Lipstick as Blush

Liv Tyler
Izzie Burch
Elin Kling
Phoebe Tonkin
Emily Weiss
Emily Schuman
Alessandra Codinha
Elizabeth Brockway
Emily Ratajkowski
Diane Kendal for Proenza Schouler Spring '13
Sophie Pera
Bianca Dueñas
Miranda Kerr

Let's hear it for multitasking. To borrow a phrase from Diana Vreeland, could you imagine a world without brunch? Camera phones? Swiss Army knives? Mittens-cum-fingerless gloves? Would you even want to live in it? Same here.

We share a similar two-in-one affection for lipstick-as-blush, which seems to be the face-enlivener of choice among many of our Top Shelf-ers. Space-economizing and never clashing, lip-to-cheek and cheek-to-lip products are among the creamiest, most-buildable, and longest-lasting beauty investments we’ve encountered. And we're not alone—here are some of our pals' picks:

Becca Beach Tint in Guava: Liv Tyler prefers this highly pigmented cream peach for a waterproof, powder-smooth finish on her lips and cheeks when it’s the only makeup she’s wearing.

Benefit Benetint: Izzie Burch, Emerald Carroll, and self-proclaimed “blush fanatic” Jenna Goldsmith all carry the rose-tinted (and -scented) stain on them for an everyday lip and cheek color that really soaks in. Goldsmith likes it best when layered under Guerlain Terracotta.

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips & Cheeks in Powder Pink: Styleby’s Elin Kling likes “how fresh” Brown’s thin, moisturizing tan cream looks on her when she’s “in a party mood” because, as she puts it, “it’s not telling.”

Chanel Rouge Allure in La Sensuelle and Pirate: For a night out, CW werewolf-beauty Phoebe Tonkin likes to dab Chanel’s “wine-red” and “blue-red” (respectively) opaque colors on her lips with her fingers as a tint, and then on her cheeks to look “fresh, clean, and well-rested.”

Dior Addict Lipstick in Diorkiss: Makeup aritst and cream-blush devotee Violette used this sheen-inducing, gel-based lipstick on Emily in Cannes, because she says, "it catches the light, so it will look like you have no shadows, like you slept for 20 hours," but yet "doesn't hide the skin."

Estée Lauder Cheek Gel in X-Pose Rose: Cupcakes and Cashmere blogger Emily Schuman uses Lauder’s rose gel for a hint of stain on her cheeks, but says “I love it even more on my lips… it lasts for hours.”

Givenchy Hydra Sparkling Magic Lip & Cheek Balm: For a shiny, "non-sticky" "magic mouth glow," Alessandra reaches for this “healthy pink tinge,” that she swears looks good on "pretty much every soul with two lips and a desire for them to be pink and glossy.”

Lipstick Queen Oxymoron Matte Gloss in Minor Crisis: Elizabeth keeps this thick, matte blush for her lips and cheeks on reserve for winter, for a “natural-looking flush” that’s pretty, not "feverish.”

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural in #9: Blurred Lines muse Emily Ratajkowski showed us how she applies just a “tiny little bit” of this hydrating tawny-berry pigment to her mouth and face, because, as she says, “it works better than powder blush.”

MAC Mineralize Rich in Glamour Era: Diane Kendal kept things “very light” and “cool” at Proenza Schouler’s Spring 2013 show, rubbing Glamour Era into the models’ cheeks “because it’s quite sheer, has just a hint of color, and still has that sheen to it.”

Nars Sheer Lipstick in Vendanges: Town & Country fashion editor Sophie Pera replicates the look of having “drunk a little bit of wine” with a wash of this reddish-brown lipstick, or, if she “looks a little pale,” employs it as a moisturizing, rosy bronzer.

Nivea Lip Balm in A Kiss of StrawberryBianca Dueñas "obsessively" wears this "fruity, shiny, amazing" barely-there lip balm on her lips, cheeks, and occasionally her eyelids because "it looks a little dewy and natural" and "good everywhere."

RMS Beauty Lip Shine in Sacred: The certified-organic shea butter, coconut oil, and mineral pigment is just as good at hydrating lips as it is at enlivening your cheeks with its sheer pink flush. Oh, and Miranda Kerr says “it’s really good.” So there’s that…

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • denisa7

    A Liv Tyler top shelf please!!! :)

  • Georgie

    I bought Rouge Dior in Tulip Pink (448 I believe?) in a vague attempt to get in to nude lipsticks a few years ago but found it worked way better as a blush. I love multitaskers.

  • natalie

    you forgot about julie hewett cheekie... my favorite!

  • Amie Rogers

    Sacred by RMS isn't a Lip2Cheek but a Lip Shine :)

  • whitneyb

    Ah love this!
    I impulse buy lipsticks all the time and when they just don't work for my lips, they almost always end up on my cheeks. No powdery grandma skin here!

  • John

    Alessandra! What a babe! Love seeing her on ITG. Keep bringing her back. Again and again. She's truly missed.

    P.S. We know Nick likes some Armani for an instant jolt. But does he also use it to highlight his good bone structure? Do tell! :)

  • lindenen

    I have found the best one for me is Korres Lip Butters. They go on cheeks so well!

  • merredee

    Perfect way to travel! Just bring a few lipsticks and you'll never clash.

  • samantha

    great tips! becca's cream blushes also work for both too

  • Bella

    I love the Edward Bess lip and cheek compacts (name?) in Island Rose and Love Affair. I always have one in my bag!

  • lucyppppppp

    yes BUT lipstick as blush can sometimes lead to breakouts on the cheeks I find, it's a lot heavier formulation than regular blush so I would tend to do this not too often...

  • In A Snap

    Benefit Benetint is one of my favorites because it looks so natural. I carry around with me wherever I go!

  • Nef

    Hourglass' Nocturnal lipstick works really well as a lip and cheek stain. But in terms of cream blush, I swear nothing comes close to Dior's cream blush...the formula is impeccable, flawless- it just melts into skin and makes you look naturally flushed! Lipstick I find is usually a little on the glossy side which is not always the look I am going for on my cheeks.


BECCA Cosmetics
BECCA Cosmetics Beach Tint
Benefit Benetint
Guerlain Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder
Bobbi Brown
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips & Cheeks
Chanel – Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour # 99 Pirate
Givenchy – Hydra Sparkling Magic Lip and Cheek Balm
Lipstick Queen
Lipstick Queen Oxymoron Matte Gloss, Minor Crisis
MAKE UP FOR EVER Rouge Artist Natural #9
Nivea Lip Care
Nivea Lip Care A Kiss Of Strawberry SPF 10
RMS Lip Shine in Sacred