Cream VS Powder Blush: Which Is Better?

by Gio
better powder or cream blush

Are you Team Cream or Team Powder? Blush, that is.

I’m Team Powder, but more out of habit than anything else. Every time I use a cream blush, I can’t help but wonder why I don’t more often. I love the natural flush it gives my cheeks. But, come the next day, powder blushes drive me back to them.

Still, I wouldn’t say that powder blushes are better than cream ones. It just depends on your skin type and what look you are trying to achieve:

Finish

Powder blushes can absorb excess oil, making them an excellent choice for ladies with combination and oily skin. They also tend to give a more matte, polished finish to the skin.

Cream blushes, are moisturising. More suitable for dry and mature skin, cream blushes provide a dewy flush, like you’ve just… well, blushed. They give skin a more youthful appearance and look more natural on.

Related: How To Figure Out Your Skin Type (+ Free Test!)

Pigmentation

Sheerer than powder blushes, cream ones are easier to build up. You have more control on how intense you want the colour to be, and you never have to worry about clown cheeks.

That’s always a risk with highly pigmented powder blushes – especially if you have fair skin. I love being a pale princess, but that can make blush application challenging.

The trick, with very pigmented powder blushes, is to use a light hand and a stippling brush. This type of brush picks up less product, giving you more control over application. If you need to, you can always add more, but I find that’s rarely necessary.

With sheer or medium pigmented blushes, a big fluffy brush works best. It makes application quicker and just as precise. In both cases, though, you can take your time in blending out harsh edges and blotchy patches.

Setting Time

Cream blushes tend to set quickly, and once they do, they are pretty hard to remove. To avoid streaked and marbled cheeks (ugh!), you’re forced to hurriedly blend them in. You can do so with your fingers but, if you don’t want to stain them, a stippling brush does the job very well too.

Staying Power

My main gripe with cream blushes is their short staying power. Most cream blushes last only 6 or 7 hours on my dry cheeks. That’s not bad, but with powders, I can just forget I have them on at all. Most of the colour is usually still there when I take my makeup off late at night.

Can You Use Cream And Powder Blush Together?

For a really longlasting glow and pop of colour, use them together. Apply first a cream blush as a base, and then a powder blush in a similar colour on top of it. This way, you can just forget about touch ups. The colour won’t budge. I usually do this when the weather start getting warm, so I don’t have to worry about the heat melting my face.

What Are The Best Blushes?

Do you prefer cream blushes or powder blushes? Share your fave in the comments below.

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14 comments

MonicaP March 24, 2015 - 3:06 pm

Same as you … I use powder, then use a cream and wonder why I don’t used cream more often. I think cream sits on the skin better, softer.

I currently like the Loreal Visible Lift blushes and I want to pick up a cream blush from The Balm, but they are rather pricey at $22 (I think).

Monica, http://www.pear-shaped-gal.com

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Gio March 24, 2015 - 8:40 pm

Monica, I agree, they give a softer look which is very nice.

That L”Oreal blush here almost costs as much as The Balm’s one! It’s crazy, isn’t it? Maybe you can try a sample? If you really love it and use it often, it may be worth the splurge.

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Stavroula DrugstoreBLover March 24, 2015 - 6:35 pm

I like both! 🙂 For a long time I was using only cream blushes like crazy, but now I’m back to using powder ones as well! x

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Gio March 24, 2015 - 8:48 pm

Stavroula, they are both great, aren’t they?

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Allison March 25, 2015 - 10:16 pm

I agree with you 100%. I am willing to give on the wear time for the ease of application, the dewy glow, and the moisture it adds to my dry skin. I find myself reaching for creams much more often than powders, though I intend to pick up the Japonesque blush during the Ulta sale because I love the packaging. Stupid but I can’t help it

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Gio March 26, 2015 - 9:28 pm

Allison, pretty packaging is so difficult to resist, isn’t it? I picked up my fair share of products just because they looked so pretty. 🙂

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Lisa @ Midwest Glam March 26, 2015 - 5:44 pm

I’d have to say I’m about the same. I’ve started using more cream blushes lately and find that I really do love them! But my powders definitely get more use. Also, I really like your chart there.

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Gio March 26, 2015 - 7:47 pm

Lisa, it’s weird, isn’t it, how we all love cream blushes, but use powders more? I guess they’re just more convenient. And glad you like it. 🙂

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Meg November 7, 2015 - 3:44 am

I use both, depending on what look I’m going for. I love Maybelline’s dream bouncy blush or Rimmel’s cream blush if I’m going for creams, and Covergirl’s powder blushes are nice and have a fantastic array of colors. I’d love to try some NARS or Benefit blushes, I’ve heard they’re wonderful.

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Gio November 7, 2015 - 1:45 pm

Meg, they are. Benefit blushes are quite sheer, but very smooth. Nars are lovely too, and they have so many shades to choose from!

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Pastelita/ Piou-Piou September 11, 2016 - 1:05 pm

Hey sweetpie, LTNC, I hope you’re well 🙂
Jumping in late lol
I love NARS’ Exhibit A, an almost neon warm red blush.
And yes, being soo pigmented, it’s a great investment, you need a tiny bit of it only.
I use a brush that’s not too dense, such as NARS Yachiyo, una pasada!

I absolutely love to share useful tips I’ve learnt along the way with you all, so here we go!
For instance, Monsiieur Alex gave a very useful tip about red blush placement in his YouTube channel.
For the most natural flush, he advices to try concentrate colour in the inside of the face, within the triangle zone. That’s because our cheeks don’t become orange or coral in real life on the outter part of the face after a zumba session lol

But I also love lilac shades in the upper part of my cheekbones, KBeauty-style and it’s very cute against my warm to olive undertoned NC20/25.
But Korean blushes being so sheer -not a bad thing at all but beware these may look chalky on skins over NC25-, I’ve resorted to Kiko’s eyeshadow stick to do the trick, before lightly dusting some Kbrand lavender highlighter.
BTW, this following resource was so useful to me whilst investigating skin undertones spectrum: http://musicalhouses.blogspot.com.es/2010/01/undertones-for-asians-how-to-tell-if.html?m=1
On a side note, I thought about our previous discussions about stereotyped women body images hammered down by patriarchal society.
It’s captured on my comment about the contouring craze on my My Women Stuff’s blog – under my nickname Piou-Piou. This is the very last comment, so just scroll and scroll until the very bottom:
http://www.mywomenstuff.com/2014/05/contour-and-highlight/

Having noticed you’re also commenting on Paris’ website as well, I may keep my username Piou-Piou with you for easier consistency.

You, Gio and Paris rock, it’s so delectable to read your thoroughful, wittily written posts. You go gurls!!!

Love,
Piou-Piou/ Pastelita.

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Gio September 18, 2016 - 11:23 am

Piou-Pious, thanks for your kind words and your thoughtful comment.

Love your tips about blush placement, it makes it so easy to achieve a natural look. I have to say, though, I’ve never seen pigmented bushes as an investment. I’m so pale, they’ve always scared me and turned me into a clown. lol 🙂 Korean blushes, instead, are just perfect – love that sheerness.

I loved reading your comment on Paris’ website. I adore her blog. Her reviews are always so well-written and she’s such a lovely lady too. 🙂

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Deanna Bowen September 20, 2016 - 4:46 pm

i like cream blush more because it would make me feel so young and my skin would feel really smooth 🙂

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Gio November 20, 2016 - 2:40 pm

Deanna, they’re lovely, aren’t they?

Reply

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