The Faux Glow: 5 Subtle Ways to Make Your Skin Glow, According to Pros

BY Lindsay Tigar · January 15, 2019

Model-portrait-with-slicked-back-hair-and-glowing-skin-2 | Dermstore Blog

Oftentimes in fashion and beauty, trends make a 360, coming back into style a few decades after their initial fanfare. Such is the case with the latest in makeup trends: Iridescent lip shades, eyeliners, face primers and eyeshadows—which give off that lit-from-within glow—are back. There are a few reasons this type of dream-like style has re-emerged since the ’90s, according to various professionals, one of which is probably an art creation you’ve noticed on nearly everything: unicorns.

“The iridescent glow is an ethereal, holographic look reminiscent of unicorns and fairies. It can be as subtle as applying a pastel blush or a full-on look emulating a fantasy creature,” explains Heather Harzold, a makeup artist, licensed esthetician and beauty blogger. “This makeup look is so popular right now thanks to the unicorn craze that has taken over. It appeals to a large demographic of makeup lovers who love the ethereal and shimmery, sparkly look it gives, as well as those who love fantasy, and [it has] even carried over into cosplaying,” she adds.

If you don’t exactly want to dress up as a mythical creature, the manager of pro artistry for Stila Cosmetics, Carly Giglio says that the iridescent glow is trendy right now because of its diversity. “It can be either a bold statement or a subtle fresh glow. Iridescent is a mix of a few shades which creates more whimsical, ethereal dimension even if you want to glow big,” she explains. “This trend isn’t going anywhere, so an iridescent glow is a perfect way to continue to re-invent and play with different shades and textures in the glow game,” Giglio notes.

Ready to give this sparkly yet earthy look a shot? Here’s how to rock it, according to the pros who know best. 

How to Get the Faux Glow

1. Start with a glow-enhancing foundation or primer.

Try: Becca Cosmetics First Light Priming Filter

Unless you truly are heading to a music festival, you probably don’t want to pick up groceries, go to a boxing class or meet your friends with a pound of glitter on your face. Moderation is essential to achieve a more grown-up look. Because this primer—don’t worry, it won’t make your skin purple—has a subtle shimmer, Giglio says that it’ll peek through your foundation, making everyone turn their heads twice.

2. Mix an illuminator with foundation.

Try: Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer

If you’re a bit nervous about going all the way to the Lisa Frank world of sparkle, you can tone it down by adding a few drops of this luminizer into your go-to foundation. “You can do all over the face, but I think there’s something beautiful about mixing with the foundation and placing in targeted areas. This will give you a more subtle, iridescent glow and payoff than applying it directly on top of the foundation by itself,” Giglio recommends.

3. Go soft with your eyes.

Try: jane iredale Eye Shadow Kit

Giglio reminds beauty lovers to never discount the eyes since hey, they instantly brighten and liven up any look. Consider using this eye shadow compact from jane iredale that features pretty shades of purple, all of which glisten in the lights and add dimension to your look. You can apply in even layers for drama, or go soft with a dot in the corners of your eyes for an understated approach.



4. Choose a highlighter that complements your skin tone.

Try: Stila Cosmetics Heaven’s Hue Highlighter

While at first thought you might only imagine the iridescent trend in colors of light blue, white and silver, Shreeda Tailor, the owner and artistic director of J. Tailor Salon, says that depending on your skin tone you should choose a shade which pairs with your natural, beautiful features. “Stick to complementary colors so that the effect is visually pleasing. If you have a cool skin tone, pick colors that are more cool-toned like blue and green. If you have a warm skin tone, opt for pinks, red or yellows,” she says. “True iridescence is a mixture of cool and warm tones, but there are highlighters that are more pink-toned or blue/green-toned so in those cases choose the one that’s most flattering for your skin,” she concludes.


5. Add a subtle shimmer to your cheeks and lips.

Try: RMS Beauty Master Mixer

The good news is that you don’t need a dedicated highlighter—or makeup pro-level highlighting skills—to achieve the glow that you want. If you’re pressed for time, or don’t like using too many products on your face, this Master Mixer from RMS Beauty is for you. Crafted with a subtle dose of light-reflective pigments, it transforms any makeup or skin care product into a universally flattering rose-gold shade. Mix it with your moisturizer, or apply strategically on the tips of your lips, nose, brow and cheekbones, for a luminous look that’s effortlessly gorgeous.


Lindsay Tigar - The DermStore Blog

Lindsay Tigar

Lindsay Tigar is a travel and lifestyle journalist who contributes to a myriad of publications—from Travel + Leisure and Vogue to Glamour and countless others. She's a digital nomad who works from every corner of the globe, scoping ou... Read More >

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