i'm literally never not wearing this blush
this made me think of you is mixed feelings’ audience-driven column dedicated to curating a digital window-shopping experience. Respond to this email, dm us, or comment below if there’s something you'd like us to shop for. This week, the mixed feelings team comes out of recommendation hibernation for the best topic: blush.
I have not written about beauty in two years, which is long for someone who cut their teeth reviewing foundations and then-new Drunk Elephant serums. It figures I’d come out of retirement for blush — the makeup item I seem to collect in droves despite never hitting pan on one, ever.
You asked for e-girl, “you’re glowing” blush, so we surveyed the mixed feelings team for the best in every color and price range. Go forth and be the sun-burnt cherub you so obviously are! — Mi-Anne Chan, editorial @
Pat Mcgrath Divine Blush Legendary Glow Colour Balm, $29. I have oily skin and I’m ready to embrace it! Powdery blush doesn’t mesh with my skin — it just eats it up immediately. The Pat Mcgrath blushes are creamy and go on so smoothly; they help me go with the current instead of fighting against it. I use Forbidden Fleur to contour and define my cheeks, then follow up with Fleurotique to breathe some coquettish life into my face. They’re easy to layer without fear that it will look chalky on my nose. — Catherine Mhloyi, editorial @
Tower28 BeachPlease Lip + Cheek Cream Blush, $20. This is truly idiot-proof cream blush. It’s pigmented (but not so pigmented you’ll need to wipe a layer off if you go overboard), so blendable (but not patchy!), and comes in a beautiful lucite compact. I love Magic Hour (warm rose), and Office Hours (deep mauve). — Mi-Anne
Glossier Cloud Paint, $20. I’m literally never not wearing this blush because Puff is an amazing blush base. I’m a BlushFreak™️, so I always do a light wash with a liquid blush first, then layer a bright powder on top. This combo creates the most beautiful gradient that lasts a full 8-hour work day. — Logan Tsugita, art @
Elf Putty Blush, $7. This is a PSA to apply putty and liquid blushes with a brush. I used a stippling brush and then a fluffy brush to blend out this one. It dries down so nicely with a satin finish. — Logan
Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush, $23. Surprise! The Rare Beauty blush has made it to this list. But not without merit! It has 4.6 stars on Sephora from over 6,700 reviews, (which, those who know Sephora’s review section are aware that they can be helpful, yet brutal). The gift of this blush is that it packs a serious punch. A tube costs $23, but the product is so pigmented that one dot on your cheeks can go miles. I bought my tube almost 10 months ago and seemingly have not made a dent. It’s buildable, but intense, so best to apply in rounds to maintain a semblance of control. I wear “Happy”, which is a cool-toned pink. — Amalie MacGowan, editorial @
Milk Makeup’s lip + cheek cream, $24. Until recently, I spent most of my years on this earth convinced that I couldn’t wear blush. I’m #rosaceahive with pink undertones and a little rosy patch on my lower right cheek that never seems to go away. Why would I willingly add MORE red to my face?? Long story short, after a year of mindlessly absorbing TikTok makeup tutorials, I tried shifting the application from the apples of my cheeks to my cheekbones. Miracle of all miracles, it balanced my other pigmentation and opened up a whole new category of products to play with. Milk’s lip + cheek cream in Dusty Rose quickly became my go-to. It’s super buildable, so whether I want a sunkissed natural tint or a more aggressive e-girl look, it can get me there. — Sam Speedy, social @
Milani Baked Blush, $10.99. What the fuck is the difference between pressed and baked powder? I typed this question into Google for the first time almost a decade ago when I started my first job as a beauty editorial assistant. Baked powders, typically those with a domed-shape, are baked in a special oven while pressed powders are mixed with various binders and pressed into a mold. The result of this slow-bake is a velvety powder that rarely applies patchy. These from Milani have subtle shimmer that acts as a soft highlight. — Mi-Anne
Sunnies Face Fluffmatte Matte Lipstick, $16. Yes, technically not a cheek product but moms throughout history have been using lipstick as blush for decades. Not only is it practical and travel-friendly, but it’s a twofer that automatically makes for a monochromatic makeup look. Sunnies Face makes my favorite lipstick-as-blush formula. These velvety lipsticks are ideal for blurred lips, so they make for pigmented, super-blendable blushes. — Mi-Anne
So, what’s your favorite blush?