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How to Get the Honey Glow Look

If you’re into Korean skincare, you know that gwangs (aka that K-beauty glow) are what it’s all about. You also probably know that there are what seem like a million different types of them trending at the moment: “baby,” “mochi,” “glass,” “cloudless;” what does it all even mean? We feel you on that one. And if we’re being really honest, these glisteny routines can look really similar sometimes. But there’s one gwang that stands out from the rest if you want to look like a real queen bee… we’re talking about the Honey Glow of course! It’s hyper-glossy, next level shine that looks like you painted your skin with smooth, rich honey — except without the stickiness. Glow pro and makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes shares her best tips on achieving this super luminous finish with your skincare products.

In a hurry? Check out our cheat sheet to learn how to get that gwang in a flash.

Step 1: Cleanse

To get the Honey Glow look, you need to start with a clean canvas. Remove surface-level debris from skin with a gentle cleanser like Whamisa Organic Flowers Cleansing Water. It rids skin of blemish-causing impurities without disturbing your pH level. Hughes advises using a cotton pad with it to best sweep up dirt and oil.

Step 2: Cleanse Again

It wouldn’t be a K-beauty routine without a double cleanse. “It’s something everybody should be doing to make sure their skin is clean and perfectly ready for all the skincare you’re about to put on,” says Hughes. We’re partial (and a bit biased, if we’re being honest) to the Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser — it lifts away any makeup and dirt that your first cleanse may have missed and moisturizes in the process.

Step 3: Tone It Up

Toner time. The great thing about using a lightweight, watery option like the Whamisa Organic Flowers Toner is that is creates a nice glow right away, but it’s also meant to be layered. Meaning if you have dry skin to start with, it’s okay to do a few applications. Hughes says to press the toner into the skin to help it absorb better. “Start on the outside of the face, which is where you want the glow to be the most noticeable,” says Hughes. She notes that as you move towards the center of the face, it will look less shiny as it is being absorbed. “We want to create high-shine dimension in the skin that catches the light, instead of being kind of like an all-over greasiness,” she explains.

Step 4: Pack On The Ampoule

The key to the honey glow is, shocker, honey — or at least a version of it. Leegeehaam’s Vita Propolis Ampoule is a super-concentrated hydrating serum that creates a slightly wet effect. Hughes say to rub a full dropper’s worth full on your hands and then press it into the skin. “This gives skin an instant allover sheen,” she notes. “The Honey Glow is all about a high shine, kind of slippery-looking finish.”

Step 5: Get Misty

Next up, spritz your face with the Whamisa Hydrating Mist to give skin a gorgeous, glowy sheen. It’s a bi-phase, oil-infused formula that you shake to activate. Hughes says to mist it all over the skin but also concentrate it on the outsides. “That’s where you want major glow.”

Step 6: Moisturize

Think you’ve got enough moisture? Wrong — we’re on to the actual moisturizer step now. Use the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer, which Hughes loves for its cooling effect and super-hydration powers. “Pump some of this lightweight gel into the palms of your hands and really rub them together; the heat will help it penetrate better,” explains Hughes. Start to build this on the outside of the face — you’re building in layers of hydration as you work. “I’m taking extra care around areas that I want the shine to be the least, so there’s still a bit of definition,” advises Hughes.

Step 7: Prep & Prime

What’s that? You want more glow? Good, because you’re still not fully honeyed up yet. Grab the Blithe Inbetween Instant Glowing Cream, a skincare-makeup priming hybrid that nourishes and boosts your glow, while also helping makeup glide on more evenly and last longer. So basically it does all of the things. “Pop a little bit on the high points of the face,” instructs Hughes. “For me, a highlighter — whether it’s skincare or makeup, should always look like it’s coming from within. I want my skin to look like it’s that healthy and that it’s glowing truly from inside.”

Step 8: Strobe

“This is where strobing gets serious,” warns Hughes. She suggests grabbing Blithe Gold Apricot Pressed Serum, which she likens to a whipped oil that gives major shine. Use it strategically, notes Hughes, which means basically on the high points of the face like you would with a makeup-based highlighter. “I’m just going to take it down the nose, a little on the cupid’s bow, chin, and cheekbones for a flash of shine.”

Step 9: Add The Final Touches

“Now, that you’ve got this beautiful, insane glow, minimize any redness and any breakouts that might have happened with a tiny bit of concealer to even things out,” says Hughes. But only put it where you actually need it — the to let that dewy, super-glossy finish shine through, she notes.

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