Getting Glowy Skin: The Full Routine

Glowing skin is probably the #1 most coveted trend of 2018. Its ethereal and effortless vibe is synonymous with being healthy, young, fresh and happy. Maybe it’s because we associate clear and dewy skin with no makeup, warm weather and beach holidays.

Personally I prefer a matte base because I think it’s the most flattering, but as it warms up here in preparation for Summer I occasionally feel myself drawn towards a dewier look!

One of the most common skin complaints, even among people with otherwise non-problematic skin (for example, no acne to speak of) is sallowness – a lack of healthy-looking blood flow and colour. So unless you have great skin, you might need some help achieving that “no-makeup” glow.

Luckily there are ways you can do it! If you have oily skin, you may need to tweak this routine to use less or more of these suggestions to find what’s comfortable and lasts throughout the day without being overboard.

Without further ado, here are the products, ingredients and techniques to achieve glowy and healthy looking skin.


A balance of chemical and physical exfoliation techniques is best. Exfoliation should be a part of your regular skin care routine, but also used on the day you want extra glow to your skin, as it will improve makeup adhesion and texture. Besides the usual skin care acids like AHA’s (I’m currently trying out The Ordinary’s Mandelic Acid + HA), a great choice for a special event is Dermaplaning, which also offers hair removal benefits. If you’re looking for something more intense, a Hydrafacial might be right for you.


Your options are endless, including sheet masks, watery hydrating lotions, and oils. You should be moisturising on a regular basis, but using extra-hydrating products on a day where you want to look your best will improve the skin’s texture. I love layering my holy grails, ceramide-rich Cezanne High Moist Skin Conditioner and hyaluronic acid-packed Hada Labo Premium Lotion. They soak in without leaving a heavy, creamy residue behind, but also provide a huge hydration hit with makes the skin bouncy and radiant.

Dewy Sunscreen

Especially when exfoliating with chemical exfoliants, sunscreen will prevent hyperpigmentation which can come across as dullness. If you’ve already got a lot of sun, here’s more tips on how to fade freckles and pigmentation. To also boost your glow on a given day, use a dewy finish sunscreen. My favourite for the task is Sunplay Super Block, though Missha All-Around Safe Block Essence Sun Milk also has a great lightweight finish.

Radiant Makeup

Unfortunately you can’t expect to achieve perfect glowy skin through skin care alone. In addition to great skin care, a dewy foundation will work wonders creating a hydrated glow. It evens out natural skin imperfections and offers an even finish. Use lightly and aim to spot conceal over piling on foundation all over. Super popular cushion foundations from drugstore brands like L’oreal Paris Lumi True Match and Maybelline Dream Cushion to cult classics like AmorePacific Color Control are perfect for this, being highly dewy and lightweight. If you’re not into the cushion applicator, try IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream for a medium coverage or Glossier Skin Tint for barely-there coverage.

If you want seriously shimmering that makes more of a statement, an all over illuminator like MAC Strobe Cream or NYX Born to Glow or a cream highlighter like Physicians’ Formula Butter Highlighter are great choices.

Strategic powdering should be used even when you want to look glowy. It stops you from stepping over the line into sweaty territory, and helps set makeup in place. The sides of the nose, centre of the forehead, and under the eyes usually look best with a little powder to take down the shine. Leave the cheeks and cheekbones definitely free of powder. I use Australis Ready Set Go. If you’re still worried about your makeup moving around, use a dewy setting spray like this one from NYX or Milani Make It Dew, which will provide lasting power and also take away the powdery edge.

Top up your Tan

Finally, it’s not fair but it’s a lot easier to just look naturally radiant when you’re darker. Dew and shimmer will show up more on tanned skin. Obviously though we want to avoid the damaging effects of the sun, so reach for some fake tanning options instead.

Eat your Vegetables

Now bear with me here. Research has shown that along with a tan (fake, of course) a ‘carotenoid glow’ – aka. the warm skin colour that comes about from a diet rich in vegetables like kale, spinach, melons, apricots, mangoes, plums, squash, sweet potatoes and of course carrot makes you objectively seem healthier and more attractive. So be sure to squeeze in some of these foods into your diet to keep your skin looking its best!

Trying out just one (or all) of these techniques should bring out the natural glow in your skin. And if you’re looking for more, check out my DIY Hydrafacial recipe!



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