Our Favorite Blush: The 2022 List Beauty Awards

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If we're being completely honest, blush is among the best makeup products. It not only livens up your face after the application of foundation and concealer, but it also offers a warmth that can't otherwise be replicated. Plus, blushes are more diverse now than ever. While there used to be only red and pink blushes in powder form, you can now get your hands on orange and purple hues — and in a variety of formulas, no less.

Whether you wear blush every day or only on special occasions, it's a sure-fire way to present yourself as warm and colorful rather than flushed out. However, it's easy to make mistakes when applying blush, including applying too much, failing to properly match your blush to your skin, and not blending it well enough into your makeup base (via The Skincare Edit). Most of these mishaps are easily remedied — as long as you have the right blush products in your makeup bag. 

To find out which blush applied best to the skin, we tested five blush products from various price points and companies, and we found a winner. Welcome to The List Beauty Awards: blush edition.

Trixie Cosmetics Mod About You Blush Palette: Winner

After testing five different blushes, we discovered that our champion was the Mod About You blush palette from Trixie Cosmetics, the beauty company founded by "RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars" winner and — as she describes herself at the beginning of each YouTube video on her channel – "world-famous drag queen," Trixie Mattel. The Mod About You palette features three distinct colors: a red-orange shade called Go-Go Girl, a light orange shade called Plush Bunny, and a shimmery pink-nude shade called Gleamsicle.

Mod About You retails for $28, but we found it to be well worth the price tag. You get three blushes in one, which is already a perk, but we were immediately sold when applying the product for ourselves. The formula is lightweight yet very pigmented. You'll want to go in gently with your brush because of this, but the blush blends exceptionally well into foundation and concealer, creating an even, smooth look. The three shades are different enough, too, that you could use this one palette for countless looks. The pink-nude shade could make an excellent highlighter for double duty.

Additional perks — this palette is completely vegan, and despite being promoted as a blush that's perfect for summer, we found it to be just as perfect in the cooler months as it brightens up the face nicely. 

Trixie Cosmetics revealed that The Mod About You blush was its best-selling item of 2021, and we can see why! Even though the brand only sells products through its website, they ship internationally — and who doesn't want to support a drag artist? It's truly a win-win. 

Rare Beauty Mini Soft Pinch Liquid Blush Trio: Runner-up

While Trixie Cosmetics had The List's ultimate favorite blush, none of the blush products we tested were duds. In fact, Rare Beauty's Mini Soft Pinch Liquid Blush Trio proved particularly beautiful when applied. 

This trio of blushes retails for $20–$25, depending on the store (it's $25 on Rare Beauty's website). However, you should keep in mind that you're getting very small bottles of each product since they come in a bundle; one full-sized bottle of Rare Beauty's blush typically costs the same price. 

The blushes come in a matte nude shade called Bliss, a dewy mauve shade called Hope, and a dewy apricot shade called Peace. The latter two shades are said to be limited-time offers.

The first thing we noticed about these blushes is that they're super pigmented. As in, you need the smallest dot to add color to your cheek. If you apply more than a dot, your whole cheek will be bright red. However, combining them with a little concealer mutes the color just enough to apply very smoothly. 

This product ultimately didn't reach the winning spot because two of the shades are limited in their availability, and because, even though they applied well, they didn't apply as well as Trixie Cosmetics' blush.

Glossier Cloud Paint: Runner-up

Next, we tested another liquid/creme blush, but this time from Glossier. More specifically, we tested the shade Spark in Glossier's Cloud Paint blush collection, which includes seven other shades across the warm color spectrum. What ultimately held this product back is just how potent it is. (Is it possible to have too much of a good thing when it comes to makeup?)

Similar to Rare Beauty's blushes, Glossier's product is so strong that even the smallest dot can lead to too much color, especially if you're unprepared to blend it in well and/or mix it with a little bit of concealer. Compared to the Rare Beauty blush, it took more time and concealer to round this product out. 

However, there's certainly a market for people who like to wear very strong blush. This line of blushes could prove well for drag queens, for example, who purposely wear a lot of makeup at any given time to transform their faces and bring to life their drag personas. However, this product isn't as widely available as other blushes at the moment, so you'd have to purchase it either from Glossier's website or Amazon.

To use this Glossier blush, we recommend applying a very small dot to one spot on your cheek and then blending outward. Applying multiple dots or smearing the product around the cheek before blending can overwhelm your face.

ColourPop Cat's Eye Pressed Powder Blush: Runner-up

Then we have the Cat's Eye pressed powder blush from ColourPop. This blush, which is part of ColourPop's collaboration with the animated series "Sailor Moon," is a nice pinky rose in color and retails for just $12. This blush may not be sold forever due to being part of a collaboration collection, but it's a stunning and affordable blush option if you need something new for 2022.

This blush is great for everyday wear because its formula and compact packaging make it easy to take with you anywhere and apply as needed. It doesn't get clumpy and isn't overwhelmingly pigmented; its formula hits a sweet spot of color and effectiveness. It can, however, look a little powdery on the face, and this may simply be because of its low price point. Still, it blends well with other products, and it could potentially be used for contouring parts of your face as well if you wanted to experiment. 

It ultimately missed the winning mark because of its likely limited release window, the potential for it to appear powdery rather than smooth, and its inability to match Trixie Cosmetics' deal with their three excellent shades in one blush product.

Milani's Cheek Kiss Cream Blush: Runner-up

Finally, we tested Milani's Cheek Kiss Cream Blush, which retails for $9.99 from Ulta. This blush comes in four shades: a standard red shade called Blushing Berry, a lighter pink called Coral Crush, a wine-colored shade called Merlot Moment, and a more neutral called Nude Kiss. The List tested Blushing Berry to keep in line with the reds we were testing from other brands.

This blush from Milani proved to be a solid contender. It was smoother to apply than ColourPop's blush, but this line also doesn't contain a light pink shade like ColourPop's product. All of the colors — bar Coral Crush — are rather dark, and Coral Crush doesn't appear to be as light as ColourPop's shade either. 

Nonetheless, Milani has a great formula for this product. Blending it into the base of our makeup was a little harder than ColourPop's, despite it going on the skin smoother, so this isn't necessarily a blush you'd want to use to touch up your makeup throughout the day. Instead, we recommend using this in your base and then adding a lighter color like ColourPop's as a topper and corrector. These two work great in tandem with one another, but Trixie Cosmetics' blush worked so well on its own that it reigned supreme. There can only be one best of the best!