By Fiona McKim
Without actually saying the "B" word, there’s no denying we’re living through politically tumultuous times. But, as far as the other "B" word (beauty) is concerned we’ll probably look back on 2019 as a golden age, with it being easier than ever to have gorgeous glowy skin.
Why? Because right now, the industry is all about that glow. From radiant skincare to molten highlighters and Instagram filters that replicate flattering golden hour light, beauty is awash with glow inducing products of every ilk, and customers can’t seem to get enough.
In fact, the NPD Group (a data analysis business) has reported that sales of prestige glow makeup increased by 7% in the first half of 2019 in the UK, with the market around illuminating, glowing products valued at 2.2 million. This is all the more interesting if you look at makeup sales as whole, which declined 7% overall in the same period.
I doubt any Beauty Editors would be surprised by that stat. Aside from the avalanche of radiance-promising products I see on a daily basis, I know anecdotally that it doesn’t matter your age, skin type, tone or beauty preferences, if there is one thing everyone wants, it’s a bit of a glow.
But how can you achieve it? Take a multi-layered approach, I reckon. Beautiful glowing skin isn’t just about slapping shiny powder on your cheekbones, start with careful skin prep to enhance what you’ve got, then use glow makeup to fake what you’ve not.
Our glow makeup and beauty product recommendations
These are my top five glow-inducing makeup and beauty buys that never let me down:
1. Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask
The ultimate pre-party mask made with a mixture of clays, oils and Tilbury skin-perfecting magic. It simultaneously softens and makes pores temporarily disappear without leaving my skin feeling all tight, I use this before every party and would be bereft if it was discontinued.
2. L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Filler Ampoules
Dehydration is often the root of dullness (as demonstrated by my skin the morning after one too many sauvignon blancs) and these individually sealed ampoules contain a generous slathering of ultra hydrating hyaluronic acid serum that never fails to get everything looking all plump and juicy again.
3. NARS Radiance Primer SPF35
This goes under your makeup, does a bit of everything and does it really very well. It smooths over pores or bumpy skin texture, grips onto foundation and has a slight pinkish pearly sheen to reflect light. Putting radiance products under rather than over foundation means you’ll be illuminated in a realistic way, i.e, it actually appears as if your skin is glowing rather than looking coated a load of metallic glow makeup.
4. BareMinerals Bounce & Blur Blush
I think every woman should use blusher. This one is particularly flattering as has light reflecting particles and a soft-focus finish so cheeks have a juiciness to them as well as a healthy, pretty flush. It can be applied with your fingers and goes on smoothly like a cream then sets in place like a powder, yet doesn’t go flat. Magical stuff.
5. Glossier Play Niteshine Highlighter Complex
How could I write about glow without including one proper highlighter? I’m suspicious of powders, because at the risk of sounding ancient I reckon they’re the culprits behind those muddy-looking metallic cheeks I see younger girls sporting too often these days. This tiny bottle of cream is a safer bet and can be dabbed on and blended into cheeks for gleam that’s flatteringly glowy, not Tin Man shiny. A little goes a long way, which is good, and it comes in four shades to suit various skintones, which is even better.
Each one of these products will do their bit to get your skin to the softest and most luminous place possible, all of them together might have friends quietly asking for the name of your dermatologist. Pick them, mix them, layer them with your own radiance-boosting favourites, the question is -how glow can you go?
As woman&home's Senior Beauty Editor, Fiona Mckim has tried more beauty products than she’s had hot dinners and nothing makes her happier than raving about a brilliant beauty find on womanandhome.com or her instagram grid (@fionamckim if you like hair dye experiments and cute shih-tzus)
Fiona joined woman&home as Assistant Beauty Editor in 2013, working under legend Jo GB, who taught her everything she needed to know about the industry (clue: learn about ingredients and employ extreme cynicism).
In a previous life, Fiona studied journalism back home in bonnie Scotland and honed her skills as a features writer at publications including Junior and Prima Baby, with a brief and terrifying stint on the showbiz gossip pages of a tabloid newspaper in between. She's a skincare fanatic who can’t resist adding an extra step to her routine if it’s all the rage in Japan, loves fragrance, has fun with makeup and never turns down the chance to test a new hair tool. Basically, she loves it all.
When not slathering herself in self tan or squinting at a tiny ingredients list on a moisturiser, you’ll probably find Fiona enjoying something to do with food - cooking it, eating it, cajoling her friends into trekking across London to try a hyped pop-up in a dirty car park.
Come to think of it, the hot dinners and beauty products are probably about even.
Weekly horoscope: 3 astrologers' predictions for Monday 25th October—Sunday 31st October
Curious to know what the week has in store for you?
By Penny Thornton •
The best cashmere sweaters worth investing in—luxe styles to keep you warm at every budget
Stay stylish and cozy with the best cashmere sweaters that deliver on quality and price
By Charlie Bell •