The Best Drugstore Blushes Under $15November 18, 2022
The power of a good blush is never to be underestimated. Wearing the right one can bring your entire makeup look together while adding a healthy wash of color and dimension to your cheeks. There are so many different options out there that are super affordable yet don’t skimp on performance. All it takes is narrowing down which ones are worth adding to your makeup bag. To help you out in that process, we rounded up a few of our favorites and gathered tips on how and where to apply blush.
How to Apply Blush
Your application method will differ based on the type of blush you use. If you’re working with a powder blush, you’re going to want to apply it with a brush, such as the IT Cosmetics Love Beauty Fully Flawless Blush Brush #277. Simply swirl the brush in the powder, then tap off the excess before applying to your cheeks in circular motions. You can use the same brush to apply liquid or cream blushes, or you can use your fingers or a sponge to gently tap them into your skin.
Where to Apply Blush
Where you apply your blush will also vary based on the type of look you’re trying to achieve. For a rosy, natural look, try applying blush to the apples of your cheeks — aka the part of your cheeks that gets rounder when you smile. For a more dramatic, chiseled look, try the draping technique — this involves applying blush to the tops of your cheekbones in order to make them look more defined. You can also apply a light dusting of blush across your nose and the apples of your cheeks for a beachy, sun-kissed look. We suggest playing with different blush placements in front of the mirror to figure out which look you like best. Don’t be afraid to experiment — your blush placement might change based on the rest of your makeup, too!
The Best Drugstore Blushes
L’Oréal Paris True Match Super Blendable Blush
If you’re looking for a classic powder blush that’s buildable and won’t overwhelm your cheeks with color upon first swipe, this is the one for you. The lightweight powder formula blends effortlessly onto the skin to give cheeks the perfect flush.
Maybelline New York Cheek Heat Gel-Cream Blush
This creamy gel melts into the skin and offers a beautiful, healthy-looking glow. It can be applied with a sponge for sheer color payoff, or with your fingertips for more vibrant pigmentation.
NYX Professional Makeup Sweet Cheeks Creamy Powder Blush Matte
If you like a punchy blush with a matte finish, this is the one for you. The smooth formula blends onto the skin with minimal effort, and the extensive color range ensures that you’ll find a shade (or many) that you love.
L’Oréal Paris Glow Paradise Lip + Cheek Tint
You’ll love this tint for its versatility. You can dab it on your lips and cheeks for a soft, natural-looking flush that’s easy to blend out with your fingertips. Pro tip: Mix it with a small amount of a liquid highlighter to give your cheeks an extra glow.
NYX Professional Makeup Wonder Stick Blush
Can’t decide on just one blush shade? Use this dual-ended stick to create a dimensional blush look. It comes in shades for fair, medium and dark skin, making it easy to find a duo that will flatter your skin tone.
Maybelline New York Fit Me Blush
This powder blush comes in a range of peachy, terracotta shades that offer the perfect sun-kissed flush to any skin tone. Its soft, finely milled texture makes it easy to blend, while a subtle sprinkling of shimmer makes your skin glow.
NYX Professional Makeup Sweet Cheeks Soft Cheek Tint Cream Blush
This blush’s doe-foot applicator makes application completely fuss-free. The vegan formula offers buildable pop of color and hydrates the skin with glycerin and shea butter.
L’Oréal Paris True Match Naturale Blush
This mineral powder blush is a great pick for sensitive skin because it’s formulated without talc or fragrance. Plus, you can’t beat the convenience of the built-in brush. Stash this pick in your bag for whenever you need a midday blush touch-up.
NYX Professional Makeup Sweet Cheeks Creamy Powder Blush Glow
For a radiant, shimmering veil of color, look to this boldly pigmented blush compact. The bright colors and reflective finish act like a blush and highlighter in one.
Maybelline New York FaceStudio Master Blush Color & Highlight Kit
Use each of the four shades in this palette solo, or mix them together to create your own unique shade of blush. The lightest color can also be used on its own as a highlighter.
L’Oréal Paris Paradise Enchanted Fruit-Scented Blush
There’s nothing cheekier (sorry!) than a fruit-scented blush. Available in an array of pink and coral hues, this powder adds an extra fun sensory experience to your makeup routine.
NYX Professional Makeup Bare With Me Luminous Cheek Serum
Infused with hydrating tremella mushroom, this serum blush gives cheeks a luminous, natural-looking flush that lasts all day. Each shade is sheer but builds up easily for a more pigmented glow.
e.l.f. Cosmetics Putty Blush
If you’re searching for a drugstore cream blush, we have a feeling you’ll love this one. The emollient yet non-greasy formula melts onto the skin like butter, so you won’t have to worry about it slipping and sliding around as you wear it.
Milani Baked Blush
This is an iconic drugstore blush formula for a reason. The baked formula has a gorgeous pearlescence to it that gives the cheeks both a flush of color and a subtle luminosity.
Physicians Formula Butter Blush
This blush applies like a powder but is soft to the touch like a cream. It’s one of our favorites because it’s highly pigmented yet surprisingly easy to blend, plus it has a delicious coconutty scent that reminds us of a tropical vacation.
Pixi On-the-Glow Blush
A TikTok favorite, this cream blush comes in an easy-to-apply stick format that you can swipe across your nose and cheeks for a dewy, hydrating hint of color.
ColourPop Super Shock Blush
These bright, bouncy blushes glide on to the skin and impart a luminous, velvety finish. Use your fingers or a flat synthetic brush to apply.
Essence The Blush
For just under $4, you can’t beat the affordability of these pigmented powder blushes. They’re soft, smooth and easy to blend.
Undone Beauty Water Blush Stick
On no-makeup makeup days, reach for this water-based blush stick to give your cheeks a subtle, natural-looking glow. It’s vegan, cruelty-free and non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores.
florence by mills Cheek Me Later Cream Vegan Blush
If you have oily skin and typically stray far away from cream blushes, this formula might be a game-changer for you. It’s made with kaolin clay, which soaks up excess oil and helps the color stay put all day.
Profusion Cosmetics Blush Hour Liquid Blush
A matte, long-lasting liquid blush with an easy-to-use puff applicator, for under $5? We can’t say no. All of the shades are stunning, but we’re partial to Sangria, a rich berry that offers the perfect winter-y rosy glow.
Morphe Blush Balm Soft-Focus Cream Blush
This balm-y blush combines two of our favorite qualities in one product — it moisturizes the skin while leaving a matte finish. The shades are sheer yet buildable, and the built-in mirror makes it easy to dab on more color while you’re on the go.
Additional reporting by Ariel Wodarcyk. Design: Juliana Campisi