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Expert Shopper Beauty & Personal Care

These moisture-based cream blushes are a wonder for dry skin

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The best cream blush for dry skin

Going back at least as far as the ancient Egyptians, blush has always been a staple of makeup. It adds a fresh, natural glow to your face that looks great even with little to no other products. That said, powder blushes can look patchy and make your skin appear older if you have the dry skin type. 

Enter cream blushes, which have a naturally hydrating effect. Cream blushes are great for when you want to add a pop of color or a subtle, dewy flush. Some can even be built up for a more dramatic look, depending on the formula.

We curated a collection of the best cream blush from leading makeup brands, including budget-friendly, midrange and high-end picks. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions, such as how to apply cream blush

Shop this article: Milani Cheek Kiss Cream Blushe.l.f. Putty Blush and Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Lip + Cheek Cream Blush Stick

What to know before you buy a cream blush

Cream vs. powder

When considering a cream blush rather than a powder blush, consider why a cream blush would work better for you. Cream blushes tend to be less pigmented, meaning it’s easy to achieve a natural, glowy look. They don’t always travel well, however, because you can apply them easily with your fingers, they’re very convenient to apply on the go. If you prefer a more natural makeup look, you’ll probably enjoy using a cream blush. It’s also friendlier on mature skin.

Compatibility with other makeup

Cream blushes can work well on a variety of people, but they might interact differently on your face depending on what other products you use. Because they’re a cream product, they won’t always behave with powder products, for instance. When swatching in person, go in with your normal makeup on and swatch the product on top of it to check. 

Sheerness vs. buildability

Cream blushes are usually meant to be more sheer to provide that natural, glowy look. Some, though, can be built up for more dramatic looks. This can be a great bonus if you want a cream blush to use for both casual and more glam looks. If you can swatch a product in person, see how it works when you build up the layers to gauge whether it will be very sheer or easy to build up.


Check the volume of cream blushes to see how much product you’ll actually get. Often a product may seem more affordable, but the cost per ounce will be much higher than it is for another product. If you love the product and use it every day then this doesn’t matter as much, but for folks on a budget or just looking to experiment, it can add up.


Some cream blushes are multifunctional as lip tints. These options offer more value than formulas designed only for cheek application. 

Shade Range

If you’re looking at cream blush, you probably want something a bit more sheer and natural. That doesn’t mean you can’t also play around with other shades too. Don’t just look at the shade you know will suit you, try something different and see what kind of effect it has.


Consider buying a cream blush that is labeled as cruelty-free and/or vegan. Cruelty-free means it was not tested on animals, while vegan means it contains no animal byproducts. Buying products that are cruelty-free and vegan are a great way to be a conscientious consumer. However, if you have sensitive skin and can only buy certain products that happen to not be cruelty-free or vegan, don’t feel bad.

How much you can expect to spend on a cream blush

Budget-friendly cream blushes start at around $7. Midrange options are around $15 to $30, while luxury products can cost upwards of $50. Keep in mind that these prices are based on upfront costs; the overall value, on the other hand, depends on product volume.

Cream blush FAQ

How do I apply cream blush?

A. Apply foundation, primer and concealer beforehand. If using your fingers, just dab a little on the apples of your cheeks and blend it out. You can also use a makeup sponge or cream blush brush if you find that easier. For a sheer look, start with very little and add more as needed. Check how it looks in both natural and artificial light to make sure it’s been blended out enough.

How do I know what shade to choose?

A. Swatching different shades in the store is the best way to find out. You may be surprised by what shades suit you, so don’t be shy about swatching a lot of different ones. If you’re shopping online, look at makeup you already own and use it as a guide.

10 best cream blushes for dry skin

Best budget cream blush

Milani Cheek Kiss Cream Blush

What you need to know: This Milani cream blush doubles as a lip tint, offered in an impressive 13 colors to suit any skin tone or personality. 

What you’ll love: It's buildable, sheer and lightweight. The vegan, cruelty-free formula contains antioxidants that improve skin texture and overall appearance.

What you should consider: This affordable Milani blush comes in at only $9 per ounce. 

e.l.f. Putty Blush

What you need to know: This cream blush transforms into a semi-matte powder finish and comes in eight shades. 

What you’ll love: The lightweight, buildable formula features nourishing ingredients including argan oil and vitamin E. It's vegan and cruelty-free. 

What you should consider: While it's $7 upfront, with only 0.35 ounces in a jar, this blush comes to $20 per ounce.

Tower 28 Beauty BeachPlease Lip + Cheek Cream Blush

What you need to know: This cream blush also works as a lip tint and comes in nine shades. 

What you’ll love: This vegan, cruelty-free product won Allure's Clean Beauty award. The buildable formula is packed with beneficial ingredients including soothing aloe vera, antioxidant-rich green tea and moisturizing castor oil

What you should consider: This is the most budget-friendly cream blush in the long run — it comes in a large 4.5-ounce jar, amounting to less than $5 per ounce. 

Best midrange cream blush

Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush

What you need to know: This celebrity-owned beauty brand pick is a crowd favorite, offered in 12 shades.

What you’ll love: This Fenty Beauty blush is sheer, buildable and lightweight. The vegan and cruelty-free formula has great staying power, with built-in sweat- and water-resistance. 

What you should consider: There is not a lot of product for the price — only 0.1 ounces for $26, which is $260 per ounce. 

Rare Beauty Stay Vulnerable Melting Cream Blush

What you need to know: This Rare Beauty cream blush has a satiny finish and comes in five shades. 

What you’ll love: It's an Allure Best of Beauty award winner. The vegan, cruelty-free formula is lightweight and water-resistant. 

What you should consider: Although this Rare Beauty blush is affordable upfront at $22, the 0.176-ounce containers end up costing $125 per ounce.

Glossier Cloud Paint Gel Cream Blush

What you need to know: This cream blush has a silky, gel-like consistency available in eight shades. 

What you’ll love: This Glossier blush is cruelty-free and buildable with a sheer finish. It's formulated with soluble collagen, which helps the skin retain water for a dewy effect.

What you should consider: The formula is not vegan. While it costs $22 upfront, the small jar amounts to over $66 per ounce.

Best high-end cream blush

Merit Flush Balm Cream Blush

What you need to know: Popularized by beauty lovers on social media, this Merit blush comes in eight shades. 

What you’ll love: This vegan, cruelty-free product won the Allure Clean Beauty award. It has a lightweight, buildable formula that contains nourishing vitamin E. 

What you should consider: It's $30 upfront, but comes in a small jar, ultimately costing over $96 per ounce.

Jones Road The Overachiever Lip and Cheek Stick

What you need to know: This cream blush stick doubles as a lip tint, available in eight shades. 

What you’ll love: It won Self's Healthy Beauty award. The cruelty-free formula is lightweight and buildable with moisturizing castor oil.

What you should consider: This product is not vegan. At $34 for 0.32 ounces, it ends up costing over $106 per ounce. 

Ilia Multi-Stick Cream Blush + Highlighter + Lip Tint

What you need to know: This Ilia product comes in two forms: as a highlighter in three shimmery shades or a blush and lip tint in nine natural shades. 

What you’ll love: The Ilia blush stick is cruelty-free and buildable. It's formulated with nourishing shea butter, antioxidant-rich avocado oil and orange peel wax that conditions the skin. 

What you should consider: The formula is not vegan. Costing $36 for a 0.15-ounce jar or $240 per ounce, it's one of the pricier picks for long-term use. 

Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Lip + Cheek Cream Blush Stick

What you need to know: This Westman Atelier blush is designed for lip and cheek use, available in six natural shades. 

What you’ll love: It's buildable and cruelty-free. The premium formula contains three beneficial ingredients; anti-aging raspberry seed extract, jojoba oil that protects the skin's moisture barrier and grape extract, which has a firming, detoxifying effect on the skin. 

What you should consider: The Baby Cheeks blush stick is not vegan. It's the most expensive option on the list, costing over $309 per ounce.

Prices listed reflect time and date of publication and are subject to change.

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