I'll cut right to the chase: These are my favorite beauty products for scoring an unprecedented, filter-free glow. I'm not a fan of OTT makeup or difficult-to-maintain regimens, so that's why I'll sometimes spend the extra $$ on a top-shelf product that really works. I was genuinely shocked at the efficacy of these products.
1. The Treatment: Renée Rouleau Triple Berry Smoothing Peel ($87)
I invested in one of Demi Lovato's favorite face masks because Renée Rouleau's products are top-of-the-line. It's expensive, but legit; I'm always pleased with purchases from RR. This at-home chemical peel goes on red and makes for fabulously creepy selfies (I sent one to my Aunt and her response was, "What happened?!"). Once you wash it off, dullness will be a distant memory. Plus, it's high quality and uses the natural citrus-power of berries (and all their naturally-occurring antioxidants) to exfoliate off those dead skin cells and surface-level sun damage and hyper-pigmentation.
2. The Daily Exfoliator: Replenix Acne Solutions Gly/Sal 2-2 Pads ($18)
There are a number of brightening peel pads that are safe for daily use, but I go for the gentlest exfoliators of the chemical bunch with 2% concentrations of Glycolic and Salicylic Acid. This prevents any irritation or peeling while immediately removing dead, complexion-dulling skin cells. I get them right from my dermatologist, Dr. Neda Mehr of Pure Dermatology.
Since you can't buy her line online just yet, these pads by Replenix come pretty close. When I'm too lazy to drive all the way to Newport Beach, I just order these off Amazon! Hint: You can also look for exfoliators that include Lactic Acid. I've heard amazing things about Sunday Riley's Good Genes Treatment, but haven't tried it for myself because I've had such good luck with these.
3. The Face Mask: SK-II Facial Treatment Mask ($17 apiece/ $66 for 6).
Each cotton sheet mask is soaked in the line's signature Pitera solution. It was said to be discovered after the workers in a sake factory's hands were significantly buffered from the signs of age thanks to the previously unknown skin-nourishing properties in the solution. The hydrating, plumping masks contain amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and organic acids and seriously work. I don't use the face masks as often as I'd like because they're expensive, but I use them before important events because I always notice a brightened, more luminous complexion. While you can buy the essence on its own for everyday use, these concentrated sheet masks are extra-potent and great for travel. The result is subtle but fabulous. They're favorites of celebrities like J. Lo and Chrissy Teigen.
4. The Serum: Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum ($85)
This is a holy grail product for me. At this point, I've included it in countless articles on Brit + Co. and now Top5. Containing a form of vitamin C that's prescription strength in Japan, THD ascorbate, I literally noticed a difference after my very first application. I normally put on vitamin C serum for my AM regimen, but if you put it on before bed, you'll wake up with extra-glowiness the next day. The first time I did this, my boyfriend, Tom, literally asked me if I was wearing makeup first thing in the AM. It also makes your skin super soft, protects it from environmental + sun damage, and disguises uneven skin tone like a champ. I adore this product so much I got it for my BFF's 30th birthday present!
5. The Cream: Erborian Glow Face Illuminating Creme ($35)
Erborian sent me this glow-enhancing creme because it's one of their best-sellers. It goes on with a slight, pearlescent finish and has a bomb blurring effect. To be honest, I don't like to layer all that many cosmetics if I'll be wearing liquid foundation or tinted moisturizer of any kind because my skin is too sensitive for that... But, on days when I'm just opting for powder, this layers nicely underneath like a primer.
6. The Highlighter: RMS Beauty Living Luminizer ($38)
I don't go crazy with highlighters — ever — but I have used a couple to give my cheekbones a subtle contoured effect. The ones I've used most often are the handmade Bobbi Brown Bronze Shimmer Brick Compact ($48) and TooFaced Candlelight Glow Highlighting Duo ($30). However, I'm going green in 2018, and I'll be switching over to cult-favorite RMS Beauty's top-selling Living Luminizer. It's non-toxic, green, and absolutely raved about in the beauty world! The non-sticky cream was used on J. Crew's models and now comes in a four-shade palette, as well — RMS Beauty Luminizer Quad ($48). Green beauty is seriously the way of the future — and Luxury Green Beauty in particular will be the way of my future.
7. The Face Mist: January Labs Restorative Tonic Mist ($24), Herbivore Botanicals Rose Hibiscus ($32), Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist ($42)
January Labs' Restorative Tonic Mist is the green version of Clinique's hydrating face-mist, and I like it because it contains anti-inflammatory ingredients that soothe and calm the skin. This is especially important for those of us with temperamental or breakout-prone skin types.
Herbivore Botanicals Rose Hibiscus Spray is another industry-leading product that hydrates and imparts a healthy-looking glow using plant-based ingredients. It's got tons of top reviews among beauty addicts and gives you instant glow when used throughout the day.
Lastly, Tatcha's Luminous Dewy Skin Mist is the celebrity-favorite face mist of the bunch. It gives you major dewiness and works great as a pre-makeup spritzer. I use Tatcha's Camellia Oil Face Cleanser and think this luxe brand is worth the splurge. P.S. This product is a favorite of actress Christina Ricci and Kim Kardashian West.
8. The Tinted SPF: Pevonia Botanicals Ligne Speciale YouthRenew Tinted Cream SPF 30 ($51)
Finally, I've noticed that Pevonia's anti-aging tinted moisturizer photographs gorgeously. This top-rated, luxury skincare line uses a Flash Action Unisphere formula that brightens, firms, and provides you with coverage, in addition to providing you with sun protection. Funnily enough, I usually use this product at night. While I don't rely on it as my SPF, I use it like a liquid foundation for when my usual powder alone isn't providing the right amount of coverage.
Lastly, I don't use all of these products everyday! I just reach for the skincare soldiers in this lineup for special occasions, events, or nights out when I want my skin to stand-out in photographs.
The products from the list above that I used to get the glow I achieved in this photo are:
- Pure Dermatology Gly/Sal 2-2 Pads, or Replenix Gly/Sal 2-2 Pads ($15)
- SK-II Facial Treatment Mask ($17)
- Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum ($85)
- Pevonia Botanicals Ligne Spéciale YouthRenew Tinted Cream SPF 30 ($51)
- Too Faced Candlelight Glow Highlighting Power Duo in Rosy Glow ($30)
What are your go-to glow-getters? Let me know — I'm always looking for rec's!