Rudiments of Rouge: Powder vs. Cream Blushes

Rudiments of Rouge

Hello and welcome to the 3rd episode of the mini series, Rudiments of Rouge! I hope you’ve enjoyed the first two installments on the basics of blush. Today’s post is about the two popular types of blushes and that’s cream and powder.

Ahh the battle of the blushes begin when powders came to fight with creams. The question I often get is this: Powder blushes vs cream blushes. Which one’s better?

Rudiments of Rouge: Powder vs. Cream Blushes

Oh boy, that’s like asking me if I prefer using a pencil or a pen. If I prefer orange-scented or mango-scented products. If I prefer my left eye or right eye. Hahaha you get the picture :P. Both are equally good. It just depends on what you want your makeup to look like.

Powder blushes give a more matte, polished finish to the skin. You apply it when you’ve set your makeup with face powder. Many find powder blushes easier to apply (including me) as you just use a blush brush, press it against the powder and then slowly tap the brush on your cheeks to see how much you’d need. You don’t have to worry about it setting too quickly like cream blushes. As they’re easier to apply, you’ll find that the ratio of powder blushes to cream blushes by beauty brands selling in store is significantly higher.

Rudiments of Rouge: Powder vs. Cream Blushes

The problem with highly pigmented powder blushes is accidentally picking up too much product, thus putting on far too much colour on your cheeks. Always remember to tap the brush to remove the excess powder before pressing the brush on your skin.

If you want a very natural-looking flush on your cheeks, then try cream blushes. Cream blushes (most of them) give a dewy finish to the skin. It looks more natural on your skin like you’ve just blushed and that pop of colour appears on your skin. This is usually when you prefer not to powder your face and want to have that glowy, radiant skin. I don’t mean a shiny, oily skin, just what your skin would normally look like but heaps better. Cream blushes need to be applied swiftly to avoid it setting too quickly. Once cream blush sets, they’re often difficult to remove with tissues alone.

Rudiments of Rouge: Powder vs. Cream Blushes

Another question I get asked often is how I apply cream blushes. This depends on individual cream blushes, how they’re packaged, it’s consistency and so on. In general, if the cream blushes come in a pan (e.g Stila’s Convertible Colours, Illamasqua’s cream blush, MAC’s cream blush, Max Factor’s cream blush, etc) and their consistency is slightly tacky and, well, creamy, then my favourite way to apply them is with a stippling brush. I find that it looks very natural on the skin without disturbing my base makeup.

Rudiments of Rouge: Powder vs. Cream Blushes

Gently press the tips of the stippling brush on the pan and pick up tiny dots of colour. Don’t pick up more than these wee dots of colour because you don’t want to start with too much pigment. Then dab the skin with the brush, forwards and backwards. Don’t buff the skin with the brush by using circular motions. Forwards and backwards, that’s it, like you’re dabbing a spot with pimple cream. :P

Rudiments of Rouge: Powder vs. Cream Blushes

My pock-marked cream blush by Illamasqua, all thanks to the stippling blush :P

This delivers just the right amount of colour to your cheeks. If it’s not enough, do it again by adding more blush to the brush. It’s better to have less on the brush first and then add more than having far too much upon first application.

When the cream blush comes in the form of a bottle with a brush (e.g Benefit’s cheek tints like Posietint and Estée Lauder’s Pure Color Cello Shots), I like to test the consistency and colour on the back of my hand first just to see how well they’ll spread. Once I know, I’ll use my finger and apply the cream directly on my cheeks. I will not spread it on the back of my hand first then apply because my hand will get most of the colours. By the time I apply it on my cheeks, I’d have nothing left!

Rudiments of Rouge: Powder vs. Cream Blushes

For cream blushes that have a powdery consistency like Revlon’s Photoready Cream Blushes, I like to use my fingers as well. I think it gives a beautifully natural finish on the skin. Some prefer to use a regular blush brush with this because of it’s non-sticky consistency. Best to find out is to experiment and see which method works better for you.

If you want long-lasting rouge on your cheeks (e.g. at all-day functions, weddings, etc), then a good way to ensure that your blush is going to stay on all day is to use both cream and powder blushes. Use a cream blush as a base and then a powder blush of a similar shade on top of the cream blush. This way, you don’t have to worry about missing cheek colour by the end of the day!

As for me, I like powder blushes in during the cooler months and cream blushes in the warmer months. I always prefer a dewy finish on my skin in summer; I love the glow! In winter, my powder blushes work very well as I don’t have to worry about them fading from the heat. Then again, I’m the fickle sort so I’ll just use whatever that tickles my fancy. :)

Which do you prefer? Powder blush or cream blush? Which works better on you?

Stay tuned to the next post on how to rouge your cheeks without looking like a china doll!

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35 comments… add one

  1. Chelsea

    I’ve always used my fingers, it never occurred to me to use a stippling brush with pans! Might try this next time with an Illamasqua one I have.. x
    Chelsea recently posted..Review: VS Sassoon Go Travel DryerMy Profile

    1. Tine

      I started using a stippling brush with the Illamasqua cream blush and it works a treat. If you don’t mind the brush leaving unsightly pock marks on your palette, that is ;)

  2. ponikuta

    It has always been powder for me but lately I have been reaching out for cream blushes for nearly a month now. Groundbreaking huh?!

    Also, cream blushes aren’t what it used to be. They now come in silky finish rather than that “glowy” sticky type finish.

    ponikuta recently posted..Enter to win an intimate night of luxury in Sydney thanks to BONDS Bright Night via FBMy Profile

    1. Tine

      I agree. Cream blushes are not so much the sticky ones anymore but a more silky finish, which I really like. I do like the sticky ones when the occasion calls for it but even so, I find myself reaching for the non-sticky ones more and more.

  3. Rachel

    I’m a finger fiend when it comes to cream blushes! It’s my go to if I’m really in a rush, as I find it so much easier to blend quickly. Also, I’m not searching for a brush ;) haha
    Rachel recently posted..Room Renovation RevealMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Hahaha money saved right there ;)

  4. Jess @ Miss J. Shopaholic

    Loving the Rudiments of Rouge series Tine!!

    I used to prefer powder blush but have been using cream ones a lot lately. Depends on my mood I guess. I have to use a brush though, I have no finger blending skills haha
    Jess @ Miss J. Shopaholic recently posted..Beauty Haul: All About The Lips! (Chanel, YSL, Dior)My Profile

    1. Tine

      Aww thanks Jess, so glad you enjoy it :)

      There are so many good cream ones launched recently, don’t you think? I too find myself reaching more for those compared to powder blushes which I normally prefer.

  5. Fiona

    I love this topic! lol

    Powder definitely. Had bad experience with cream in pump (MUFE) *cough*. Lately I’m dabbing on liquid blush from Guerlain Terracota. It’s an oldie. Totally changed my mind on blusher now :D
    Fiona recently posted..Bag of Love “Fun in the Sun” June 2013 Edition ReviewMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Haha thanks Fiona :)

      Ooh I’ve heard great things about MUFE cream blushes. I gotta at least try one out just to see what they’re like :P

  6. Victoria

    I must try cream blushes one day. Do you have any good ones to recommend for a newbie like me?

    1. Tine

      A few good cheapies to begin with:
      - Revlon’s PhotoReady cream blush
      - Canmake Cream Cheek

      Revlon’s Photoready has a silky smooth texture that isn’t sticky (not conventional of cream blushes) and Canmake’s is quite tacky (typical of cream blushes). Do check them out and have a play and see if you like them. Have fun!

  7. Kaye

    That’s a tough call! I honestly don’t know what I like better. I love cream because its so fresh and radiant, but powder lasts soooo much longer. Lol you are right, left eye or right! I pick both :)

    I love your blush collection BTW, I am so envious and inspired at the same time! It is definitely lacking in my collection and you can never have too colours I say :)
    Kaye recently posted..WIN a $1000 wardrobe! Plus New Cherry Batiste Dry Shampoo ReviewMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Aww thanks Kaye. Stay tuned to day 7 when I show y’all my entire blush collection. Just don’t judge me k? :P :P :P

  8. Ling

    I have been slapping the cream blush from Shu with my fingers! LOL
    I need to investigate a stippling brush now.
    Ling recently posted..Makeover at Tom Ford MelbourneMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Heeheehee! The Manicare Artiste one is good ;)

  9. Sunshine

    Thanks for this post Tine. I’ve never heard of applying crème blush with a stippling brush :)

    What would you say your HG blush is?

    1. Tine

      The stippling brush allows you to control the amount of cream blush to apply on your cheeks because it’s not very dense.
      As for HG blush, honestly I love so many, I don’t think I have just the ONE. :P

  10. gio

    I prefer powder blushes simply because they last so much longer. But when I’m in a rush, I’ll reach for cream blushes. They’re so quick to apply and look very natural and dewy on.
    gio recently posted..QOTW: What Product Shouldn’t You Be Allowed To Buy Anymore?My Profile

    1. Tine

      Agree! I love how natural it looks on the skin especially in summer when I don’t want a powdery face :)

  11. aaj

    Hi Tine,

    I have loved all your posts this week…if you don’t mind me asking, what are the blush brushes that you use in all your posts…thank you..aaj

    1. Tine

      Thanks lovely! There are a couple of blush brushes I like using, which I alternate if one is washed. That’s the blush brushes by Hakuhodo and Louise Young. As I don’t use a lot of eye makeup on a daily basis, I like to splurge on my face brushes :)

  12. Issa

    I use whatever I feel like using for the day, hihihi… As you said it, I love both, it is so hard to choose. :)

    1. Tine

      Hahaha I know what you mean! :P

  13. Efrain

    I’ve only tried from the “cream type” Benetint and today I did your recommendation about using it as a base for the powder blush, you’re right the color lasted for a lot more, even 7 hours after I had a little flush on my cheeks.
    Efrain recently posted..De cómo llegué al mundo de la cosméticaMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Yay! They last so much longer, right? It’s a great method to keep blushes on for longer :)

      1. Efrain

        It impressed me!
        Efrain recently posted..De cómo llegué al mundo de la cosméticaMy Profile

  14. Adrianna

    I use fingers to apply my cream blush as a base. Disliking the tackiness of Stila convertible color, I topped that up with loose powder and you get a pretty natural flush of color! Usually go over again with Tarte Amazonian Clay blush in Exposed and color lasts 10 hours on me

    1. Tine

      Yeah I do find the Stila Convertible Colour very sticky, which I guess it’s why I didn’t buy one. I’ve been meaning to get the Tarte Amazonian Clay blush for AGES! Hope to get it within the next couple of months. I’ve heard such good things :)

  15. Michelle Beh

    As for me, I prefer the powder blush as I found it easier to apply. I’m not that familiar with cream blush at the moment. I probably still need more practice on it.

    1. Tine

      Powder blushes are easier to apply, that’s for sure. But if possible, do give more cream blushes a go. They look really good on the skin :)

  16. En En

    I use powder blush when I do my makeup at home before going out. I use cream to touch up when I’m outside. I have a Nature Republic cheek/lip duo which is convenient enough to touch up my face & lip :)
    En En recently posted..It’s My 30th Year on EarthMy Profile

    1. Tine

      That’s a good idea, carrying a lip-cheek duo in your purse. Multitasking products FTW! :)

  17. sammi

    really loving revlon photoready blusher. lasts for ages and looks super natural!

    1. Tine

      Ooh I know right? I’m very impressed too! :)

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