8 Ways to Add Sheen—Not Shimmer—To Your SkinJuly 25, 2017
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.
No, for real. According to Warren, one popular trick is to swipe a thin layer of a clear lip gloss, such as Maybelline New York Lip Studio Shine Shot Lip Topcoat in Clear Vinyl over clean, dry lids. Her only caveat is if you have hooded lids. “Then this will be sticky and drive you crazy,” she says. Um, no thanks.
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.
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.
Speaking of allover glow, if you love your liquid foundation, but feel it could use some extra dewiness at times, help is at hand. Simply blend a drop or two of an opalescent highlighter like Urban Decay Liquid Aura Illuminating Mix-In Medium or Giorgio Armani Beauty Fluid Sheer Ultra-Light Glowing Fluid into some foundation you’ve poured on the back of your hand, mix together and then apply as usual. Voila! Your complexion will look glistening, not glittery.
Use a touch of your liquid highlighter to accent the cupid’s bow of your mouth, or to catch the light on the bridge of your nose, or on your browbones. “I always recommend to put the highlight on the bony planes of the face,” says Warren. “It will add depth to the shape of your face by emphasizing areas that are already shapely.” You can either use your Urban Decay Liquid Aura Illuminating Mix-In Medium or Giorgio Armani Beauty Fluid Sheer Ultra-Light Glowing Fluid for this or try a creamier product, such as Maybelline New York FaceStudio Master Strobing Liquid Illuminating Highlighter or YSL Beauté Touche Éclat Glow Shot Highlighter. No matter what you select, be sure to blend it well as lines of demarcation are never in fashion.
After you’ve gone to all the trouble of creating a full-face glow, don’t muck up the results by spot-correcting with a matte concealer. Instead, select a cover-up that contains highlighting properties, like L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Glow Concealer, which lasts up to 16 hours, or Giorgio Armani Beauty High Precision Retouch Illuminating Concealer with its light-reflecting pearls, so that your dewiness isn’t speckled with areas that look like dullsville in comparison.
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).
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!