Glowing Complexions – How-to

skincare face

A gorgeous, glowing complexion is always in style.  No matter what the current color trends are in makeup, a beautiful visage will always suit you.  Here are a few ways to fake a healthy glow whether summer or winter.

Taking Care of Your Skin

Daily cleansing and moisturizing are a must.  Cleaning and treating your skin will prevent blemishes and irritation.  Moisturizing will plump the skin, giving it a more healthy appearance.  MAC Strobe Cream ($29.50, 1.7 oz at Bloomingdale’s), pulls double duty as a great moisturizer that gives your skin a bright, healthy glow, as if it were illuminated by a camera strobe.

In addition to your daily skincare routine, periodic exfoliating will slough off all dead skin for a smooth, even complexion.

Taking Care of Yourself

There is a lot to be said for good, clean living.  Too much alcohol and caffeine dehydrates your skin.  Lack of sleep will show in your eyes.  A poor diet can make your skin sallow and give you a bloated appearance.  I don’t even have to tell you what cigarettes are robbing you of, do I?

Here’s my time-to-sound-like-your-mother moment in 3…2…1… Drink your water, get as much sleep as you can and remove as much processed food and junk food from your diet as you can.  Consume caffeine and alcohol in moderation.  Jettison your stress with a session of yoga or cardio at the gym.  You will see the difference, not only in your skin, but in other areas of your life, as well.  The increased energy levels and clarity of thought you will feel are a great added bonus to your glowing visage.

A Little Bit of Help from Your Cosmetic Friends

OK, OK, admittedly not all of us have the time or discipline for the aforementioned “clean living”, so here are some cosmetic tips for a faux glow.

When working to achieve a luminous face, the basic goal is to use products that will manipulate the light that hits the face in certain areas, namely the raised areas of the face (upper cheekbones, upper forehead, the brow bone and lips), or at least give the impression that the light is reflecting from that area.

A word of warning when using shimmering and glow-enhancing products: Moderation is the key.  Add shimmer elements in small increments so as to not overpower a look.  A little bit of glow looks fresh and natural; too much risks looking artificial and/or oily.  A good practice is to highlight some areas, but not all.

When dealing with foundation, the glow/shimmer should be very subtle.  Overkill in this area will leave your face closely resembling a glittering, mirrored disco ball that hasn’t been seen since 1978 at Studio 54.

Go for a subtle glow in your foundation by trying a liquid or powder formula mineral foundation, which by their nature, refract light and give a soft focus and brightened appearance to the skin.  Their luminescence can be further enhanced by lightly buffing them into the skin with a kabuki brush.  If you want to work with a liquid foundation that you already own, add a few drops of liquid luminizer, like Smashbox’s Artificial Light Luminizing Lotion ($30, .88 oz at Sephora) to it for a fresh, dewy look.

If you are using a regular foundation, but still crave a faux glow, you can obtain it by adding shimmer powders or luminizers to the high plains of the face.  Try NARS Sparkling Pressed Powder ($31) or Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Brick ($38 at Nordstrom) swept over the upper cheekbones, the apples of the cheeks and very lightly across the top of the forehead.

For a more summery look, try a pearly bronzer.  Apply it to the cheeks like blush, to the edges of the face at the hairline (to contour and frame) and then dusted lightly all over the face.  I swear by Guerlain’s Terra Cotta Pearly Powder ($57) (pictured at the top of the article).  It is a beautiful rose-kissed bronze that always garners compliments when I wear it.

Brighten the eye area by adding a neutral, shimmery shadow to the brow bone and the inner eyelid area right off of the tear duct.  Try Stila shadow in Kitten ($18 at Sephora) or MAC eye shadow in Ricepaper ($14.50 at Macy’s).  You can open up the eye area even more by lightly lining the lower, inner eye with white, cream or neutral eyeliners.  Try Make Up Forever’s Aqua Liner in White.  If this look appears too stark, soften it by smudging the liner with a q-tip or smudger brush.

A subtle, shimmering lip gloss will brighten your look as well.  Try Bobbi Brown’s Brightening Lip Gloss in Pink ($20 at Nordstrom).

Lastly, here’s my secret recipe for a subtle shimmer.  Shhhh… come in close and listen in: Take MAC’s Fix+ (a spray-on makeup finisher/skin soother) ($16), add to it the slightest amount of MAC Pigment loose shadow/face shimmer in Vanilla ($19.50) (around 1/16 of a teaspoon) and shake it together in the Fix+ bottle.  This secret weapon, when misted lightly over any powder or foundation, will give an unbelievably natural glow.  Just a few spritzes is all you need.  But remember… this secret is just between us, OK?

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