if I had slightly more control over the dispenser, my score would be an even 10.
Photo:@joyejaria for Who What Wear UK
Can I just start by saying I'm scared of wearing blush? As much as I'm open-minded with what I wear, I'm pretty tame when it comes to makeup. You won't catch me reaching for an eyeliner to draw a flick or find me creating an avant-garde eye shadow look. I'm ashamed that I have been rotating the same two blushers for the last four years. I'm of the mindset that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Recently, however, something in me (I blame TikTok) has been branching out a little with my makeup to the point where I'm trying out new blush colours, textures and formulas. As a dark-skinned woman, it is hard to find colours that actually show up on my skin. I avoid light tones like pinks and reach for deep tones like burgundy and orange.
If you're on TikTok, chances are you've seen the Charlotte Tilbury Blush Wand on your FYP. I managed to get my hands on the pretty popular Pillow Talk Dream Pop, and I've been wearing it nonstop. The blusher is perfect for everyone and is pretty easy to apply thanks to the cushion applicator. They advise one dot for the day, two for a date and three for a disco! I didn't listen and went for three dots for the daytime.
I would give this blush a seven out of 10 simply because of the packaging. It has everything you'd want in a blush—long lasting, colour popping and glow—but the packaging makes it lose points because I fear I may push too much product out since it's a squeezy bottle.
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When I first tried this wonderful product last year, I told everyone I know to go out and buy a pot. In fact, I think I've converted pretty much everybody I know. It's glossy and silky enough for a totally foolproof application but stays put all day.
If you haven't tried Glossier Cloud Paint before, be warned that it is super pigmented. You need hardly any of the stuff. The super-bright shade Dawn might look a little scary at first, but layering up just the tiniest amount onto the tops of the cheekbones is the perfect way to amp up your makeup look.