e.l.f. Putty Blush–Cream to Powder Blush for a Beautifully Flushed Complexion

e.l.f. Putty BlushAs I’ve mentioned in previous posts, blush is one of my favorite makeup products. I love the way it brightens my complexion and makes my skin look healthy. Almost all of the blushes I’ve tried through the years have been powder blushes because cream blushes usually intimidate me.  A very popular new cream blush launched last year called e.l.f. Putty Blush. I was on the fence about trying it for a while, but since e.l.f. products are so affordable, I decided to go for it and see what all the fuss is about.

E.l.f. Putty Blush is the most recent addition to the “Putty” collection, which started with the Poreless Putty Primer and now includes two other face primers, an eye primer, and special brushes. The Poreless Putty Primer and Luminous Putty Primer didn’t work well on my skin, but I still had high hopes for the Putty Blush formula. I’ve now been using the Putty Blush for a little over a month. Read on for my full product review!

e.l.f. Putty Blush product claims directly from ElfCosmetics.com

Say hello to that island glow! This lightweight but buildable, putty to powder blush, blends seamlessly into skin. Infused with argan oil and vitamin E for some added nourishment, this silky smooth, buildable formula will give you a flushed-from-within glow. Highly pigmented, creamy formula melts into skin for a natural glow. Perfect for on the go.

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Other product details

  • Price: $6.00
  • Net weight: 0.35 oz. | 10 g
  • Made in China
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Shelf life: 12 months
  • Special ingredients for added moisture:
    • Vitamin E
    • Argan oil
  • Eight shades–all have a semi-matte finish (e.l.f. doesn’t provide shade descriptions, so I’ll do my best to describe each shade based on swatches)
    • Tahiti: Mid-toned rosy pink
    • Bali: Warm orange/brown
    • Caribbean: Berry pink
    • Turks and Caicos: Light peachy coral
    • Fiji: Coral/red
    • Bahamas: Light peach
    • Bora Bora: Bubblegum pink
    • Maldives: Deep red/brown
  • Where to buy: ElfCosmetics.com  
    • ElfCosmetics.com ships to the USA and Canada only.
  • Overall rating: 9.2/10
    • Inclusivity: 10/10
    • Packaging/ease of application: 7/10
    • Texture: 10/10
    • Staying power: 9/10
    • Price: 10/10

Please note that I am not a makeup artist. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, as a regular person that loves makeup.


This blush is quite sheer in the shade that I have, Tahiti (swatched in this photo; this is about three layers to show the color built up), so I was originally concerned that the Putty Blushes might not work for all skin tones. However, after seeing swatches for all eight shades, I think there are options for every skin tone. 

If you click the link after “where to buy” above, that will take you to the Putty Blush page which includes a photo of every shade swatched on light, medium, and dark skin tones. The product description states that these blushes are highly pigmented, but that isn’t true for most of these shades. Most of them are quite sheer, but the formula is buildable. The shades that have more pigmentation and may be better suited to deep skin tones, are Bali, Caribbean, and Maldives.

While this shade range isn’t as expansive as some I’ve seen, like that of e.l.f. Primer Infused Blush which comes in 13 shades, there’s still a good variety. If one wanted a unique customized shade, I think some of the Putty Blush shades would mix together nicely on the cheeks. 

I’m curious to see if e.l.f. will launch any additional Putty Blush shades in the future. I’m happy with the shade range as-is, but e.l.f. is always looking to please its customers by bringing more options to the table. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen cream blushes with shimmer, but I think it would be interesting if e.l.f. added some shades with shimmer!

Packaging/ease of application

E.l.f. Putty Blushes are packaged in clear plastic jars with twist-off lids. The packaging is very sleek, simple, and easy to open/close, but there is one unusual thing to note. A lot of people have a hard time finding the shade name on the packaging, which is frustrating for those that have more than one shade. E.l.f. does a lot of things well, but labelling products clearly is not one of them. Instead of the shade name being printed on the lid or the bottom of the jar, you can find the shade name printed on a clear label that is on the side of the jar. It’s very easy to overlook if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

The blush itself is quite easy to apply. My preferred application method is to tap this blush on my cheeks with my fingers and then use a brush to blend it out. My favorite brush to use with this blush is the e.l.f. Small Stipple Brush which I featured in another recent blog post, Vegan Cruelty-Free Makeup Brushes Part 2–Cheek Brushes. A brush that may work even better is a new launch: the e.l.f. Putty Blush Brush. I don’t own that brush (though I am tempted to pick one up the next time I place an order with e.l.f.!), but it does look like the type of brush that would work well to apply cream blush.

Alternatively, this blush can be applied and blended with fingers alone. That option makes this blush a great choice for travel; it can be applied anytime anywhere, no tools necessary (it just depends on personal preference). The packaging is very small too, so it’s easy to toss in a purse or small makeup bag.

The reason I took a few points away from this category is that this blush doesn’t play nicely with foundations. I’ve watched reviews of this product from several YouTubers that I follow, and most of them didn’t have this problem, so it might be more of a user error. However, in my experience, I am unable to apply this blush over foundation without it removing some of my foundation. That makes it look splotchy and awkward. 

After trying this blush with some different foundations, I came to the conclusion that going forward I will only use it on “no makeup makeup days” or days that I simply don’t want to wear foundation. Now, I apply it over my Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 Tinted Face Sunscreen Lotion, and it works very well! It applies evenly and gives my skin the most beautiful natural looking flush, or “flushed-from-within glow” as e.l.f. phrased it in the description.


I’ve only tried a few cream blush formulas, but this one is the most unique of the bunch. It’s creamy, but not as emollient as others I’ve tried. When I dip into it with my fingers, it feels very similar to a potted lip balm (in a good way…it’s not greasy!). As soon as I start to tap the blush onto my cheeks, it no longer feels like a cream, and instead it becomes a powder. It’s like magic! 

I know there are other cream-to-powder products out there, but this is my first experience with one and I think it’s brilliant! Also, as someone with combination skin, I appreciate that this blush doesn’t remain creamy. The semi-matte powder finish of this blush helps with longevity and never looks powdery. Instead, the blush melds with the skin to look very natural.

Staying power

Cream blushes are popular for many reasons, but they are generally known to have poor staying power. I’m not sure if it’s because of the Putty Blush cream-to-powder texture, or something else, but this blush actually lasts very well on the skin!

I did a 6-hour wear test to see just how well it would hold up, and I was not disappointed! As you can see, the blush didn’t wear away at all during this wear test. The longevity of this blush is not quite as strong as the e.l.f. Primer Infused Blush, but it definitely hangs on just fine through a typical day. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed any fading until I hit the ten or twelve hour mark wearing this blush.

I’m not sure if the staying power would be quite as good if this blush was applied over a foundation, but I think it would last quite a while with a light dusting of setting powder on top (I never set it with any sort of powder when I wear it without foundation).


Like nearly every e.l.f. product, Putty Blush is quite the bargain at $6.00! This is one of the most affordable cream blushes I’ve come across. E.l.f. also makes a multi stick that can be used as a cream blush and it’s only $4.00, but its ratings aren’t as good as those for Putty Blush (I’ve never tried the e.l.f. multi stick so I’m not sure how it compares). I’ll stick with this product that I know is good. 🙂 

In my research for this post, I found a lot of other cream blushes and many of them are quite expensive; some are $40+ and I think that’s kind of crazy! Even if they have spectacular performance, I’m not sure I could justify that price tag for a cream blush. While there is the issue of Putty Blush not interacting well with foundations, I’m very happy to pay $6.00 for this product.

I acknowledge that e.l.f. Putty Blush is not the perfect cream blush, but it is a product that I enjoy and will continue to use regularly. I’ve considered purchasing additional shades, but I’m not sure if I will because I love how natural the Tahiti shade looks on my skin. It’s a really nice neutral, approachable shade that would look good on most people.

I would definitely recommend e.l.f. Putty Blush to anyone that likes to skip foundation, but still wear some makeup. It’s nearly effortless to apply and looks so natural. I think this blush is also worth trying if you do wear foundation every day. It seems that I’m in the minority of people that can’t seem to make it work with foundation, so there’s a good chance that I’m doing something wrong or it could even be something about my skin. 

I’m really curious to find out if e.l.f. is going to launch any additional products in the “putty” line. They may add more shades of Putty Blush at some point and it seems likely that they will also add a Putty Bronzer someday. I’ve never used a cream bronzer, but I’d definitely have to try it if e.l.f. makes one!

Have you tried e.l.f. Putty Blush, or any other types of cream blush? Do you have any problems making cream blush work with foundation? If not, do you have any special tips and tricks for me to try? Please leave any comments or advice below! 🙂


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