Who doesn’t want a gorgeous glow, that too when it’s spring? But why is it that the journey towards achieving it seems so difficult, when we could in fact have the skin we have been dreaming for without breaking the bank?! Well, I have decided not to say too much today because I want to let you read the guide below because after all, that’s what you’re here for, right?
1) Eat your greens!
I won’t lie, this one’s difficult and I’m pretty sure most of you must be rolling your eyes thinking there she goes again… but our diet makes a BIG contribution towards our skin health whilst providing our bodies with all the essential nutrients and vitamins it needs so it’s a win-win situation and you can’t go wrong. I’ve never binged on chocolate or fizzy drinks or junk food in general, but when I first started paying more attention towards my diet, I really upped my fruit and veg game and I remember looking at myself in the mirror two weeks on and thinking ‘uhmmm well… I don’t really see a difference in my skin’. That was demoralising for me because one of the benefits I wanted from eating more fruits and veg was to improve my skin (put simply, I wanted that glow), but I’m glad to say that I continued eating my way through those sour oranges and everything else my fruit salads contained and lo and behold, a couple of months on and I started to see a visible improvement in what used to be my rather dull skin! It was at this point that I really started believing in the fact that eating healthy isn’t just good internally, but it does you good on the outside too! Now, I’m not perfect and I do skip my salads sometimes, and I still haven’t mastered my 8 glasses of water a day but I’m at least trying and I know that I’ll never give up because I’ve seen it work for me. So the main point I’m trying to make here is that we all know what healthy eating means, so it’s just about taking that first step and sticking to it because it may take weeks if not months for you to see results (and let me make this clear, you will DEFINITELY see results!).
A quick note on drinking 8 glasses of water a day: to achieve glowing skin, you must hydrate from within. Drinking water not only helps to clear inflammation and blemish causing toxins, but it also helps to transport oxygen and nutrients to skin cells to give it a plumper appearance.
2) Sleep well!
Regardless of how busy or sedentary your lifestyle may be, make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep every night! For some people, this is easy because it barely takes a few minutes for them to fall asleep when they hit their bed and they wake up when their alarm goes off in the morning. However, for others, sleeping seems like a huge fight because they are just unable to fall asleep and struggle with the same problem for God knows how long, then get into a cycle of being tired and annoyed, then not getting much sleep… and so on. It cannot be stressed enough as to how important sleep is so I suggest you get help on how to improve your sleep ASAP because a good lifestyle, good health and good skin starts with your sleep!
Tip: stay away from any type of screen (phone, laptop, TV etc) from at least an hour before bedtime, and keep your bed and wake up time consistent to help improve your sleep.
3) Get a good skincare routine
This step is clearly VERY important because this is one of the only things you can do to directly help your skin, and more often than not, results are somewhat instant. I have previously posted an extensive guide on the ideal skincare regimen, how to layer your skin and I even gave product recommendations, so rather than repeating the same things today, I’d suggest you give that post a read here.
Note: no skincare product can give you the glow you’re after, but a good skincare regimen together with a healthy diet and lifestyle will. Naturally glowing skin is healthy skin, after all. But if you do want to tailor your skincare products towards achieving a glowing appearance, look for words such as ‘brightening’ or ‘illuminating’ in the product description, use a vitamin C serum, use a brightening mask for instantly glowing skin (great for before events) and never skip on your toner because that’s what gives your skin that extra boost of hydration that translates into a glow.
4) Use makeup as your weapon
You have achieved a natural glow after following the steps above, but let’s now take it to the next level by boosting it to a spellbindingly gorgeous glow! To do that, we will use makeup and translate it the way we want, rather than letting the makeup translate us. Before we start, however, make sure your skin has been prepped really well (i.e you have completed your basic skincare routine at the least).
1) Strobe – It’s all about strobing nowadays! That lit cheekbone will pop so much more by using a strobing cream under your foundation (top tip: give it another swipe over your foundation for that blinding effect). There’s no doubt that MAC’s Strobe cream is the leader out there, but like I said at the beginning, getting a glow doesn’t have to break the bank and you could achieve that same effect with the Maybelline Master Strobing Liquid.
2) Choose a lightweight foundation – Glowing skin is all about keeping our skin as natural as we can (if you want, you can make it a party look by going all out with a smokey eye or by using a bright lip colour). MAC Studio Waterweight foundation is great for those with oily skin because it is oil controlling and has a semi-matte finish (wait what… isn’t this guide about glowing skin, so where did matte come into the picture? Well, glowing skin isn’t the same as oily skin so it’s important that excessive oil is taken care of first, following which the correct parts of the face can be made to glow… read on for that). For people with dry skin, I cannot help but rave about the YSL Touche Éclat Le Teint foundation which is literally my holy grail that I cannot love without! Like the MAC Studio Waterweight foundation, it’s easily buildable and blends like a charm! What’s also great about it is that it has a dewy finish which is great for us dry skinned people as that takes care of any dullness or dry patches.
Either foundation can be applied with a brush or sponge, but if you want a seamless dewy-ish finish, use a damp beauty blender to press the foundation on (tip: when using a beauty blender, use a pat and roll motion to ensure even application), or use a stippling motion to apply with a brush rather than dragging the product which dries out the skin (that’s what Meghan Markle’s MUA did for her wedding day look after all!).
Once the foundation has been applied, feel free to use a lightweight concealer to hide any dark circles or blemishes.
3) Blush – Ok that’s quite cheesy I know but yeah, a blush (natural or not) really helps to add some colour to the face and I also feel it helps the glow to look that much more natural. Unless you have super oily skin, you should use a cream blusher as opposed to a powder one. In fact not just for the blush, but you should steer clear of powder based products on the whole for a super dewy look unless absolutely required. You don’t have to invest in an expensive cream blusher if you don’t have one. In fact, you don’t have to buy one at all, just use a pink or peach coloured lipstick! But if you must, I would recommend the Rimmel Jelly Blush or the E.L.F Beautifully Bare Cheeky Glow (or any other cream blusher of your choice). To apply, simply use you index finger to pat some onto the apples of your cheeks and gently blend it out towards your hairline. If you’re super oily, take a blusher brush, pat it in the tiniest amount of powder blusher and tap to remove the excess, then gently pat over the cream blusher you have already applied to set it into place.
4) Colour your lips – You can either use a coloured lip balm, or choose a colour closest to your lip colour for a natural look (choose a non-matte formula). For special occasions, go brighter or darker with your lip (depending on the overall look you’re aiming for).
5) Contour – This step isn’t mandatory as you may feel confident to walk out without contouring your face. If you do decide to contour, use a cream contour palette such as the L’oreal Infallible Sculpt Contouring Palette to create that hollow effect under your cheekbone (only use a tiny amount for an everyday look, build it up for special occasions).
6) Use liquid highlighter drops – This is the most exciting step of all! I love the L’oreal Paris Glow Mon Amour Highlighting drops so much I even use it over my moisturiser on non-makeup days as it gives me a subtle glow which can be built up to a proper one! They do two shades for this, and I sometimes even use the Bellini shade as a darker contour shade for that proper glow in your face type of look. To apply, put a few drops on your cheekbones, the centre of your forehead, the tip of your nose and on your chin, then use your fingers to gently blend it out and build up as required.
Tip: to really enhance your cheekbones, dip your highlighter brush in your powder highlight, tap off the excess and gently press over the liquid highlighter that has already been applied on your cheekbones. Be careful though as too much can start to look powdery.
A quick note: although it doesn’t really apply to today’s post, I’ll still mention it. We are always told to never apply cream based products over powder because it’ll end up looking cakey. This, to a large extent holds true but the L’oreal Paris liquid highlighting drops are one of the products that completely defy this concept because they’re just as easy to blend over powder as they are over cream based products! So you could set your face with powder, then apply the liquid highlight over it.
7) Nudify your eyes – For an everyday look, take a nude shade from any eyeshadow palette and pat it over your eyelids, then follow it with a swipe of mascara, and that’s your eyes done! For an extra boost of glow, you could use a nude shimmery shade instead, and apply the tiniest drop of the liquid highlighter drops to the inner corners of your eyes. Finally, if you’re going to a party, feel free to go all out with your eyes, you’ll look great!
8) Set with a setting spray – MAC Fix+ is the leader in the market of setting sprays, but if you’re on a tight budget, then the Makeup Revolution Illuminating Fixing Spray or the NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray make great alternatives to give you that overall illuminated look, whilst holding your makeup together. If you have oily skin, give your T-zone a quick dust with some translucent powder of your choice, and follow it up with your setting spray.
Tip: to enhance your cheekbones for one last time, after you’ve set your face and waited for it to dry up, spray some more directly on your cheekbones only to get them to pop that much more!
And that’s it, you’re all glowed up!