If you are currently watching Amazon Prime’s Nine Perfect Strangers, you’ll be familiar with the mystery that is Masha Dmitrichenko. Played by Nicole Kidman, Masha is the enigmatic founder of boutique health and wellness resort, Tranquillum House.
Not much is known about Masha, apart from the fact that she has perfect hair, flawless skin and seems to glow from within. It’s the same for all of the staff working at Tranquillum. In fact, as the series unfolds, and many secrets are uncovered, most of the guests staying at the resort also seem to acquire that knowing wellness glow. Maybe it’s from those smoothies they drink, or from spending all that time outdoors. Or, perhaps, it’s the glow of enlightenment as they unburden themselves of their past traumas. On second thoughts, it’s probably the psilocybin that Masha has been secretly lacing their drinks with.
Though morally dubious, it seems to have done the job; the guests look and feel great. Unfortunately, magic mushrooms are illegal. The good news? You can recreate the Tranquillum glow at home – and without having to resort to Class A drugs. Below, Nine Perfect Strangers’s leading hair and make-up artist, Nikki Gooley, shows how.
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #73 series on my blog.
Less is more
“My whole make-up premise is less is more. I always love the way people at day spas and beauty salons have an impeccable glow. I wanted Nicole (Kidman) and the others to look almost soothing, peaceful, healthy, and radiant, while, at the same time, having a no-fuss feel.”
“The guests had their healthy make-up moment as their healing started to kick in, so I had their skin tones slightly tanned by mixing a darker foundation with moisturizer or tinted sunscreen. We used MAC Studio Face and Body Radiant Sheer Foundation to give a smooth effect, which we blended in with a touch of golden bronze, either Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector or Nars Laguna, which we subtly buffed across their brow bones, nose, cheeks, and chin, as if they had caught some sun.”
“Give your cheeks a healthy glow with the RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek Tint. Apply this with fingers and buff onto the apples of your cheeks. You can also add it up onto the brow bone and down the bridge of the nose for that sun-kissed look.”
Parisian makeup artist Violette’s top secret for how to apply foundation? Execute it without a trace. “I want people to say, ‘Oh my god, your skin looks amazing!’ not, ‘Your foundation is so great,’” she explains. And while finding the perfect formula is half the battle, once you have it, making like Houdini and ensuring it vanishes into your complexion is just as crucial. Here, three in-demand makeup artists share their fine-tuned tips for how to apply foundation and achieve that ever-elusive, second-skin finish.
Create a glowing canvas
Clean and moisturized skin is a no-brainer, but to really supercharge your glow, begin with a hydrating mask and follow it up with a lymphatic facial massage. When makeup artist Nina Park works with clients such as Zoë Kravitz and Bella Hadid, she begins with a sheet mask specifically targeted to their skin type, with ingredients such as rose to combat oiliness, aloe to treat dryness, and green tea to soothe inflammation. After masking, gently massage your moisturizer into the skin to boost circulation and reduce puffiness. “It creates a natural flush that makes the face look more awake,” says makeup artist Kira Nasrat, who helps give Jessica Alba that perpetually luminous complexion.
Prime as needed
To prime or not to prime? It’s an eternal question for amateurs and pros alike. While Violette typically skips the extra base step in the interest of using as little product as possible, when applied correctly, it can prolong foundation for all-day wear. “I use an anti-shine primer for hotspots like the forehead, hairline, sides of nose, and around the mouth, and then a sheer, illuminating one for the tops of the cheekbones,” explains Park, adding that she applies each with her fingertips.
Apply from the centre and move outward
Only apply foundation where it’s really necessary, insists Violette, who counts Estée Lauder Futurist Hydra Rescue Moisturizing Foundation with SPF 45 among her favourites. “Start in the centre of the face, on the apples of the cheeks, and slowly blend out,” she instructs, adding that another key part of the face is the area around the mouth, which is prone to yellow undertones and shadows. To ensure the foundation looks as natural as possible, Violette often skips the bridge of the nose — letting freckles show through for those who have them — and the corners of the nostrils, so the pigment doesn’t cling to dry patches.
Don’t paint, buff
No matter what tool you’re using — a foundation brush, a BeautyBlender, or your fingers — buff (or bounce, if you’re using a sponge) the foundation into your skin as opposed to “painting” it on to build coverage smoothly and avoid streakiness, says Park.
Strobe wherever the sun hits
For dimension, blend highlighter onto the high planes of the face that catch light naturally, such as the cheekbones, temples, and Cupid’s bow. “I’m not a fan of powder highlighters because it looks a bit fake to me,” says Violette. “Creamy balm textures will give you a dewiness as if you’re not wearing any products.”
Blot, then set
First, soak up excess oil with blotting papers. Then, look to a featherweight translucent powder to seal in foundation and prevent unwanted sheen. “Use a brush to apply it very lightly and only to the areas that get the most shiny,” says Nasrat, adding that the leftover lustre is what will really drive home that second-skin guise. Silky smooth and even-toned, with just the right amount of lit-from-within dewiness, that’s how you execute believably perfect skin.
Everyone loves a good glow, but if your oil glands are already over-producing, which results in a not-so-cute shiny t-zone, you want to stay away from super dewy foundations. Instead look for a matte, oil-free, water-based formula to balance-out your skin’s oil production. From the drugstore hero to the most luxurious formulas in the game, ward off a shiny forehead with these H20-happy foundations.
Dior Forever 24h Wear Matte Foundation
Introducing: An Instagram filter in a bottle. This foundation offers buildable-slash-medium coverage with a texture that feels velvety and smooth on your skin. The formula is full of pansy extract, which is a a super hydrating ingredient that will give dry skin a healthy glow.
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
A Rihanna-approved foundation that diffuses every pore on your face and doesn’t move all damn day? Yes, please. Not to mention that I use this foundation frequently, because my T-zone loves to get super shiny, and the bottle lasts me so long.
This is the newest foundation the brand added to its lineup that beauty lovers can’t stop talking about at the moment. Everyone’s loving the silky-soft veil it leaves behind on the skin, covering dark spots, redness, and other ailments in seconds. Its oil-free blend of ingredients— ceramides, peptides, hydrolyzed collagen, hyaluronic acid and squalane—are all magic words when it comes to boosting moisture.
The brand’s most natural-looking foundation, this sheer, easy-to-blend cream will give you medium to full coverage depending on how you layer it. Oil-free and formulated with coconut water and hyaluronic acid to keep your skin moisturized, just be wary that it’s not too too dewy or hydrating if you have suuuper oily skin.
The mixture of hydrating and light-reflective elements in this Bobbi Brown formula will make your skin look especially dewy, plump, and radiant in the morning. It’s a favorite of beauty fiends who want more of a lightweight, sheer finish.
Milk Makeup’s easy applicator uses a tip that minimizes any exposure to air (meaning your foundation will stay fresher than ever) and eliminates drips that waste your precious money. Making the K-beauty blurring trend easier than ever, the product uses light-diffusing technology to create a poreless, airbrushed effect.
This formula is expensive, but not for nothing as it really does deliver on its “post-facial glow” promise. Made with mineral from the deep waters of Bretagne (fancy!), it brightens the skin by reflecting light to eradicate facial shadows, resulting in a glowy soft focus finish.
Burberry’s illuminating pearlescent primer can be worn on its own or mixed with foundation to create a dewy glow that never reads too shiny or sparkly. If you’re looking to add radiance to a dull winterized complexion before summer, this is your stuff.
Finding that happy medium between providing soft, yet solid coverage without drying out the skin, this water-like, gel-serum foundation works on ALL skin types and provides SPF 30 protection. Plus, it comes in a cool dropper bottle.
In more than 20 shades, you’re bound to find your perfect match with this super-blendable, long-wearing formula. It’s also very concentrated, so a little bit of product goes a long way, ensuring you get all the bank for you buck.
Make Up For Ever Face & Body Liquid Makeup Foundation
A beauty editor favorite, if you’re in the market for au naturale day-to-day coverage, this is your stuff. It has that “your skin, but better” look down to a science with a water-based gel formula that blurs away imperfections while delivering sheer to medium matte coverage.
This drugstore steal is notorious for being *amazing* for normal to very oily skin. Its fluid, silk-like texture goes on smoothly and will let your natural complexion show through while still diffusing uneven skin tone, blemishes, and T-zone shine. It also comes complete with SPF 17.
If you’ve struggled to maintain a consistent skincare routine in 2020, the new year is the perfect time to hit refresh. One of the best products you can incorporate into your newly defined regimen is a trusty vitamin C serum, since it can tackle a variety of skincare concerns overnight. You don’t have to spend a fortune for a winning formula, either. The Truskin Vitamin C Serum has over 30,000 perfect ratings!
Why is it so popular? The potent serum claims to treat a multitude of issues, including wrinkles and fine lines, large pores, breakouts, dark spots, and dull skin — and according to reviewers, it really works. It has a jam-packed ingredient list of highly effective additives, yet remains free of harsh chemicals, synthetic colors, fragrance, sulfates, and stabilizers. Instead, hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, jojoba oil, and aloe vera (to name a few) come together in one lightweight formula that can be applied on all skin types, morning and night. A ton of reviewers swear the affordable serum restored a youthful appearance to their skin with consistent use.
“I am a 43-year-old wife, mom of teen girls, and middle school math teacher,” said one shopper. “After two weeks of using this serum, my 17-year-old tells me I look like I am in my 20’s rather than 30’s. Fine lines are going away. Acne scars fading. Pigmentation evening out. Even my neck and jawline are smoother. Now my husband wants some for his ‘dad neck.’ Oh, and despite my sensitive skin, I use it on my actual eyelids without any irritation at all.”
“My search for an amazing serum is finally over,” shared another. “I just purchased my 3rd bottle and I am hooked! My skin looks flawless and I have been getting so many compliments about how great I look. My skin glows as if I just walked out of a spa treatment. A little goes a long way, the bottle usually lasts me about three-and-a-half months.”
For some days and for some people, foundations and concealers just feel like way too much work — and way too much coverage. While there’s certainly a time and a place for a full-coverage face, there’s no denying the effortless and hydrating properties of a tinted moisturizer. But although the concept of a tinted moisturizer sounds pretty simple, there are tons of specific ingredients that make the difference between an OK tinted moisturizer and an amazing one. And by “amazing tinted moisturizer,” I really mean one that actually — well, you know… moisturizes.
So ALLURE editors asked makeup artists and cosmetic chemists to break down what they think are the best tinted moisturizers out there. If you love makeup that comes with added skincare benefits for plump, dewy, and hydrated skin, try one of these picks.
Whether you end up loving an older staple from a brand like Laura Mercier or an experimentative new take like Ilia Beauty’s pigmented serum, you’ll find your skin is in much better shape for it.
BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream
Many tinted moisturizers have powder pigments that soak up skin’s oils, zapping some of the natural moisture from your face. To fix this, BareMinerals coated its pigments in lauroyl lysine, an amino acid derived from coconuts.
“Because the pigments are cocooned, they won’t dry out your skin. Instead, the formula feels very soft and silky,” says cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson. When you mix those pigments with glycerin and squalane, you get a formula that “actively promotes hydration.” In addition to containing moisturizing ingredients, the light, cooling gel evens out skin tone and minimizes redness, which means all you’re left with is a soft, dewy glow.
Tarte’s tinted moisturizers have always been an Allure editor favorite, and its latest version is no different. The Maracuja Tinted Hydrator combines the skin-nourishing properties of maracuja oil with plumping hyaluronic acid and collagen, plus brightening turmeric, for skin that glows well after you’ve taken this off.
Squalane, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide join forces for Ilia’s Super Serum Skin Tint. With the added benefit of sun-protective SPF 40, this thick, hydrating serum offers up light but buildable coverage you can rub in quickly and easily with your fingertips.
Even though its only available in a few light shades, Allure associate beauty director Sarah Kinonen loves this BB Cream Tinted Moisturizer for its hydrating ginseng and brightening fruit extracts. For those who are extra prone to redness, you can also turn to the brand’s Best of Beauty-winning CC Red Correct.
With its pH-balancing glycerin, squalene, and sunflower seed oil, it’s clear to see why Burt’s Bees Goodness Glows has such high ratings online. What’s more: It contains antioxidant green tea extract that reduces redness, leaving behind a calm, even base for its sheer pigments.
This tinted moisturizer is free of pthalates, parabens, and 1,500 other ingredients that the cruelty-free brand has identified as potentially harmful or irritating, so you’re left with only tried-and-true elements, like glycerin and sodium hyaluronate.
“Both of these ingredients are humectants, meaning they draw moisture to the surface of the skin to keep cells hydrated,” says Wilson. The creamy formula is more pigmented than most tinted moisturizers, so it does a great job of covering imperfections. One catch: Its thick consistency makes it a little difficult to spread, so you’ll likely end up using more product than usual.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector
Ask any beauty fan and they’ll likely tell you that Laura Mercier’s is the first tinted moisturizer they ever used — and fell in love with. With its sheer, buildable coverage and moisture-packed formula, there’s a reason this product is a cult favorite and four-time Allure Best of Beauty winner.It’s noncomedogenic, but those with acne-prone or oily skin may benefit even more from the upgraded oil-free version of the formula.
For skin that needs a hefty dose of hydration, this illuminating tinted moisturizer packs a major punch. It contains glycerin, which leaves skin feeling soft and plump while dimethicone wards off dryness throughout the day.
“Dimethicone reduces transepidermal water loss, which is when water escapes through the skin and into the atmosphere, so it works long-term to increase skin’s hydration,” explains Wilson. And thanks to the smallest, tiniest shimmery gold particles, you’re left with a natural, allover glow that will have people asking if you just got back from vacation.
Just like Clinique’s beloved Moisture Surge cream, the Sheertint Hydrator penetrates deep beneath the skin to hydrate and calm the skin — that’s thanks to its strong concentration of cucumber extract, aloe, and hyaluronic acid.
Josie Maran’s Protect + Perfect is less of a tinted moisturizer and more of a tinted sunscreen, and we’ll take all the sun protection we can get. Alongside its SPF 47, this formula is very lightly tinted with pigments in one tan shade, giving it just enough color to mask slight skin imperfections and give its wearer and warm, sun-tanned look.
L’Oréal Paris Visible Lift Luminous Serum Tinted Moisturizer
Consider L’Oréal’s Visible Lift Luminous Serum the perfect solution to skin that needs an extra boost of shimmer for radiance. Available in five warm shades, this tinted moisturizer acts more like a highlighter than your average formula, so feel free to pat a little extra on all the high points of your face.
It’s not shocking at all that a brand that Neutrogena could deliver one of the best tinted moisturizer formulas out there with ingredients like vitamins A, C, and E. On top of all those antioxidants, Healthy Skin Tinted Moisturizer also contains small pearlescent pigment that provide a glowing, dewy sheen.
Sensitive-skinned girls, Nars has got one just for you. The silky-smooth Radian Tinted Moisturizer has a formula that’s both oil-free and made without parabens or synthetic fragrances, so you won’t have to worry about irritation or clogged pores.
“This is a really great product to apply with your fingertips; it’s super sheer and easy to blend,” says makeup artist Ashleigh Ciucci. “Or you can tap it on with a sponge to build subtle coverage.” Its barely-there coverage might be a little too light for those with post-breakout redness or discoloration, though, so have a concealer on hand for touch-ups.
This highly rated tinted moisturizer formula from No7 is a fan-favorite for low-effort application and comfortable light coverage. Although it contains SPF 15 for sun protection, we still recommend wearing an SPF 30 or higher underneath it, especially if you plan to go outside.
This thick and creamy skin tint from Philosophy has slightly higher coverage than other tinted moisturizer, according to Dall’Asen. But you can still apply it directly with the fingers just like you would your favorite moisturizer for effortless all-over coverage with a slightly matte finish.
Digitally savvy make-up, a product trend loved by beauty professionals for its camera-ready luminosity, became more relevant than ever when we found ourselves socialising and working from our homes. Thanks to technical formulations and sheer textures, this wave of on-screen glow-givers enhance rather than erase, championing picture-perfect skin that, crucially, still looks natural in reality.
Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lip & Cheek Glow in Colour of Passion
A magical NEW! addition to Charlotte’s ICONIC Pillow Talk collection! Colour of Passion is a deep blushing berry-pink cream blush & lip tint.
Ultra-lightweight and comfortable, the moisturiser offers a barely-there feel on the skin, perfect for even bare-skin enthusiasts. Offering up to 24 hours of hydration, the moisturiser evens out the skin tone and provides a radiant finish. Antioxidants help to reinforce the skin’s natural defences against the damaging effects of daily environmental aggressors such as pollution. Enhance the natural beauty of your skin with this glowing formula.
Infused with a host of skincare benefits, the weightless foundation utilises Butterfly Bush Flower Extract to help protect the skin against potential damage caused by environmental aggressors. Hyaluronic Acid releases a nourishing burst of hydration, helping the skin to better maintain a supple and silky appearance.
Infused with light-reflecting micro-minerals that impart a fresh, dewy glow, the lightweight cream embraces your skin with essential moisture to plump and cushion. An energising blend of Kombucha, prebiotics and fermented Ginger is what powers this nourishing formula, bringing collective anti-ageing properties. Also enriched with fermented Green Tea Seed oil, the formula supports a healthy barrier function and respects the skin’s delicate microbiome.
The best in bronze, NARS presents the award-winningBronzing Powder.Available in four shimmering shades, this fabulous bronzer graces the skin with a sun kissed glow. Creating natural looking luminosity, the velvety texture melts into the skin for effortless blendability. Crafted from diffused powders, the formula delivers warmth and definition wherever you choose, bronzing the skin with a tanned tone. Finely milled, the powder is silky smooth and super blendable, applying evenly for a seamless finish. Thanks to its long lasting formula, this bronzer solemnly swears to stay in place all night long, keeping your makeup perfect so that you feel fresh and fierce. Choose the best, and don’t settle for less, with this infamous bronzer.
This lightweight Veil Soft Focus Setting Spray not only sets make up while blurring imperfections, it also hydrates and grants a dewy finish. Undetectable on the skin and applied via the finest mist you’ll ever come across, this hydrating mist creates a smooth, even and naturally radiant appearance for a healthy-looking complexion. The spray’s water-resistant properties also enhance foundation for maximum staying power, setting it in place for up to 24 hours. It’s our new obsession and it’s about to become your too.
Flecked with micro-shimmers, La Mer’s velvety bronzing powder creates a luminous sunkissed glow. It’s formulated with the vitamin-rich Miracle Broth™ to support a nourished, hydrated complexion with every swipe. Blend on the high points of your face to mirror a fresh-from-the-beach tan or use it to softly contour.
Perfect for everyday wear, Marc Jacobs Beauty’s light-reflecting Glow Away Dewy Coconut Face Luminzer with a doe-foot applicator makes it effortless to spot highlight your features for a dewy, lit-from-within look. With soothing and skin-conditioning ingredients, the lightweight, serum-like formula feels cushiony and blends like a dream.
My first reaction to hearing about the new Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Serum was, “Plum is the star ingredient, really?” I stand by the opinion that, as stone fruits go, plums are objectively not the tastiest choice (and neither are their dried and mushy twins, prunes).
Since this is Glow Recipe we’re talking about, though, I was willing to set aside my preconceived judgments and give the brand’s latest K-beauty formula a chance. While plum might not be something I get excited about under other circumstances, if you put it in a cute bottle with hyaluronic acid and a skin-plumping serum, you have my attention.
According to cofounder and co-CEO Christine Chang, the unassuming plum actually has a lot going on beneath the surface. “We used a blend of three different plums that have unique benefits,” she says. “Kakadu plum has the highest concentration of vitamin C, so it’s both brightening and a powerful fighter against fine lines and wrinkles. Illawarra plum is concentrated in anthocyanins, an antioxidant. The Burdekin plum is rich in soothing minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium, which are beneficial for your skin.”
The fruit’s antioxidant-rich properties also pair well with hyaluronic acid, the other key ingredient in this formula. You’ve probably seen H.A. in most of your hydrating skin-care products due to its ability to absorb and hold mass amounts of water. “It plumps and adds volume to your skin cells to make your skin more radiant and smooth,” says Jessica Weiser, M.D., of the New York Dermatology Group.
As the name implies, that’s the goal of Plum Plump. Cofounder and co-CEO Sarah Lee says the team set out to create a daily-use serum that could be used to enhance glow for any skin type. “We wanted to achieve the ultimate bouncy, juicy skin,” she says. “In Korea, this is called chok-chok skin, and it’s characterized by a hydrated glow.” Along with five molecular weights of hyaluronic acid (think instant maximum hydration), Glow Recipe also includes plant-based versions of collagen and silk protein, which boost the serum’s moisturizing effects.
As said by one GLAMOUR reviewer: “The most noticeable difference from previous Glow Recipe serums I’ve tried was the dramatic plumping, smoothing effect, especially on the dry sections of skin around my nose and cheeks. As someone who wakes up daily to the phone reminder to #WearYourDamnMask, I have spent a good chunk of 2020 wearing said mask, and that mask in turn has inevitably worn out my face. A combination of irritation and overly drying acne treatments left the lower half of my complexion in less than ideal condition. A few days (and nights) of Plum Plump later, and you wouldn’t even know it. It erased every flaky patch in sight, didn’t clog my pores, and gently put me back on the path to the coveted chok-chok skin I thought was beyond my reach.”
“Chang and Lee told me that in the process of testing Glow Recipe’s latest launch, they sometimes layered it with other serums for added hydration or glow-enhancing benefits, but I didn’t feel the need to cocktail it with any other formulas. A thin coat of moisturizer on top to seal those benefits in, and I was sufficiently illuminated even by my high standards. I still haven’t changed my opinion on plums as a food choice, but after experiencing the results of this serum firsthand, I’ll happily welcome them to join my beauty routine anytime.”
With an ultra-fine texture, state of the art technology and a naturally luminous finish, there are so many things that make the Luminous Silk foundation one of the top products by Armani. Since its launch, the first foundation for the brand has become a true reference point both for makeup professionals and the everyday user to the point that now two are sold every minute around the world. It was said from the start that product was created to the embody the sole philosophy of the house: to enhance the skin without overdoing or changing it too much. The secret to its incredible formula? The Micro-Fil technology, directly inspired by silk, which combines an airy texture with the intensity of the pigments. Its particles diffuse and intensify the light in an astonishing way: the skin immediately gains radiance, purity and vitality. In the end, the complexion is fresh as if you had just returned from a walk in the fresh air, without any material effect. Now available in 30 shades and available as a concealer and primer, Luminous Silk has not finished pleasing the beauty community.