Ah, summer. So much to love about this time of year—cookouts with friends, cocktails al fresco, dewy skin at its peak of glowiness. And just like things can go wrong to ruin your BBQ (see: thunder and lightening), it’s a very fine line between glossy sheen and greasy mess when it comes to your skin and your makeup. The tipping point can be as hard to ascertain as finding a tiny needle in a very big haystack. But fear not! That’s why you have us! We’re here to help you add sheen to your skin so you can have makeup that’s perfectly glistening, but not outright shimmery. (The last thing you want is a complexion resembling a disco ball, unless that’s your thing. Or it’s Halloween, and you’re in costume. Just saying.)
This isn’t an invitation for metallics and chrome (which we do love and wear. It’s just that there’s a time and place for them, and this is neither the time nor the place). Instead, it’s a chance for radiance-boosting creams, luminous powders, and magical balms. And to help you know what to select for each area of your face and body, we turned to one of our favorite LA-based makeup experts, and one known for giving good glow, Emily Kate Warren. Below, she goes over the face and body part by part, explaining the best methods for adding sheen to each section. Her advice is so simple and easy to follow, you’ll be showing off your gloss boss self in no time—all without breaking a sweat.
Don’t despair if your eye shape means lip gloss is a no-go for creating a dewy sheen. Warren says a smudge of coconut oil on bare lids is a great, non-sticky alternative to lip gloss. Or you can buy a product specifically made for the glossing the eye area, such as a tube of YSL Beauté Eye Gloss Smudger, which gives a glistening effect to lids, but isn’t tacky to the touch.
Go for a natural-looking flush.
Cream blush was made for enhancing a complexion’s radiance because it melts perfectly into skin, creating a lit-from-within luminosity. (Powders can sometimes sit on the surface.) Plus, it’s super easy to blend with your fingers, making it practically mistake-proof, and the finish is velvety smooth. A few awesome options are NYX Rouge Cream Blush, which comes in 9 shades, Lancôme Blush Subtil Crème, a cushion compact, and the imperfection-erasing L’Oréal Paris Visible Lift Blur Blush.
Once you’ve finished with the face, turn your attention a little farther south. After all, why should your mug have all the fun? For drawing attention to the collarbones, décolletage, and any other places from neck down, keep in mind that you don’t want to use any product that’s too oily, Warren says, as it will rub off on clothes. For this reason, a powder can be an excellent idea. Lancôme Dual Finish Highlighter can be applied wet or dry for varying intensities of illumination (dampen the applicator to amp up the pearly glow).
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
If you take away anything from this little tutorial, remember that dry skin is not glowing skin. Flaky patches won’t reflect light in the same way a smooth, even surface will. If you have a particularly pesky area on your face or body that can’t seem to get enough hydration, try treating it with The Body Shop Amazonian Savior Multi-Purpose Balm. It contains just 9 ingredients, including organic babassu oil to heal parched skin.
What’s your favorite way to glow? Tell us in the comments below!