Liquid blush is probably not the first kind of blush anyone experiments with. Most of us start out with powders and, on some rare occasions, cream blushes. However, liquid cheek stains actually have a lot of potential to blow both powders and creams out of the water with their natural appearance and longevity. They come in all kinds of formulas, so some are super-saturated, while others go on so sheerly that they are totally foolproof.
To start things off we’ve got some suggestions for the best liquid blushes you can pick up online, with reviews that detail everything you need to know about them. We explain what makes liquid blush different, and why you may want to try one for yourself. Then, to finish things off, we added a how-to guide so you can get a flawless cheek stain application on the first try.
Your Liquid Blush Guide: Contents
- 13 Best Liquid Blushes & Cheek Stains to Get Online
- Why Should You Go for a Liquid Blush?
- How to Apply Liquid Blush Flawlessly
These are the best liquid blush formulations, spanning colors and formulas to suit all experience levels, as well as skin tones and types.
1. NARS Liquid Blush
A NARS blush is never a bad choice, and these liquid formulas are divine. They are extremely lightweight, so they glide over the skin beautifully, and the pigmentation is soft so you can build them up without having to worry about applying too much. The gold-flecked Orgasm is the classic choice, but you actually have 3 more shades to choose form. You can buy one at Sephora.
2. Giorgio Armani Neo Nude A-Blush
This is the best liquid blush formula for makeup beginners who’d like a natural look. These water-based formulas are quite sheer yet buildable so you can achieve a natural-looking flush in seconds. Choose a softer shade like peach to keep things light, or create something a little more unique and dramatic with a shade like fuchsia or magenta. Get it from Nordstrom!
3. Chantecaille Cheek Gelée
These lovely squeeze-tube liquid blushes have a creamy formula that softens the skin while blushing it up. Once applied, this liquid blush doesn’t move throughout the day and instead keeps a lovely, iridescent glow. It comes in either a peachy tone or a lively pink. Order it from Net-a-Porter!
4. Glossier Cloud Paint
Sitting somewhere between a cheek stain and a cream blush, Cloud Paint is a cult-favorite product. It’s as user-friendly as a cheek stain can be, with a super sheer formula that cannot be overdone. The gel-cream formula is ideal for all skin types, with ingredients like moisture-binding collagen nourishing the skin ensuring a dewy look all day long. It comes in 6 shades to suit every skin tone. It is available directly from Glossier.
5. Benefit Cosmetics Tinted Cheek & Lip Stain
Benefit was the first brand to popularize liquid stains, so it’s no wonder that they still have the best liquid blush on the market. Their formula is one of the most long-lasting and natural-looking one around, and it’s definitely ideal for those with oily skin. It works just as well on the lips as it does on the cheeks, with a range of super-pigmented shades. Just make sure to apply and blend them quickly to avoid mistakes. Pick one up at Nordstrom!
6. Ere Perez Beetroot Cheek & Lip Tint
For those who of you who have a preference for totally natural formulations, this is the best liquid blush. The pigments in it come from vibrant beetroot extract suspended in anti-aging rosehip seed oil and hydrating glycerin. This formula is dewy and moisturizing with a very vivid shade that you’ll have to blend out thoroughly. It is lovely on both the lips and cheeks. Find it through Revolve!
7. Flower Beauty Blush Bomb Color Drops
This ultra-silky formula combines the very best liquid blush elements with some cream blush staples. It contains a variety of skin-nourishing ingredients, and it plays really well with foundation formulas. The colors are easy to work with, whether that means blending them out to nothing or building them up for an intense flush. They are sold at Ulta.
8. Ilia Color Haze Multi-Matte Pigment
Cheek stains don’t have to always be shiny or dewy! This matte liquid blush formula proves that by imparting color without shine. This mauve blush keeps the skin moisturized with some lovely botanical oils while simultaneously absorbing any shine with the help of kaolin clay. It’s a great choice for those with oily skin. Purchase it from Net-a-Porter!
9. Trish McEvoy Liquid Face Color
This liquid blush comes with a unique face applicator that makes applying it on the go super easy. It’s a squeeze brush-style applicator that, with the press of the button, loads the soft brush up with gorgeous pigment. The formula itself is gel-like, so it works for all skin types, with a natural satin finish. Grab it from Nordstrom!
10. Edward Bess Water Colorist Long Wear Lip and Cheek Stain
Sandy rose tones are universally flattering, so you cannot go wrong with this phenomenal liquid blush. The formula is very fluid and long-lasting, so you’ll have to work with it quickly. Once it’s on you will know that it’s not going anywhere. You can use it on both cheeks and lips, and it’s an especially good choice if your skin is oily. Shop it through Revolve!
11. Rodin Luxury Lip & Cheek Oil
If you have dry skin, then this is one of the best liquid blushes to try. It is formulated with softening sunflower and jojoba oils, which glide over the skin and keep it looking moist. The shade itself is a neutral one that will work with most skin tones and will suit your lips as well. Order it online from Net-a-Porter!
12. Kaja Cheeky Stamp Blendable Blush
If you’re into cushion products, then this is the best liquid blush to try. This adorable cushion delivery system is heart-shaped, so when you first stamp your blush on it looks like a heart that you blend out into a sheer wash of color. Since Kaja is a K-beauty-inspired brand, the finish is super dewy for that ‘chok chok’ glow. Buy it from Sephora!
13. By Terry Blush Glace
Ultra-dewy and flecked with shimmer, this is the glowiest liquid blush around. It has a super-moisturizing formula that pulls in more moisture throughout the day to stay looking fresh. It has a lightly rosy fragrance that will put you in a great mood, with bright colors that will make your cheeks look rosy and fresh. It is available at Revolve.
Liquid blushes, also known as cheek stains, are heavily pigmented yet they end up giving surprisingly natural results. These products are normally fluid, water-based emulsions that have pigments suspended in them.
The formulas are often very concentrated, so a very small amount of liquid blush is enough for a reasonable blush application. In other instances, however, they are kept sheerer, which makes it easier for makeup newbies to apply them.
Because the texture is so fluid it’s easy to spread liquid blushes over the skin, so what may look like a very saturated color at first becomes a much more natural flush once it’s blended.
Liquid blushes are somewhat similar to cream blushes, in that they are meant to be applied to the skin in the cream stage of makeup and that their main benefit is that they give a natural flush effect that looks as though it emanates from the skin. The difference is that whereas liquid blush is water-based, cream blush formulas are lipid-based. This means that they are much creamier and they take longer to dry down if they dry down at all.
Cheek stains are surprisingly great for those with oily skin because they blend easily but they set well. The liquid formula evaporates more quickly than a cream, so there is no need to worry about the product sitting on the skin, blending with facials, or moving around throughout the day.
This is not to say that liquid blushes won’t work for those with dry skin – on the contrary. They may not be as moisturizing as cream blushes, which are the ideal choice for dry skin types, but they still go on nicely and can give a bit of a natural flush to the cheeks. If you do have dry skin, it’s better to choose a liquid blush formula that is a little creamier and contains emollient ingredients.
• If you wear liquid foundation, tinted moisturizer, or a BB cream, apply it to your face as you normally would. It is best to keep layers of base makeup as thin as possible in general, but doubly so when you’re going to be layering more liquid products on top.
• If you’d rather keep your liquid blush nearly undetectable and extremely natural, consider applying it to bare skin and then following it up with a sheer foundation or tinted moisturizer.
• To apply your cheek tint, first, dab a tiny amount of product on the area of your cheeks that you want as the focal point. With your fingers, quickly blend out the product in a mixture of tapping and dragging motions until it is sheer. With some liquid blush formulas, you might prefer to use a liquid blending brush or damp makeup sponge instead, so feel free to experiment.
• The most common way of doing it is starting with the apple of the cheeks, and then blending the edges as well as outwards towards the temples.
• Slowly build up the coverage by dabbing on a little more product and then blending it out. Repeat this as many times as necessary, but always stick to thin layers of product. This will prevent your liquid blush from looking too heavy, and will also ensure that it won’t fade easily.
• If your blush edges need more blending, you can go in with your foundation brush or sponge, and lightly blend out the edges by dispensing a bit of foundation.
• If your blush is looking a little too heavy, you can also apply a very thin layer of foundation over it.
• Depending on the look you’re going for and your skin type, you may set your complexion with a setting powder or skip it to keep things look as dewy as possible.
• Finish off your makeup however you like! Feel free to experiment by using your liquid cheek stain on your lips as well, instead of a regular lipstick.
Photos via @nikkideroest, @la.vie.stella, @sherskinjournal, @allisondepmuah