Face Tutorials

4 Ways to Get a Faux Glow Without Highlighter

I have combination skin that’s oily in some areas and dry in others.  For most of my life, mattifying products have been my holy grail.  I thought that anything “dewy” really meant oily.  As I’ve gotten older and my skin has started to show signs of aging, matte products just don’t make my skin look as flawless as they once did.  In fact, they accentuate my fine lines, which is the last thing I want.  So I’ve been experimenting with dewier looks that give me more of a hydrated finish while keeping oily areas like my t-zone in check.

Now, I’m sure we’ve all know what highlighters are, and there are plenty of articles out there on which ones to buy and why. So for this post, I wanted to focus on products other than the traditional liquid or powder highlighter.  You can use all of the following methods together, alone, or in combination with highlighter, depending on your preference:

Method 1: Illuminating Primer

To get the “lit from within” look,  an illuminating primer is everything.  Illuminating primers are magic, and even work well with matte foundation because they impart a natural glow while keeping the oil-controlling benefits of the foundation in tact.

My go-to illuminating primer is the Backlight Priming Filter Face Primer by Becca.  It creates a luminescent, smooth canvas for makeup and provides just the right amount of hydration for all skin types.  If you want to get a little fancier, you can try one of the techniques below:

  • For oily skin: Apply a mattifying primer all over the face, then apply the illuminating primer in targeted areas, like the tops of your cheekbones and the bridge of your nose.
  • For combination skin: The reverse of the oily skin tip – apply illuminating primer all over the face, then matte primer in targeted areas like the t-zone.
  • For dry skin: apply a hydrating primer to the areas of the face that need extra love,  then illuminating primer all over the face

Method 2: Radiant-Finish Foundation

There are plenty of amazing foundations out there that leave your skin looking dewy and gorgeous.  If you aren’t ready to step into the world of highlighters, a formula like the Born This Way foundation by Too Faced can give you amazing results sans highlighter.

Contrary to what you may have heard, radiant-finish foundations don’t necessarily make your skin more oily.  If you prep your skin correctly (I recommend a matte primer), and touch up once or twice during the day, you can stay fresh for hours without looking like you just went on a jog in 90-degree weather.

Method 3: Radiant-Finish Moisturizer

Some days I go makeup-free, and if I want a bit of a healthy sheen I’ll replace my regular moisturizer with a radiant one, like the Mega Illuminating Moisturizer by Glamglow.

Method 4: Get a Dewy-Finish Setting Spray

In the words of one of my favorite Youtubers, Jeffree Star: “I am LIVING for this.”  I recently started using the Dewy Finish Setting Spray by Cover FX and I’m hooked.  No seriously –  I’LL NEVER STOP using this.  Not only does the nozzle on the bottle spray out the perfect amount of product, the formula doesn’t contain any sparkle and keeps me looking healthy and dewy but not oily.

Sometimes on no-makeup days, I’ll wear just a spritz of this for a super natural, hydrated look.

“Dewy skin” is skin that is healthy and hydrated.  Don’t be fooled by the social media ads and studio lighting that beauty gurus use to pull off that ultra-kilowatt-rated highlight, your glow can be anywhere from subtle and barely there to BAM, in your face. My typical glam can involve one or all of the methods I described above, it varies day by day.  I also do usually use a powder highlighter for a little added glitz because I’m glow-happy and not afraid to admit it.  GLOW ON.


Thanks for reading,