There are buzzy products you use for a few months before they slowly drift to the black hole at the back of your vanity drawer, never to be seen again. And then there are tried-and-true hero products that were love at first swipe—the kind of essentials that transcend trends and occasions, delivering flawless results no matter what's on the agenda. Glossier Cloud Paint is exactly that: a formula that boasts endless versatility, a comforting familiarity, easy application, and major pigment payoff—a Goldilocks combo that comes through time and time again.
The heavenly gel-cream blush is like a perfect album you always return to (for me, it's Sza's CNTRL or Frank Ocean's Blonde), which were instant classics. No matter how long I go without listening to them, I manage to come back to rediscover their magic—and the same goes for Cloud Paint.
Upon its launch in 2017, Glossier Cloud Paint was a runaway hit, cementing itself as a core product for the iconic millennial beauty brand known for makeup that looks and feels like skin. It stands the test of time, because when we revisited the original shades (and new additions to the range), we fell in love all over again. You might feel the same, because the paintlike cheek color rose to the top of our polls for the Glamour Beauty Awards Readers' Choice category, thanks to a minimalist vibe that was extra fitting for pared-down beauty trends of late. With its creamy, buildable formula and an ability to appear subtle or eye-catching depending on your mood, the longtime favorite reigns supreme. And what better time to amp up the color than now, when flowers are blooming and temps are on the rise?
In preparation for what's bound to be a vaccinated hot-girl summer, we retested all shades available and created our own Glossier Cloud Paint swatches to show you how it looks on five different skin tones. A little goes a long way with Cloud Paint, so while it's great for an understated daytime look, it can easily amp things up for a long-awaited night out.
Ahead, read our Glossier Cloud Paint review to see the full range on five Glamour staffers, see the blush swatches, and hear their musings on the creamy blush that keeps on giving.
Erin Parker, commerce writer
I consider Cloud Paint a holy grail for a reason. Since it dropped four years ago, I’ve kept it stocked in my makeup bag because of its unique formula that brings a powerful punch of pigment while blending seamlessly and actually looking like skin. With my medium skin tone, I find the entire range to be pleasantly versatile, especially since the color payoff is totally up to how much product you apply. For a natural daytime look, I really need only the teensiest dot on my cheekbones, and I blend upward for an instant lifting effect. If I’m in the mood for something more bold, I’ll apply more liberally, which makes for a dolled-up ’80s look that’s always a mood for a Saturday night out.
I’m excited to explore the newer shades of the range, especially Dusk, which seems to be the perfect tone for a faux tan that doesn’t look orange. Speaking of orange, this new coral color, Dawn, which I’m wearing here—is a timeless hue that brings instant fun and playfulness to a bright summer look. As you can see from my swatches, it really does look like a little cloud. Cloud Paint, never change.
Bella Cacciatore, beauty associate
I have been obsessed with Cloud Paint since the day it dropped, and it's still one of the most-used products in my stash. Despite being a blush hoarder, I've never found a product that has the same gel-cream consistency. It's so pigmented yet looks so natural on my skin, and I love that the finish is somewhere between dewy and matte. Puff is my favorite shade for a daily “cherub cheek,” it's the prettiest cool-toned baby pink that makes me look like a Rococo painting. I also love Dusk in place of contour or bronzer, and Haze for a disco flush. The more orange-leaning shades tend not to flatter my skin (except for Spark, which is stunning), and Storm is a touch dark for me. I like to just tap some over my cheeks and nose with my fingers, and then blend out with a sponge if (when) I get overzealous, which is easy to do since a little goes a long way. Case in point? I still have my O.G. tube of Puff from 2017, and I don't see myself giving it up soon.
Ru Wolle, associate editor
Glamour readers are buzzing about this product, so I was obviously here for a Glossier Cloud Paint review. The formula is spectacular and makes your skin glow in all the right ways. The cream-to-gel texture allows the product to apply smoothly with a streak-free look. And the biggest plus is how pigmented the colors are, so the formula holds super well—only a tiny drop/pea size is needed for both cheeks, and you can apply as needed to get more of a vibrant look. Even with a nice and natural finish, the product won’t come off like most powder-based blushes. My three favorites are Haze, Storm, and Eve (dark rosy shades), and the best part is you can mix and match. Since it's so pigmented, the color options might not be for everyone. As someone with brown/milk chocolate skin, Dusk, Dawn, Puff, and Beam felt too light and pale on my skin tone. But overall, the vibe could be described as “makeup for girls who don't feel they need makeup.”
Shanna Shipin, commerce editor
As someone with an incredibly minimalist makeup routine, I was afraid to use blush for the longest time…but then Cloud Paint reared its heavenly head. The creamy formula blends like a dream and is seriously buildable. You can dab the smallest bit to each cheek for a natural-looking flush, or you can add a few drops if you're actually not going for Glossier's signature no-makeup look. The range of shades is so pretty, and I was surprised by just how many hues I liked on my skin. (The only ones I'd skip are Puff and Eve—both pigments show up a bit too dramatic for my usual look.) My favorite has to be Dusk, which can actually be used as a bronzer. I use it on my cheeks, across my nose, and on my eyelids to give my face a convincing sun-kissed glow (despite having been cooped up in my house like a vampire this past year). After applying Dusk, I like to pop a more pigmented color over my cheeks; for something moody, I love Haze (a deep berry); for something cheery, I opt for Beam (a bright peach); and I love the juicy new color Dawn, which reminds me of mangoes. But really, all Cloud Paint colors are truly yum.
Lindsay Schallon, senior beauty editor
I'm obsessed with cool berry shades on my fair (pinkish undertoned) skin, and no one makes them better than Glossier. Haze gives off a gorgeous, soft berry flush that looks just as perfectly at home with my prairie dresses as it does my sweats on Zoom. I like to dab a few drops on with my fingertips then use a Beautyblender to sheer the color out. I dot the color left over on my eyes and lips to tie the whole look together. Elsewhere I was surprised by how much I loved Spark (never would have imagined a red blush would look good on me!), while Puff and Beam also gave a really pretty, natural-looking pop of color. Storm and Eve were slightly too dark for me, but I'd love them as a lip tint.
Looking for more incredible product recommendations? Check out all 265 winners from the 2021 Glamour Beauty Awards.
Erin Parker is a commerce writer at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @erinhaveadream.
Originally Appeared on Glamour