Once upon a time—back in the early days of social media—my explore feed served up a video featuring the most hydrated, luscious skin I'd ever seen. Confronted with that glossy, plump sheen, I couldn't help but investigate further, wondering how do I get my skin to do that? Thanks to the mysterious forces of Instagram's algorithm, I had stumbled upon the magic #dewydumpling world of makeup artist Nam Vo. Naturally, I hit the "follow" button faster than you can say glow and have followed her work ever since.
Today, Nam remains one of the most beloved makeup artists in the game, renowned for her luxurious approach to skincare and signature look. With a legion of followers, countless editorials under her belt, and more soothing videos than I can count, Nam Vo is still my go-to source for all things beauty. More than just a creator of highly addictive content (shout out to this fan-favorite), she's a curator of all things makeup, skincare, and hair, quick to offer up a deep-cut product recommendation or makeup masterclass.
So, when she partnered with T.J.Maxx and Marshalls to share all her cold-weather tips and hidden beauty gems, I knew I would learn something. Ahead, read seven beauty lessons from celebrity makeup artist Nam Vo.
At-Home Skincare Tools Are More Than a Passing Trend
"This trend started taking off in 2020, but it's getting stronger and more fierce than ever: People are really investing in skincare tools. I think that COVID made everybody sit at home... it gave you a moment to be with yourself mentally, and physically, emotionally. With technology and where we are today, people are really investing in tools. People might not be able to buy a $150,000 laser, but at places like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, there are great options: they have LEDs, they have Jade rollers, they have a lot of gizmos and gadgets. So I really think that it's serious this time—people that are not even beauty-savvy are really investing in gizmos and gadgets."
Try Contrasting Textures for a Chic Winter Makeup Look
"No matter the season, I love fresh, dewy dumpling skin. And I love it with almost nothing on the face and basically just a matte, really gorgeous statement lip look—and just kind of washed out everywhere else."
Try Butterfly Lashes in 2022
"A product that I love that I think every single person should use is one we forget about—even people with long eyelashes. I love a good eyelash curler. Just a little bend and it makes you look more wide-eyed like a butterfly.
"Also, I think Euphoria is helping with this, but give your lower lashes some love. Sometimes I put on mascara [on my lower lashes], and I pinch it, so it looks like little triangles. Your eyes look like stars! Or I have found falsies that are for the lower lashes. And I think people underestimate how your eyes can look so big and stargazing if you do your lower lashes."
Exfoliating Might Be the Key to Saving Your Dry Winter Skin
"This is probably kind of counterintuitive because whenever people get dry skin, they start thinking that they don't need to exfoliate. But, I think that people have a misconception. When they get dry and flaky, they think they need to avoid exfoliating. I think it's the opposite. If you use a great exfoliator, you slough off that dead, dry skin. Then, all your other products can penetrate. So, my winter tip is both: Sometimes it's about adding thick moisturizers, sleeping masks, sheet masks, and all that jazz, but I also think you need to exfoliate that dead skin and slough it off so everything else will work better."
If You're Struggling to Commit to a Skincare Routine, Try Changing Your Mindset
"You have to change your state of mind. I grew up in an Asian household—I'm Vietnamese—and in Asian cultures, we worship good skin. So, skincare is something that's very much in the culture.
"You have to rethink the way you approach it. I feel like a queen when I put on my serums and essences, and it's a luxury. I'm taking care of myself. Like flossing or brushing my teeth, that is not enjoyable to me, but I do it because I have to. But my skincare—with all my lotions and potions—it's a moment. I take off my makeup, and I have all this stuff that I massage into my skin.
"It's self-care. And it's fun. For me, it's almost meditative when I do my little double-cleansing routine, and it's a moment for myself. So I think that people need to rethink [the commitment]: You have to value yourself, and you have to treat your face with love. And maybe you don't have to have an eight-step regimen, but you cleanse, moisturize, and wear sunscreen."
How to Get Dewy Dumpling Skin on a Budget
"Especially at places like TJ Maxx and Marshalls, there's a lot of designer finds and unique brands that people don't really think of in terms of beauty. Maybe you don't need to be as picky with a cleanser. But I think the best budget-friendly thing to do, honestly, is to wear SPF 40 morning, noon, and night.
"When you take care of your skin, by staying out of the sun and wearing SPF, you will save thousands of dollars in the future as you start to age. For most people, when they're correcting their skin, they target texture, pigmentation, and sagging, and sun damage causes all of that. I always say fix it before it's broken."
The Products She's Loving Right Now
"I bought the 2-in-1 Flat & Curling Iron ($50) that's very price-friendly. And I love it! I did my hair today, and I just put a little bend in it.
"Another thing I found is a Lip Sleeping Mask ($12) that I wear every single day. And, of course, I love highlighter. This Golden Shimmer Bronzer Stick ($8) allows you to easily apply a few light strokes to get a brighter glow."