The Over-Blushers’ Guide To The Best Shimmer Blushes

Best Shimmer Blush

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To be honest, a little part of me died when Becca went out of business. I think Becca was the best in town when it came to highlighters. Liquid or powder, they were 100% on point. I used to turn a regular blush into a glowy one with a single swipe from Becca’s liquid highlighter. My blush would look smooth, streak-free, and glorious! They set the bar so high! But when they were no longer available, I started experimenting with shimmer blushes. So instead of reaching for two different products, one of which is very unlikely to fit my Becca standards, I tried shimmery blushes from my favorite makeup brands. And I love the fact that you can have the best of both worlds!

A shimmer blush is basically a combination of a blush and a highlighter. It comes in powder, liquid, cream, and anything in between. But the shimmer aspect is just as various. Some shimmer blushes have downright blindingly glowy finishes whereas others are more subtle.

Shimmer blushes combine a nice flush of color with a nice dash of glow. You get to have those rosy cheeks and a glistening effect at the same time! So keep an open mind and don’t assume that these are pigments dipped in glitter and that they give you shiny, greasy skin.

Plus, some of them have more sophisticated formulations like a blush made with light-reflecting particles or pearls. These babies are fancy and nothing like what we used to paint ourselves with in middle school.

And as someone in her mid-30s, I know we’re “supposed to” go easy on shimmer products. Well, I agree if you call pink chalk with a pinch of glitter a blush! And trust me, there are shimmer blushes like that. But some of these babies or so subtly dewy and shimmery that I over-blush intentionally, unapologetically and I don’t even care!

So if matte blushes seem too dull for you right now, or you want to look the part in summer or want your cheeks to really pop, you’re in the right place!

Best Shimmer Blushes

Below are some of the best shimmer blushes out there.

1. Nars Blush

Nars Blush - Best Shimmer Blush

Beautiful shimmer
Great shade range

I mean look at that glow! Am I right or am I right? Nars has a whole line of blushes with various shades and different finishes. When shimmer blushes are concerned, they’re all just lovely. If you have no idea where to begin, the shade Orgasm (see below) is one of their best sellers and a true representation of what they have to offer.

It’s a lovely pink with a golden shimmer. I haven’t seen the sun in a while and I’m like a ghost at the moment. But I tan easily. And trust me, I can comfortably use this either way. The shimmer doesn’t look out of place. It’s pigmented but not so much so that things get out of control quickly. You can just build things up easily depending on how bold you want to go.

Size: 0.16 oz
Shades: 13

2. Milani Baked Blush

Milani Baked Blush - Best Drugstore Shimmer Blush

Beautiful finish
Amazing for summer skin

If you’re a proud over-blusher, it’s advisable to use something more affordable so you don’t feel guilty about spending your hard-earned money on makeup. I don’t, but I’m not a good example. Either way, if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly way to get a rosy glow on your cheeks with a nice flush melted into shimmer, Milani has one of the best shimmer blushes.

Luminoso, being the most popular of the bunch, is a soft peachy coral with a golden shimmer. There aren’t bold pinks or reds in the range. But these are great for summer vibes when you want to blur the lines between a bronzer and blush too.

Size: 0.12 oz
Shades: 11
Good To Know: Vegan, cruelty-free

3. Natasha Denona Mini Bloom Blush

Natasha Denona Mini Bloom Blush

Very elegant pink shade with a radiant finish
High-end but budget-friendly

Only one shade

This is a mini, singular blush from one of Natasha Denona’s cheek palettes. Even if it’s mini, you get a high-end blush with a high-end glow and a more reasonable price. This is a perfect combination of a highlighter and a blusher.

The glow is impossible to miss and the pink shade tickles your inner cheerleader. It’s just lovely for summer when you want a healthy flush of color with a healthy dose of glow on your cheeks. It’s super soft and settles down to a nice, velvety finish.

Size: 0.14 oz
Shades: 1
Good To Know: Cruelty-free

4. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush - Best Shimmer Blush


OK, this one has the best buildable formula. And you might think to yourself why that would be important. Here’s what I do with it. I do a couple of swipes across my cheeks when I just need a soft shimmer blush. But when I slowly build this layer by layer, the color reveals its true potential and I end up getting a bolder, more defined face.

It almost helps me contour with a blush! The shade range includes corals, pinks, and summery peaches. But the mini one, the one I show below, only has 1 shade called Seduce. Either way, the shimmer is very subtle with this one. So when you build the pigment, you don’t end up looking like you are dipped in glitter.

Size: 0.2 oz
Shades: 14

5. Honest Beauty Creme Cheek Blush

Honest Beauty Creme Cheek Blush

Creamy blush
Moisturizing formula
Natural dewy finish

If you prefer cream blushes, you can try Honest Beauty’s cream blush which has a nice dewy finish and is budget friendly too. And this is pretty multi-tasking because you can use it on your lips too. It’s a skin-friendly, emollient blush where there’s no added shimmer but the moisture sure makes it look like there is.

The shade Coral Peach is one of my favorites because it’s such a warm color that it allows you to bring the blush closer to the under-eye area too. If you’ve never tried that before, it’s the perfect way to fake a sun-kissed look where you look neither red nor brown but look like you have had a healthy dose of sunlight.

Size: 0.1 oz
Shades: 4
Good To Know: Cruelty-free

6. MAC Sheertone Shimmer Blush

MAC Sheertone Shimmer Blush

Gorgeous colors
Seamless shimmer

Limited shade range

The shimmer blush shades are not as extensive as matte blush shades. But they do have an impressive formula. It’s MAC and you can’t go wrong with it. The powder blush colors up the cheeks with one single swipe and you do see how well the color and the shimmer are blended together seamlessly.

So if you don’t know where to apply your blush or your highlighter, you’ll know instinctively! On a side note, an honorable mention is their Glow Play Blush, especially the shade Heat Index. It’s like a cream blush without the cream. And that specific shade, a bold popping fuschia, would look amazing on deeper skin tones. The shade shown below is Peachykeen.

Size: 0.21 oz
Shades: 3

7. Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush

Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush - Best Liquid Shimmer Blushes

Very pigmented
Dewy finish

If you’re looking for a truly pigmented formula, almost like a cheek tint, you guys, Soft Pinch is the best liquid shimmer blush. It also comes in matte shades but the shimmery formula really, truly tints your cheeks and leaves a radiant finish on the skin.

So the focus is more on the colors with this one and less on the shimmer. In that sense, this can be great if you have mature skin or aging skin and are not comfortable with very luminous blushes. So consider this a dewy blush as opposed to a shimmer blush to get that dewy skin look. I love the shade Joy because it’s a really cute, youthful peach.

Size: 0.25 oz
Shades: 7
Good To Know: Cruelty-free, vegan

8. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush - Best Shimmer Blush

Great for seamless multi-dimensional looks


Similarly, this is another blush with a very subtle shimmer. Again, this can work great for you if you’re intimidated by bold highlighting blushes. And it won’t draw attention to skin texture or pores either.

It’s just a seamless formula where you get a blush with a nice glow from within. The shimmer blush, just like their shimmer bronzer, is not too pigmented. But the soft colors are buildable and great for both full glam looks and soft no-makeup looks.

Size: 0.15 oz
Shades: 8
Good To Know: Cruelty-free

So these are some of the best shimmer blushes out there. If you like that glowy, radiant summer skin, remember to check out shimmer bronzers to complete your look.

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