If you asked me to pick a favorite between lipstick and blush, I’d be hard-pressed to choose. That’s like Sophie’s Choice for beauty editors. Blush wakes up my pasty skin instantly, and lipstick is the easiest way to completely change my look in a noncommittal way.
Ugh, why would you ask me such a difficult question?! Meanie.
After much thought, however, I’d have to go with lipstick, not just because it’s fun and full of seemingly endless possibilities, but because, ultimately, it can serve as both its primary purpose and blush. Blush, on the other hand--not so great on the lips. (Try it if you want, but you’ll probably just want to trust me on that.)
Recently, I’ve been wearing a few of my favorite lipsticks as cream blush, and I’ve been just plain delighted with the results. High-quality satin or matte lipsticks look beautiful on bare skin because of how pigmented they are. (It would almost be too much over a layer of foundation.) I especially like wearing the same color on my lips and cheeks simultaneously, like I am in the photos below, for a monochromatic but not matchy-matchy look.
Here are the three lipsticks I’ve been successfully multitasking with lately.
Classic Pink: Kevyn Aucoin The Matte Lip Color in For Keeps
This light but warm pink goes on smooth and opaque on the lips, but when you apply it to the cheeks, it blends astonishingly well. And because of its opacity, it will show up beautifully on just about any skin tone. Plus, it’s not nearly as dry as you might expect a so-called matte lipstick to be.
I’m not a big pink-lipstick person, so I find myself using this as a cream blush even more than as a lipstick.
Bright Coral: Clarins Rouge Eclat Satin Finish Age-Defying Lipstick in Juicy Clementine
I know a lipstick this vivid and this orange-red may seem like a crazy choice to wear as a blush, but with a light hand, it’s an awesomely bright yet not-at-all-clowny color.
The satin finish makes it sheer enough to blend beautifully on your cheeks, but not slide around after application as something glossier might do.
Nude: Marc Jacobs Beauty Lovemarc Matte Lip Gel in Pout
Pout is the perfect just-a-bit-more-beige-than-my-natural-lips nude--something that’s hard to find without it sucking the life out of one’s complexion.
And, like the Kevin Aucoin option, this matte is surprisingly moisturizing, thanks to kokum and murumuru butters.
What’s your favorite lipstick to use as blush? What finish do you feel works best on the cheeks?