3 Applicator-Free Blushes for Lazy People

They're all portable, easy to use, and have some innovative new qualities.
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They're all portable, easy to use, and have some innovative new qualities.
Photo: Nars

Photo: Nars

More and more frequently I find myself reaching for makeup that doesn't require brushes, applicators, sponges or well, skill, to apply. Luckily for me and my new laissez-faire application attitude, three new spring blush launches fit perfectly into this category. They're all portable, easy to use, and have some innovative new qualities.

Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Blush, $52: Armani's Maestro foundation is a favorite of beauty insiders everywhere because it somehow disappears into your skin while simultaneously making you look flawless. The brand has now taken that same premise and applied it to blush. The new Maestro Fusion Blush, which is packaged in a bottle with a dropper, comes in three colors -- peach (300), dark pink (400), and coral (500--this is the most universally flattering of the three). Yes, it's pricey, but this blush will last you a long time, because you only need one single dot on each cheek; it's pretty concentrated. When you first apply it, you get a horrifying Raggedy Ann look, but a little gentle blending with your fingertips makes the most natural-looking flush ever.

Make Up For Ever HD Blush, $26: This is another example of a brand capitalizing on the popularity of an existing foundation line by adding blush. The new creamy formula comes in 16 shades (225, a peachy pink, is a fairly universal color), which you can mix and match for bronzing and contouring. At the demonstration event I attended, we were taught an elaborate figure eight brush application process, but honestly, swiping a little on your fingers and applying to the apples of your cheeks also does the trick beautifully. The compact is small and light enough to toss into a bag for reapplication.

NARS Matte Multiple, $39: The Multiple is a classic, and I've worn many an "Orgasm" down to the nub. However, the new matte versions are revelatory. So much makeup seems to have shimmer in it, but a real flush -- one obtained by a light jog or shoving people out of the way at an Alexander Wang free-for-all, for example -- isn't sparkly, right? Matte finishes in everything from foundation to lipstick are very popular now, so it makes sense that the trend finds its way to blush. The stick comes in seven shades, ranging from pinky coral to a true bronze. As with the original Multiple, you can use it on cheeks or lips. You can apply directly from the tube or run your fingers over it, then smudge on the face.

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