Dewy makeup features everything we love to see in a beauty look. It’s easy to apply and wear, and most importantly, it looks amazing. Thanks to droves of influencers sharing “glazed donut” routines, you’re likely already familiar with the look: smooth, supple, hydrated skin that shines in all the right places. The end result looks perfectly natural, but spoiler alert: Many were not born this way. Instead, they rely on an easy dewy makeup look to get their glow on. Lucky for you, we’re spilling all the secrets to perfecting the dewy, glossy makeup trend. So, stash those blotting papers away and keep scrolling.
What Is Dewy Makeup vs. Glossy Makeup?
Creating a dewy makeup look involves adding a natural sheen to the skin for a lit-from-within glow. Sometimes, it can almost make you look slightly sweaty—but in a good way—like you just stepped out of a sauna. Glossy makeup, on the other hand, kicks things up a notch. It’s less subtle than its dewy counterpart, with a more noticeably reflective, high-shine finish. Though slightly different, the two terms are often used interchangeably. It’s also possible to be both dewy and glossy—in fact, it makes for a stunning look.
Laying the Base for Dewy Makeup
One of the main queries beauty enthusiasts ask is what to put under makeup for a dewy look. Like a house built on a solid infrastructure, dewy, glossy skin is all about the base. Thoroughly prepping your skin at the beginning of your dewy makeup routine ultimately determines how much you’ll glow. Prep usually involves removing impurities via a cleanser and eliminating dead skin cells with a toner, physical exfoliator, or both. Afterward, your skin will be a fresh canvas for the rest of your skincare and makeup routines.
A primer is the next key component in your base regimen because it’ll help keep your makeup on lock. We generally recommend choosing a primer based on your skin type. However, if you’re after that dewy, glazed finish, we suggest water-based primers. These formulas are often made with hydrating ingredients (like hyaluronic acid) and can help plump your skin with moisture, enhancing the dewy effect. Check out our article How to Pick the Right Makeup Primer if you’d like more guidance.
What’s the Best Dewy Makeup?
Two types of face makeup work especially well for glossy looks: radiant foundations and tinted moisturizers.
Radiance-boosting foundations contain luminescent particles that catch and reflect the light, adding a subtle dewy glow to your look. Tinted moisturizers, on the other hand, are a great option for those with drier skin or who favor less coverage. These pigmented moisturizers help hydrate skin for a naturally glossy-looking finish.
Pros recommend using liquid and cream products, specifically, as they can be warmed by your fingertips or your natural body temperature so they blend easily. Best of all, many of these products are buildable, so you can go as sheer or opaque as you’d like.
Products Needed for a Dewy Makeup Look
In addition to the items listed above, here’s a complete list of what to have at the ready for curating your dewy makeup routine.
- Exfoliating scrub and/or toner
- Lightweight moisturizer
- Hydrating primer
- Liquid foundation or tinted moisturizer
- Setting spray
How to Create Dewy Makeup in 6 Easy Steps
With your products in hand, you’re ready to start painting your canvas—you!
1. Prep Your Skin
As mentioned, skin prep is an essential part of nailing your dewy makeup. After cleansing skin with your preferred formula, you can use an exfoliant to help slough off dry, dead skin cells that linger on skin’s surface.
2. Moisturize and Prime Your Skin
So your skin is primed and ready—now what? Moisturizer will be the bread and butter of your glossy makeup look—it’s that important. We recommend Face Freezie Cooling Primer + Moisturizer, which is infused with snow mushroom and niacinamide for all-day hydration and makeup-ready skin. Its versatility is also a major win—this skincare-makeup hybrid can be worn alone for an instantly dewy look or under your makeup since it doubles as a primer. If you use a moisturizer that doesn’t prime your skin, follow it with Plump Right Back Primer + Serum. Formulated with electrolytes and vitamins, it adds moisture to the skin for a plump, radiant look that’s never oily.
3. Apply Your Dewy Face Makeup
The real magic happens here when you apply your luminous foundation or tinted moisturizer. Dewy, glossy makeup is similar to the minimalism of a no-makeup look, so you’ll want to use a light hand to achieve the most natural-looking result. We suggest applying a pea-sized amount with your clean fingertips for a sheerer, skin-like effect.
4. Blend Your Creamy Blush
A healthy flush is an almost non-negotiable part of your dewy makeup look. Creams are great picks for the job due to their ultra-blendable formulas. Try our Wonder Stick Blush, which colors, shapes, and blends onto skin like a wonder.
Our Virtual Try On tool can help you find the most flattering blush shades for your skin tone and undertones. To further hone in on the craft of blush, read our article How to Apply Blush Based On Your Face Shape.
5. Enhance Your Features With Highlighter
Strategically-applied highlighter is like icing on the cake for your dewy makeup: It makes everything sweeter. Sticks and pencils with targeted tips are ideal for adding precise strokes of radiant shimmer right where you need them most.
Run the highlighter side of the Wonder Stick Contour and Highlighter Stick over the tops of your cheekbones, below your brow bones, and down the bridge of your nose. Then, use Wonder Pencil Micro Highlighter Pencil to highlight your cupid’s bow and make the inner corners of your eyes pop.
6. Set Your Dewy Makeup Look
This is when we’d normally say to set your makeup with a translucent powder, but we don’t want to compromise that dewy finish. In this case, look to setting spray to save the day. We’re partial to Plump Finish Setting Spray to extend makeup wear without disrupting its appearance and give skin a moisturized, healthy look.
If you need to tamp down excess shine throughout the day, keep a pack of our Blotting Papers within reach. Tap one sheet ever-so-gently onto problem areas, and you’re good to go.
How to Take Your Dewy Makeup Look to the Next Level
Glazed goodness doesn’t stop at the skin. You can also score glossy lips, lids, and even a dewy decolletage, which can help tie the whole look together, so you’re the pinnacle of hydrated skin.
Let’s face it: lips are the OGs of glossiness. Give them back some of their thunder with a swipe of gloss.
Our hydrating Fat Oil Lip Drip is rich in shine and available in eight muted, universally-flattering tints to perfectly complement your dewy makeup. For a brighter pout, look no further than our fan-favorite Butter Gloss Non-Sticky Lip Gloss. Take your pick from 30 shades, including clear. And since makeup is all about expressing yourself, you can certainly rock a bolder, more saturated glossy lip to suit your signature style. The dual applicator in our Shine Loud High Shine Lip Color lets you have the best of both worlds. One end houses clear gloss, while the other side contains color. Pair them together for a vivid, glass-like finish, or use the gloss alone when you prefer a more understated look.
Pro Tip: If you decide to play up your lips, go for a more neutral eye (and vice versa) to help balance out your features.
Want to extend that morning dew appearance to your lids? It’s possible with a luminous eyeshadow. We can’t get enough of the Ultimate Glow Shots Liquid Eyeshadow, especially in earthier shades like Golden Goji, Wow Cacao, and $ix Fig$. They’re perfect for keeping your eye makeup light and fresh. A little goes a long way, too. Apply a thin coat of the liquid shadow to your lids and gently diffuse out using your fingertip or a small fluffy brush.
You may wonder how your brows fit into your glossy regimen. The secret is to keep them natural but tame so they don’t look overdone compared to your fresh-faced complexion. Take a cue from the laminated eyebrow trend and give them the right amount of lift, fullness, and definition with a few upward swipes of The Brow Glue Instant Brow Styler.
Add a soft, dispersed highlight on your collarbones and shoulders by spritzing on a luminous setting spray. You can also use a large fluffy brush to dust powder highlighter onto your décolletage. Look for warm tones, like gold, bronze, or copper to ensure you look like a glimmering goddess.
What Is Glossy, Dewy Makeup vs. Glass Skin?
How to Get Glass Skin With Makeup
If you want to fake it ‘til you make it, certain glass skin makeup products can help. The key is to look for formulas that help blur and smooth your skin so it looks almost glass-like. After prepping and hydrating (refer to step one above), pick up a pore-minimizing primer such as the Pore Filler Primer. Then, achieve instantly smooth, filter-like blurred skin using the Bare With Me Blur Tint Foundation, which is available in 24 diverse shades to enhance your color and tone.
Have you perfected your dewy makeup routine, or want to show off your glass-like skin? Tag us on Instagram @NYXCosmetics so we can see your look!
Next: : If you love a dewy look for hot summer days, our guide How to Get a Minimalist Makeup Look for Summer gives you pointers on melt-proofing your complexion.