Blush Blindness Is Going Viral—But These Sticks Give You the Perfect, Sun-Kissed Glow

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Hear me out: I would never advocate for a sunburn. I don’t even support tanning—just perfect your self-tanner routine then coat yourself with sunscreen. However, I can’t help but think that the sun-kissed flush exclusive to summer is the perfect beauty look. I know you know (and probably agree). Think: rosy red cheeks minus the heat exhaustion, and the pinkish tint across your nose, but without the sun damage. No wonder blush is one of the summer’s biggest trends. And now, you can get that romantic rouge easier than ever with the best blush sticks on the market.

Featured image from our interview with Babba Rivera.

sami berstein spalter

Why Blush Sticks Are My Summer Beauty Staple

In the summer, my makeup routine dwindles down to almost nothing. (Skinimalism is going strong!) When I’m traveling, I’m deliberately minimalist about the products I pack. But even when I’m home, I don’t want layers of product sitting on my face.

Simplicity is key—and so is versatility. Enter: blush sticks. This seasonal replacement for powder or liquid blushes is convenient on the go but also lasts longer and sticks easier to fresh-faced summer skin.

Comparing Cream, Powder, and Liquid Blush

Blush sticks are cream blushes that come in easy, pocket-sized packaging. You might be used to brushing on a powder blush to the apples of your cheeks, but cream blush is becoming everyone’s go-to for a rosy complexion.

Cream blush sits on top of the skin, letting you do more with less product. Thanks to its texture, it promotes an even, dewy complexion. While powder blush can crease and liquid blush can cling to dry patches, cream blush gives you a natural, glowy finish.

The Magic of a Multi-Stick

Another benefit of blush sticks is that they often are multiple products in one. Palettes are passé, but multi-sticks give you a cohesive wash of color for your cheeks, eyes, lips, and even the bridge of your nose. With all its many applications, you can rely on one product for countless looks.

sanne vloet applying blush stick

The Best Blush Sticks for a Year-Round, Sun-Kissed Glow

I tested and reviewed the creamiest blush sticks for every makeup look, skin concern, and practical need. Ahead, you’ll discover blush sticks with SPF, the viral picks everybody’s talking about, and blush sticks that are, frankly, underrated. Read on for the best blush sticks to give you that summer glow in just a few swipes.

Rhode Pocket Blush Stick

Our verdict: The one that’s worth the hype.

Shade options: 6

Whenever Hailey Bieber releases a new product via her viral line, Rhode, the beauty world is rocked. This blush stick is no different—honestly, the hype just grows with every drop. And unlike other beauty brands that are all smoke and mirrors, these buzzed-about products quickly become mainstays in our makeup routines. Because yes, they’re that good.

This blush stick is a buildable pigment that glides on smooth and gives you an instant pick-me-up. I like the shade “toasted teddy.” It feels sophisticated while still being fun and flirty. Consider it the red wine of blush sticks that’s perfect for summer nights.

ILIA Multi-Stick Cream Blush + Highlighter + Skin Tint

Our verdict: The three-in-one favorite with countless shades.

Shade options: 12

One of the best blush sticks out there, this ILIA multi-stick can do it all. The skincare-first makeup brand makes clean products that look good without compromising your skin. This buildable blush stick is also a highlighter and lip tint. Dot it everywhere you need a bit of color and blend with a finger (my favorite application method) for natural, dewy coverage. The subtle iridescence will make you look radiant—never shiny.

Westman Atelier Cream Blush Stick

Our verdict: The one that will convert you.

Shade options: 9

I’ve long been a believer in Westman Atelier’s foundation sticks. Now, the blush sticks have found their way into my makeup bag as well. This luxury, clean beauty mainstay will make you turn on any other blush. It contains skin-loving ingredients like kaolin clay, which prevents clogged pores and absorbs excess oil, and antioxidant-rich vitamins C and E. Just one swipe is enough for a healthy wash of color.

Ami Cole Blush & Lip Multi Stick

Our verdict: Your skin, just glowier.

Shade options: 4

This lightweight cream blush is the closest I’ve gotten to a natural, skin-like glow. The blend is seamless, and it’s easy to apply with your fingers alone. (No endless patting of your makeup sponge.) If you know Ami Cole from their featherlight foundation, trust that their blush and lip multi-stick is just as satisfying to put on. The texture melts into your skin for a no-makeup-makeup look. #CleanLook lovers, this one’s for you.

Violette FR Bisou Blush Stick

Our verdict: The French-girl favorite.

Shade options: 4

I can never resist a French-girl beauty secret. (Is anyone immune to their timeless, but trend-setting prowess?) I even stock up on my favorite French pharmacy products during every Charles de Gaulle layover. And one thing French girls know, it’s a rouge—whether it’s their lips or their cheeks, they always get it right. Violette FR’s matte cream blush gives you a classic look you can dab on your cheeks and lips. The marbled swirl makes for a multidimensional finish, while the attached blush ensures a smooth blend.

Ogee Contour Blush Stick

Our verdict: Next-gen contour.

Shade options: 10

Contour isn’t dead—it’s just been revamped. This contour blush stick is ideal for anyone who doesn’t want to give up on their sculpted look. A single swipe defines your features without weighing down your skin. With a buildable glow and iridescent finish, you get a glassy, gleaming color with each swipe. It also uses green coffee oil to stimulate collagen, sal tree resin to smooth over pores, and tapioca powder to absorb excess oils.

Merit Flush Balm Cheek Color

Our verdict: Your go-to, buildable blush for a sun-kissed look.

Shade options: 9

The satiny, nonstick finish on this multi-use balm is universally flattering—and we love that it’s tiny enough to slide into your pocket or purse. Blendable and buildable, it conditions skin with vitamin E oil for a natural—never cakey—finish. Most importantly, it lets your skin tone shine through for a realistic flush. Pro tip: Pair with Merit’s Dayglow highlighting balm for a dewy sheen without any sparkle.

Olio E Osso Lip and Cheek Stick

Our verdict: The lightweight blush stick you’ll take on every trip.

Shade options: 10

With more of a texture that’s more oil than cream, I always imagine this blush stick as a vacation carry-on. Swipe it on your skin post-beach/pre-dinner or in the morning before setting off on your adventures. It’s light, hydrating, and defines barely-there color. As one of the OG clean beauty blush sticks, it’s a staple for its hydrating properties and unique olive oil formula. Said differently: where I go, it goes. Always.

Haus Labs Longwear Lip + Cheek Blush Stick

Our verdict: The best skin-boosting option that sensitive skin will love.

Shade options: 8

Hydrating and plumping, trust Lady Gaga to create a high-pigmented blush stick that plumps, hydrates, and soothes the skin. It’s formulated to boost collagen, and plump and hydrate the skin while reducing unwanted redness for the perfect amount of pigment. Best for sensitive skin or irritated skin, this is the best blush stick to give your skin some TLC after long days in the sun.

Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Color Balm SPF 50

Our verdict: The sun-protectant, buildable boost of SPF.

Shade options: 6

You might know Colorescience from their viral color-changing sunscreen. But the brand’s magic with pigmented SPF doesn’t end there. This multi-stick gives you both a natural flush with its range of pigments and a shield of mineral sun protection. However, you don’t want to count on it alone to protect you from the sun. Dermatologists say that makeup products containing sunscreen aren’t as effective alone since we tend not to use enough of them. Still, this is a great blush stick for a buildable boost of SPF that you’ll be happy to reapply.

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