Updated: Oct 24, 2019
Instagram skin. It's that instantly recognisable, light-reflective, glowing, glistening skin that's on all the ladies. It's been officially a thing now for some time, and it's pretty much one of the most coveted and requested looks by my clients.
In direct contrast to all the setting powders and matte liquid lipsticks that dominated the market a few years ago, we've been moving into increasingly dewy territory of late.
'Dewy dumpling skin', as coined by makeup artist and glow queen Nam Vo, is that skin that glistens and gleams from every angle. Artists like Vo and Katie Hughes have elevated the lit-from-within look to new heights in the last year; all of sudden everyone wants their skin to look lit and their cheeks to shine like glazed doughnuts. It's highly addicitive and it makes our brains automatically equate it with healthy, natural, youthful glow.
But instagram skin need not be limited to your cheekbones. In fact, if you want to make this look a little less like an iced confection and little more like a natural, born-with-it glaze, there are several things you should be doing as part of your routine- rather than just heavily swirling your highlighter in a c-shape around your cheekbones and hoping for the best (please don't do that).
To make that dewiness look like it's emanating from every angle of your face, the secret lies in the skin prep, not just in that pop of highlighter. At Killer Queen, we've long touted and preached the benefits of great skin prep including moisturiser and serum to really hydrate and plump out that skin, readying your skin as the perfect canvas for makeup. Good skin is the absolute foundation of every makeup look, and if you look after it, it won't need covering up. Embrace a bit of shine- it's all about that gleam.
As well as great skin prep, what else can we do to add a bit of extra luminosity and glow? Prime.
Hughes firmly believes the secret to getting Instagram skin in real life is all about your primer. And it's all in the technique.
Instead of rubbing and blending your primer into the skin vigorously like you would your moisturiser, Hughes prefers a lighter approach. Leaving a light layer that sits on top of the skin, and blending out at the edges (like how you'd smooth the harsh lines at the edges if you were painting a wall) is the secret to luminescent skin.
"If you rub the primer in all the way, half of it will end up on your fingers, and the rest will be in your skin, so you won't get the glow-giving effect" Hughes explains.
Instead, apply a small amount then very lightly rub it in to smooth out any streaks (a technique Hughes dubs "killing the edges"). This way you leave a light layer of the product still glistening, after which you can wait a few minutes for the product to sink in, leaving a layer of the pearlescent finish on top of the skin; or if time-pressed, apply your favourite foundation directly on top.
Just make sure you use a pressing, dabbing motion with your foundation, not vigorous rubbing in, or you could risk lifting primer off with your brush or sponge. The key is applying the product lightly, leaving a layer behind and gentle blending.
Another trick to getting that sheen? You can try mixing your favorite pearly primer with your foundation—we really like to mix in Becca's s shimmering skin perfector liquid into our foundations to give that extra glowy oomph. Hughes uses a 60 to 40 ratio of primer to foundation.
As for the primer you use? Anything that's hydrating with a light, pearlescent finish will work awesomely well. Look for hydrating or luminescent on the label and you'll be on the money. As well as the magic Becca skin perfector mentioned above, we also really love the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Radiance Drops (can also be mixed into foundation or used as a liquid highlighter); and the Laura Mercier Radiance Foundation Primer.
And just remember- a light hand= dewier skin!
x KQ x