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Of all the makeup-related annoyances out there, taking the time to apply and blend your blush to precision, only for it to fade a few hours later, is undoubtedly one of the most frustrating. There are a couple of solutions, though. The first is simply choosing a better blush; the second has to do with your technique (more on that in a minute). In terms of powder formulas, the best long-lasting blushes are water-resistant or infused with primer, while the longest-lasting cream and liquid blushes are water-based and made without oil (i.e., cheek stains and gel-creams).
How To Make Blush Last Longer
Trial and error (and many a professional makeup artist) have taught me that layering on multiple blushes is the best way to prevent premature fading. Typically, I’ll start with a cream or liquid formula and finish with a powder blush on top. You can use blushes that fall into the same color category, but I find that layering on two different colors is a cool way to create a pretty, multidimensional contrast.
If you’re noticing that your blush seems to be fading quickly, you may want to reevaluate how you’re prepping and setting your makeup. After applying your serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen, consider adding in a primer designed for your skin type (if you have oily skin, for example, a mattifying primer — with its ability to soak up excess oil — may be able to help prevent your makeup from slipping off). Then, when you’re finished with your makeup, apply either a loose setting powder or a makeup setting spray (or both) to lock everything in place.
Shop The Best Long-Lasting Blushes
In a hurry? Here are the best long-lasting blushes:
1. Best Primer-Infused Blush: Buxom Wanderlust Primer Infused Blush
2. Best Cheek Stain/Powder Blush Hybrid: theBalm INSTAIN Blush
3. Best Gel-Cream Blush: Maybelline Cheek Heat Gel-Cream Blush
4. Best Water-Resistant Blush: Cargo Cosmetics Swimmables Blush
5. Best Water Tint: ETUDE HOUSE Dear Darling Water Tint
1. Best Primer-Infused Blush
According to Buxom, their primer-infused blush has a wear time of at least 12 hours (a claim that’s backed up by dozens of Amazon reviewers, Redditors, and YouTube vloggers). Additionally, it’s formulated with pressed pearls to give your skin a radiant finish, while hyaluronic acid contributes to its smooth, silky feel. Choose from six vacation-inspired shades (which can also be used as eyeshadow).
Type Powder | Available Shades 6
Relevant review: “So, anyone that wears and loves blush knows that the first makeup product on your face that fades/goes is your blush. I don't know why that it is, but it's true. The primer infused in this blush is a genius idea because it actually does extend the wear of this blush. [...] It blends out well (I use the large stippling brush from Wet N Wild to apply it) and just works so well. I highly recommend this blush to all my blush-loving ladies (& men) out there. It lasts a lot longer on your skin than most blushes do. I really want to get another shade now.”
2. Best Cheek Stain/Powder Blush Hybrid
This blush/cheek stain from theBalm is intensely pigmented, and once it dries down, it’s not likely to budge — so work quickly, and use a light hand. Once it’s set, though, it’s not going anywhere — such is the beauty of this long-lasting blush. And though it’s a powder formula, several Amazon reviewers reported using this as a lip stain, too. After applying it on your cheeks, dab some across your lid crease and on top of your lip balm for a natural, monochromatic makeup look.
Type Powder | Available Shades 6
Relevant review: “Amazing staying power! This blush lasts at least 12 hours on me, which is great because I hate reapplying makeup. Gorgeous pink flush on the cheeks and can be built up for a more dramatic effect. Pigmentation is fantastic so use a light hand applying. Love this product so much that I just bought another color.”
3. Best Gel-Cream Blush
Maybelline’s Cheek Heat Gel-Cream Blush is definitely one of the brand’s best launches from the past few years. It’s a water-based, oil-free blush that’s lightweight, non-greasy, and impossible to mess up. All you need is a drop or two to give your skin a natural-looking flush that lasts for hours, but if you like a more dramatic effect, you can build it up easily. I also love that it’s packaged in a tube — I hate contaminating pots of cream blushes with my fingers. Plus, it comes in six truly gorgeous shades, from a fun Barbie pink to a bold, purplish berry.
Type Cream | Available Shades 6
Relevant review: “The product is very easy to apply. A couple tiny drops from the tube, apply to the cheek area and it lasts all day. It looks so natural compared to many other blushes, powder or cream, that I have used. I love this gel cream blush!!! Try it and see!”
4. Best Water-Resistant Blush
Water-resistant blushes aren’t very common, which is what makes Cargo’s Swimmables Blush such a rare find. Because it’s resistant to water (thanks to silicone-coated pigments), it’ll hold up to sweat and other forms of moisture better, so it’s less likely to melt off if you work out or get caught in the rain. That same silicone coating also ensures that this blush glides over your skin smoothly without streaking or looking patchy.
Type Powder | Available Shades 3
Relevant review: “I live near the ocean where humid summer days can wreak havoc on my makeup! I have been a devote of Cargo Swimmables for a couple years now. This blush holds up well to sunny days spent reading on the beach, frolicking through theme parks and exploring the city!”
5. Best Water Tint (For Cheeks & Lips)
Technically this a lip tint, but it works just as well as a cheek stain — and since it sinks into your skin (rather than sitting on top of it), it stays on for much longer than most other cream and powder blushes. This water-light fluid from K-beauty brand Etude House comes in three fruit-themed shades (strawberry, cherry, and orange) and can be built up to your desired intensity, whether you’re using it on your lips or cheeks (or both). It works best as a blush when applied to skin that’s been freshly primed and moisturized, or you can mix a few drops in with your go-to face cream for an even more natural finish. If you can’t choose between the three, try out the best-selling trio that includes a bottle of each.
Type Liquid | Available Shades 3
Relevant review: “People who have a hard time with this stain are probably not using it correctly or putting too much on at once. Put on thin coat on and let dry completely! Then build it up. The color for the cherry ade one is a red that looks natural and beautiful and stays ALL DAY even with a balm over it and a mask on. [...] It’s so good. It’s the only lip and cheek color I will touch now.”
About The Author
Adeline Duff is a beauty editor and writer with over eight years of editorial experience. An amateur makeup artist in her off time, she’s long been obsessed with mastering the art of applying blush and tracking down the perfect dusty-rose shade.