You've finally mastered when to use powder vs. cream blush, where to use it and how to blend it — so we hate to break the news that there is yet another blush formula in town. Well, two to be exact.
Blush oils and gels have slowly make their way into U.S. markets recently (they've already gained popularity in Asian markets, of course) and are the formulas of choice for those aiming to achieve the ever-popular "no-makeup makeup" look. Trying to perfect that dewy glow for the summer months? You're going to want to use a cheek gel or oil instead of a powder.
Both big-name brands like Clinique and super-trendy ones like Milk Makeup are hitting the market with blush oils, so we figured it was due time to investigate. Here's what the pros had to say about how to use the products, as well as a few of our favorites that you can shop right now.
What the Pros Say
Makeup artist Stephanie Flor, a Clinique Colour Pro artist, notes that the trend towards gels and oils in the U.S. market is nothing new in the Eastern hemisphere, but is slowly gaining popularity in the West because of the natural skin movement. "We want to glow, look less made up and more effortlessly beautiful. All the colors are made to stain, rather than be overpowering," Flor explained.
As for the application process, the gels can be easily mixed with moisturizer for a glow and radiant finish on the skin, and both formulas blend into the skin rather than sit on top of it like a powder would — something that's especially useful in the summertime. Celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg told Fashionista that some formulas use a dry oil and some have a slick finish — the latter will give you a glow and highlight as well.
Flor added that you want to use your fingers when applying oils and gels, and it's all about blending — kind of like a moisturizer or lip balm. Still focus on the areas you would typically apply blush (apples of the cheeks, etc.), but Flor noted that she likes to apply it after moisturizer and before concealer.
What to Buy Now
Milk Makeup Blush Oil, $26, available at Sephora.com. Milk's new makeup line includes one of the best blush oils available today, in a rollerball pen. The click-up pen makes application incredibly easy, and the oil gives cheeks an instant flush. But, we recommend applying it after moisturizer and before concealer like Flor suggested — otherwise the oil will take off any foundation or concealer you applied.
Josie Maran Argan Infinity Lip and Cream Cheek Oil, $18, available at Sephora.com. It's only fitting that the queen of Argan oil would have a fabulous oil blush. Josie Maran's Infinity Lip and Cream Cheek Oil has a creamy pop of color that melts into the skin to give a dewy glow.
Clinique Pop Oil Lip & Cheek Glow, $18, available at Dillards.com. Clinique's Pop Oil Lip & Cheek Glow is (of course) a favorite of Flor's, as she loves using it in the center of lips for a stain and then taking the same color on the apples of the cheeks for a monochromatic look. Just remember to blend the fluid formula quickly into the skin for a subtle pop of color.
Pixi by Petra Sheer Cheek Gel, $14, available at PixiBeauty.com. Gel formulas will automatically give you a little more glow and highlight, so if you want to dial that down, blend it in with your moisturizer like suggested above. Pixi's sheer gel has aloe vera in it, so it's great for sensitive skin.
Sephora Collection Colorful Cheek Ink Gel, $14, available at Sephora.com. This gel stain is buildable, so you can adjust how much color you want on your cheeks by simply adding to it as you go. Plus, the gel formula lasts for hours and sinks into skin seamlessly.
Smashbox O-Glow Intuitive Cheek Color, $29, available at Sephora.com. This gel blush from Smashbox is a classic and actually a bit more high-tech than the rest: It starts off with a faint pink hue, then it adjusts to your skin's chemistry to look like you would when you naturally blush.