Has anyone else noticed how stripping things back seems to be the current trend with almost everything at the moment? It’s as though the world is craving an easier and more authentic life, and the beauty industry has certainly followed suit.
With the likes of Alicia Keys and Bella Hadid rocking no-makeup makeup looks on the red carpet and Meghan Markle leading the way with her barely-there fresh glow that let her natural freckles peer through, are we saying goodbye to full coverage? Well, not quite! But, what we do all seem to be craving is skin that looks like our own, on a really good day. Call it a more well-rested and ‘holidayed’ version of ourselves that still looks natural.
Just in time for summer, I’m exploring 6 radiance-enhancing makeup options that promise to create a luminous, sheer and natural finish to the skin. Fresh-faced glow is not a one-size fits all situation, and for that reason, I have something for everyone, no matter what skin type or how much time you have to spend on your face before heading out the door.
#1 The Glow Without Greasiness
The Mister Healthy Glow Gel is for anyone and everyone and would suit all skin types, especially those with oily or combination complexions. It’s a quick option for those looking for a glow without greasiness. I’m going to cut to the chase, I love this product, and the only thing I’m disappointed in is the fact I can’t buy it a larger size.
Gel formulations are my jam, but it’s not very common to find one that offers both a sheer bronzing and radiance effect in one. Glow tends to be something that is achieved from a creamier product, and there are a lot of options out there for bronzing tinted gels. I’m one of those fuss-free kinds of girls who want it all in one product, and this is what makes the GIVENCHY Healthy Glow Gel so unique (and probably why I fell for it in an instant). For starters, I find the texture fascinating to look at; the little bubbles of bronze and gold are suspended in a lightweight gel, and when rubbed into the skin, they satisfyingly pop and disperse, transforming the gel into a skin-enhancing tint. It’s almost like magic!
I usually get up early on a Saturday and Sunday to go to the gym and never wear a full face of makeup, but I always want something that will just quickly perk up my complexion; this has officially become my new go-to for no make-up days. Its gel consistency absorbs instantly feels refreshing, offering a cooling effect while leaving the skin with just the right amount of bronze and glow (it’s a shame it can’t do my workout for me, too!).
#2 The Hydrating Glow
Dry skin sufferers will love this glowy elixir thanks to the extra hydration it provides, or if you’re someone who feels like your skin needs an overall boost, this is it! If there’s a brand you can trust to get your skin glowing, it’s Kiehl’s. With over 160 years worth of skincare knowledge, if anyone can help you achieve that natural and radiant complexion.
With a name like ‘Glow Formula’, I had high expectations, and I wasn’t let down. A fusion of skincare and makeup, this hydrating cream formula is slightly tinted and relatively thick in consistency, but blends into the skin with ease leaving it with a veil of golden sheen and a dewy texture that sits somewhere between a subtle and full-on glow, thanks to the illuminating minerals infused within the cream. This is your secret weapon glow product, or as I like to refer to it, a glow that gives and gives. Why? Because pomegranate extract will also help to protect your skin from external aggressors and improve its appearance over time.
You don’t need a lot of product, and I’d recommend that if you were going to go completely bare-skinned with this one, it might be useful to mix with a moisturiser for a less-obvious glow. I’ve also tried wearing this under makeup and mixing with my regular foundation, and both provide the skin with a wonderful luminous finish – be prepared for people to ask what your skincare secret is repeatedly!
#3 The Safe Way To Glow
Newsflash, I think I’ve found my perfect face SPF product. Now I realise this is a bold statement to make, especially as I have more than a few boxes to tick in this department, however, the Clarins Mineral SPF Compact is the facial sun cream that has been missing from my skincare routine for a long time. It’s an ideal option for someone who wants a subtle glow but also wants to shield their skin from the sun, and it’s a must for any beach or pool holiday.
I wear sunscreen on my face every day without fail. As a rule, I like to use a tinted one so that if I want to go makeup free, it gives me just that little bit of help I need with my complexion to even it out and inject a bit of life into it. However, I also have combination skin and find a lot of facial sun products can cause my face to look a little shiny (as opposed to glowy!), and this is something that really puts me off; but this is where the Clarins compact has granted all of my wishes in one quick and convenient product. It has a lightweight fluid texture with a slight tint that isn’t at all greasy and dries quickly on skin to give a matte finish with a subtle radiance. Worn alone, it looks gorgeous on my skin but more importantly, it also sits beautifully under makeup.
I can’t talk about this product without mentioning its packaging: a genius compact design that feels more like makeup than an SPF – it includes a silicone applicator although I have to admit, I prefer to apply this product with my fingers. It fits neatly into a makeup bag or beach bag and makes applying suncare just that little bit more luxe!
Intrigued to find out more? Check out our Mineral SPF edit here.
#4 The Selfie-Ready Glow
Introducing the perfect option for lazy glow-getters! I am borderline obsessed with the luminescent finish the Terracotta Highlighting Stick in Gold gives my skin, but I have to admit it’s not just my face I’ve been applying it to. It works wonders on shoulders, collarbones and legs, too and it’s available in a variety of shades to suit all skin tones. This quick and easy to apply illuminating stick is suitable for all skin types, but it’s a particularly great option for those with oily or combination complexions who tend to stay away from anything that has the word ‘glow’ in it, in fear of a shine overload! I have a natural tendency to look a bit dewy throughout the day, particularly if I use too many glow products, but with the Terracotta Highlighting Stick, my face stayed flawless all day long.
Aside from a gorgeous summer holiday scent that includes ylang-ylang, vanilla and orange blossom, its versatility is what really appeals to me (and the main reason it has gained a regular spot in my makeup bag). I love that it can be used in so many ways; before makeup as a glowy base, after makeup for a subtle strobing effect, or simply worn alone for a luminous and natural-looking glow. You can choose to apply a little for a subtle highlight to your skin or layer it up for some seriously intense radiance. Its cream to powder texture (that resists humidity and warm temperatures) feels so weightless on my skin, even if I layer it up a bit.
#5 The ‘Your Skin But Better’ Glow
Tinted moisturiser, but not as you know it! This innovative day cream from Decleor has been very high up on my list of things to try since I heard about its release and let’s say; it’s everything I wanted it to be, and more. I’d recommend this to normal to dry skin types who are looking for a bronzed-skin effect. With a cocktail of skincare benefits, this would be a great option for someone who is also looking for an anti-ageing glow formula.
I don’t know about you, but when I think about tinted moisturisers, it usually conjures up the idea of a lightweight cream with very sheer coverage, but with some additional skincare benefits. Decleor takes this idea and turns it up a notch by combining a high-performing day moisturiser with that sought-after sun-drenched glow, giving the illusion of healthy holiday skin. Its hydrating formula includes beta carotene (the orange pigment found in fruit and vegetables) and ultra-light mineral pigments to create a luxurious cream that will fake a healthy tan and a luminous complexion, without having to step foot in the sun! If you’re looking for that ‘I just got back from a week in the sun’ glow, this is it!
The texture is dreamy. Lightweight and almost glossy to look at, it has a vivid terracotta colour which you don’t need to be scared of (trust me!). When I first applied it to my face, it was a little intense, but I can assure you it blends out beautifully, melting into the complexion and leaving it with a subtle bronzed sheen that looks natural and doesn’t mask skin. I love how it instantly awakens my tired and lacklustre complexion, and it mimics a tan without having to expose my face to harmful rays. Its citrus scent makes it ideal for summer holidays when you’ve got better things to do than fuss over your skincare and makeup; this wonder cream means that you can apply just one product and you’re good to go.
#6 The Post-Holiday Glow
bareMinerals has always been a pioneer of the ‘less is more’ makeup trend, and this silky bronzer serum is no exception to that rule. It cleverly combines a sheer sun-kissed tint with an antioxidant skin-loving serum to give you that healthy glow in all of about 10 seconds! As I’m someone who loves a tan but detests exposing my face to the sun because of the damage it can cause, I’m all about a product that will fake a bronzed skin effect instantly. Although suitable for all skin types, this sheer bronzer would be an excellent option for someone with an oily or combination skin type who likes the idea of bronzed luminous skin but doesn’t want to feel weighed down or overburdened with creamy products. Add this to your beauty routine if you’re after a lightweight glow option that can be used in a few different ways.
Applying is a cinch; it has an incredibly light and watery texture that blends very easily and dries quickly. I used my fingers to smooth the fluid over my skin, but it would also work well with a brush or sponge, especially if you choose to apply it over makeup. The finish feels undetectable, plus it gives skin a universally flattering soft focus subtle glow. You may notice it has a scent when you first apply but rest assured this quickly disappears once it settles. I’ve worn this alone for those barely-there makeup days, but it also sits very nicely under (or over!) foundation if you’re looking for a little more depth and bronzed glow for your complexion.