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Nail that perfect ‘your-skin-but-better’ look by mixing a tiny amount of liquid highlighter to foundation to even out your complexion.

Five easy skincare and make-up tricks to perfect that radiant, ‘your-skin-but-better’ look

  • For any look, you need a good base to start with – and that means happy, hydrated skin, which requires a serum and a moisturiser
  • For all-over luminosity, mix a tiny amount of liquid highlighter with some foundation to achieve that radiant look

Two years ago, we were already moving away from the matte, full-coverage and contoured look of the mid-2010s, but it was in 2020 when the your-skin-but-better trend really took off.

With all the mask-wearing, it became more important to get overall beautiful-looking skin than it was to nail that beaming highlight or perfect liquid lip.

Here are five tips for creating that gorgeous look that screams: “I may have been in lockdown, but don’t I look like I just came back from a beach holiday?”.

Start with hydrated, moisturised skin

Ask any make-up artist and they’ll tell you that make-up is great, but it can only do so much. For any look (but particularly for a dewy complexion), you need a good base to start with – and that means happy, hydrated skin.
Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops, available at Sephora.

Regardless of skin type, a serum is essential. A standard hyaluronic acid serum – the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum from The Ordinary or the Minéral 89 Skin Fortifying Daily Booster from Vichy are great options – works great under any moisturiser.

For added radiance, the Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops Multi-Use Highlighting Serum from Glow Recipe will add a subtle, lit-from-within effect that will shine through light- to medium-coverage make-up. Always follow up your serum with a moisturiser that suits your skin type before applying your make-up.
Laura Mercier’s Pure Canvas Primer.

Use a luminising primer

Unless you have extremely dry skin (in which case, a hydrating serum locked in with a moisturiser will suffice as a base for your make-up), you’ll want to use a primer. It acts as a barrier between your make-up and the oils your skin produces, which can break down make-up as they come to the surface of the skin.

By using a primer designed to appear radiant, you can prep your skin and add a glow at the same time. If you lean oily, here’s an old make-up artist trick: use a big powder brush and apply a very light layer of the finest setting powder you have to moisturised skin before you prime.

La Mer’s Hydrating Illuminator.

Mix liquid highlighter with foundation

For a while there, we were all about the beaming cheekbone highlight that was visible from outer space. That trend has, thankfully, faded and a more natural highlight is back in. For a more intentional highlight, you’ll still want to apply it where desired – but for an all-over luminosity that looks like naturally radiant skin, mix a tiny amount of liquid highlighter into your moisturiser, CC cream, foundation or whatever you’re using to even out your complexion.

Remember that a little goes a long way. For oily skin types, setting your foundation with a translucent powder and using a light hand will help without dimming the glow.

Givenchy’s Prisme Libre Skin-Caring Glow Foundation.

Apply a glowy foundation

The best option for those with dry to normal skin is to just use a foundation formulated to appear glowy on the skin. If you have oilier skin, you may need to prep first with primer – but by no means are glowy foundations off limits to you.

If you can afford it, Givenchy’s Prisme Libre Skin-Caring Glow foundation, a skincare and make-up hybrid that offers lightweight, luminous coverage, is a great option. If not, the Maybelline Fit Me Dewy & Smooth Foundation is a cult favourite among influencers.

Hourglass’s Veil Soft Focus Setting Spray, available at Lane Crawford.

Use finishing products

Here’s the thing about what are widely known as setting sprays: there is a difference between setting and finishing sprays. A setting spray helps to keep your make-up in place, and a finishing spray leaves a desired finish over your make-up.

If you have normal to dry skin, mist a dewy finishing spray on your face as your last step and call it a day. If you have oily skin that breaks down make-up, a finishing spray won’t be your last step; you’ll likely still need to layer a setting spray on top of it. Or you can set your foundation with a luminising powder and seal it with a setting spray.

A natural glowy look achieved with Dior’s Backstage Face & Body No-Powder Powder.

Another way to add glow and longevity to your make-up is to sandwich your foundation between a luminising finishing spray and a setting spray – a technique that looks stunning on oily skin types. I have very oily skin and love using the Hourglass Veil Soft Focus Setting Spray this way.