How To Apply Cream Blush

Learn how to apply cream blush to give the cheeks a dewy-looking, rosy glow.

Darlings, once you’ve discovered how to apply cream blush, you’ll find yourself reaching for a buildable, blendable, easy cream blush formula all year round. A cream blush is perfect for giving your cheeks a healthy-looking flush. Follow my tips and tricks for working with an emollient, dewy cream formula, then find your dream cream blush in my beautifying blush collection!

Moon Beach Beach Stick still life

Discover my Beautiful Skin Island Glow Lip + Cheek cream blush tint

How To Apply Cream Blush

Everyone loves blush, darlings… I’ve been using cream blush for years to give the cheeks a radiant, rosy glow! Cream blush formulas are easy to work with because they melt into the skin and create a luminous, natural-looking finish that beautifully enhances the look of your complexion. Discover how to apply cream blush to create a magical, blushing makeup look, below:

  1. Thick and luscious pearly-white moisturiser in an open glass jar with its gold-coloured lid placed behind it.

    Step 1: Start with skin prep

    Darlings, never apply your makeup without performing your magic skincare routine first! I always say that a beautiful painting needs a beautiful canvas, and nothing compares to the smoothing effect and lit-from-within glow that Charlotte’s Magic Cream gives the skin! I created my instant-turnaround moisturiser to help celebrities and stars to look luminous and full of life after their busy schedules have left their skin looking dull and exhausted. Magic Cream is Magic Skin, darlings, so before you apply your cream blush, apply this award-winning cream with my famous Tilbury Tap to prep and illuminate the look of your complexion!

    Shop Charlotte’s Magic Cream

    Discover my Tilbury Tap technique

  2. Charlotte's Beautiful Skin collection and Beach Sticks cream blush sticks on a beachy backdrop

    Step 2: Apply foundation, concealer, cream bronzer and liquid highlighter

    Once your complexion is magically moisturised, apply your choice of foundation, concealer and cream/liquid products to create a glowing, sculpted-looking makeup look. Cream blush is rich in moisture so it’s best to apply it before your powder products to prevent any issues like lifting or texture. Your cream blush will blend seamlessly with your other liquids and creams, and it will bring the look of your complexion back to life after using products designed to perfect and sculpt the look of your face.

    Discover the correct order of makeup steps

  3. Model holding Beach Sticks cream blush stick in Formentera

    Step 3: Complete your eye and lip look

    I like to apply cream blush after I’ve created a mesmerising eyeshadow look and applied the perfect shade of lipstick. Applying your eye and lip makeup before cream blush helps to inform your blush decision; the shades that you choose will help you to select the most flattering shade of cream blush for your look, as well as helping you decide how bold your blush needs to be (for example, if you’ve chosen a bold lip, you may want to wear a more neutral blush shade, whereas if your makeup is more understated, you might choose a brighter shade of blush to make the cheeks pop).

    Tilbury Tip: Match your lip look with your cream blush by using a lip and cheek tint like my Beautiful Skin Island Glow Lip + Cheek tint!

  4. Bronzer and Blusher Brush for flawless cheek makeup application

    Step 4: Choose your application tool between your fingers and a brush

    You can apply cream blush with your fingers or a brush; both methods will give the cheeks a beautiful, blushing finish. To apply blush with your fingers, it’s best to warm up the product with your index finger by making circular motions in the pan, then tapping directly onto your cheeks and blending out using blotting motions. Alternatively, if you’d like to use a brush to apply your cream blush, I recommend my Bronzer & Blusher Brush. The super-soft bristles have a domed shape that sweeps effortlessly across the apples of the cheeks and will help your cream blush to blend seamlessly.

    Discover my magical brush guide

  5. Graphic displaying how to apply cream blush for every face shape

    Step 5: Apply cream blush to the apples of the cheeks

    Once you’ve chosen your application method, it’s time to apply your cream blush! With your finger or a brush, apply your perfect shade of cream blush directly onto the apples of the cheeks. The perfect placement for cream blush is on the roundest part of your cheek and shouldn’t travel too close to the nose. Cream blush formulas are buildable, so start by applying a small amount of cream blush and add more product gradually to get your desired colour payoff.

    Tilbury Tip: Imagine a vertical line through the centre of your eye – this is where your cream blush should stop and your concealer should begin.

  6. Model applying Beach Sticks cream blush stick to the apples of the cheeks

    Step 6: Blend out in upward circles for a flattering lift effect

    When blending out your cream blush, use soft, circular, patting motions that help to remove any harsh lines. To give the face a flattering lift effect, blend your cream blush upwards and outwards towards the ears – this will help the apples of the cheeks to appear higher and will gently sculpt the look of your cheekbones.

    Tilbury Tip: Once you’ve blended your cream blush, you can go back in with more product to intensify the colour for a bolder blush look.

  7. Model wearing Beach Stick cream blush on their nose for sun-blushed cheeks

    Step 7: Apply cream blush to your nose

    Give your nose the same beautifying touch of blush as your cheeks by applying a small amount of your favourite cream blush. Applying cream blush to the bridge of your nose creates an adorable, sun-blushed effect that mimics the healthy-looking glow of a day in the sun. To apply, tap cream blush onto the centre of the nose using your fingers or a brush, then softly blend out the edges to create a gorgeous summer flush.

Choose Your Cream Blush

Now that you’ve learned how to apply cream blush, discover my dreamy cream blush formulas and find your favourite for giving your cheeks the perfect flush of blush!

  1. Beautiful Skin Island Glow Lip + Cheek cream blush tint in Paradise Pink hot summer pink

    BEAUTIFUL SKIN ISLAND GLOW LIP + CHEEK

    Discover your dream island glow with my Beautiful Skin Island Glow Lip + Cheek tint! My Beautiful Skin collection was born to give every complexion its best skin day, and this easy cream blush and lip tint does just that by giving skin a radiant, healthy-looking glow that’s powered by skincare. This hydrating, emollient cream blush formula is perfect for giving the cheeks a dewy, healthy-looking pop of colour, and it looks gorgeous on the lips, too! I’ve created 5 sun-kissed shades in sunset-inspired hues from coral to red to bronze to give everyone, everywhere a beautiful beach glow – it’s as easy as tap, blend, and glow!

  2. All 3 of Charlotte's Beach Sticks cream blush shades lined up in island-inspired scenery

    Beach Sticks

    Glide on your beach glow with my Beach Sticks – easy cream blush sticks for an island-inspired pop of colour! I created Beach Sticks to capture the summer glow of Ibiza in an easy-to-use cream blush formula. I took inspiration from the idyllic landscapes, mesmeric sunsets, and golden goddesses that I grew up adoring, naming each of my luminous cream blush shades after my favourite secret beaches. Whether you love the peach-terracotta of Moon Beach; the hot pink of Las Salinas; or the reddish bronze of Formentera; there’s a Beach Stick that’s perfect for you! Just TWIST, GLIDE and GLOW to take your look from the beach to the bar and beyond with cream blush!

    Shop Beach Sticks

    Discover more about Beach Sticks

  3. Pillow Talk Lip & Cheek Glow cream blush and lip tint in 2 rosy, Pillow Talk shades

    Pillow Talk Lip & Cheek Glow

    To create a magical, rosy blush look using cream blush, choose Pillow Talk Lip & Cheek Glow to give your complexion the dreamiest pop of Pillow Talk colour. This emollient cream blush gives the lips and cheeks a dewy-looking glow that melts effortlessly into the skin. It’s the perfect accompaniment to your Pillow Talk makeup look, mimicking the look of radiant, naturally flushed cheeks. If you love an effortless, rose-pink cream blush, choose Colour of Dreams, or if you prefer a delectable berry-pink shade, choose Colour of Passion to beautify your lips and cheeks.

    Shop Pillow Talk Lip & Cheek Glow

  4. Quick and Easy Makeup Kit with a multi-use cream blush and lip tint wand

    Easy Lip + Cheek Wand

    Cream blush is a magical way to give your cheeks an instant glow! I created my Quick & Easy Makeup Kits to give everyone, everywhere the opportunity to swipe on a glossy, dewy-looking makeup look in minutes, with the Easy Lip + Cheek Wand working as an easy-to-use cream blush and lip tint in one. Designed to be swiped onto the apples of the cheeks and the centre of the lips, these quick and easy blush wands are a no-nonsense way to create a beautiful blush look in an instant. You can individually shop your favourite shades such as coral-pink Pretty Fresh and rosy-brown Super Chic, darlings, or purchase as a part of my Quick & Easy Kits to receive a glowy cream highlighter and a mesmerising cream eyeshadow wand all in an easy-to-store travel case.

    Shop Quick + Easy Makeup Kits

How To Apply Cream Blush FAQs

Beach Sticks swatches


Should you apply cream blush with fingers or a brush?

When applying your cream blush, you can use your fingers or a brush. There are benefits to both application techniques:

Why To Apply Cream Blush with your Fingers

Cream blush formulas are more emollient than powder blush, so applying them with your fingers allows you to melt them into your skin for a seamless blend. Your fingers are nature’s tools, and the natural heat that they give off helps to warm up your cream formula. By heating up your cream blush with your finger, the formula gets more slippery which allows it to glide effortlessly onto the face. Applying cream blush with your fingers is also extremely fast – you might not even need a mirror! Just keep your favourite cream blush in your bag and dot some onto your lips and cheeks with your finger to unlock an easy, fuss-free glow.

Why To Apply Cream Blush with a Brush

Using a makeup brush to apply your cream brush gives you a more precise application. Domed blush brushes are specifically designed to hug the apples of the cheeks and allow you to make easy, sweeping motions that are perfect for blending out your cream blush. Reaching for a brush like my Bronzer & Blusher Brush will also be less messy than using your fingers to apply cream blush; the super-soft bristles pick up product and apply neatly onto the face without getting any product on your fingers, nails or hands.

Shop Bronzer & Blush Brush


Do you apply cream blush before or after foundation?

I recommend applying your cream blush after you apply foundation. Foundation is the canvas that your cream blush melts into, so I would always go in with a hydrating, luminous foundation formula like Charlotte’s Beautiful Skin Foundation before adding a dewy-looking pop of cream blush. When applying cream blush, stay away from powder foundations and avoid applying setting powder until your cream products are laid down and beautifully blended.

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Does cream blush work for oily skin?

Every skin type can wear cream blush, darlings – even blush-loving beauties with oily skin! People with oily skin types are often wary of cream products because they are more prone to moving around on the face when excess oils start to appear. 

My top tips and tricks for applying cream blush to oily skin types:

Magic Tip #1: Use a mattifying primer

Reaching for a mattifying primer will help to smooth the appearance of pores and helps with oil control. By priming your face, you are creating a silky canvas for your cream blush to glide onto while helping to prevent excess oils from disrupting your makeup look.

Discover what is primer?

Magic Tip #2: Top your cream blush with a powder blush

Powder products are better suited to oily skin types because they have much less slip and set down on the face, however, that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the dreamy, dewy-looking glow of a cream blush as well. Once you’ve applied your favourite shade of cream blush, try using a complementary shade of powder blush over the top. This will not only help your cream blush to set down and increase its longevity, it will also create a custom blush colour that’s perfect for you.

Tilbury Tip: Preserve the gorgeous luminosity of your cream blush by choosing a powder blush with a satin or illuminating finish like my Cheek to Chic blushes.

Shop Cheek to Chic

Discover how to apply powder blush

Magic Tip #3: Set your makeup with setting spray

Setting spray is the key to long-lasting makeup magic on oily skin, so be sure to apply a generous amount once you’ve completed your cream blush makeup look. I created Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray to help makeup last for up to 16 hours while giving it the smoothing, blurring effect that my AIRbrush collection is famous for. Spritz this high-performance setting spray onto your face after powdering to keep your cream blush locked into place.

Shop Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray

Discover more makeup essentials for oily skin


Is cream blush better than powder blush?

Darlings, blush has taken over the world! There are cream blushes, powder blushes and liquid blushes that each give the face and cheeks a gorgeous pop of colour. Cream blush isn’t better than powder blush, it’s simply different! Based on your makeup preferences, you can find the perfect blush formula for you in my beautifying blush wardrobe!


Does cream blush last longer than powder blush?

The main difference between cream and powder blushes is that cream blushes are moisture-rich and have more slip than powder blushes that are finely milled and set down. When applying makeup, we use powders to set our liquid and cream products into place, so naturally a powder will last longer than a cream. The beauty of blush is that these formulas can be used together or alone; if you want the gorgeous glow of a cream blush but the lasting power of a powder, try applying both to create your dream blush look.


Can you use cream blush on your lips?

Cream blush is a versatile makeup product that can double as a magical lip tint. The rosy cream blush shades that we use on our cheeks look equally flattering on the lips and the emollient formulas feel comfortable and hydrating to apply. Swipe your favourite shade of Beautiful Skin Island Glow Lip + Cheek or Pillow Talk Lip & Cheek Glow onto your pout for a beautifully blushed lip look that magically matches your cheeks.

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Author Details

Charlotte Tilbury

Founder, President, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Charlotte Tilbury Beauty

With over 30 years experience, Charlotte Tilbury MBE is the world's number 1 makeup artist and British beauty entrepreneur. Charlotte established Charlotte Tilbury Beauty in 2013, which is now a record-breaking beauty brand that has won over 400 awards.