With an increased focus on skincare, the wet or glass-skin look seems to be the latest trend in beauty and the new breed of highlighters are following suit to help us achieve a Glossy Glow Makeup look.
Every year the beauty industry brings us different highlighters to give us that beautiful summer ‘J-Lo Glow’. This year it’s amped up – yet more subtle…and we have been slathering it ALL-OVER!
Highlighters have been one of the fastest evolving beauty products over the last few years. They’ve come in all shapes and sizes and been transformed into Metallics, Holographic, Prismatic, Chrome, Strobe (*insert any other synonym for ‘Light reflecting’ you can think of*). And these products that have seen us bouncing light off our cheeks and blinding any passers-by.
This year is no different!
Once again the beauty industry has taken a staple product we all love to buy (mostly more than one of) and is taking it to another level. This time it’s more subtle in some ways…but instead, we are going for an ‘All-over, Head-to-toe, Glossy Glow‘ (catchy I know!).
I am all for embracing this trend because I like that it is focusing more on skin care and light layers and moving away from that heavy matte full-coverage look. It’s a makeup look that feels fresh, healthy and natural.
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What is the Glossy Glow?
So how is this any different from the usual highlighted look that appears every summer you ask? Well, this is a glow that comes from the more high-fashion Editorial makeup we see in the glossy magazines.
You might be thinking, well editorial looks are in no way subtle! So how is this more subtle than my liquid metallic highlighter? The trick here is that it is not supposed to look so much like highlighter. Instead, the products are used to imitate naturally Glowy or ‘Glass-skin‘.
I have popped a link at the bottom of this post to my Pinterest board which is full of examples of what this Glossy highlighted makeup looks like so check it out if you want some inspiration.
How do you achieve ‘The Glossy Glow’?
1. Skin care
So this is where I think the look differs greatly from the usual highlighter looks.
While we have always placed a focus on moisturising the face, this is absolutely key here as we want that hydration to shine through the foundation, and not completely mattify the skin.
This glass-skin or Glossy look is something the Koreans seem to have perfected and it comes at no easy cost (money or time wise!). See my post on Adapting the Korean 10-step Skincare routine here. This is one of the best ways to get that Glowy base.
2. Illuminating Primers
So once your face is hydrated with moisturisers and serums etc. you can move on to ensure you have a definite glowing base with an illuminating primer.
Now if you have oily skin or texture you can still use a pore filling primer, but the key here is to use it sparingly and only in the exact problem areas.
I have been using the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter which is made for this look as unlike her Wonder Glow product, this gives a definite sheen as opposed to a glittery glow.
But there are tones of illuminating primers that would also be a good substitute including the Mac strobe cream or L’Oréal Lumi to name a few I have tried.
3. Foundation (lightly does it)
Now, this is where some habits have to be broken. Instead of going in with the same amount of foundation, as usual, I would strip that right back.
Start off with a pea-sized amount and apply where you will need the most coverage. Then blend that baby out!
This takes time and you can go back in with more if you need it. The trick is to not just dollop foundation straight onto the face and then have to furiously blend it all in. Use light layers so you are keeping it natural while making the complexion even.
4. Glossy/wet-look highlighters
Finally onto the good stuff! Now I can only go off of a couple I have tested and the rest is a compilation of recommendations from other blogs and YouTubers.
The key is finding ones that are almost transparent or have very little or no base colour. When you swatch them on your hand it should have a sheen and really only pick up that glow when you move your hand and it catches the light.
To get that real wet-look Glossy effect it’s also better to choose one with a base colour that suits your skin tone. So for lighter skin tones look for ones with more of an icy/white or pale gold look, and for medium/darker skin tones then darker golds and peachy tones.
Here is the difference in the base colours of the L’Oréal Master Chrome in Liquid Gold (left) and the new Morphe highlighter in Extra (right). The Morphe one has less of a base colour and creates more of that ‘subtle sheen’.
Here is a list of ones you could try:
- Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wand,
- Nars Forte de France,
- Glossier Haloscope
- Stila highlight in Kitten,
- Morphe High Impact Highlighter Extra,
- RMS Beauty Living Luminizer,
- Mac Global Glow (for deeper skin tones or a more bronze effect)
Again when applying I would resist the urge to dollop a huge amount of this onto the highpoints and instead start with a light hand and blend in circular motions across the high points of the face, but you can blend it further out than you would normally. You want it to blend into the rest of your makeup and not have a definite start and end point.
And Voila! A Glossy Glowy face!
5. Head-to-toe’ Glossy Glow
The thing with this look is we can’t really be trying to pull off that ‘Honestly – My face is naturally this Glowy & Glossy and moisturised’ look if then everything from the neck down says “HELP, I need a drink” (of moisture obviously, not Gin…although sometimes it says that too!).
And beauty brands have not been asleep to this, as it seems the rise of the Glossy Glow Trend has brought with it a whole host of glowing products for our body.
Honestly, I don’t think we’re far off buying Body-Glow bath bombs! Or walking into our spray-tan salons and being asked which Glow we want adding to it (you heard it here first if it does happen ha!).
For this Glossy Body Glow though I would suggest you follow similar steps to the face (making skin hydration a key factor) and finding a product that is less about the glitter and more about the sheen.
I would recommend products like the Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel body, which does still have some sparkle but is much more subtle. Or Vita Liberata’s Body Blur which leaves a beautiful sheen with no shimmer at all, and also acts as a kind of ‘tanning foundation for your body’ by blurring any uneven skin tone.
Of course, there is no reason you can’t use some of your chosen wet-look Glossy face highlighter and apply it to parts of your body too. Why the hell not. Let’s just roll around it (*just kiddin…or am I?!).
So there you have it my take, and guide on how to achieve the All-over, Head-to-toe, Glossy Glow‘!
If you head to my Pinterest board here, you will see I have compiled loads of examples of this look for inspiration as well as links to a couple of YouTube tutorials on achieving this. Karima McKimmie’s ‘Glossy Skin Makeup‘ tutorial on YouTube is a favourite.
What are your favourite highlighters? Would you give this makeup look a try?
Let me know in the comments what you think of this trend, or if you have any good product recommendations. Not that I need any more excuses to be shopping for more highlighters ha, but hey one more can’t hurt right?
Happy glowing lovelies,