Have you ever seen a picture of a celebrity or a model on Instagram and thought, how in the world does their skin look like that? I mean, what the heck. It’s as if they drank double their recommended amount of water for the day, ate three balanced meals, got 10 hours of sleep, went for the perfect morning jog, and on top of it, slathered on a strong helping of some $250 moisturizer that promises to turn back time. How do us commoners ever dare to get the same glow?
Well, ladies, gents, and anyone else, the answer is undoubted: cream cheek products. While you absolutely should drink your water, get some good sleep, and maybe eat a vegetable here and there, cream blushes, highlighters, and bronzers deliver the most natural, dewy canvas of any makeup product. And it’s without a doubt the best product you can apply to your face this summer. Because our entire staff is obsessed with this look, we pulled together the best of the best in each category, ranging from drugstore bargains to splurge-worthy favorites.
Swatches from left to right: Undone Beauty in “Blazen,” Glossier Cloud Paint in “Storm” and “Dusk,” Maybelline Cheek Heat in “Nude Burn,” Kosas in “8th Muse,” Fenty in “Bikini Martini,” Tower28 in “Golden Hour,” MAC Glow Play in “No Shame!” (I wasn’t kidding, I love cream blush.)
Danessa Myricks Beauty
This formula, made by the queen of glow herself Danessa Myricks, is a multi-purpose product that can be used on the eyes, lips, and cheeks—but of course, my go-to way will always be the cheeks. This comes in 12 shades (!!) that range from natural day-to-day colors to brights meant for blush draping (or on the days you’re totally standing out).
Tower 28 Beauty
I was so ecstatic to try this after we interviewed Tower28’s founder Amy on The Everymom. This is—hands down—my favorite cream blush in my whole collection. It doesn’t dry down, so you’re left with super glowy cheeks that barely even need a highlighter. The shades are pretty pigmented, but they sheer out well with a brush, making them great for light and deep skin tones.
While these aren’t a total cream or liquid like the rest, they have a bouncy texture that has to be applied with a sponge or your fingers instead of a brush. The shades are infused with the slightest bit of pearl, so they have a natural sheen makes them blend beautifully on the skin. They’ll become a favorite in your collection in no time.
Read Maddie’s review of the Fenty Cheeks Out Cream Bronzer and Blush collection!
Our fashion editor and writer Maddie loves makeup that looks like her skin—you know, so she can wear fun outfits that won’t compete with her style. She reviewed these cream bronzers (as well as the blushes above!) for The Everygirl and fell in love with them immediately. She finds them to be buildable, very blendable, and natural for daily wear.
Range Beauty is a Black-owned makeup line that only recently came on our radar but is quickly filling up our wishlists. This glow oil is basically everything you need for dewy, summer skin. Mix it in with foundation, or apply it more concentrated with a brush on the high points of the face. Bonus: this is the perfect highlight to spread across your shoulders and collarbones this summer!
Maya Chia is another new-to-us brand, but their products are climbing up in the ranks, including this highlighter. Available in four shades, this highlighter can be used as both a concentrated luminizer on the cheekbones and a primer to make you look like Edward Cullen himself (*me checking my “Midnight Sun” release countdown*). It’s also a clean line made specifically for acne-prone skin, containing only organic, wild-crafted (AKA ingredients that were harvested from their wild habitat), vegan ingredients.
Dry skin readers, you’ve met your ultimate highlighter: this absolutely blinding skin gloss from Dominique Cosmetics (created by iconic beauty YouTuber, Christen Dominique!). Available in four shades, this highlighter is a cream shimmery formula that looks like a wet, dewy gloss on the cheekbones. Use it under or over foundation, when you’re wearing no makeup, or even as a shimmery eyeshadow. It will look just like you’re lightly sweating, but it doesn’t move around and get gross when you do actually sweat. Basically, this product is a dream for that summertime glow.
Similar to the Dominique Cosmetics skin gloss, this gloss is completely translucent, making it truly look like your skin is just sweating. While I love wearing products like this on no-makeup days to just look like I’m naturally glowing, it’s great to add under or over a powder highlight to take away that powder-y finish and turn it into a cream formula. It’s absolutely genius.