Saturday, January 5, 2013

Dewy Highlighted Skin

Dewy, highlighted skin is a trend we will continue to see in 2013. It's one of my favorite makeup looks, but if done incorrectly can make the skin look greasy rather than luminous.

There are many different ways to achieve this look. The process will differ depending on your skin type and preferred method. This is how I normally like to create the look, along with some helpful tips on making the look work for you.

What you'll need:
  • Rosewater & Glycerin Spray
  • Moisturizer
  • Foundation with a dewy or demi-matte finish
  • Concealer
  • Highlighter (liquid, cream or powder)
  • Cream Blush 
  • Setting powder
  •  Optional Items: self-tanner, bronzer
How to create the look:
One of the keys to this look, is skin that is properly prepped. If you have dry or normal skin, I recommend creating layers of moisture by spritzing clean skin with a Rosewater & Glycerin Toner, applying moisturizer, then spritzing the face again with the toner. However, if you have oily skin, you can skip the extra moisture, and just apply your normal oil free moisturizer.  To give my skin an added glow, I have been using a self-tanner on my face all week, but this step is optional.

I also use a brightening serum daily to help eliminate acne scars, and add a brightness to the skin. This step is also optional, but should you choose to follow it, it should be applied after the first spray
of toner, but before your moisturizer. 

Next, You'll need to prime the skin.  I recommend using a brightening primer. It will add to that lit-from-within glow.  However, if your skin is particularly oily, you'll want to choose a primer that works for your skin type. If that means a mattifying primer, that's fine, we'll add the dewiness later. To create my look, I used a brightening primer by CoverFx. Another one I like is from the Lily Cole line available at The Body Shop.

Once the skin is primed, you'll need to choose your foundation. For those with dry to normal skin, I recommend a foundation, tinted moisturizer, or BB cream with a dewy finish. If you have oily skin, choose a formula with a demi-matte finish. Apply your foundation as you normally would. For this look, I used Lavera foundation in shade Ivory 02 (vegan)

Other good choices are Stila HD Beauty Balm (dries to a powder finish-good for oily skin), Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm (has light reflectors) or Urban Decay Urban Defense (dewy finish) or Illamasqua Skin Base (hydrating):

Next, you'll want to choose your highlighter. It's important to note, that we are highlighting before concealing. Highlighters by nature add light to the areas they are applied on the face. If you have fine lines, blemishes, or anything you want to hide, the highlighting product will actually accentuate your flaws. To counteract this, we want to highlight before we apply concealer. 

My highlighter of preference is liquid or cream. I think it looks more natural on my particular skin.  However, many people prefer powder highlighters. If you prefer a powder products, skip ahead to concealing. If you only wear mineral foundation, use a powder highlighter.

When it comes to choosing a highlighter brand, you should buy whatever works for your budget. There are good highlighters available at all price points. Here are just a few of the brands I've used:
Pictured above: Hourglass Illume Bronze Light, Illamasqua Gleam in Aurora, Illamasqua Illuminator in Odyssey, Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum, Stila All Over Liquid Luminizer in Kitten Shimmer, Elf Shimmering Facial Whip in Golden Peach and Camilla, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl

A word on choosing your highlighters: fair skin choose white, or pink highlighters, medium skin looks best in champagne shades and deeper skin tones look best in gold tone highlighters.  

To create my look, I used Illamasqua Gleam Cream in Aurora

How & Where to Apply
You can apply the product with your fingers, or a brush. I recommend using a flat paddle foundation brush, or a small highlighter brush. I used the Real Techniques Contour Brush, because it fits perfectly on the tops of my cheekbones. Dip lightly into the product, and test out on the back of your hand to see how much comes off. Then very lightly apply a thin layer to the high points of your face. I applied it to the tops of my cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose (using a clean finger), cupid's bow (with a small brush), and just a tiny touch to the forehead and chin.  It is very important to blend the edges well so that you don't see where the highlighter ends and your foundation begins. If you used a brush to apply your foundation, go over the edges of the highlight with that brush lightly to blend. If you used a sponge or your fingers, you can blend lightly with either of those. Turn your head from side to side, to see how the highlight catches the light. If needed, apply more until you get the desired glow.

Next, conceal. I applied corrector under my eyes, followed by my favorite concealer by Christopher Drummond Beauty. I then concealed any blemishes or spots on my face. If you don't like the idea of applying highlighter to your forehead or chin, you can highlight those areas with a little concealer, or a foundation that is slightly lighter in color than your normal shade. 

Next, you will need a cream blush, gel blush or a cheek stain. Choose a shade that best fits with your skin coloring. 
Pictured Above: Tarte Natural Cheek Stain in Loving & Flush, Lily Cole for The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Dome (a good choice for oily skin because it's a cream to powder formula)
 I chose to use Illamasqua Cream Blusher in the color Zygomatic. Stila also makes some great cream blush (not pictured). Dip two fingers, or a clean brush into the product, and stipple onto the cheek bones. You want to be very careful not to go too high as to disturb the highlighter you just applied. You can lightly blend the edges of your blush and highlighter together with your finger or a brush.

 You don't want to powder your entire face, or you will undo all of the work you just did. However, you do need to set your concealer. I recommend using a loose powder and a small puff, or small brush and lightly powder only the areas that you don't want shiny. I powdered, under my eyes, the sides of my nose, over any blemishes that I concealed, and a little bit on my forehead.

If you chose to go with a powder highlighter, I recommend applying this after you've set your concealer with powder. Like liquid and cream highlighters, there are many brands to choose from. Here are some of my favorites across various price points: 

Pictured Above: Josie Marian Illuminizing Powder (best for medium skin tones), Ecco Bella Shimmer Dust Color in Moon* (vegan), Elf Baked Blush in Pinktastic, Too Faced Candlelight Glow, Physicians Formula Mineral Glow Pearls, The Body Shop Shimmer Waves in the color Blush, Tarte Amazonian Clay Shimmering Powder (vegan), Lily Cole for The Body Shop Puff On Radiance

If using a powder highlighter, I recommend using a small highlighting brush, fan brush, or any small brush that lightly applies product to gently sweep onto the high points of the face.  You can go in a small "C" shape along the top of the cheekbones sweeping it up to just under or above the brow. Use a small fluffy eyeshadow brush to highlight the bridge of the nose if desired.  If you used mineral powder foundation instead of a liquid,  use the brush you used to apply it with to buff out the edges of your highlighter.

To further add to the glow, you can apply a powder bronzer anywhere the sun would naturally hit the face. This can really make the highlighter stand out because it creates a nice contrast on the skin.  

Extra Tips:
  • Do not apply highlighter to anything you are trying to hide (fine lines, acne, etc)
  • Use a light hand - going to heavy will make you look like a disco ball-not cute
  • Choose the right shade for your skin color
  • Really blend in the edges of your highlighter to make it look seamless
  • When in doubt, it is better to under highlight than to over highlight

Generally, I prefer a matte highlight under the brow bone. However, for this look, I took a tiny bit of Urban Decay eyeshadow in the color Virgin from the original Naked palette, and with a very small brush, put it just under the brow bone.

Here is a look at the final result:

 Note the "C" shape of the highlight as it circles the top of the cheekbones up to just under the brow
As always, if you enjoyed reading this post, please don't forget to subscribe and comment below. If you need shade recommendations, drop me a comment or find me on Twitter @MakeupMatters1

Thank you for reading!

*The Ecco Bella Shimmer Dust was sent for consideration. This in no way alters my review. All of my thoughts and opinions are 100% honest and I only share them with you in hopes of helping you make informed purchasing decisions.  All other products mentioned in this post were purchased by me.

*Please note that L'Oreal owns The Body Shop, and is in the process of Acquiring Urban Decay. While both of these brands still have their cruelty-free status, it is important to note that L'Oreal is not cruelty free.


  1. Loved this post! I learned quite a bit

  2. love this post so much.
    usually i use Etude precious mineral bbcream combine with nymph aura to make this kind of dewy skin look. but it start to run out and i imagined can we use highlighter to make dewy skin.
    this help me so much, tq!:D


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