artistic makeup smears on clear circles
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These Sheer, Illuminating Balms and Gels Can Be Applied with Your Fingers

Replace your powder bronzer and blush and your matte lipstick with these lightweight, forgiving formulas.
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You don't need a face full of makeup to look your best. These featherweight balms and gels work like watercolors, melting into skin and enhancing your features with fresh shades and nourishing ingredients. Simply finger-paint them into place, and let your natural radiance shine through.

A Lighter Touch

"When it comes to applying these products, we have 10 amazing tools built right in," says Los Angeles makeup artist Molly R. Stern. She suggests smoothing foundation on with your middle finger, and using your ring finger for under-eye concealer and eye shadow. For cheek color, tap formulas onto your skin with your pointer and middle fingers.

Top Picks

Healthy Cheeks

"Don't be afraid to go for a punchier color," says Stern; the translucent texture will soften it. Choose a shade—we recommended a few, below—that matches your undertones: Lean into pinks if you're cool; go coral if you're warm. For more dewiness, swirl blush with a dot of moisturizer on the back of your hand, then dab it on.

Glossier Cloud Paint in Storm
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Glossier

Dab and tap this foolproof formula into your cheeks for a healthy flush.

Shop Now: Glossier Cloud Paint in Storm, $18, glossier.com.

Merit Beauty Flush Balm in Raspberry Beret
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Merit

This flexible balm lets your true skin shine through.

Shop Now: Merit Beauty Flush Balm in Raspberry Beret, $28, sephora.com.

Maybelline New York Cheek Heat Gel-Cream Blush in Fuchsia Spark
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Maybelline

Maybelline's formula is buildable, which means you control the color payoff. The result? A dewy pop of pink.

Shop Now: Maybelline New York Cheek Heat Gel-Cream Blush in Fuchsia Spark, $8, ulta.com.

Beautiful Bronzer

Powders can sit on your skin; these options seep in and simulate a kiss of sun—and give deeper complexions golden warmth. For the most natural look, begin with a few dots on the perimeter of your face, and blend inward over your forehead and cheekbones.

Chantecaille Radiance Gel Bronzer
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Chantecaille

With soothing raspberry stem cells and antioxidants, this bronzer is as nourishing as it is radiant on the skin.

Shop Now: Chantecaille Radiance Gel Bronzer, $44, nordstrom.com.

Burt's Bees All Aglow Bronzer & Highlighter Stick in Golden Shimmer
Credit: Courtesy of Ulta

Burt's Bees

A take-anywhere stick formulation means you can glow on the go.

Shop Now: Burt's Bees All Aglow Bronzer & Highlighter Stick in Golden Shimmer, $13, ulta.com.

Chic Lips

These sticks are no-brainers—just slide them on for a barely-there tint (plus balm-caliber ingredients like shea butter). Consider matching the shade to your blush: "There's something beautiful about the cohesiveness of wearing similar tones on your lips and cheeks," says Stern.

Nars Afterglow Lip Balm in Torrid,
Credit: Courtesy of Sephora

Nars

This sheer, warm coral shade looks lovely on warmer skin tones.

Shop Now: Nars Afterglow Lip Balm in Torrid, $28, sephora.com.

Dior Rouge Dior Satin Lip Balm in Classic
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Dior Rouge

Get a splash of true pink when you slide on this hydrating, pigmented treatment from Dior.

Shop Now: Dior Rouge Dior Satin Lip Balm in Classic, $40, sephora.com.

L'Oréal Paris Glow Paradise Balm-in-Lipstick in Beige Eden
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L'Oréal Paris

This sweet nude offers just the right amount of icy rose.

Shop Now: L'Oréal Paris Glow Paradise Balm-in-Lipstick in Beige Eden, $10, amazon.com.