The Secret to Glowing Skin
Who needs a social media filter when your complexion can look radiant all on its own.
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As a girl who got heavily into “Instagram Makeup” in the mid-2010s — remember heavy pomade brows, severe powder contour, and ultra-matte liquid lipsticks? — the recent shift to no-makeup makeup and emphasis on glowy, healthy skin has been a savior for my eczema-prone complexion and the length of my getting ready routine. Not only has this shift in makeup trend made my regimen so much simpler so I can get out the door faster, but it has also made a vast improvement to the texture of my skin.
Rather than suffocating my pores under layers of full-coverage foundation and heavily-baked setting powder, no-makeup makeup allows my skin to breathe and look youthful and bouncy, like I just got home from a day at the beach. The trick? Cream makeup products. Though cream products often aren’t as pigmented as powders and can dissipate throughout the day as I sweat, I find that they leave a natural finish on my skin, and because cream products are often made with skincare ingredients, my eczema doesn’t get as angry as when I use powders. Plus, they’re easily applied and blended with my fingers so I don’t have to worry about carrying too many brushes or sponges with me if I need to touch up on-the-go.
Here are a few of my favorite cream products for the easiest summer makeup routine.
The day I discovered these sticks truly changed my life forever. I’m a fan of all of Nudestix’s products (I’ve been supporting them since they launched and even helped them start their e-commerce blog so you know I’m a serious fan!), but these are special. “Magnetic” isn’t an exaggeration — once these shadows are set, they do. not. budge. They come in both matte and satin finishes so you can build a full eye look. My personal favorite is Terra, a matte muted terracotta shade that works as a transition shade, or more often for me, as a light wash of color all over my eyelid on more natural makeup days
Blush is definitely having a moment, and there are few better than Tower28’s Beach Please. Not only is it highly pigmented with a gorgeous luminous finish, but it also contains skincare ingredients to treat your skin while you wear it. Green tea extract is packed full of antioxidants to protect the skin, and aloe vera extract hydrates and soothes the skin. While this is a beautiful formula on the cheeks, it can also be applied to the eyes and lips for a full monochromatic look.
Gone are the days of glittery, strobe-like highlighters that left a streak of reflection on your face — we’ve now entered the phase of glassy, hydrated skin. This “highlighter” isn’t like a traditional highlighter at all: it doesn’t have any pigment or glitter, but rather leaves a glossy sheen on the high points of the face for a “my skin but better” finish. It’s a versatile product that can be used in a multitude of ways, from glossy eye looks, to a natural lip balm, to of course, a natural highlight on the tops of your cheekbones.
I know I’ve already included a blush on this list, but this one is so good it’s worth mentioning, too. You’ve probably seen this product all over TikTok, and you can believe the hype is real. It’s an ultra-pigmented blush that will truly last forever; just a couple dots on the face is enough. TikTokers have also been using the peachier shades as under eye color correctors (peach tones neutralize purple and blue discoloration), making this the perfect multitasker in your makeup routine.
I love the look of a sculpted face, but have strayed away from powder contours because of how heavy they look and feel. This product has been a total game changer for me. It contains two formulations in one palette: the cream side is perfect for a more natural look and can be amplified with the powder bronzer on the other end if desired. What I especially like about this product is that the colors aren’t too warm-toned, like traditional bronzers, or cool-toned, like traditional contours. Each set is very neutral, making them great for both bronzing and contouring for a natural but sculpted look.
While I typically gravitate towards tinted sunscreens and tinted moisturizers for my base products, I always appreciate the ease of cream complexion products for spot concealing, and it doesn’t get better than the Merit Minimalist stick. It really lives up to its name: It applies like a dream and easily blends out with the tap of my fingers. I use a lighter shade to brighten my under eyes and a skin tone-matched shade for extra coverage where needed. Its buildable formula allows me to neutralize blemishes and other discoloration while still feeling lightweight on the skin (unlike other cream foundations I’ve tried in the past).
These multipurpose sticks have been one of my favorite additions to my regimen. The colors are formulated to not only work as eye, lip, and cheek pencils, but also as color correctors (especially for medium to dark skin tones). They cancel out dark circles and hyperpigmentation when layered under complexion products and also have intense pigmentation to create effortless makeup looks. I’ve also found that all the shades blend together beautifully, making it easy to customize a look with a mixture of colors. Plus, the creams are formulated with hyaluronic acid, squalane, and vitamins C and E to help treat your skin while you use the products.