Beauty

The best blush sticks for an instant glow on-the-go

19 August 2022

Our tried-and-tested blusher stick picks for every skin tone and budget

Cream blushes are the makeup artist-approved secret for a year-round, healthy, radiant glow. Just ask celebrity MUA  Caroline Barnes, who tells us she uses the pink stuff to bring an "instant pop of radiance" to famous faces including pop princesses Kylie Minogue, Kelly Rowland and Pixie Lott.

They are more hygienic than a standard cream blush – no double-dipping fingers or dirty makeup brushes. Applied straight from the bullet, stick blushes are the easiest way to achieve a no-fuss flush. Unlike powder formulas, they tend to contain oils or have added skincare ingredients so you can make the most of moisturising and other skin benefits. "Creams add life to your skin rather than deadening it," notes Barnes. "The skincare benefits mean they don't irritate dry spots or highlight textured areas of the skin."  These are our tried-and-tested favourites.

All products are chosen independently; we may use affiliate links.

Charlotte Tilbury Easy Lip & Cheek Wand, £20

Great for: a subtle everyday look

These multi-purpose soft-matte sticks bestow a gorgeous subtle nudey flush to cheeks that's perfect for your everyday look. The conditioning formula contains raspberry leaf cell and papaya fruit extra to soften and moisturise your pout. Choose from Golden Glow, Super Chic, Sun-kissed, Pretty Fresh and Date Night. The wand is refillable, too, so you can simply top up your stick next time. 

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Ilia Multi-Stick Cheek-to-Cheek, £33

Great for:  sheer colour

This award-winning clean formula isn't new but it's hard to make a blush hit list without including it – it's a makeup bag staple for beauty editors and MUAs alike. Why so many fans? The buttery texture blends into skin with minimal blending giving cheeks (and lips!) a pretty, pop of colour. Available in eight shades it's also a pretty great makeup skincare hybrid thanks to a host of moisturising ingredients such as avocado oil, organic shea butter and orange peel wax.

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Nars The Multiple, £30

Great for: colour for every skintone and type

Whether you opt for world-famous Orgasm, a limited edition shade or any peachy, pinky, mauvey hue of this lightweight, foolproof multitasker, there's a blusher here to suit you, and the finish will be seamless. Some shades contain more sparkle than others, but the velvety formula glides on, melts in and will stick around all day. It's also fragrance-free, can be layered for more of a 'pop' and doesn't feel remotely greasy.

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Victoria Beckham Beauty Cheeky Posh Cream Blush Stick, £36

Great for: a waterproof fresh-faced flush

Blush at the beach? If Victoria Beckham says it's a thing then it's a thing. OK, so you may not actually do that but the inspiration behind these five pretty pink blush sticks was "the effortlessly gorgeous woman who’s spent the day at the beach,” the designer-turned-beauty-mogul said in a statement. Gel-cream in texture, the sticks glide on easily and while not mega dewy they leave skin with a very natural veil of colour over the apple of your cheeks.

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Jones Road Lip and Cheek Stick, £30.50

Great for: a low key everyday flush.

No makeup-makeup is the Jones Road brand MO, and if that's on your agenda then these Lip and Cheek sticks will do the trick. The sticks are so soft that you can build them up without it ever looking too obvious and they deliver a lovely dewy effect that makes cheeks look supple. Although the eight shades range from punchy pinks to muddy mauves the colour payoff isn't the greatest, fine if super subtle is your thing but if you're looking for a bit more vibrancy then founder, Bobbi Brown recommends dotting on top of powder blush.

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Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick, £44

Great for: warming up dull skin (and drier skins!)

A veil of radiant colour over the apple of your cheeks can make skin look smoother and your entire face that bit brighter, and that's what this chunky blusher stick does. The pearly cream blusher dots on and blends out evenly to warm up even the most sallow of complexions. This probably isn't the one for oily skin (slightly too much shimmer going on), but otherwise, it's a quick-simple glow giver. Loaded with moisturising ingredients such as jojoba oil and grape extract it's super easy to blend and is a good option for drier skins, plus it doesn't slip away by lunchtime. Undeniably an investment, but it gives you rich girl vibes and you won't have to buy another for a long long time.

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Milk Makeup Lip and Cheek Blush Mini, £19.50 

Great for: busy people - AKA all of us.

This two-in-one stick doubles up as a sheer blush and hydrating lip tint but it also works brilliantly swiped over eyelids for a glossy lick of colour. With mango butter and avocado oil, it's ultra-moisturising so delivers dewy cheeks, but if it's high impact colour you're after this isn't for you. If you're a shimmer-phobe you'll be happy to hear that there's not a speck of glitter in sight, just a natural glow on the go. The classic size has got a devoted following but this mini size is brilliant for slimming down your makeup bag and applying on the hoof.

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Hourglass Vanish Blush Stick, £45

Great for: a smooth canvas with a cream-to-powder finish

When Hourglass expanded the iconic Vanish makeup range to include a blush it sold out almost instantly. Why? The clever blush is more matte than glowy so it doesn't emphasise pores or textured skin, instead, it works like the original Hourglass Vanish Foundation Stick, £45 to smooth over any bits you'd rather not highlight. It's more like a cream-to-powder finish than other blushes on this list. The shade range may be a little limited but the formula is fab for all skin types.

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e.l.f Monochromatic Multi Stick, £5

Great for: all over peachy shimmer

If you like your blush to sparkle then this one is for you. There's a whole load of metallic pigments going on in this ultra buildable blush – it's basically a highlighter and blush in one. Matte this is not but if you want to add some sheen and shine to your cheeks, eyes, lips and even nose or cupids bow you can't go wrong with this little shimmer stick.

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Huda Beauty Cheeky Tint Blush Stick, £21 

Great for: pops of colour for every skin tone

Huda Beauty’s creamy blush sticks come in four vibrant shades to deliver pops of colour to suit every skin tone. The buildable formulas are once again infused with skincare goodness, like lychee extract and vitamin E, that melts into the skin and delivers a shot of hydration, as well as a buildable glossy glow. Choose from Baddie Berry (a deep plum) Coral Cutie (bright orange), the more subtle Perky Peach or bold Rebel Red.

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Sisley Phyto-Blush Twist, £52

Great for: a soft powder finish 

A personal favourite of GTG's editorial director Victoria Woodhall, Sisley’s Phyto-Blush in Petal is a worthy investment for your makeup bag. Very highly pigmented and packed with hydrating ingredients like camellia and shea oil, this a nourishing formula which makes a  great lip tint too, while the rounded tip is handy for on-the-go scribbling onto cheeks. There are six shades ranging from a bright fuschia to peachy papaya, while petal, is a non-shimmer rosy hue.

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