Doing The Dew; Inspiration And Product Picks

I’ve mentioned before that the largest bag in my entire kit is my highlighter bag… I’ve tried a thousand times to downsize it, and I fail every time. “But this one’s more pearlescent… this ones more glossy! But this one has a golden tint!!” I just love them all. Maybe it’s because of my own naturally dull as dishwater skin, who knows, but I’d make everyone as dewy as can be given the chance, although obviously it’s not always what’s called for on a job… but I’ll at least sneak in a little cheekbone and cupid’s bow highlight if I can get away with it.

You’ll find no powder highlighters here (although I love those too don’t get me started), instead these are creams, balms, liquids… this is that humid, hydrated looking skin, that doesn’t scream product. There’s ten on this list and I even had to cut that down, I think it might be time for a highlighter intervention! In the meantime check out this inspiration file of gorgeous glowing beauties, and our picks of some of the ultimate dewy skin essentials from that giant kit bag.

Product Picks For Perfect Dewy Skin!

1. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector – £33 . . . A new addition to the already bulging highlighter bag is this beauty from Becca, everyone I know who’s come across it, falls instantly in love. It comes in shades for all skin tones (hallelujah, so many highlighters don’t!) and honestly, on camera this looks absolutely angelic, like ethereal, vaguely pearlescent, moist, creamy skin. God it’s gorgeous.

2. Madina Chic And Shine Stick Illuminante – £10.50 . . . Well known to be Pat McGrath’s illuminator of choice and what she sweetly refers to as her “shiny stick”, this Italian beauty can be used for subtle shine or more heavily for almost mannequin like skin. Loved by many of Pat’s supermodel and celebrity clients, just a pop of this on the cupid’s bow will elevate any makeup.


3. MAC Mixing Medium Shine – £16 . . . Originally designed to be mixed with pigments, when used alone this slightly waxy, clear skin balm has become the absolute lifeblood of Fashion Week in it’s own right. Just Google image search the name and you’ll see the dewy, almost glossy, clean fresh highlights it gives to models’ skin on the runways each season. A must have for modern editorial skin.

4. Illamasqua Satin Primer – £26 . . . Illamasqua are known for their bold shades and creative visuals, but my all time favourite Illamasqua product for many years has been this stuff. I slather it onto models from top to toe and get through an obscene amount. Most cream highlighters will have a hint of pearl or shimmer to them but this one is totally clear, it leaves skin looking like that of a flawless teenage girl who’s just washed her face, you know that lovely shiny squeaky clean skin? Don’t look at me like that, you know what I’m talking about.



5. MAC Cream Colour Base in Hush – £16 . . . Another cult MAC must-have amongst makeup artists. There are a tonne of cream colour bases that give skin a beautiful glow, but Hush, a dreamy soft nude shade is by far the standout favourite. Perfect for bringing out the high points of the face and décolletage on camera and a favourite to the owner of some of the dreamiest most glowing skin in music, FKA Twigs no less.

6. Baby Oil – Cheap as chips . . . I’m sure you can get bargain baby oil for less than a quid in many places so no need to splash out here. Obviously be sensible with this one, I tend to mostly use it when the softened lights on a particular shoot are dampening the sheen on the skin, so you need to ramp it up for camera. Oil will really make even the most muted light pop on the skin, just be very, very sparing. Unless you want that wet look skin in which case go to town, I love the gel version of Johnson’s oil for a little more control. And if you want something somewhere in between, try adding a drop or two to your foundation before applying. Truly versatile stuff.

7. Egyptian Magic – From £26 . . . I first saw this weird-looking multi-purpose balm in Lucia Pieroni‘s kit set-up and was fascinated by it, the packaging alone is unlike anything else you’ll find in most kits (be sure to give it a good read, the text on the pot is just wonderful.) This cocoa butter-like balm has gone on to be an absolute staple in my own kit; it can work almost like a dry oil for an all over sheen, melted between the fingers and patted on for more intense dewy highlights, as well as being able to fix and soothe all manner of ailments from chapped lips to insect bites! (Try to make sure you buy from a reputable seller, there’s a lot of fake Egyptian Magic on the internet!)

8. Nyx Born To Glow – £7 . . . Drugstore makeup aficionados consistently rave about Nyx’s Liquid Illuminator as being the best bargain highlighter on the market, often praised as being very similar to another favourite illuminating product, Benefit’s High Beam. Coming in two shades, one platinum and one more bronze, these are great on their own or mixed into foundation or body lotion. Handy little things!


9. Nars Illuminator – £23 . . . Another kit favourite, particularly with music industry clients, this seems to be the pop star’s favourite illuminator! I can only imagine that’s due to the gorgeous array of summery and pearlescent shades that give a beautiful tint to the high-sheen finish. My absolute fave is , of course, not just Orgasm but Super Orgasm, a peachy pink with gold highlights. A very covetable makeup product!

10. Glycerin – From £1 . . . I first came across this stuff as many of us did when mixing sweat spray at makeup school, roughly one part glycerine to two parts water in a misting spray, done. The wonderful thing about it though is that once on the skin, as the water evaporates, the glycerine stays, so skin looks wet without ever drying off. Be warned though, this is basically sugar syrup, so it’s sticky stuff! But if you need that all over wet sheen to the skin, this is the one for you. Find it in most chemists or afro hair shops. Can also be used as a great high shine, wet-look highlighter on its own, as used by Peter Philips at this season’s Dior Couture show. And if it’s good enough for Dior…!


Featured Image by Jamie Nelson for Stylist Magazine

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