Last week I had a little sort out of my beauty drawers (these, from Muji) and discovered just how many products I own with the word ‘radiance’ or ‘glow’ in the title.
I am – as this fact may suggest – a huge fan of anything that will give my skin a little boost. When I have been lucky enough to have a make-up professional slap on the, erm, slap, I always use the word ‘dewy,’ or ‘luminous’ to describe how I would like to look.
It’s clear I have ideas above my ‘two kids, not a lot of sleep, nor sun’ station.
Adding too much luminosity, however, and the shine starts to look less you’ve taken a walk in the sunshine and more as though you’re appearing in a re-make of Blade Runner. Hello Cyborg.
So how do you get the balance right?
I say it’s all about building a glow sandwich.
First slice, is the base layer, which you want to offer up some serious radiance. Then your filling is your favourite foundation or base, followed up by a top slice of sheen, which you build up in layers to specific areas.
These are my favourite pieces – the bits I reach for time and again. Disclaimer: this is just my opinion, unsponsored, but just my opinion and experience, so take from it what you will. But I rate all of these highly.
And no tidy, pristine beauty samples in these photos either. They’re all my products, shot complete with foundation fingerprints, to show they are genuinely used and loved.
THE BASE LAYERS: Radiance Activator, The Estee Edit | Pore Vanishing Stick, The Estee Edit | Beam Team Hydrate & Glow, The Estee Edit | Enlighten EE, Estee Lauder | The Illuminator Perfecting Primer, Estee Lauder | Brush, Beau Belle
Many of my base layer products are from Estee Lauder. This is coincidental – some, like the new Illuminator primer, have recently been sent to me to try, while others, like the Enlighten EE cream, I bought after seeing Pixiwoos wax lyrical about it.
I don’t use all of them at once, so would usually select a couple and work with them, depending on whether I want to look less tired or just give a tiny little radiance boost. I would either use the Illuminator primer or the Radiance Activator straight after my moisturiser and let it settle into my skin.
The primer is meant to hydrate and prepare your skin for your base and I’ve been using it liberally because I love the effect it gives. It’s really moisturising and gives the skin a real brightness. Radiance Activator is a 3-in-1 serum for an instant glow, designed to treat your skin with brightening actives, prep it for make up and then add the glow. It’s lovely – I sometimes just wear this and go bare-faced. For me, there is very little difference between these two products as a base layer – I just use depending on whether I want to up the ante on glow or just give a nice tint beneath my make up.
And I use the Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow as either a base or a finishing dollop of shine. It works wonders on tired skin, as well as being packed full of stuff like rosehip, camellia and anti-aging peptides.
I love the Estee Edit Pore Vanishing Stick. As I get older I have really noticed more enlarged pores on my face, which make up sometimes highlights rather than hides. This little magic stick blurs the look of the pores, while wicking away excess oil to prep and prime the skin for my foundation. They say every little helps – and this little one comes with me everywhere.
The Enlighten EE (stands for ‘Even Effect’) cream is designed more as a corrector, with an SPF of 30. This is a brilliant product if you’re worried about uneven skin tone, minimising the appearance of marks, spots, red areas and enlarged pores, which I seem to be getting more of as I get older. It glides on beautifully and creates more of a level playing field on which to whack on your foundation, also giving a slight hint of colour. Don’t go mad with this one though as it does look slightly more sci-fi than the others if too much is used.
And the Genuine Glow eye balm (pictured a few images above) is brilliant at cooling and refreshing tired eyes to give the impression you have slept, even if babies / parties mean you haven’t.
The top layer is really an exercise in suck it and see. You might be quite happy with the effect your base has given you and a lick of blusher will do you.
I am quite partial to a dewy cheek, so live and die by my Genuine Glow in Peachy Keen. It gives a really natural blush shade to your cheeks, but applied on your cheekbones, gives you that ‘yes I’ve contoured myself and yes, why thank you, I DO look fabulous’ post-holiday glow. It’s quite simply, my everyday go-to product.
Guerlain’s Mister Radiant was one of those panic buys in an airport on my way to a wedding, but it’s lovely if you want a holiday glimmer. It has gold and bronze particles within the gel which get mixed up wherever you add on your face. The whole effect is to give a bronze glow. I love wearing it on its own when I actually have a tan. It’s hard to find, but Sephora stock it and ship to the UK.
Top off the whole thing with a swoosh of Bobbi Brown’s highlighting powder and you should achieve peak glow-getter.