Everyone has their own personal beauty ethos. Mine, for example, is to spend the most love/time/money on my skin-care routine in the hopes that I can wear less — or even no — makeup at all. Just the thought of ditching a highlighter and using my skincare to illuminate my complexion is a dream come true. And the K-beauty gods have smiled upon me with a new emphasis on skincare as makeup.
Glow — or “gwang,” per South Korean transliteration — is the overarching term for the cornerstone of K-beauty itself. Skin is not shiny nor greasy, but rather dewy, glowing, and positively ethereal. What’s more, glowy looks — which normally would require the assistance of at least one highlighting powder or stick — are easy to achieve without any makeup at all. All that it takes is a bit of planning and foresight: Apply the right products in the right order and you’ll literally be beaming, guaranteed. Read on to learn how to get your best no-highlighter highlight.
The Cleanser and Mask Duo
What It Is: Perfect for washing off a night’s sleep or a full day’s worth of makeup, a gel-to-foam cleanser not only cleanses, but stands in for your toner, too. Leave it on for a few minutes and it performs equally as well as a hydrating, brightening mask. I like to wait until I’ve been in a steamy shower for a few minutes and my pores have opened it.
Powerhouse Ingredients: Seaweed extract hydrates, blueberry delivers a dose of antioxidants, and gentle combination of glycolic and lactic acids gently exfoliate without any grittiness.
Shop It: Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser, $34
The Hydrating Ampoule
What It Is: Impossibly lightweight, this serum delivers a hefty dose of moisture and a bit of oil-busting prowess, too. What’s more, it’s also protective, making it an essential step worth adding to every skincare routine as it won’t cause breakouts nor dry out any complexions. Use your fingertips to work the slippery formula into your skin from your neck up, using soft strokes from the center out.
Powerhouse Ingredients: Five different forms of hydrating-hero hyaluronic acid power this serum, niacinamide clarifies, and extract from the rare resurrection tree — as its moniker suggests — repairs existing damage to “resurrect” (so to speak) your complexion back to its vibrant, healthy best.
Shop It: Leegeehaam Grow Hyal B5 Ampoule, $33
The Pressed Serum
What It Is: Almost with a balm-like texture, pressed serums are thicker and more viscous than their liquid cousins and are combined with traditional moisturizers at times. This particular formulation gives skin extra moisture (that’s cool to the touch!) while also imparting a blur-like effect similar to the way primer or BB cream would.
Powerhouse Ingredients: The star, iceplant, is a humectant, helping to retain the moisture and skin-soothing properties within the serum itself. It’s rich with a bevy of different hydrating oils including argan and olive that leave skin looking smooth, never greasy.
Shop It: Blithe Crystal Iceplant Pressed Serum, $49
The Priming Moisturizer
What It Is: Think of the priming moisturizer as your new time-saving best friend. Rather than apply moisturizer, let it set for a bit, and then apply some kind of corrective primer, you can now knock it out in one step.
Powerhouse Ingredients: Niacinamide — a form of vitamin B — helps to nix any potential acne flare-ups and minimize redness, while squalane extract leaves a weightless coat of moisturizer.
Shop It: Blithe InBetween Instant Glowing Cream, $45
The Bi-Phase Mist
What It Is: Like a face mist on steroids, this is not just a water-based formulation like the spritzes you’ve come to know, but rather has an oil layered within. The result is not only refreshing, but hydrating and protective, too.
Powerhouse Ingredients: Aloe vera (rather than water) soothes while the addition of vitamin E-loaded jojoba oil locks in the hydration, creating a much-needed barrier between the elements and your delicate skin.
Shop It: Whamisa Mini Hydrating Double Layer Mist, $15
Want even more gwang goodness? Check out our Glowipedia, the ultimate guide to the hottest K-beauty glows with expert tips on how to recreate them.
Categories: Glow Recipe