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How to Achieve Dewy Skin Without Makeup (Even During Winter)

woman with dewy skin and makeup

As if it ever left, a glowing, ultra-dewy complexion is back in, with everyone from beauty bloggers to runway models emulating the look. “The inspiration comes from the Korean beauty trend known as ‘glass skin,’ which basically translates to a poreless, dewy complexion that has been enhanced with a luminesce sheen or finish,” explains celebrity makeup artist, Geoffrey Rodriguez. “Compared to some of the other popular beauty trends such as contouring, or matte skin, which refract light and can look very heavy and artificial in natural daylight, ‘glass skin’ ultimately looks softer and perhaps therefore, more flattering.

The best way to achieve this youthful, glowing appearance? It starts with a focus on skin health: regular exfoliation, hydration, drink water, etc. “This trend is about caring for your skin until it strobes on its own and you don’t need foundation and primers to fake it,” says Alex LaMarsh, celebrity hair and makeup artist. “It approaches skin care as an indulgent experience rather than a duty.”

In other words, mastering “glass” or dewy skin starts with self-care. Ready to embrace your skin’s beauty from the inside-out? Here’s how you can get dewy skin that shines even in the coldest winter days.

  1. 1. Start with a quality cleanser
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    1. Start with a quality cleanser

    The key to looking fresh-faced starts with, well, a fresh face. Begin your skincare routine with a clean slate. Remove any leftover makeup along with dirt and oils that have settled in your pores over the course of the day or night. Choose a product that is not drying, but instead hydrating so that your skin retains enough moisture to withstand any makeup you apply along with the wear and tear of the outside environment.

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  2. 2. Follow clean skin with a hydrating toner
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    2. Follow clean skin with a hydrating toner

    “In traditional Korean skincare regimens toner is applied by vigorously patting into the skin,” explains Rodriguez. “The belief is that the skin is stimulated by increasing circulation, which helps to create a healthy glow.” To maintain optimal hydration, opt for a toner that’s infused with antioxidants and essential fatty acids, so your skin is left smooth and vibrant.

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  3. 3. Exfoliate once or twice a week
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    3. Exfoliate once or twice a week

    This is not the step to skip, experts say, if the look you’re going for is glowing and dewy. “Exfoliation is critical to get that dewy look,” says Hilary Kline, a Minneapolis-based makeup artist. “In fact, it helps buff away those dead layers of skin and helps reveal a brighter complexion.” Choose a hydrating scrub that incorporates a rich blend of organic botanicals like jojoba beads, aloe vera and olive oil, as well as powerful antioxidants that limit the production of skin-damaging free radicals.

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  4. 4. Apply a rich serum or face oil massaged into the skin
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    4. Apply a rich serum or face oil massaged into the skin

    A rich dose of hyaluronic acid, whether in a serum or face oil, is the boost of hydration your skin is craving. It not only keeps your skin supple and prevents dryness, but it also provides the perfect foundation for you to apply your makeup. “Hyaluronic acid is like a sponge that pulls in water to the outer skin layer,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. “It enhances hydration, radiance, and offers a plumping effect.”

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  5. 5. Before applying makeup, smooth on your favorite daytime moisturizer
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    5. Before applying makeup, smooth on your favorite daytime moisturizer

    To acquire that dewy, glowing skin, experts recommend choosing a moisturizer that sinks right into the skin, leaving it supple and soft, but not oily. “You want to have highly moisturized skin, but not look greasy,” explains LaMarsh. “Moisturizers that are too slick can make makeup slide across the face rather than settle on the skin.” Again, choose a product that contains hyaluronic acid to lock in that moisture for intense hydration that lasts.

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  6. 6. Apply a hydrating mask once or twice a week
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    6. Apply a hydrating mask once or twice a week

    During the evenings, hydrate and revive your dull and tired skin after a long day of exposing it to the outside environment, your office or your gym. Not only will this lock in even more hydration, but it will also calm redness or inflammation that will naturally occur during your day-to-day. Try a product that is rich in essential fatty acids to promote elasticity and prevent moisture loss.

     

    If You Must Use Makeup, Try:

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  7. 7. Use an illuminating face primer
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    7. Use an illuminating face primer

    To prepare the complexion for makeup application, apply a face primer that nourishes and hydrates the skin. This will not only lock in moisture, but it will plump the skin and aid in maintaining that healthy glow throughout the day. Remember this look is all about buffed away pores and a healthy bright dewy face,” adds LaMarsh. “So make sure your primers don’t take away from that.”

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  8. 8. Stay away from matte foundations
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    8. Stay away from matte foundations

    “I always say you need to make sure your makeup is working for you, so use a product that is more like an anti-aging hydrating moisturizer with medium to full coverage added into it,” says LaMarsh. She recommends a densely packed foundation buffing tool, like the Beauty Blender, to help apply and buff the concentration directly into the skin in light circular motions all across your face.

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  9. 9. Add a little extra glow with a luminizer and highlighter
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    9. Add a little extra glow with a luminizer and highlighter

    Highlighters softly reflect and diffuse light, which experts say is an important aspect of the look. “Emphasize the highlighter on the high points of the face, i.e. tops of cheekbones, to achieve the most effective style,” says Rodriguez. “Remember the look is all about an overall, sheer luminous quality so nothing should look too heavy.” To achieve the super glossy ‘glass skin’ dewy look, he recommends mixing a little highlighter with your foundation and/or applying some finishing touches with the highlighter at the very end.

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Beauty Reporter

Jenn Sinrich

Jenn Sinrich is a freelance writer, editor and content strategist in NYC. Her work can be found in Women’s Health, SELF, Reader's Digest, Health, PureWow and more. When she's not putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), she can be found traveling the world and discovering more about the big apple of a city she's always dreamed of calling home. Follow her on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.