Best blusher: the underrated make-up item that’ll brighten your skin

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Cast aside in favour of more glamorous highlighters and bronzers, blusher slipped out of make-up bags across the nation. It’s time to bring it back, says Stylist’s beauty director Shannon. Here, she makes a firm case for the return of blush. 

It’s funny, isn’t it? I’ve never had more time to sleep yet I’m more tired than ever. Blame it on the late night TikTok binges or my inability to say no to just one more episode of Normal People (it’s brilliant, right?), but I’m staying up late, and waking up early too. Thankfully, I can turn on the peppiness for work meetings and quizzes with friends. And that would be all well and good if my face didn’t completely give the game away.

Right now, my hereditary dark circles are a deeper shade of purple and my skin has an odd grey tinge, like an Instagram filter no one ever asked for. And while concealer would take the edge off my under-eyes, a slick of mascara would make my eyes look more awake and foundation would tone down my grey complexion, I just can’t be bothered with any of that. So that’s exactly why I’ve reignited my love for blusher. 

The most underrated product in your make-up bag, blusher holds the power to perk up the complexion without much effort at all. It adds a shot of health back into lifeless skin and can even distract from tired eyes — no concealer necessary. Plus, it has the added bonus of making you look as though you’ve gone for a run when really you’ve just sat on the sofa. Ideal.

So that’s why most days, the only thing you’ll find on my face (besides serum and SPF, of course) is a dab of blusher. Applied directly to the real cushiony part of the apple of the cheek and blended out, it is unbelievably easy to do.

With a handful of different blusher formats out there, I thought I’d run you through just a few of my favourites so you too can utilise this very simple shortcut to radiant skin. And as a final aside: when it comes to shade selection, I always advocate choosing a colour you love, rather than worrying about restrictive rules. However, the darker your skin, the more colour payoff you’re going to need, and the below blushers all deliver in that department.

  • Best stick blusher

    Chanel-Les-Beiges-Healthy-Glow-Colour-Stick

    Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour Stick Blush

    This is blusher made extremely easy. With a stick format, you just need to swipe onto the cheeks and blend. Use your fingertips for this — the warmth will help melt the creamy pigments into the skin. The first layer of Chanel’s blush comes up much sheerer than it looks in the stick, but swipe again for the perfect amount of colour payoff.

    £35, John Lewis

  • The best powder blusher

    My-Beauty-Brand-Pure-Power-Blush

    My Beauty Brand Pure Power Blush

    Powder blushers are best for those who have oily skin, or prefer a matte finish to their make-up. I really like My Beauty Brand’s formula; it’s super finely-milled, making it almost undetectable on the surface of the skin, but also the shade range is great. 

    £18, My Beauty Brand

  • Best cream blusher

    Jillian-Dempsey-Cheek-Tint

    Jillian Dempsey Cheek Tint

    Cream blushers, on the other hand, are best for those who want a dewy skin finish. Jillian Dempsey’s are foolproof, offering a subtle flush of colour in a balmy texture that seems to meld with skin, rather than sit on top of it. If you want a really natural, just-back-from-my-Government-approved-daily-walk flush, then this is the one for you.

    £26.50, Cult Beauty

  • Best gel blusher

    Glossier-cloud-paint-in-haze

    Glossier Cloud Paint

    You only need a teeny-tiny amount of Glossier’s gel blusher on each cheek, and my advice is to use a fluffy blush to really blur out the edges for that cloud-like effect. 

    £15, Glossier

  • Best highlighting blusher

    Becca-Shimmering-Skin-Perfector-Luminous-Blush

    Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Luminous Blush

    Highlighting blushers tend to contain light-reflecting particles to add a bit of a glow as well as a flush. You’ll find tonnes of them in Becca’s blusher, but don’t worry, the shimmer doesn’t show up glittery on the face. This is a great one if you’re going for a post-holiday vibe. Ah, if only.

    £24, Cult Beauty

  • Best liquid blusher

    Daniel-Sandler-Watercolour-Liquid-Blush

    Daniel Sandler Watercolour Fluid Blush

    Now, for the most authentic-looking blush, a liquid blusher will simply tint the skin like an almost-invisible layer of cellophane. Daniel Sandler’s are especially effective, leaving skin looking juicy, too. Plus, it comes in an incredible range of shades. I want to try this neon fuchsia next.

    £16.50, Look Fantastic

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Images: Getty and courtesy of brands.

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