Makeup artists say nothing wakes your face up quicker than a swipe of this (and it’s not concealer)

I may not wear foundation or eyeshadow or lipstick every day, but I always swipe on a blush as a way to look put together in a flash (and mascara, but, duh). I strongly feel that a pop of color on the apples of your cheeks is the easiest, quickest way to fake that you’re wearing a whole makeup ~lewk~ without actually having to put much effort in.

And I’m not kidding about the effort thing. Lately, I’ve fallen in love with a handful of blushes that take a total of two seconds to apply, blend, and look incredible. They’re now staples in my makeup bag, and applying blush is newly my favorite step out of my entire beauty regimen, skin care included (no joke). Rocking a hint of pink or coral on my cheekbones makes me feel like Disney princess who just found out her prince has a crush on her (in the best possible way), and this cute look lasts all day long.

“I love blush because it adds an instant aliveness to the skin,” says Jeannie Vincent, a Boston-based makeup artist. “And if you’re good about your sunscreen, blush can help you fake a sun-kissed glow. A true instant pick-me-up.” Her hot tip? Stick with cream formulas since they’re so easy to apply. They’re basically “goof-proof,” she says. Now let me share with you the best-of-the-best blushes to add to your bag, stat.
Photo: Lancome Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Blush Stick, $39
I live for a makeup stick, and this blush in particular actually requires just one swipe (one!!!) along the cheekbones, a quick blend with your fingers, and voila, a perfect pop of a flush. The formula is creamy and super light, and you can even use it on your eyes and lips to go for the whole monochromatic look. I’m digging the fuchsia pink, but it also comes in more peachy, coral shades.
Photo: Smith & Cult Smith & Cult Flash Flush Cream Blush, $24
When I tapped my finger into this blush, I thought it’d be your typical cream option—but no. It’s got a unique texture that feels like velvet and magically transforms into a powder when you dab it on your cheeks. It’s so smooth, looks really natural on the skin, and comes in the prettiest colors with warm and cool undertone options to match everyone.
Photo: e.l.f. e.l.f. Beautifully Bare Blush, $4
This one’s another cream-to-powder finish that you can grab at the drugstore for less than the cost of a latte. I love that it’s really sheer, so it’s buildable if you want more of a pop, but a single swipe will give you a nice, healthy flush. Bonus points for moisturizing your skin at the same time thanks to argan oil and vitamin E.

In case ya need it: Here’s how to apply cream blush perfectly, according to a makeup artist. And this is your guide to applying eyeshadow like a pro.
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