The best shimmer blushes to add a rosy sparkly glow to cheeks: Nars, Milani Cosmetics, and Dior amongst others
Subtlety is not my strong suit when it comes to makeup. Just-bitten lips, sheer washes of shadow, and daintily rouged cheeks — so often seen on Korean celebrities — require a kind of delicacy and precision that my fumbling, graceless fingers are simply incapable of. Previous attempts have gleaned disastrous results; my makeup either appears clownish or too natural to show up.
Strange as it seems, I am able to wield blinding highlights, neon shadows, and bold arches with finesse, yet quail at the sight of eyeshadow palettes in fawn brown and muted grey hues. A (delusional) part of me chooses to believe that the natural, I-just-woke-up-like-this life is not for me, the other (with a stronger grasp on reality) knows that I just lack practice.
Compromise, thankfully, arrives in this season's offerings of shimmer blushes. Think vivid pinks and corals taken up a few notches a la sparkling flecks, for rosy, glowing cheeks that aren’t so OTT. Natural yet noticeable, they also double up as highlights. The overall effect: flushed, luminous cheeks; from a short distance, I look as though I’ve gone for a light jog, but up close, I’m gleaming, party-ready. Cue fist pump. Below, my tried-and-tested picks that might just make a convert out of you.
Milani Cosmetics Baked Blush in Berry Amore
Trails of glimmering gold and bronze are apparent upon first glance which, while intimidating, dims naturally to a soft warmth. Blend it out with a brush for optimal results, though, I’d forego the stiff one provided. It felt abrasive against skin and didn’t blend nearly as well as a fluffy brush. Small gripes otherwise, Milani's shimmery blush is comfortably richly pigmented and light-as-air..
Sparkle factor: 6/10
Nars Orgasm Blush
Picture a peachy pink hue flattering under just about every light, with faint hints of gold shimmer illuminating and brightening cheeks. While the glitter particles lean towards the fine spectrum, Orgasm’s buildability allowed me to pack it on for a more dramatic effect. To sum up: this is a versatile blush that works every day as it does on special ones. Win-win.
Sparkle factor: 3/10
Dior Rouge Blush in 999
Its candy-red hue may earn it a double-take or two at first glance, but a quick dip into the pan reveals 999’s powdery, buttery-smooth texture, and boy does it blend like a dream. Delivering a healthy, glowing flush to cheeks, its long-lasting formula also means minimal touch-ups, even through days involving copious face-touching (tsk) and sweating. We got ourselves a keeper.
Sparkle factor: 5/10
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Luminous Blush in Snapdragon
A little goes a long way when this highly pigmented offering is concerned. Don’t use your fingers. Instead, gently dip a brush onto the pan and dust power over apples of cheeks for a perfect, just-right flush. Pro tip: keep pressure light — one over-enthusiastic motion will most likely lead to clownish, glitter-flecked smears over the skin that is none too easy to blend out. Sparing, not daring is the order.
Sparkle factor: 8/10
Colourpop Drop of a Hat Supershock Blush
Pearlised peach meets gold chrome with Colourpop's Supershock Blush. Swatch this way for a jolt of colour to pale, lifeless cheeks. Its smooth, creamy texture means blending is effortless even when you use fingers — ideal for lazy gals (like me) who can't be effed with brushes. It’s packed with a healthy glitter to pigment ratio that requires no further blending or mixing within the pan. Simply dip your fingers in and smooth out on cheeks to watch the magic.
Sparkle factor: 6/10