How To Achieve An Allover Summer Glow Without Looking Like A Disco Ball

Think dewy, not sparkly.

by Zoe Schaeffer
Originally Published: 
glowy summer makeup
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Sun-kissed skin plus glowy makeup is a summer beauty equation that many people live by, but it’s actually tough to achieve the desired result. The biggest roadblocks? There’s a fine line between a radiant finish and a shimmery finish, and the latter can quickly look cheesy when it’s over-done. (Think a sparkly powder highlighter on the bridge of the nose.) Speaking of which, it’s also important to use just the right amount of product. Luckily, swapping the formulas you use and tweaking your application technique will result in a modern glowy makeup look.

The new way to add light to your face will enhance your complexion, elevate your makeup, or simply create a bit of allure – without looking artificial. A modern glow means that skin should look more refined and sophisticated, rather than like a glittery disco ball, too shiny, or too opaquely-illuminated,” says Rose-Marie Swift, makeup artist and founder of RMS Beauty. Instead, using radiant makeup products wisely (and with restraint) will only accentuate your natural beauty rather than distract from it.

Ahead, TZR checked in with four top makeup artists to find out how to glow all over – the summer 2023 way. Read on for their expert tips and tricks.

The 2023 Way To Wear Glowy Makeup

With the market now offering consumers such a wide array of shades and textures, one can potentially make themselves look too dewy – especially with fun-to-use products. “I get that since highlighter feels so good, one could easily carried away,” says Alice Lane, New York City based makeup artist. “But if you are concerned that you took it too far, just take a selfie with the flash and you will instantly know.”

Swift adds that in the past, “summer glow” was done with overly bronzy or glittery products that emphasized an unrealistic radiance that’s “far from a natural look.” Makeup artist and founder of her namesake cosmetics brand, Monika Blunder, adds that a stripe of powdery shimmer on cheeks or a sparkly nose are simply dated looks. “A dewy, glossy, glow from within is what you’re going for,” she says. “You want to look hydrated and your skin to look real and ‘naturally’ highlighted.” Celebrity makeup artist Molly Stern agrees when it comes to that inner glow. “Adding a little prep to your skin can have amazing benefits and really add a natural glow from the inside out,” she says. “I love using emollient serums (her current favorites are Retrouvé Nutrient Face Serum and Epicuren Microbiome Restorative Serum), along with a stimulating tool (Jillian Dempsey’s gold bar is a must).”

Fresh Ways To Add Radiance To Your Look

For years, people have used Vaseline as a hack to add sheen to the face, but petroleum can clog pores, leading to breakouts for acne-prone skin (plus, it can form a barrier and trap dirt). As an alternative, Stern says she’s a huge fan of Boiron’s Calendula Ointment, a cult French pharmacy product that she uses on the high points of the face. “It heals, isn’t greasy, and is way better for you than Vaseline while ticking the same box,” she says.

Swift is also not a fan of putting petroleum products on the skin but instead opts for jojoba oil, or even coconut oil, as healthier substitutes for a radiance boost. She says you can even get creative – she uses her brand’s new RMS SuperNatural SPF30 which is formulated for the face but can be applied anywhere. “I also mix a little RMS Living Luminizer into body oil for a healthy glow that gets to be seen on the shoulders, décolletage and chest,” she adds. Blunder leans on her Botanical Balm Tint in Winter – a clear shade – that adds a similar hydrating gloss but cleaner and lighter than petroleum-based products. “I also love using the Weleda Skin Food for this trick, it’s just a little less glossy.

For those going for a less gleamy face and more of a coltish look, Lane says that you can get a “pixie dust vibe” with flat back gems that can be bought online. “I’ve seen it on the red carpet so much and now I want to see it more on the streets.” And for the ultimate summer kick? She adds freckles with a soft, pointy dark brown or taupe pencil because she thinks they look cute on everyone and are synonymous with summer.

Where To Glow – Other Than Your Cheekbones

While you may associate glowy makeup with cheekbones specifically, it feels fresh and playful to add dewiness elsewhere. Stern likes to place some on the tip of the nose, the collarbone for a hint of sexiness, and the cupid’s bow to add some fullness to the lips (Lane likes this placement as well). Blunder says she loves using highlighters on eyes as it can really open them up. “I especially love the Róen stick highlighter, and the Benefit High Beam - which you can use on the lips too — either on the center of your bottom lip, or on your cupids bow,” she says. Swift adds this tip: “I always put a hint on the center of the eyelid, in a small circular dot above the lashes, as it reflects light and makes the eyes more alluring.” She finishes the look with a dot in the corner of the eyes near the tear ducts to make them pop. And Stern swears by Jillian Dempsey’s Lid Tint in Taupe which she uses as a dot of glow to the lids.

How To Make Your Body Glow

Summer is not the time to forget the body when it comes to glow – and to achieve it, you no longer need to rub streaky bronze oil all over yourself. Stern says she is “completely obsessed” with Vita Liberata Body Blur. “It blends and creates the most subtle perfect glow – and you really can apply it anywhere.” She adds that she likes it best on the shoulders and the legs as it also creates a “photo-finish” look. Swift offers another trick which will no doubt come in handy for sexy summer evenings. “Having worked for Victoria's Secret for years, I liked to add a thin highlight down the center of the legs to give the appearance of longer legs,” she says. “But never add it to the knees as it just doesn’t look good.”

New Glow-Boosting Products For Summer

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