The winter blues aren’t limited to emotional doldrums from a lack of vitamin D: They’re more than happy to make their presence known on your face, too, by zapping your skin of that healthy, golden-goddess glow you spent all summer soaking up. The obvious solution? Blush.
While we may think of bright, pop-of-color blushes as being a distinctly springtime beauty must-have, there’s no time of year where we’re more desperate to look alive than during the winter. Cream blushes are especially critical: Not only do they make that hit of color possible, but the formulas give skin a dewy finish that powder blushes just don’t.
In short, we can’t live without them, and these seven excellent choices are primed and ready to help you look at least a little bit less like you’ve never seen the sun.
Tarte Cheek Stain in Tipsy ($30)
Don’t be turned off by the touch of orange in this coral-y shade: Once blended, it translates to a pretty hint of warmth that infuses cheeks with a dewy, well-moisturized glow.
NYX Rouge Cream Blush in Red Cheeks ($6)
You need only a tiny dab of this super-pigmented formula to give a washed-out winter face that covetable just-in-from-the-cold flush. It’s especially Snow White–pretty on very fair skin.
BECCA Beach Tint Shimmer Soufflé in Lychee/Opal ($27)
This whipped blend of opalescent gold and bright bubblegum pink is transfixing enough in the jar, but it’s even better when applied high on the cheek for unrivaled radiance. The formula combines a powder for long-lasting color, a stain for staying power, a highlighter, and a cream for an easily blended finish, and the gel texture feels soothing on skin.
Stila Convertible Color in Petunia ($25)
For creamy, sheer color that’s just as versatile as it is flattering, this perennial favorite—in a sweet peachy shade that works wonderfully on all skin tones—can’t be beat. Better still, you can dab it onto lips too. So easy.
NARS The Multiple in Maui ($39)
This perfect dusty rose hue incorporates a touch of soft shimmer to both brighten up the face and add a bit of highlight—and who wouldn’t want that?
Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm in Plumped Up Peony ($22)
Talk about mistake-proof: This “cheek balm” goes on super-sheer and dewy and can be layered to create more pigment for more dramatic looks. The deep plummy shade is perfect for attaining the youthful, rosy-cheeked look.
Honest Beauty Crème Blush in Truly Flirting ($22)
Sometimes you just want to look like you came about that gorgeous, healthy flush without makeup—which is when you should turn to this incredibly flattering raspberry pink for the ideal I-woke-up-like-this effect.