Cream vs Powder Blush: Pros and Cons
A rosy glow on the cheeks has long been regarded as a sign of health and beauty. There is evidence that ancient Egyptians used ground ochre on their cheeks to highlight those dramatic cheekbones. Ancient Romans used red vermilion to paint a bloom on their lead-powdered white cheeks … both substances highly toxic. The ancient Greeks stained their cheeks and lips with the juice of mulberries to achieve the look of a bashful blush. And of course, in a pinch—a pinch or two on the cheeks would add a quick pink tinge for a young Victorian girl hoping to encounter a beau.
After fading away during the 1970’s nature-girl look, in the 1980’s cosmetic blush, or rouge, came back in a big way… think of Dynasty’s Alexis with her crimson-streaked cheeks. The 90’s recoiled so far from the excessive make-up look of the 80’s that blush took a back seat again. However, the Instagram-ready look of today has brought back blush as a contouring agent, and again people are reaching for the rouge. But with some confusion… which is better, powder blush or cream? Does it matter? Is there a difference?
Yes. And it’s important to know which to choose for the best blush results.
Cream Blush Pros and Cons
Cream formula blush is much more richly pigmented than powder, making it ideal for darker, deeper skin tones, when a dusting of powder blush might not show up as well. It’s also moisturizing, making it a better product for dry skin. A cream blush will give you a more youthful, dewy look, especially when paired with a creamy highlighter over the top of the cheekbones.
If you’ve used a cream or liquid foundation and concealer, you are generally better off with a cream blush as well. Creamy products work best on top of other creamy products that were designed to be buildable. Using a cream blush on top of a cream foundation will allow you to better blend your makeup for a natural look. Cream blush is also great for traveling or to throw in your purse because it can double as a lip color. This looks especially great when topped with a clear gloss or lip balm.
What time of year you wear your blush is also a factor. A good cream blush works well in the winter because it is more hydrating for dry skin and protects against winter wind chapping.
On the other hand, a cream blush may not work as well in the summertime, when you may sweat and your skin could be more oily. A cream blush can melt away and migrate, meaning smear away from where you placed it.
Cream blushes blend so well into your skin, that they can be difficult to see. If you want a blush to really pop, or to provide more dramatic contouring, you are probably not going to be as happy with a cream blush.
Cream blushes have to be blended quickly because they set fast, and because they can be sweated off, they tend not to be as long-lasting as a powder blush.
Powder Blush Pros and Cons
Powder blush is better suited to oily skin. It absorbs oil, won’t slide away, and provides some mattifying effect to reduce shine. Powder blushes are versatile. Applied with a brush, you can pick up more or less product depending on the look you are going for. You can use the brush to blend out any obvious edges, or splotches for a more natural look. Many makeup artists swear by powder blush applied with a brush for a contouring effect.
Powder blush is versatile and can be applied not only to the cheeks, but lightly on the nose, temples and chin as a contouring agent. It can even be used as a natural-looking eyeshadow. Because powder blush is more moisture-absorbing it is ideal for oily skin, or to be used in the summer when heat, humidity and sweating can make a cream blush migrate. Powder blush is generally longer-lasting than cream blush.
Using a powder blush can become cakey if you use it on top of a cream or liquid foundation. If you are older, and have fine lines, a powder blush may accentuate them, in which case you may do better if you go with cream blush formula to leave a more hydrated, dewy appearance.
Though there are recommendations, there is no right or wrong choice. In fact, now that blush is back it can be fun to experiment and find your favorite look!