Before heavily contoured and over-highlighted cheekbones became the standard for beauty, wind-flushed cheeks and berry-stained lips were the hallmarks of effortless beauty.
The classically English look — which afterwards rode the K-beauty wave to international fame — had a certain innocence and je ne sais quoi about it. And it’s remarkably easy and idiot-proof too, all that’s needed is a canvas of dewy skin, and (clean!) fingers to dab and blend the colours in with, making it perfect for ladies who don’t want to fuss about a million different products for a healthy look.
For perfectly ruddy cheeks and plump lips in less than five minutes, make these two-in-one lip and cheek products your best friends. These lightweight formulas melt into the skin effortlessly for a ultra-natural look that will fool your friends into believing you’ve been blessed with a perpetual glow and just-bitten pout.
Here are the best lip and cheek products to add to your repertoire.
We had to kick this list off with the OG of all stains. Originally created for exotic dancers in the 1970s, the Benetint has come a long way from being a “nipple shade enhancer” to one of the most enduring classics in makeup pouches. This non-drying, buildable formula offers a rose-tinted stain that melts into the skin for a natural-looking and sheer finish, although you’ll need to blend fast to avoid looking more clown than cherub.
For a sheer lit-from-within flush, Pixi’s gel blush offers a highly-pigmented formula that makes healthy cheeks and rosy lips a cinch to achieve. The lightweight and long-wearing product comes in three shades, but for a wind-kissed look go for Flushed, a sheer translucent red that might look vampy in the tube, but offers the most youthful, effortless blush of them all.
With a reputation that it stays on forever, it’s little wonder why this lip stain has become one of the brand’s best sellers. This incredibly long-wearing formula is lushly pigmented but also feels weightless and non-drying despite having a matte finish. The waterproof colour is perfect for those who can’t be bothered to constantly re-apply their lipsticks, and while made for the lips can also be dabbed on the cheeks for a harmonious balance of colour on the face. Black Cherry and Rosewood are both elegantly beautiful and easy-wearing shades.
For a luminous peachy glow that screams eternal youth, look no further than Westman Atelier’s multipurpose blush stick in Minette. The creamy coral-hued multi-tasker is a dream for working into the cheeks, lips, and — if you’re feeing adventurous — eyelids, and melts into the skin for a naturally effervescent flush. Ingredients such as Vitis Vita Grape Extract (to promote the skin’s production of collagen and hyaluronic acid) and a botanical blend of light ayurvedic oils are also added to keep skin nourished and happy the entire day.
Now one of Glossier’s holy grail products, this lightweight, pillowy formula gives both your puckers and cheeks an effortless, buildable flush for any occasion. All six shades are inspired by New York City’s sunsets, and have been created to work across a range of skin tones, but colours like Beam and Dawn have our hearts for imparting a radiance that screams summertime soirée.
For beauty both inside and out, Onomie has infused naturally-derived extracts like Cacay oil and shea butter to hydrate your skin while giving it a juicy glow. The plumping balm is a lazy girl’s dream come true; simply apply the stick directly to lips and apples of your cheeks and blend with fingers, a sponge, or a brush.
This light-as-air, non-greasy cream blush instantly melts into skin for a quick wash of colour, and is sheer and buildable enough to take you from a breezy brunch to after-dark party easily. Because it’s a sweat- and water-resistant formula, you’ll fare well with this on hot, humid days here. Don’t be shy to dab a little on both eyelids for a quick, cohesive look, or even as an eye shadow base to build upon.