Blush has been a mainstay in my beauty routine since I first waltzed into Priceline back in 2006, ready to embark on the next phase of my teenage girlhood. Over the years, my Rimmel and Maybelline palettes have been replaced by more grown-up iterations (most notably the cult Nars blush in Orgasm), but the desire to paint my cheeks pink has never left me. My ~master plan~ of late is to trick everyone into thinking I constantly #WokeUpLikeThis, when the reality is that I spend at least ten minutes every morning artfully painting the fleshy upstairs canvas. Punked! A big part of this evil ruse has been making the switch from powder to cream blush.

I’m not here to big-up cream blush by tearing down powders — each one has its pros and cons, and both are good options depending on your skin type, and what it is you’re trying to achieve. To attain my current mission statement of ‘Looking Naturally Hot’, however, I’ve been giving the cream category a good ol’ go.

Cream blush is generally more pigmented than its powdery counterpart, making it a damn fine accomplice for deeper skin tones. It’s also highly moisturising for those among us with dry skin – guilty as charged! A good cream blush will give you perf, slightly flushed cheeks, as well as that much-coveted youthful, dewy glow. Our top picks, in no particular order: Nars’ The Multiple in Maui, Josie Maran’s Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelée in Poppy Paradise, RMS’ Lip2Cheek in Beloved, and the Blush & Luminizer On the Go Stick by Sephora Collection (pictured on the above model).

If your cheeks have a tendency to err on the oily side, I recommend sticking to powder blush. It tends to absorb excess oil, and won’t slide off yo’ face. Otherwise, happy painting!

Words, Madeleine Woon. Photography, Mitchell O’Neil. With thanks to the Primus Hotel Sydney