Blush is one of those products that I feel the drugstore hasn't quite nailed yet. In general, I find most high-end blushes to be superior to drugstore blushes, but that doesn't mean there aren't a few budget-friendly gems out there too - you just have to search more carefully for them. Luckily for you, I've done the dirty work for you. Here are four of the best blushes the drugstore has to offer.
L to R: Palladio Matte Blush in Toasted Apricot, Rimmel Lasting Finish Blush in Santa Rose, Physician Formula Happy Booster Blush in Warm, Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso
Palladio is a brand I don't believe I've tried before, but considering how small the selection of matte blush formulas is at the drugstore, I decided to give this one a go, hoping it would actually be worth my while, against all odds. It definitely was. Their Matte Blush in the shade Toasted Apricot is exactly that - a warm, rusty apricot shade. It's bold enough for summer, but also has a richness that's gorgeous in the fall, as well. It's surprisingly non-chalky, and although it does take a bit of effort to blend, the result is worth it. I love how it warms up my complexion.
Rimmel Lasting Finish Blush in Santa Rose looks like a boring, paler than pale pink in the pan, but on the cheeks, it transforms into a gorgeous dusty pink that's neither too bright, nor too muted. It has a similar effect as Tarte Exposed one me, except lighter. It's a surprisingly flattering blush and one of those suits-any-look kind of shades.
Clockwise from top left: Toasted Apricot, Santa Rose, Luminoso, Warm
Physician Formula Happy Booster Blush in Warm is a light-medium coral-peach with a bit of shimmer. I like that you have the option of controlling how much color you want, simply by choosing whether or not to swirl your brush in the bright orange heart (I typically swirl through all of the colors). It's not scarily pigmented, yet, it can easily be built up as well.
Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso has been a long-time favorite of mine. It's a shimmery peach that would flatter just about anyone. I've used it on friends and family, and they've all looked radiant and glowing in it. It's ridiculously flattering. It has shimmer, but the perfect amount that would never settle into pores or look glittery or over the top. The quality of Luminoso is actually on par with (if not superior to) many of its high-end counterparts.
Swatches, L to R: Toasted Apricot, Santa Rose, Warm, Luminoso
Wearing Palladio Matte Blush in Toasted Apricot
If I could only recommend one? Without a doubt, Milani Luminoso.