It takes a lot to get us really excited about something as simple and ubiquitous as blush. But when we heard that the new formula from Makeup by Mario offers not just a dose of healthy-looking pigment but also a plumping effect with a natural, skin-like finish, and already had fans so frenzied they were snapping up all six shades, we knew we had to put the latest addition to makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic's eponymous line through its paces.
What makes this hyaluronic acid-infused blush so impressive, according to our editors, is the balmy cream formula; soft and blendable enough to be applied with the touch of your fingers or buffed on with a fluffy brush. The formula feels "buttery-soft and hydrating," yet "not at all heavy" on oily skin. On dry skin, it also wins, as the wash of color lasts just as long as a comparable powder but gives a much more desirable dewy finish.
Basically, we can't stop wearing — or raving about — this blush. Read on to see how the Makeup By Mario Soft Pop Plumping Blush Veil wears on four different skin tones and types, and read our reviews to understand why this is being touted as the best cheek color for summer.
Megan Decker wearing shade Pinch Me Pink
"I’ve been burned by dry, cracked compact blushes. The pink powders tend to make my cheeks look doll-like in a way that broadcasts I’m wearing blush — not my vibe. But this pink potted cream is a true veil, a whisper of color, giving my cheeks definition and my face a bit of lift. I use a small fluffy brush to pick up the color and circle it into my cheeks, moving upwards towards the top of my ear to give that lifted look, as I’ve seen Mario and other makeup artists show in tutorials. This color, Pinch Me Pink, is a great match for my skin tone: fair and freckled, with a subtle tan from Tan-Luxe Super Glow Drops (not the sun). The downside to most cream blush formulas is they tend to disappear or melt away quickly, but in my experience this stuff stays all day and actually looks better and more natural through wear. If natural, fresh, life-giving cheek color is what you’re looking for, this is the stuff." - Megan Decker, Refinery29 Beauty Editor
Jacqueline Kilikita wearing shades Just Peachy & Perfect Pink
"Mario has been super generous with this product — it’s twice the size of any other compact in my makeup bag! The texture occupies a cozy space between a cream and a mousse, as it’s slightly aerated. You could use your fingers to apply it, but I enlisted a dense, angled brush to press the product into my foundation base. A word of warning: This is incredibly pigmented. That’s a great thing, of course, but I learned the hard way that just the tiniest dab goes a very long way. I couldn’t choose between shades Just Peachy (a bold coral) and Perfect Pink (a dusky rose), so I very lightly layered the two here, starting with Just Peachy. This blush blends seamlessly but I don’t know what else I expected from Mario. My only gripe is that the finish is a little too matte for my liking; I prefer something with a dewier finish that makes me look like I’m blushing from within. Still, I’m adding this to my blush collection ahead of the days when I’d prefer a little more coverage." - Jacqueline Kilikita, Refinery29 Acting Beauty Director
Karina Hoshikawa wearing shade Rose Crush
"Mario rarely, if ever, misses the mark with his products — but dare I say he’s outdone himself with this cream blush? Unlike many similar balm or liquid blush formulas, this one is insanely pigmented and doesn’t pull a disappearing act within an hour of application. (I didn’t even set it with powder!) It’s buttery-soft and hydrating but doesn’t feel heavy on my oily skin. I applied it with clean fingers (just swirl and tap onto the tops of the cheeks), but you can also use a brush to really blend it out. I’m wearing the shade Rose Crush here, and it’s positively gorgeous, if I do say so myself. I rarely wear pink tones as they don’t tend to flatter my olive skin, but am utterly obsessed with this one." - Karina Hoshikawa, Refinery29 Senior Affiliate Writer
Breanna Davis wearing shade Berry Punch
"A lot of my friends are faithful to Makeup By Mario, so I was happy to try this blush. I was immediately drawn to the Berry Punch shade because it’s my ideal summer color for extra pop. I wore it to a day party and instead of contouring my cheeks, I used the blush to add color my into my face. Most blushes I use are powders so, being a cream blush newbie, I used my finger to apply the first dab and wasn’t expecting it to be as pigmented as it was! I had to blend it out with a brush. I’m really happy with the end result and definitely stan Mario.” - Breanna Davis, Refinery29 Social Editor
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