Battle of the Blushes: Matte vs Shimmer Blush

Honestly, a good blush will always help you look alive (even on zoom calls).

But what about the matte vs shimmer blush debate? Which one’s gonna keep you coming back for more?

A shimmer blush catches the sunlight, lifts your look, and gives you that glowy glow.

Want to know how to make blush look natural? Well then a matte blush could be what you're after, and it works on pretty much every skin type.

We’re not choosing favourites. That would be a bit … cheeky 😉. But to help you work out what blush you need, we've done a quick battle... ding, ding, ding!

matte vs shimmer blush_Smith & Cult FLASH FLUSH POWDER Luminous Blushmatte vs shimmer blush_Smith & Cult FLASH FLUSH POWDER Luminous Blush

Round one: shimmer not sparkle vs a fully poppin’ matte blush

If the idea of a shimmer blush brings back nightmares of the sparkle-fest that was your teens, Benefit Georgia Blush is good therapy. Without drying out skin (a prob with some shimmer blends), this golden peach blush sets off your fake tan and catches the light in a coy, delicate way. A warm, peachy shade that builds up to a pretty glow, this shimmer blush is an add-to-bag favourite. Of course, in typical Benefit fashion, the packaging is oh-so-cute.

You won’t have to spend precious minutes (every minute in the morning counts, amirite?) swirling, trying to get the product on your brush. This pigmented shade picks up surprisingly smoothly and applies effortlessly. In keeping with the fruity theme, you’ll enjoy a fresh and not at all overpowering peachy-floral scent every time you flush your skin with this formula.

All in all, this is a reliable, subtle, shimmery powder blush for all skin types.

If you’re an oily-skin queen, finding a decent matte blush that helps blur your pores is holy-grail territory. With five-star reviews aplenty, IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Blush is a formula that’ll catch your eye … and your cheeks. This cruelty-free blend builds up to a vibrant finish. Your complexion will beam with health when you sweep on a brushful of this blush.

A great option if you love a post-yoga look, this pressed powder blush won’t sink into pores or break you out. Instagram skin is pretty much a filter thing. But you can up your natural skincare game IRL with this blush from skin guru IT Cosmetics. Made with skin-loving Collagen, Peptides, and Antioxidants, this nifty matte blush was born to nourish.

Good for day-to-day wear and excellent if you’re struggling with oily skin.

Round two: a luminous look vs a cream matte-velvet powder

There’s no doubt about it: a shimmering, luminous blush can work in your favour if you need an entry point to highlighter. M.A.C Cosmetics Mineralize Blush is a pearlised formula with super-fine pigments to liven up your look. The included Jojoba Oil helps you apply blush smoothly without leaving a chalky finish. Plus, M.A.C was pretty much the first brand to make makeup ‘cool’ (back in 1984), so you know you’re in good hands.

If you’re looking for a long-lasting blush, Mineralize is a pretty safe bet. In general, powder formulas tend to stay put for as long as you need. Make your *I’m a goofball* smile and dab a bit of this baked powder to your cheeks for a hint of shimmer.

Need some glow to get you going? You’ll probs like this unique blush.

Yep, we know: we just said powder is the blush with staying power. But that was before Napoleon Perdis Cheek Switch Creme Blush Stick popped up like Keira Knightley’s cheekbones! Want dewy, radiant skin? (of course, you do). This lush, creamy formula glides on with no effort. If you’re all about a no-makeup look, dab this vegan, mineral oil-free, and paraben-free formula onto your bare skin for a natural, well-rested look.

The spherical powders and silicone thingies in this cream stick help blur imperfections and leave a soft-focus finish. And don’t be afraid of the highly pigmented, solid-looking colours either. This matte cream blush applies sheer, and you’re in control of how much you build it up. Easy to pop in your purse, this flattering matte-velvety blush helps give you the flirty smize you crave.

A handy matte blush that stays put for as long as you need. Our rating: eleventy out of ten.

Round three: a natural glow vs a luxe matte finish

Curious about how to make blush look natural? Well, it’s all about complementing your true flushed look. You know, the one you get after a good workout (or an unexpected run for the bus). Doing all that and a bit more, Smith & Cult FLASH FLUSH POWDER Luminous Blush gives you a glow without making you look overdone.

To be honest, it doesn’t matter what shade of blush you wear as long as you like the look of it. Makeup rules are sooo last millennium. Smith & Cult is known for its innovative products and long-lasting blends. This shimmer blush is artificial fragrance-free and cruelty-free, so you can use it guilt-free. If you want your blush to look a bit more punchy, you could always layer this slightly shimmer shade over the denser Smith & Cult FLASH FLUSH CREAM Velvet Blush.

Complement your natural look with this luminous powder. Great for freshening up dull skin.

A matte blush in a liquid formula? That’s the nature of superchic Giorgio Armani Neo Nude A-Blush. Adding a healthy flush to a complexion that needs a bit of a boost, this liquid formula melts into the skin easily. Whether you’re wearing literally no makeup or just a no-makeup look, this handy matte blush offers a weightless glow that won’t clog your pores.

Love a multitasking product? You can apply this blush to your lids, lips, and cheeks. Keep in mind it’s probably not quite the right choice if you’re looking for bright, full-on colour. Each subtle blush shade in the collection gives your skin a radiant finish. In standard Giorgio Armani style, the packaging is chic, simple, and pretty much perfect. Bust out this premium blush when you want a matte blush that lasts all day.

Looking to enhance your natural flush? Do it with this lightweight, luxe blush.

Now, we never said we were gonna play favourites. Blush is great! And when it comes to making a matte vs shimmer blush choice, why should you?

Some days you want to shine. And others, well ... you just want to look like you didn’t have that extra glass of white last night!

As a rule of thumb, your best bet for a shimmer blush is a hydrating formula that won’t sink into little love lines (our new pet name for wrinkles). Dab a creamy blend onto the top of your cheeks to attract the light.

A matte blush is always good for daytime, and a powder formula lasts as long as you need. Curious about how to make blush look natural? Choose a formula you can build up to suit your taste, and blend it like you mean business.

Final thoughts: whatever formula you choose, you can never go wrong with a bit of blush.

Brand and product inclusions are at the sole discretion of Adore Beauty. We do not seek or accept payment from brands or individuals listed in our guides.

    Join Now >
    Filled with the usual things we know you'll love, and surprises you might not expect, it's real rewards, really simple.