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As the summer heat and humidity become the daily norm, I’m forced to embrace a little gloss and shine—whether I want to or not. No amount of powder can stop the midday oil from taking its place across my nose, cheeks, and forehead. Now, luckily two things are true: One, I’m a fan of a dewy complexion. Two, high shine is the aesthetic of choice lately—largely thanks to how it adds dimension to your face on Zoom, video chats, photos, and social media.
And finding your perfect glossy balance and the products to get you there? Well, it’s not magic—but the outcome certainly looks like it might be.
4 quick tips for finding your perfect natural gloss for any skin type or need.
The starting point to achieving a dewy, refreshed look is assisting your own skin type, says clean beauty expert and celebrity makeup artist Katey Denno in a recent episode of Clean Beauty School. See, makeup is never a one-size-fits-all sort of endeavor: You always want to work with and for your face and skin—never against or in spite of it.
Once you have your skin type in mind, you can manipulate the high points with the product of choice. “Then it’s just putting them on the high plains of your face, bridge of your nose, and your Cupid’s bow. I will just swipe it on different places on my face. Oh, and I put it around my eyebrows. Just to give a little more dimension by way of light and light reflection.”
- If you are oil-prone: Some of us (raises both hands) naturally have some sebum to work with. In my youth, said oil was the enemy—and now? Not so much. “Lean into it if you have a lot of natural face oil. If you have oily skin, use it, enjoy it, and embrace it,” she says. You also want to pay attention to the areas that get shinier, and the areas that need a bit of help. For example, as I’ve gotten older, my cheeks don’t get as oily, so I often will add highlighter to the tops of my cheekbones to complete the look. (To do so, I use a lighter, shimmer-free option. Tower28’s SuperDew Shimmer-Free Highlight Balm is heaven on earth.) However, I also know that my nose and forehead will do just fine on their own, so I leave those be.
- If you have dry skin: Dry skin types have a harder battle to get there—namely because they don’t have the oil production on their side. Not to mention, the skin is often quenched for hydration midday. And for those of us who are dry as a bone, I suggest you add a balm,” says Denno. “Balms are so good.” She loves Weleda Skin Food and 8 Faces Beauty Boldness Solid Oil. After moisturizing like normal, you’ll want to go in with your balm du jour and tap on the high places. Adding that extra cushion of light-reflecting formula and moisture will help you appear supple. Tip: You can even apply these over makeup.
- If you have average-to-dull skin: “You can really load it up and you can’t go wrong—you want to lean into highlighter,” says Denno. Read? Have fun with the look. Denno admits she’s often not one for sparkle in her highlighters, but during quarantine she’s been enjoying using some shimmer-based highlighters more and more. Personally, I love the soft subtleness of RMS’s Living Luminizer and Tata Harper’s Vitamin-Infused Cream Highlighter. They both have just the right amount of mica, without turning you into a disco ball.
- If you’re in a pinch: While highlighters are fun—you definitely don’t need them to achieve a dewy look. Denno seconds this classic makeup artist hack: lip balm. “Just now I didn’t have a highlighter, so I grabbed this EvanHealy Wild Carrot and Nourishing Balm that I normally use on my lips and I put it all over,” she says. Personally, I opt for Olio E Osso’s Clear Balm.
You heard it here first: It’s the summer of shine, and we’re all for it. Don’t be afraid to layer on the product (or just use your natural oils!) to get that glossy finish we’re all craving.