I have a thing for blush. Maybe it’s the storied history of it or maybe it’s the glamorous associations I have with it, but it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite makeup products to use. That, in itself, is wild, considering I used to avoid it altogether. It wasn’t until I entered my almost mid-20s that I realized the power and potential of blush. When placed correctly, it brightens up my complexion, whisks away dullness, and makes me look, well, alive.
I also recently joined Beauty TikTok, which means I’ve been spending a gross amount of time scrolling through videos, many of which happen to be the review and the get-ready-with-me type. What I’ve noticed is that the majority of TikTok-viral makeup products are blush. Whether cream, liquid, or oil (more on that last one in a minute), TikTokers can’t get enough of them. So as any good beauty editor would do, I decided to test them all, pitting the products against one another to find the best of the best. Ahead, see every blush I tested, and which one was the winner. (Hint: Even I was surprised at the result.)
I have a theory that it’s impossible to scroll through TikTok without seeing this blush somewhere along the way. It seems like every single beauty influencer swears by it, so needless to say, I had high expectations. From what I’d seen on TikTok, I expected the cream formula to have a bold color payoff, blend easily, and look natural on the skin.
My expectations were met. I used the bright-pink shade called Lucky, which would normally be outside of my comfort zone, but hey, go big or go home, right? I loved how the color complemented my skin.
As for the formula itself, it was certainly highly pigmented, so I used a light hand. I think I only applied two to three dots along each cheekbone before blending it out with my trusty Beautyblender ($20). The color stayed put all day long, and the radiant finish didn’t make me look too shiny. All in all, I only have good things to say about it.
An Affordable Alternative: PIXI BY PETRA On-the-Glow Blush in Ruby $18
Pat McGrath’s makeup brand is wildly popular, which only makes sense considering she’s probably the most recognizable makeup artist in the world. I’ve seen this blush all over social media, but IRL, I didn’t expect it to look as pretty as it does online. I was wrong. When I opened my compact, the rose design was perfect. It was almost too pretty to use (almost).
I used a heavy hand with this one because I wanted to see how the silky powder would hold up on my skin. Not only did the blush look incredibly natural (to me, it kind of looked like I just went for a jog or I’d been outside in the sun), but it also settled into my skin seamlessly. It didn’t look like I had blush on at all; it was more like the color was coming from my skin, which I loved.
That’s the reason I tend to prefer powder blushes over cream formulas. If they’re lightweight and silky, they apply like a dream and blend well. Plus, they don’t leave me looking too shiny throughout the day. As someone prone to oiliness in some areas, that’s important.
An Affordable Alternative: WET N’ WILD Color Icon Blush in Pink Me Pink $3
This is the one I was most interested in using at the start of this weeklong experiment. It’s a color-changing oil formula that looks green in the tube, but when it’s applied to the skin, it changes to a flattering pink shade according to your specific pH.
It was certainly fun to use, and I liked the pink flush I got from it and it gave me that natural glow. If you are someone who tends to get oily throughout the day, adding an oil-based blush to the cheeks can not be the best choice. With that being said, if you have skin that’s on the drier side or you prefer a super-dewy finish, this is the blush for you.
An Affordable Alternative: MAKEUP REVOLUTION Superdewy Liquid Blush $7
Another iconic blush, this is one I’ve been itching to use ever since it first went viral for being one of Kylie Jenner’s favorite products. The bubblegum-pink color might look a little shocking, but I think it looks kind of chic, too. Also, now that bright-pink blushes are trending on TikTok, I felt like there was no better time to try them out for myself.
I’ll cut right to the chase. I love this blush. I expected it to be brighter and even a little costumey, but I was wrong. It looks quite subtle if you use a light hand. My cheekbones looked bright and pronounced but not in an obvious way.
The powder is fine and silky and applies like a dream. It reminded me of the Pat McGrath blush because of how well it blended. As I said, I love this blush.
An Affordable Alternative: SEPHORA COLLECTION Sephora Colorful Face Powder $14
Since this is a highly pigmented cream blush, I expected it to be a lot like the Rare Beauty one. However, it was slightly different. The pigment wasn’t as in-your-face as the Rare Beauty one, and I felt like it blended out easier.
The day I wore this, I ended up meeting my friend Kathryn for coffee. She took one look at me and said, “Wait, why do you look so good?” The only different thing was this blush. I told her about it, and she instantly asked if she could try it. She went on to tell me that my skin looked bright, and my eyes looked more intense.
I loved this blush just as much as my friend did. It was just the perfect pop of color with the perfect finish. It’s creamy, the colors are on point, it blends well, and it provides a natural-looking, lit-from-within flush to my face
An Affordable Alternative: E.L.F Putty Blush in Caribbean $7
Yes, this is technically a highlighter, but scroll through TikTok, and you’ll see and hear almost everyone use it and call it a blush. That’s because it’s a highly pigmented formula that leaves a soft petal-pink color on the skin. So in the spirit of testing out all TikTok-viral blushes, I felt compelled to include this one too.
Once I applied it, I could see how it’s a highlighter first and foremost. It has a soft, shimmer finish that looks flattering in the light. It also added a nice flush of petal pink to my cheekbones. However, I noticed it did make my skin look a little shiny by the afternoon. Still, it wasn’t anything a little translucent powder couldn’t fix.
An Affordable Alternative: MAKEUP REVOLUTION Bright Light Highlighter in Divine Dark Pink $10
The winner, and my new favorite blush, is the YOUTHFORIA BLUSH OIL. I honestly don’t have a single bad thing to say about it. Its formulation reacts to the skin’s natural pH to give your cheeks a unique pop of color. While it is a blush, it’s technically formulated as both a makeup and skincare product, which is a double win. Ever since my weeklong experiment, I’ve worn it almost every day, and the compliments keep rolling in.
Overall, Youthforia’s BYO Blush is worth the hype and is my new go-to blush. The consistency and formula have impressed me far more than any other powder and liquid blush has before — and that’s coming from a girl who loves to coat her cheeks in a liquid blush or two.