It’s Glow Time: Six Secrets to a Dewy Complexion

We've all seem them: those women whose vitality oozes out of every pore as they float down the street, exuding a dewy glow so convincing, they must have been born with it . . . or were they? Turns out, they weren't—and even better, anyone can look like them. All it takes is a few essential beauty products, a light hand, and a breezy attitude to match. Put down the black eyeliner and the red lipstick, ladies—it's time to get fresh-faced.
1. Use an Exfoliating Cleanser
2. Moisturize
3. Apply Foundation
4. Illuminate
5. Conceal Under-eye Circles
6. Add a Flush of Color
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1. Use an Exfoliating Cleanser

Get this process off to an invigorating start with a facial cleanser that contains exfoliating and brightening ingredients—such as alpha-hydroxy acid, vitamin C, alpha-lipoic acid, or pomegranate seed—and is neither too drying nor too moisturizing. Murad’s AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser purges pores and polishes the skin without being too aggressive. Rub it gently into your skin with a circular motion, then rinse thoroughly and pat dry. ($35, Murad)

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2. Moisturize

Apply a thin layer of moisturizer, such as pūr~lisse, pūr~moist, to clean, dry skin, then let it absorb completely. More gel-like than creamy, this all-natural product is infused with vitamin E, blue lotus, and French marine plants and was engineered to dry to a dewy finish. Follow up with your usual SPF. ($55, pūr~lisse)

3. Apply Foundation

For this step, select a sheer-to-medium-coverage foundation, such as Stila’s Illuminating Liquid Foundation. It’s just as effective at evening out skin tone, minimizing pores, and concealing flaws as its heavier counterparts, but it’s designed expressly to allow your skin’s own luminescence to shine through. Rather than using an applicator sponge, which can create an overly matte finish, try putting it on with clean fingers, taking extra care to blend near the jawline. ($38, Sephora)

4. Illuminate

A good illuminating cream reflects natural light in such a way as to give your face the illusion of being bathed in its own special glow. Try the NARS Illuminator, which glides on for instant shimmer and can be paired with any foundation. Key areas to target are the temples, cheekbones, eyelids, and bridge of the nose; place a pea-size dollop on a sponge and pat on gently. ($29, Sephora)

5. Conceal Under-eye Circles

Brightening the area around the windows to your soul is a surefire way to light up your entire face—and what better product to accomplish that mission than Yves Saint Laurent’s legendary Touche Éclat? Sephora.com deems this shadow-banishing highlighter “eight hours of sleep and an instant pick-me-up in a magic wand.” Choose a shade or two lighter than your foundation, then brush on and blend well with your ring finger. ($40, Sephora)

6. Add a Flush of Color

In this final step, make yourself pink-cheeked and pretty with a velvety cream blush, like Hourglass’s Illume Crème-to-Powder Bronzer Duo. The bronzer palette creates a subtle golden glow; the rose or champagne accent blush adds a touch of warmth. The goal is to enhance, not detract from, your natural-looking incandescence, so go easy—just sweep the cream lightly across the cheekbones and forehead. Follow up with a single coat of mascara and a sheer, nude lip gloss, and voilà—you’re ready to turn heads. ($40, Sephora)

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