My All Time Favorite Blush Picks

The other day my friend asked me for a blush recommendation, and I honestly couldn’t figure out which one from my stash I liked the best. I definitely have a few that I reach for the most, but out of those, trying to figure out which one is my HG is just not going to happen. However, with the weather in Portland finally getting nice and my skin getting a bit more sun – I’m able to pack on the blush a bit more & thought I’d share my top picks for the summer.

Favorite Blushes Cargo Swimmables Sleek Rose Gold Benefit Bella Bamba ModelCo Peach Bellini

At first glance my most reached for blushes all look pretty similar in the pan. What really sets them apart are their respective formulas and finishes. As you can tell from the swatches below.  Bonus inclusion of my Real Techniques Blush Brush. Even after picking up my new set of Zoeva Brushes, I just don’t have one that takes the place of this tapered titan. It’s so great for applying a little at a time. Which means you can build up to the right amount of color without looking like you’ve gotten sunburnt or perma-embarrassed.

Favorite Blushers Swatches


Being situated on the West Coast, you’d think that I’d have tried more Australian brands than I have. Not the case. And let me tell you, ModelCo has really set the bar high for any other brands from the Golden Coast that I might try. Specifically their Blush Cheek Powder in Peach Bellini. It’s the perfect combination of sheen, blendability, and longevity. It blends just enough so that you can get rid of harsh edges, but has pretty great lasting power. Love this for nights out.

Oh boy. Cargo Swimmables Water Resistant Blush in Los Cabos. This has to be hands down the best thing I’ve ever gotten from my Birchbox sub. My only complaint about this is that since it’s a sample, the tin is just tiny enough that it is ridiculously frustrating to get the lid off. I kid you not I’ve broken a nail trying to open this – but I keep using it, so there’s that. I’m seriously considering getting a depot thing just so it’s easier to use. No idea how the full size tin is on opening, but I imagine it’s much easier as you can get a better grip and leverage. Other than that, it is such a gorgeous color and does not budge on me during humid weather. Like you can smugde away and it’ll still be there. This also means you’ll want to apply it lightly, because trust assured it will stick with you throughout your day.

I’ve recently talked about the Sleek blush in Rose Gold in my haul post here, so I’ll just touch upon it a bit. Out of the bunch this is the only drugstore blush I’ve included. It is also the least pigmented out of the lot, but also the most blendable. And as you can tell from the swatch above, you can definitely build up the color as needed. I don’t use this as much when I’m attempting to contour, but love using it with more dewy bases – like when I’m doing a simple look with the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue.

I’m going to apologize now for including this in my list as it has been discontinued. I myself was only able to pick it up post-disappointing-knowledge. Last Black Friday, Ulta had the Benefit Bella Bamba Blush as one of their doorbusters. While I didn’t bust the door down, I promptly bought as many as the little salesgirl would let me buy. I will say that the formula feels very very similar to the Sleek blush, and even though the Rose Gold is a bit more goldy than Bella Bamba, the undertones are almost dupe worthy enough. If you can get a hold of this coveted blush though – do it, you won’t regret it. Its just all kinds of wonderful. Benefit, if you see this, please please please bring this back!

Shop this post: The ModelCo Blush Cheek Powder here, Cargo Swimmables Water Resistant Blush, Sleek Makeup BlushReal Techniques Blush Brush, the elusive Benefit Bella Bamba blush can usually be found on ebay for ~ $30 just make sure to pay attention to the seller’s stats and feedback like with any other purchase.

What are your favorite blushes?



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  • This is such a useful post! I need to start wearing blusher, so seeing all these recommendations was super helpful. I’m torn between Sleek and Cargo, maybe I’ll just get both =p

    • I didn’t even really wear blush until I started blogging. Now it’s my favorite thing after mascara and eyebrow products. Haha. If you get them I’d love to hear what you think! [=

  • At the moment I´d go with the MaxFactor Baked Blush in “Seductive Pink”. So pretty!

    Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  • The ModelCo blush is a stunner! Looks like it could be a nice eye shadow too! And I totally agree- that Real Techniques blush brush is soooo good!

    She Likes to Shop

    • I haven’t tried it for eyes yet, but with the CFDA awards having so many red/pinky tone eyeshadows this year, I just might have to give it a go!

  • Oh, I love this Benefit blush, so pretty!

    Nati xx

  • That Cargo one looks gorgeous on your skin! It makes me want to try it!

  • Beth

    I adore that Cargo blush as well, but I know what you mean about that horrible little lid! I find that it I just wiggle it a bit and twist the lid from side to side, eventually it just pops off! Still – it’s quite an effort!

    • It really is! I really hope the full size one is easier to manage. Haha [=

  • I’ve been totally into a hot pink cream brush from NYX lately, but you’re making me want to give coral a shot! I do like a nice sunburnt look


  • I’ve been in love with Benefit’s Rockateur since the moment I got it. Can’t get enough of it after a year!

    Anouk |