It feels like one of the biggest cliches but it really is true: weeks of excess, whether that’s going out more often than not, indulging in the canapé trays or not getting enough beauty sleep, really does make an impact on your skin. And this isn’t just hearsay – a scientific study carried out by researchers at Stockholm University confirmed that if you don’t get your beauty sleep, then you really are less…well, beautiful. The study involved 25 people – 14 of them were allowed limited sleep over a 48-hour period. The remaining participants were allowed a full night’s sleep for the two days. They were then all photographed and rated by 122 people on how friendly and attractive they looked. The results revealed that the people rating the photos were less inclined to socialise with the individuals who had gotten less sleep. They were described as being less attractive and looking as thought they were less healthy. Brutal.
Want to get your skin back to glowing and looking fresh, plump and revitalised? Read on to discover every step to getting your glow on.
Start with skincare
The reason your skin looks dull, lifeless and even a bit grey is often down to a build-up of dead skin cells on the surface. If you leave them there then your skin is not renewing itself as frequently. This is where younger, plumper skin cells come to the surface. The younger the skin cells at the upper layers of your skin, the healthier and more glowy your skin looks.
Cue exfoliation. It has a two-pronged effect — it sloughs away the dead skin cells that have been lingering and this kickstarts the younger cells coming to the surface. How you exfoliate is up to you and the texture you prefer, however beware of overly grainy and gritty scrubs. Yes, these will exfoliate your skin but they also create minute scratches on the surface of the skin, which is not what you want.
And this is where liquid toners come into play. Due to their consistency they are far easier to sweep over the face, which also ensures you spread it over evenly. Generally they are packed with fruit acids. This may sound scary but these are very gentle acids that dissolve away dead skin. You may experience a slight tingling — again don’t panic, this just means it’s getting to work. Because of how they are reacting with your skin, only use a liquid exfoliator at night and when your complexion is not exposed to the sun. Sensitive skins may only need to use them once a week, whereas tougher skin types could use them every other night. This is your first step for achieving some major glow factor.
Next it’s all about giving your skin a dose of hydration along with some instant sheen. Hydrated skin will always look more glowy and healthy than a parched complexion so consistent use of a moisturise that’s right for your skin type is key. It can be hard to know what type of moisturiser to use but the general rule of thumb is the oilier your skin type, the lighter consistency you need.
However, regardless of skin type, the key ingredient you need to look out for is hyaluronic acid. This is the ingredient that will make and keep your skin moisturised. But the effects of moisturisers take time, and as we live in a world where we all want results in seconds, it’s time to adopt a trick that make-up artists use backstage to instantly revitalise tired supermodel skin: combining a liquid highlighter into your moisturiser.
Sounds simple, and it is, but it is ultra effective. Take a walnut-size dollop of your moisturiser and a grape-sized blob of your favourite liquid highlighter, combine the two and really work it into your entire face, taking any excess down your neck — because why should glow be restricted to just your face? And when we say ‘work it into’, we really mean massage it in. Use the pads of your fingers to push the product into the skin, always working up the face to stimulate muscle strength. Under your cheekbones, switch to your knuckles and knead them into the skin – it may even feel a bit painful — but not only will you see an instant radiance from your moisturiser-highlighter combo, but your skin should look plumper and have an instant flush from the workout you’ve given it.
Your ultimate glow kit
Max it with make-up
Stepping away from the skincare cabinet, it’s time to pick up your makeup bag. When it’s all about getting maximum glow it is not about anything with a matte texture. It will look too flat and full on your skin. So switch up your high coverage foundation for something a little lighter. Either a water-based foundation or a tinted moisturiser and buff it into the skin with a big foundation brush. This means you may need extra concealer but again opt for a lightweight one to prevent dulling down all the glow you created with your skincare and apply only where you need it and layer it up until you have the coverage required.
Next it’s more liquid highlighter. The benefit of using a liquid versus a cream is that you can blend it into the skin so that it looks like part of your complexion. This is not about creating an over-the-top highlighter look that Instagram has become so famous for. That doesn’t work in real-life and real light, so you need your highlighter to create the effect of your skin glowing from the inside out. Apply it on the high points of your face — your forehead, down your nose, along your cheekbones and across the chin.
The final touch is just a flush of cream blusher blended into the apples of your cheeks. Again, if you’re after glowy skin, you want to recreate the look that you get after a great workout or when you’re at your healthiest, and that means a natural-looking glow to the cheeks. And how to choose your most complementary colour? “Blush should recreate an inner glow, so go close to your own skin tone,” advises celebrity make-up artist Florrie White. “For darker complexions, plum tones are beautiful. If you’ve got pink undertones go for peaches and if you’ve got olive-y undertones use a bronze-peach.” But if that still sounds too tricky then just know that Florrie says all skin tones suit a peachy-pink. Now you know what to do, here’s what you need to get your glow on.