Saie Glowy Super Gel Is a Powerhouse Illuminator—And Worth the Hype

Discover two ways to wear the dewy highlighter

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Saie Glowy Super Gel

Byrdie / Samantha Leal

We put the Saie Glowy Super Gel  to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.

Saie Glowy Super Gel is, well, an overachiever. Not only does it work as an illuminator (you can apply it on your bare face or done up with other products), it can also work overtime when you mix it into your foundation to give a lit-from-within glow. This also makes your makeup look fresher, and less like makeup. I’m not one for falling in love at first sight, but Saie’s Glowy Super Gel may have just changed my mind. (And I’m not the only one–it’s gone viral on TikTok in the past for helping users achieve picture-perfect skin.) 

The Saie Glowy Super Gel is different from other illuminators in that it features a ton of good-for-your-skin ingredients, including papaya seed oil (which is anti-inflammatory), vitamin C (for brightening), and rosa canina fruit oil (to nourish). It’s gentle, fragrance- and cruelty-free, gluten-free, and vegan. This product is not shimmery or glittery like other illuminators can be—it’s distinctly glowy (hence the name). 

Saie Glowy Super Gel Lightweight Dewy Highlighter


Shop now: Saie Glowy Super Gel, $28 

 “It’s super lightweight and doesn’t feel like another ‘layer’ of makeup, and it was super easy to get to the right amount of glow by blending it out with my fingers. And because it comes in a pump, it’s easy to apply as well.”

Saie’s Glowy Super Gel is a water-based (75%) fluid that comes in two shades, Starglow (a light, champagne-like color) and Sunglow (a warm bronze). It's forgiving and super blendable. 

Saie Product

Byrdie / Samantha Leal

When I first tried Saie Glowy Super Gel, I’ll note that I used entirely way too much. “My go-to is to simply apply one to two pumps and press into skin with my fingers,” says Stevie Adams, Director of Education and Resident Makeup Artist for Saie. “I personally love to sandwich my routine by using Glowy Super Gel before, as a primer, and after foundation, as a highlighter.” 

A little product goes a long way with these illuminators—and I eventually used the tiniest amount and got exactly the glowy look I was aiming for when I applied it right on the apples of my cheeks and moved it up to the high parts of my cheekbones with my fingers. I also used some on my Cupid’s bow for some extra lift. 

I first applied product to my bare skin to see how it would look with just a touch of mascara. Loved it!  I then finished my full makeup look with the illuminator, and found that this approach made me look fresh and vibrant. This is a great trick to make makeup look more natural. In short—whether you choose to go bare or full-face, this product can add dimension to your look. 

It’s super lightweight and doesn’t feel like another “layer” of makeup, and it was super easy to get to the right amount of “glow” by blending it out with my fingers. And because it comes in a pump, it’s easy to apply as well. (Bonus—the pump is recyclable.) 

Skin Type: Good for Everyone

Saie’s Glowy Super Gel is packed with lots of good skincare ingredients, including brightening Vitamin C and nourishing rosa canina seed oil. As a water-based illuminator, it can be used on all skin types and with most (if not all) foundations. 

“Saie’s products are created for all skin types and with sensitive skin in mind,” says Adams. “Glowy Super Gel is packed with hydrating and brightening ingredients that have universal benefits for anyone that is looking for some extra love. Because it’s so lightweight, oily skin types will love this product for glow since it won’t feel heavy or make them look oily. Dry skin will love it because of the moisturizing rose hip and plant-derived glycerin that traps hydration in the skin.” 

I have combination skin, with oily chin and cheeks and dry, well, pretty much everywhere else. When I used this on bare skin, the formula sunk in just enough to look good and feel good while still feeling super lightweight. When I used it after applying my normal makeup routine, I found it added just the right amount of dewiness and glow without adding a greasy or oily texture. I could blend it out with ease, though, again, it’s easy to go overboard with this product since a little goes a long way—so it did take me a second try after my initial try to get it just right. I used my fingers before trying it with a brush, and found my fingers to be easier and more precise when it came to application and getting the results I wanted. 

Saie Glowy

Byrdie / Samantha Leal

Bare skin, prepping for application

How to Apply Saie Glowy Super Gel 

All skin types can use the Saie Glowy Super Gel however you want, though you might want to lean into your skin type to deliver the best results. “I would mix with a moisturizer if you have more dry skin,” says makeup artist Lydia Sellers. “If your skin is oily, you can mix with a primer and use only in the areas you want to shine (high cheekbones, bridge of nose, Cupid’s bow) this would allow you to continue to use the primer as normal on the other areas of the face.” Adams notes that her favorite way to apply is, as mentioned, with fingertips, and Sellers notes that you can apply this gel “with your fingertips, a wet blender sponge, or even with a foundation brush or some type of small brush with synthetic bristles.”  

Saie Sunglow and Leal Starglow

Byrdie / Samantha Leal

Saie Glowy Super Gel in Sunglow (right) and Starglow (left)

Value: Absolutely Worth It 

This product is going to last, making the $28 price tag worth it to me. (When I say I used a nickel-sized amount that gave me all the glow I wanted, I am not lying.) It’s easy to apply with its recyclable pump bottle, and delivers glowy results that don’t feel like you’ve just doused your face in shimmer. The Sunglow provides a warm, bronzed glow and the Starglow provides a champagne-colored glow, and you can even use both together for even more impact. 

While there are some drugstore highlighters that feature similar ingredients (L'Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer, $16, and NYX Professional Makeup Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator, $8), the Saie Super Glowy Gel shows up on all skin tones with no white cast (so no need to guess what shade you should go for) and is vegan and cruelty-free, with a pump bottle that, again, makes for really easy application. 

Leal Starglow

Byrdie / Samantha Leal

After application of Saie Glowy Super Gel

What You Can Expect to Pay 

Illuminators and highlighters can go from super affordable, drugstore options (aka around $7) to super luxury, expensive options (aka $48 and up). The Saie Glowy Super Gel illuminator clocks in in the mid-range, at $28. But with as little as you will need to use per application and the bottle holding 30 milliliters of product, you’ll be set for quite some time. 

The Final Verdict: Get It Now

The Saie Super Glowy Gel delivers on everything it promises—it leaves a glowy and dewy finish (without being too juvenile-y shimmery), it can be used in a ton of different ways—mixed into foundation, used to highlight different facial features, on bare skin, blended into makeup, and it’s good for you (with skin nurturing ingredients like papaya seed oil and Vitamin C).  We love that it’s also good for the environment (it’s cruelty-free, vegan, and recyclable). Overall, it’s my new beauty obsession and one that I’ll be using regularly. 

Meet the Expert

Lydia Sellers is a celebrity makeup artist who works everything from editorial and commercial campaigns to Red Carpet events. She specializes in makeup-skincare hybrids and dewy makeup looks for a fresh face.

  • What is an illuminating gel?

    “An illuminating gel is a formula that is meant to go onto skin underneath foundation or on top to give a dewy glow that soaks into skin, so the skin feels and looks illuminated and lit from within,” says Sellers. Illuminating gels work to give skin a radiant, glowing appearance with light-reflecting pigments or shimmer particles that help to reflect light and create the illusion of a more luminous complexion. 

  • What does an illuminating gel do?

    Illuminating gels reflect light and give a glowy, dewy, or shimmery finish to the skin. They can be used to highlight the high points of the face as a highlighter, mixed in with foundation to create a glowier finish, or mixed in with a primer or used as a primer to create a smooth base and give a subtle, foundational glow. 

  • What are the benefits of using an illuminating gel?

    Using an illuminating gel can give your skin a radiant, more glowing appearance, since they reflect light and create a brighter complexion. You can accentuate your features and add definition to your face with an illuminating gel, or enhance your look as a finisher to your everyday routine. Many illuminating gels also feature good-for-skin ingredients, to help the health and appearance of your skin. “You can use it on its own for a fresh faced glow look or under makeup,” says Sellers.

  • What skin types does an illuminating gel work best on?

    Illuminating gels work on all skin types, from oily to dry, and Saie’s Glowy Super Gel was also formulated with sensitive skin in mind. 

Why Trust Byrdie

Samantha Leal is a lifestyle and beauty journalist with more than 13 years of experience. She was trained by Mark/Avon Cosmetics as a makeup artist under their college ambassador program, and has been writing, editing, and reviewing makeup and beauty products ever since. Leal tested the Saie Glowy Super Gel in both shades, Sunglow and Starglow, and after consulting with a makeup artist, considered two application techniques: on bare skin and over makeup.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Al-Niaimi F, Chiang NYZ. Topical Vitamin C and the Skin: Mechanisms of Action and Clinical Applications. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2017;10(7):14-17.

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