In my personal makeup routine, I’ve been preferring to wear cream blushes over powders recently. I find most of them to have a smoother finish than powders, and more buildable color for a custom intensity. As I grow my personal collection, I’ve discovered some amazing budget-friendly cream blushes under $13 that blend seamlessly and wear beautifully throughout the day.
Whether you’re looking for a dewy, bouncey cheek look or a waterproof finish that will withstand humidity, here are my picks for the best drugstore cream blushes.
1. e.l.f. Luminous Putty Blush ($7)
I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t had good luck with most of the e.l.f. putty products and how the texture sits on my skin. However, their new Luminous Putty Blush has a thinner, slicker consistency that blends into the rest of my makeup much more easily. It has a dewy finish and also contains fine shimmer for a radiant look. I’ve worn this as a blush and highlighter two-in-one because of how glowy it is.
2. Morphe Blush Balm Soft Focus Cream Blush ($12)
Shades: Mighty Mauve (left swatch) & Audacious Apricot (right swatch)
My most worn cream blush at the moment, the Morphe Blush Balms pack a ton of blendable color that’s waterproof and will last all day through sweat and humidity. It’s a traditional cream consistency but feels lightweight on the skin and dries down to a soft matte finish. It’s a great pick for oilier skin types.
3. Pacifica Fluffy Blushy ($11)
Shades: Pink Haze (left swatch) & Bloom (right swatch)
When I first started talking about this blush on social media, I was floored with how many people told me it didn’t work for them. I truly think the Pacifica Fluffy Blushy is misunderstood and underrated! This is a mousse-like cream blush with a whipped consistency, though when you open a fresh jar it almost looks like a gel.
I find that you may need to “break the seal” on a new jar– or rough up the surface layer– in order to pick up a usable amount of product. I do this either by scraping up a bit with the back of my fingernail, or swirling a stiffer makeup brush inside a few times. Once it’s more whipped up, this product gives a beautiful wash of color and glow that blends easily.
4. Profusion Blush Hour Liquid Blushes ($5)
Shades: Cosmo (left swatch), Mai Tai (middle swatch), & Bellini (right swatch)
While technically a liquid blush, the Profusion Blush Hour Liquid Blushes make this list simply because they outperform so many liquid and cream blushes I’ve tried. They are thin and lightweight, and dry down to a matte finish that does. not. budge. However, you must blend quickly because they set in a flash. I find two small dots give you more than enough color to drape over your cheekbones. You can see swatches of the entire line and learn more tips to apply these in my review here.
What’s the best way to apply cream blush?
My favorite way to apply cream blush is with a stippling brush, like the Real Techniques Filtered Cheek Brush. Stippling brushes work best in a patting or tapping motion, which will apply and blend cream and liquid makeup formulas for a soft, airbrushed finish.