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The Best Blushes For Dry Skin

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By Marissa DeSantis
Elite Daily/Amazon

If you have dry skin, you know how difficult it can be to apply blush smoothly and evenly, without looking streaky or patchy. While prepping your skin properly is of the upmost importance when you have dry skin, equally important is the type of makeup you use. In the case of blushes (though the same rules apply when shopping for foundation and concealer), the best blushes for dry skin come in cream and liquid forms, and are full of nourishing ingredients like shea butter, hyaluronic acid, and plant-derived oils and waxes. Ahead, you’ll find seven great options that fit the bill — but first, a bit more about how to prep dry skin for makeup (because when it comes to putting on blush, this step is truly key).

Obviously, you’ll want to apply a generous layer of moisturizer before putting any makeup on dry skin, but you can amp things up by using a moisturizer and a hydrating primer. (Don’t forget the SPF if it’s daytime, but at night, you can skip this step.) If you’re putting any concealer or foundation under your blush, stick with cream or liquid formulas. After applying all of your base makeup and blush, you can even follow up with one last, light layer of moisturizer to blend everything together, if your skin really needs it; otherwise, spritz on a hydrating face mist (like the Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist) and you’ll be good to go.

As for how to apply blush on dry skin — most cream blushes will glide on beautifully using your fingers, as long as your skin is properly prepped, but you can also use a brush with densely packed bristles, if you prefer.

With those tips in mind, scroll on to shop the best cream blushes for dry skin (plus one primer-infused powder blush that’s worthy of your attention).

1. The Cult-Favorite

An oldie but a goldie, Stila’s Convertible Color cream blush has been a beauty editor favorite for more than a decade. Housed in a tiny compact complete with a mirror, the blush is shimmer-free and surprisingly pigmented — even when you pick up just a small amount of product. Though the blush has a bit of tackiness to it when you first touch it, it blends easily over skin (especially as your skin warms up the blush), leaving a dewy sheen of color behind. If you're looking for a color recommendation, personally, ‘Lillium’ is my go-to for a hint of pink that gives a natural flush to my pale skin with olive undertones, but it comes in five other gorgeous shades.

  • Available shades: 6

2. The New Guard

Actress and brand founder Jessica Alba recommends smiling as you apply this cream blush to make it easier to deposit color onto the apples of your cheeks. Regardless of how you apply it, Honest Beauty’s Creme Cheek + Lip Color imparts sheer, buildable color with nourishing and moisture-retaining ingredients like castor seed oil, sunflower seed wax, and several fruit extracts. The brand is also dedicated to making more sustainable and non-irritating choices, creating the cream blush with recyclable packaging and a formula that's free from silicones, petrolatum, mineral oil, and synthetic fragrances. If Stila Convertible Color is the OG cream blush, consider this one the new guard.

  • Available shades: 4

3. The Liquid Blush

For those with dry skin who prefer the sheerest wash of color, a liquid blush, like one from the Milani Cheek Kiss collection, is a great option. With a creamy, gel-like texture, this blush smooths over dry skin without feeling greasy or heavy, thanks to its oil-free formula that includes antioxidant-rich ingredients like watermelon extract, pomegranate extract, and rose water. Though it can certainly be layered on for more intensity, the lighter consistency of this blush gives you a subtle, natural-looking flush with a small dab.

  • Available shades: 4

4. The Shimmery Blush Stick

While all cream blush is great for on-the-go use because you can apply it with your fingers, a cream blush stick makes the application process even easier (I also like that it doesn’t require dipping your fingers into a pot and contaminating the product with unwashed hands.) The e.l.f Monochromatic Multi Stick has a creamy texture immediately upon application, thanks to ingredients like shea butter and vitamin E, but it dries down to more of a traditional, powder-like finish. This blush stick applies very sheer, and also has quite a bit of shimmer to it. Like most of the other blushes on this list, it can also be dabbed onto your eyelids and lips.

  • Available shades: 6

5. The All-Natural Blush Stick

You won't find any synthetic colorants in these HAN All Natural Multisticks. Instead, the brand uses plant- and mineral-derived pigments to give the product its color, while a long list of moisturizing ingredients (including shea butter, argan oil, and coconut oil) ensure the blush applies comfortably onto dry skin. While these vegan and cruelty-free sticks aren’t shimmery or glittery, they do leave behind a bit of a dewy glow.

  • Available shades: 8

6. The Blush/Primer Hybrid

Buxom’s Wanderlust Primer Infused Blush is better for dry skin than most other powder blushes because it’s made with hyaluronic acid, one of the most hydrating ingredients out there. It’s also infused with primer to extend its wear time (the brand says this blush should stay on for up to 12 hours), and it has a “powder-to-silk” formula that looks and feels amazing on dry skin. Just be sure that any serums, moisturizers, and primers you applied have fully absorbed into your skin before applying this, or any other powder makeup.

  • Available shades: 6

7. The Splurge

This cult-classic cream blush is a little pricey, but it's also one of the best formulas I've ever come across. RMS Beauty Lip 2 Cheek was created by makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift with two goals in mind: Making a product that's simple to use, with even simpler ingredients. Housed in a glass jar, each Lip 2 Cheek is formulated with coconut oil, cocoa seed butter, shea butter, and jojoba seed oil to leave skin feeling soft and hydrated, but not tacky or sticky. The blushes can quickly be blended out with your fingers (or a brush), but because they are so concentrated, you only need to layer on a tiny amount of product for more intense color payoff.

  • Available shades: 6