8 great budget-friendly blushes to give your cheeks a healthy pop of colour

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Blush can be an often overlooked product. It doesn’t have the same must-have appeal as red lipstick or mascara, and people can be afraid of doing it wrong—apply too much, brush too high or swirl too strong, and the result can be clown-like instead of sweet and fresh-faced. Still, it is the one makeup product that brightens up the face with minimal effort, and makes it look like you slept eight hours (even when you actually barely got three hours of shut-eye). In fact, if you pick the right shade, blush can be be the only thing you really need.

Whether you like to swipe it on from a stick or pat it on with a brush, blush is best layered on slowly, using as less pigment as possible. The end result is a saturation that looks striking, but still natural. Cream blushes are ideal for all skin types—if your skin is dry, a cream texture will glide over it easily; and if it is oily, the soft texture will just enhance the dewy finish. On the other hand, a powder blush does well for those with normal or oily skin—it lasts longer than a creamier formula, and is easy to apply with a brush or sponge. On oily skin, the powders are emulsified with the natural sebum, leaving a natural looking flush on the cheeks. Gel blushes are water-based, so they work well on oilier complexions, while cheek stains have excellent staying power that can last all evening.

Finding the right shade (specifically, the right shade with the right formula) can be a trial and error process. Ideally, makeup artist suggests pinching the cheeks (or working up a sweat) to pinpoint the colour they naturally turn to. This can help veer you to the right hue that isn’t too ruddy or cloying for you. Since you may need to try a few shades before chancing upon your favourite, we’ve curated an edit of budget-friendly options that won’t weigh on your wallet as you go about your search. Scroll ahead for our picks.

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