We Ask a Makeup Artist How to Really Apply Cream Products

It’s not as scary as it sounds

We have all reached out to that one cream product in our makeup bag, that we admittedly bought on a whim and now sits encased in a layer of dust, and hesitated to go any further. Not that we are doubting its ability to grant luminous, dewy-looking skin, but are simply proceeding with caution in thinking that using a cream product is far too risky.  

When using their easier counterpart, powder, we have this idea that we are invincible. It doesn’t matter how long you spend perfecting your base, we still continue with confidence. However, as soon as a cream gets introduced, alarm bells start ringing. Whether it’s a cream bronzer, blush, or highlighter, we have all felt slightly dubious, thinking it will ruin the flawless foundation base underneath.

So many unnerving questions flood your brain. “Will I smudge my foundation underneath?”, “What if my blush doesn’t blend?”, “Will I have cake-face?”, “Will it look patchy?”

These are all very valid questions, but all worries that are easily avoidable. Elizabeth Conte is a makeup artist and enthusiast with a certain panache for cream makeup products. Blush in particular. Take one look at her beautiful and aesthetically pleasing Instagram page (that looks like a homage to her love for makeup) and you can see for yourself.

To answer all the major questions we have about cream makeup, we turned to Elizabeth to share her light. Cream products are the gateway to achieving a dewy, iridescent, glass-looking complexion. You just have to trust the process.

Huda Beauty
What are the common mistakes people make when applying cream blush?

It’s really easy to get carried away with cream blush. Not all cream blushes are created equally and if you’re not careful you could end up with a face full of blush (I’m not opposed to a face full of blush but I’m sure that’s not the look that everyone is going for). Some are more pigmented than others so just make sure that you test out the blush on the back of your hand before applying to the face.

How would you apply a cream blush differently to a powder blush?

With a powder blush, I’d typically sweep it on the face, light stroke across the cheek so it’s seamless. With a cream, I am a lot heavier-handed, really pushing it into the skin so it sinks in!

What are your top 3 cream blushes?

KVD Beauty ModCon Liquid Gel Blush Glowita

Westman Atelier, Super Loaded Tinted Highlight, Peau de Rose

Illamasqua Colour Veil, Shade Consume
£16.00 - sale

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How can you blend out a cream bronzer so it gives a seamless finish?

Make sure you’ve got a really good synthetic brush! Something that’s dense but fluffy at the same time. The Mecca Max tapered blending brush is great for giving you seamless application. I always go over my cream bronzer with a makeup sponge just to ensure there are no lines.

What kind of skin types are best for cream bronzer?

All skin types can wear any cream bronzer, it will vary how you use them though! If you’re on the drier side, I’d prep the skin really well with hydrating products and then a glowier foundation. Your cream bronzer will glide over the top. For oilier skin, I’d use an appropriate skin prep and then a more satin/matte foundation. After you’ve applied your cream bronzer you might want to lightly set it with a translucent powder or even a powdered bronzer to stop it from sliding around.

Where should you apply a cream bronzer to help contour your face?

I wouldn’t use a cream bronzer to contour, it adds too much warmth to the face. Use your cream bronzer on your cheeks to give you that sun-kissed look and stick to the cooler toned contouring products to add dimension.

What are your top 3 cream bronzers?

Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer

CHANEL Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream

NUDESTIX Nudies Matte Blush & Bronze, Shade Bondi Bae

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Would you recommend using a brush or your fingers when wanting to be precise on where your highlighter is applied?

I like a small tapered brush. A synthetic eyeshadow brush will work really well for precise application. Fingers also work really well at melting the product into the skin.

What are the benefits of using a cream highlighter to a powder?

I just find they look more natural on the skin. They sink in and look really beautiful. Powders can sit on top of the skin and look dry rather than glowy.

What are your top 3 cream highlighters?

Illamasqua Beyond Liquid Highlighter - OMG

Westman Atelier- Lit Up Highlight Stick in Nectar

Chanel Baume Glow Stick

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When applying your bronzer, blush and highlight, should you use all as cream products or can you mix?

I don’t tend to mix. I don’t find they apply as well especially if you’re applying creams over powders. That’s not to say that can’t be done and that you can’t mix. If you were going to do it, I would stick with creams first and set them with powders. If you did want to pop a cream over a powder, spray your cheek with a little setting spray and you’ll be able to easily apply powders over the top!

Everyone’s makeup routine varies; however, many tend to apply their base, set with powder and then go in with bronzer/blush/highlight. Would you suggest this same routine when using cream products?

For me, powder should absolutely go last, if at all. With my skin, I’m lucky enough that I don’t find I need to set anything with a powder, but that’s not the case for everyone. It’s really easy to whip on all your creams and then lightly set the areas where you need with a translucent powder, or you can set your entire face over all your cream products! It won’t affect the colour, it may just take away the glow that comes from using creams.

Our beauty editor Hannah Johnstone tried Kim Kardashian’s Moisturizer for a week. Here’s what she found.

Tags: beauty, blush, bronzer, cream, highlighter, makeup

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