If the first half of the 2010s was defined by matte skin (topped with a red-carpet-worthy contour) and the latter half by a dewy glow, it's only fitting that the 2020s start out combining the best of both worlds.
Call it "Satin-Pillow Skin," a phrase coined by Glow Recipe for its new Strawberry BHA Pore-Smooth Blur Drops, which officially launches on Tuesday, February 28. The finish is matte(ish) but not flat, with a soft-focus glow and a smooth, even, and pore-minimized texture: Think backlit photo of an Old Hollywood movie star, but in color.
We chatted with Glow Recipe co-founders Sarah Lee and Christine Chang to find out more about the launch. Read on for what they had to say and for our product review.
If you keep up to date with viral beauty products, you’re likely to know Glow Recipe through its influencer-beloved, gleam-inducing Watermelon Niacinamide Dew Drops. The Strawberry BHA Pore-Smooth Blur Drops can be thought of as the other, softer side of that complexion coin. “Following the viral success of Dew Drops, which has become our number one SKU globally, we wanted to introduce a skincare-makeup hybrid treatment that provides a soft-focus, satin-skin finish, or what we like to call 'Satin-Pillow Skin,'” says Lee.
While dewy skin has defined the last several years, more mattified finishes are making a resurgence–and this go round, Glow Recipe is defining that look as anything but flat. “We wanted a product that makes you look and feel satin smooth without the compromise of hydration to avoid the dryness or tightness found in most matte products on the market today,” says Chang.
The goal of creating a skincare-makeup hybrid was achieved by combining ingredients that work right away and over time. “Treating pores is the number one skin concern from our community, which we wanted to address in a targeted way in both immediate and long-term results,” says Lee. “We know that even the die-hard Dew Drops user who wants luminous skin still wants to control shine in their t-zone area, often turning to powder throughout the day,” adds Chang.
Tapioca and rice provide immediate benefits—smoothing uneven texture, reducing pore visibility, and tempering excess oil—while dual-encapsulated BHA and strawberry enzyme treat the skin gradually. “When used as a treatment encapsulated BHA combined with strawberry enzymes, which are naturally rich in salicylic acid, refines pores and treats uneven texture,” says Lee.
How to Use It
Befitting its makeup as skincare/skincare as makeup raison d’etre, the Blur Drops can be used as—you guessed it—either a treatment or a makeup primer. “As treatments, Dew Drops can be used in the evening as a niacinamide serum to treat hyperpigmentation, followed by Blur Drops in the morning to blur pores and control oil throughout the day,” says Lee, while Chang notes that she uses the Dew Drops on the high points of her face and the Blur Drops on her t-zone, “to provide a gorgeous contrast from dewy to satin.”
And, thanks to its silicone-free formula, you’re less likely to encounter any dreaded pilling when using the Blur Drops as a primer for your makeup. “I found that when I prepped the skin with Blur Drops on photo shoots, it gave me a luminous yet soft-focus matte effect with little or no powder,” says professional makeup artist Kale Teter. “Application of foundation and concealer over this product is very smooth, even, and stays put.”
Full disclosure: I haven’t used the Blur Drops long enough to speak to their efficacy as a skincare treatment, so for this review, I’ll be sticking to the short-term benefits.
I’ve worn the Blur Drops under two separate foundations—one with a luminous finish and one with a natural—and I didn’t use any powder or setting spray over either. I would say that under both, the product kind of functioned as powder on my combination skin. And by that I mean the finishes maintained their integrity; the luminous foundation looked luminous without looking greasy, and the natural-finish foundation… looked luminous without looking greasy. (Though I’ve worn this particular foundation a number of times and it pretty much always looks more luminous on me than natural).
I find that my Blur Drops preference is similar to Chang’s: It’s a great way to keep my foundation from separating in the t-zone. I’m by far most impressed by how it minimizes the visibility of my pores. On most days you can truly see mine from outer space, but the Blur Drops do a phenomenal job of giving me a smoother, less textured visage, even in areas that I’ve gone over with highlighter (a feat!).
I’m excited to keep using this one and to see what long-term benefits it can yield, considering it has those short-term benefits on lock.
The Glow Recipe Strawberry BHA Pore-Smooth Blur Drops will be available beginning Monday, February 27 on the Sephora App and on Tuesday, February 28 exclusively at Sephora.com.