How to Create an Easy, Wearable Glass Skin Makeup Look

Woman Having Makeup Applied to Her Cheeks on a Designed Background
Byrdie | Design by Julie Bang .

The glass skin trend originated on the K-beauty circuit, and is meant to describe skin that looks smooth, poreless, and illuminated (so illuminated that it's almost reflective, like glass). And while the term is often associated with bare skin—and a seven- or eleven-step skincare routine—you can also create the look of glass skin with makeup. Just remember that skin texture is completely natural and completely normal; no one really has true, poreless glass skin, but the right products and application technique can certainly give this appearance. So without further ado, watch ahead as celebrity makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes shares exactly how to get glass skin.

Meet the Expert

Katie Jane Hughes is a celebrity and editorial makeup artist with clients among the likes of Ashley Graham, Kerry Washington, Anna Kendrick, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and more.

Step One: Lightly Exfoliate With Toner and a Cotton Round

bare minerals
BareMinerals Mineral Cleansing Water $18.00

Hughes starts her glass skin tutorial with some gentle exfoliation. She uses the above toner and a cotton round to gently sweep away any dirt, oil, or dead skin cells that might contribute to her overall skin texture in order to create as smooth as a canvas as possible for the subsequent steps.

Step Two: Mist, Avoiding the T-zone

tatcha face mist
Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist $48.00

Hughes continues building her ideal base for glass skin makeup by misting directly on top of the toner she just applied in step one. The mist helps illuminate and moisturize the skin, but when applying, be sure to avoid any areas where you don't want to exacerbate shine. Glass skin is all about supple cheeks, but the T-zone is typically more mattified. As such, concentrate mist on the cheeks and perimeter of the face.

Step Three: Hydrate Lips With Lip Balm

Aquaphor Lip Repair $4.00

Hughes recommends hydrating your lips once you've toned and misted before proceeding with the rest of your glass skin routine. This ensures that your lip balm will sink in completely by the time you're ready to apply any pigment to your lips later on.

Step Four: Moisturize With a Rich, Emollient Cream

triple lipid restore skin ceuticals
SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 $128.00

"So for me glass skin starts with a rich, thick, intense, emollient skincare product," says Hughes. "I love [this one] because it produces so much shine, but it's also so good for the skin. I'm putting it on all of the high points first, specifically because I want to build that shine in those places. I'm rubbing it in enough, but not too much because if you rub it in too much you may erase the texture of the product, and the texture of the product is what's giving me that shine."

Step Five: Apply a Glowy Foundation or BB Cream

candid glow
Revlon PhotoReady Candid Anti-Pollution Foundation $6.00

"This is Candid Glow from Revlon, it's an anti-pollution, glowy foundation. It's quite sheer," says Hughes. "It's going to give a fresh, sort of evenness to the skin. I'm applying it with a Rae Morris foundation brush, I love applying foundation with powder brushes because it puts [the product] on almost how a beautyblender would. I just personally prefer brushes, it's just what I've grown up with in makeup."

Hughes recommends using a patting application method to help reduce any streaks you might create by sweeping your foundation brush too forcefully.

Step Six: Highlight... With Lipstick

revlon lipstick
Revlon Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Sparkling Quartz $10.00

"This is an absolute makeup artist back pocket trick: Don't use products for their intended purpose. Break the rules," says Hughes, who recommends using this Revlon lip product on—wait for it—your cheekbones. "This is a brand new product that I literally fell over myself to put in every single one of my makeup bags. It's just a stick of gloss that will allow for that radiance to just stay all day because of the physical, shiny texture." Hughes recommends rubbing the formula onto your fingers and pressing products anywhere you'd like to have that glassy effect (like the cheekbones, down the bridge of the nose, and on your eyelids).

Step Seven: Powder Away Any Unwanted Shine

charlotte tilbury
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder $45.00

It's inevitable that you might have some glow where you don't want it, but Hughes says you can simply "erase" it with a little setting powder. Use a smaller powder brush (roughly the size of your finger tip) so you can get into those tighter areas, like the sides of the nose and the under eyes without powdering down any wanted shine. Hughes finishes the look off with another spritz of the Tatcha mist from step two for a natural, dewy finish.

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