7 Best Makeup Products to Fake a Glowing Complexion

BY Rahimah Herd · June 13, 2018

faux glow products I Dermstore Blog

We all crave that sun-kissed, just-spent-the-day-at-the-beach glow. But when lying out in the sun all day isn’t an option—especially now that we all know that’s not safe—we’re glad we can rely on makeup, particularly highlighters, luminizers and bronzers, to give us that coveted faux glow in seconds!

“The key is to know how to use different textures and where they are placed,” says makeup artist Jen Nguyen. “Luminizers, for example, tend to be liquids and can be added to your foundation for an allover radiance. For a multi-dimensional glow, you can also try layering different formulas: start with liquids or creams first, then finish with powder highlighters. This is also the best order for making your glow last longer throughout the day.”

Need more tips? Read on to see our favorite glow enhancers, plus Jen’s tips on how to use them for that radiant, golden-goddess glow!

1. Tarte Cosmetics Tarteist PRO Glow Liquid Highlighter - Sparkler

Why we love it: When you find yourself in a pinch, but still want a faux glow, reach for Tarte Cosmetics Liquid Highlighter. Aside from its gorgeous finish, this oil-free formula is enriched with antioxidants and squalene that help retain your skin’s moisture.

How to use it: Mix it with your liquid foundation or apply to the high points of the face to capture light and add a dose of luminosity to your skin.

2. BECCA Cosmetics Limited Edition Gradient Sunlit Bronzer - Sunset

Why we love it: No sun? No problem. This bronzer by Becca Cosmetics will give you that “just got back from vacay” look. Boasting four gradient shades, this multicolor formula beautifully complements medium and deep skin tones. Jen notes, “Not only is this bronzer appropriate for work/daytime looks, it’s great because you can mix all the shades in the compact or use just one. And if you’re pressed for time, it can also be used as an eyeshadow for a warm, monochromatic look.’’

How to use it: Swirl together for a multi-dimensional bronzed glow and apply on face and body.

3. lilah b. Glisten & Glow Skin Illuminator

Why we love it: Aside from its nourishing botanicals that help improve skin texture and tone? This powder highlighter is great for those with oily skin. She explains: “Since your skin already produces its own glow, using a powder can help set more highlight in certain areas.”

How to use it: Swipe it on to your cheekbones, brows or cupid’s bow to illuminate your face.

4. Laura Geller New York Life Glows On! Gelato Swirl Illuminator Palette

Why we love it: Housed in a colorful compact, this face highlighter palette by Laura Geller contains three universally flattering shades: opal crush, diamond dust and French fizz. Not only is this perfect for all skin tones, but it also features ingredients (think vitamins C and E, green algae and tea extracts) that help fight free radical damage and maintain moisture levels.

How to use it: Just like any highlighter, apply anywhere that the sun naturally hits your face. Dab excess around the corners of the eyes and right under the brow bones for an eye-catching effect.

5. jane iredale Dream Luminizer Trio

Why we love it: With a non-comedogenic formula, these face illuminators offer antioxidant protection while unveiling a soft-focus finish to your complexion.

How to use it: Use your go-to makeup brushes to sweep them across cheekbones, eyelids or underneath the brow bone. (Bonus: all three shades can be applied to your lips to enhance your pout).

6. COVER FX Custom Enhancer Drops Halo

Why we love it: These unique illuminating drops by COVER FX feature a holographic and out-of-this-world glow that can be customized according to your preference.

How to use it: Since they’re highly concentrated, Jen says you only need one to two tiny drops added to your liquid foundation or favorite skin care product for a natural highlighting effect. For an intense strobing or bronzing effect, use alone and apply with your fingertips or favorite beauty tool.

7. RMS Beauty Living Luminizer

Why we love it: A subtle way to enhance your skin’s natural glow, this dewy cream highlighter spreads easily and evenly over the facial contours. It enhances the eyes, cheeks, collarbone, shoulder or any other part of your body that deserves its turn in the spotlight.

How to use it: Apply on the high points of your face. If you’re looking a bit tired, Jen recommends adding a little highlighter to the inner corners of the eyes which will catch the light and make your eyes appear open and brighter. “You can also add a touch of highlighter to the cupid’s bow to make your lips look luscious and a little in the inner corner of the eyes for that added sparkle when going out at night,” she adds.

Rahimah Herd author photo

Rahimah Herd

Rahimah Herd is a Beauty Copywriter at Dermstore. Throughout her career, she’s written about everything from furniture to fashion. You can catch her at the beach, in bookstores or booking her next flight.

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