When it comes to the fresh face effect, there's a fine line between glow and grease. And it's an understandable fear of ending up with the latter that keeps many of us from trying to achieve a dewy complexion.
That being said, when you do manage to get the right type of luminosity, the results can be breathtaking. (See: Lupita Nyong'o at every red carpet ever.)
So, to get the scoop once and for all on how to do the dew properly, we went to celebrity makeup artist and Reed Clarke founder Fiona Stiles. She's been making stars—such as Halle Berry, Jennifer Garner and Gabrielle Union—radiant for years and thus has shimmer down to a science. Here's her advice:
1. HollyBeth Organics Rose Geranium Moisturizer: "This feels like an evolution of the face oil. It's a soft solid oil and it makes the skin so soft and beautiful without looking or feeling greasy," says Stiles. "I love to use it under makeup for a truly stunning glow-y look."
2. Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Illuminator: "I am crazy about this product! It's a sheer gold luminizer that makes the skin look luscious without being too highlighter-y."
3. W3II People Narcissist Cream Foundations: "I have never found a stick foundation that has luminosity to it before, but this one does, imparting the most subtle glow," Stiles explains. "The colors are dead-on and the coverage can be sheer or heavier, depending on how you apply it."
Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Break It Down, Step-by-Step: "I use a simple moisturizer and then place highlights where I want them, either under or over the foundation, depending on their skin type. If someone has drier skin I'll use a cream highlighter before foundation and maybe even after foundation as well. If someone has oily skin or will be under a barrage of flashes I'll use a powder highlighter over the set foundation because I can control the level of sheen more accurately that way," shares Stiles.
"After setting the foundation I'll use a gentle mist to set the face and bring life back to the skin. I'm loving this rose scented one from Kejiwa. It smells divine and sets makeup beautifully. Sometimes if I think the skin looks dry or matte but I don't want to add any shimmer I rub moisturizer between my palms and then press it onto the client's cheeks. It instantly makes them look fresh and glow-y."
Ut-Uh! That's a No-No: "Dewy shouldn't mean oily and it shouldn't mean sparkly either. I see a lot of overly highlighted skin or people with oily skin using a very luminous foundation, which then just makes them look greasy. You really need to keep your skin type in mind when you are picking out a foundation and highlighter; people with dry skin should lean towards face oils, dewy formulas for foundation and liquid highlighter," Stiles explains. "Those with oily skin should use a more satin or sheer matte finish foundation and a powder highlighter. Also, if I could banish one makeup product it would be highlighters that are too sparkly. Look for highlighters that have very finely milled shimmer in them so that you look like your skin is glowing (somewhat) naturally. And avoid anything with a rollerball application."
If You Forget Everything Else, Remember This:
1. Target Areas: "Keep it pretty and well-placed. Your whole face doesn't have to be dewy. Place sheen and shimmer strategically so your face reflects light," shares Stiles. "Add a soft and subtle highlight along the bridge of your nose and your cheekbones. Keep your jawline and the sides of your nose more matte so you don't look greasy."
2. Finding Balance: "Use matte products to make a subtle point. If your skin is dewy, you don't have to have shimmery eyes and glossy lips as well. A matte shadow or matte lip will make your skin look even more gorgeous and you'll look a bit more sophisticated in the end."