How to Use Lipstick as Blush — Plus, the Best Lippies to Try

October 16, 2023
Jordan Julian
By: Jordan Julian | by L'Oréal
Photo of a person with white painted nails swatching lipstick on their hand

Cream and liquid blush formulas have been dominating the makeup trends of the past few years. The sheer, natural-looking finish of a cream blush is aligned with the dewy, minimalist makeup looks that are in style right now. So, it should come as no surprise that people have also started taking their lipstick to their cheeks for a similar effect. “People love multi-use products,” says Jay Artistry, a pro makeup artist based in California, of the lipstick-as-blush trend. “They love the simplicity of having minimal products to carry.” Ahead, learn how to try the beauty hack for yourself and keep scrolling for a round-up of some of our favorite lippies to use as blush. 

Can You Use Lipstick as Blush?

Though it may seem a little unconventional, you can definitely use lipstick as blush. “You absolutely can use lipstick as blush,” says OMNIA Brush executive artist Dominique Lerma. “If you're ever in a pinch, have no fear — your lipstick is the most versatile product you own.” 

However, not all lipsticks are created equal when it comes to applying them on your cheeks. Makeup artist and beauty brand founder Jenny Patinkin notes that you should be discerning when choosing the formula to use as blush. “I prefer a satin finish because the creamier texture gives a little glow and has some slip to it that makes it blendable,” she says. You’ll want to stay away from longwear or lip stain formulas because they tend to dry faster before you have the chance to blend them out. Also, they can look flat, says Patinkin. “Lip balms or products with oil in them have a lot of glow, but don't have a lot of wear time since they can smear or melt if you get warm, or worse can cause a breakout,” she adds.   

Finally, there are some application tips to keep in mind for the best results. We’ll be breaking down a step-by-step tutorial below, but in general, “I don't recommend using fingers to blend, since it can sheer out the color a little too much,” says Patinkin. “You're better off using a brush like my Sustainable Luxury Complexion Brush or Angled Multi-Blender Brush to tap it into the skin so you maintain some opacity.” Additionally, be sure to get your desired finish by starting with a less is more approach and building from there. “I would start with minimal product and build up to your liking,” says Jay Artistry. “Then, dab and blend.”

Sustainable Luxury Complexion Brush

What Color Lipstick Should You Use?

This trend is all about experimenting with makeup, and we wholeheartedly recommend using whatever shade of lipstick you’d like! “Since lipsticks are made to move with your lips and have a kind of a flexibility to the structure of them, you can choose something that looks really bright in the tube, but will go on pretty sheer,” Patinkin explains. In other words, feel free to opt for vivid bright shades that you would maybe otherwise shy away from. Besides, statement blush is very much in for 2023. 

That being said, you can factor in seasonality and trends when deciding what shade of lipstick to try. “Given that we’re in fall and the holidays are quickly approaching, I would recommend using warmer shades like burnt rose, terracotta orange, shades of berry, wine-stained reds and crimson,” says Lerma.

You also may want to consider how different shades can help sculpt or contour your face“Bright, sheer colors look really pretty on the apples and cool or brown-based colors look pretty on the cheekbones,” says Patinkin.

How to Use Lipstick as Blush

Before we get into the tutorial, it is important to mention that there really is no right or wrong way to use lipstick as blush. It’s an opportunity to play with makeup in a unique way and the application process ultimately comes down to personal preference. Whether you want to use your fingers or a brush, if you choose to take your lipstick bullet directly to your face or not — feel free to defer to what’s most comfortable for you. 

Step 1: Apply the Lipstick to Your Cheeks

Blush should be one of the final steps in your makeup routine after you’ve applied your base makeup and eye makeup. Once you’ve chosen your lipstick, you can apply the product to the apples of your cheeks. “To apply, take the lipstick tube directly to your face and draw two to three dime-sized circles on your cheeks,” Lerma explains. “It’s easier to add product than subtract it, so I always recommend a less is more approach and add layers if needed.” 

If you don’t want to use your lipstick directly on your cheeks, you can pick up product from the tip of the bullet with a small stippling blush, or scoop some of the lipstick onto the back of your hand or a palette.  

Step 2: Blend It Out

After applying the lipstick to your cheeks, it’s time to blend it. “Using a thicker, dome-shaped blush brush, like the Omnia Brush BOM-105, I sweep the cheeks in a circular motion to work the cream product over the apples of the cheeks and up into the highest point of the cheekbone which is usually in line with the ears,” says Lerma. “This brush shape helps fit blush into the perfect contours of the face.”

Step 3: Set Your Makeup

To ensure that your lipstick-as-blush look will last, finish by locking it in place with a setting spray. We love the Urban Decay All Nighter Waterproof Makeup Setting Spray.

Urban Decay All Nighter Waterproof Makeup Setting Spray.

The Best Lipsticks to Try

Valentino Beauty Rosso Valentino Refillable Lipstick

The creamy, blendable consistency of the Valentino Beauty Rosso Valentino Refillable Lipstick makes it a great lippie to use as blush. There are also tons of stunning satin-finish shades to choose from. For a vampy fall moment, check out the Sensuous Red shade, a rich wine-stained burgundy.    

Valentino Beauty Rosso Valentino Refillable Lipstick

YSL Beauty Bold High Pigment Lipstick

The grape-oil-infused formula of the YSL Beauty Bold High Pigment Lipstick will feel comfortable and moisturizing on your skin. It also has a slightly glossier finish than your typical satin lipstick, so it’s perfect for achieving a dewy makeup look. The shade Nude Tribute is an ideal warm brown color for the season. 

YSL Beauty Bold High Pigment Lipstick

L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick

If you prefer matte makeup, try the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick. Formulated with hyaluronic acid, it doesn’t have the tight, drying feel that some matte lipsticks can have. It delivers vibrant color with just one swipe, so keep in mind that a little bit goes a long way with this lippie.

L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick

Frankie Rose Cosmetics Lipstick

Lerma recommends trying the Frankie Rose Cosmetics Lipstick in Hipster. It’s “a burnt rose shade that is universal all year round, but also a great transitional shade for fall,” she says. “This product is bound to get compliments and the formula is cruelty-free and vegan.”

Frankie Rose Cosmetics Lipstick
Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn

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