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Although the finishing result is a “no-makeup-makeup” look with a dewy, reflective glow, achieving a glass skin effect requires more than just an iridescent highlighter. As celebrity makeup artist Kirin Bhatty tells Elite Daily, “Before you start to use makeup to achieve [glass skin], you have to start with skin care and prep — that’s what will help really create the glass skin effect.” With that in mind, the best glass skin products are skin care products that work together in a routine to minimize the appearance of your pores and promote a smooth, clear, even-looking complexion with a dewy sheen. That said, when it comes to makeup, a brightening CC cream, creamy concealer, and shimmering highlighter can certainly help, as well.
Kirin Bhatty is a bi-coastal makeup artist who works in New York City and Los Angeles. Her clients include Jenny Slate, Kate Mara, Kiernan Shipka, and more.
Fiona Stiles is a celebrity makeup artist with clients like Lily Collins and Gabrielle Union-Wade. Her work has been featured in campaigns for brands like Cartier, and on covers for publications like In Style Australia. Stiles is the founder of Reed Clarke, a shop that features lesser-known yet industry-loved independent beauty brands.
Nydia Figueroa is a celebrity makeup artist with over 12 years of experience. Figueroa has worked for five-time Emmy award-winning makeup artist, Eve Pearl, and has worked on television sets, The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, New York Fashion Week, and more.
What To Look For In A Product For Glass Skin
A glistening complexion is dependent on a clean slate, the same way a tabletop shines most when it’s free of crumbs or debris. “You want to start with clean, toned skin,” says makeup artist Fiona Stiles, who recommends a gentle cleanser followed by a toner that works to balance the skin’s pH levels and minimize the appearance of pores. After that, use a product with humectants like hyaluronic acid or vitamin B5, which will attract moisture to the skin and help promote a smooth, plump complexion. Furthermore, both Bhatty and makeup artist Nydia Figueroa recommend using a face oil to lock in the hydration. (If you’d rather avoid face oils, you can opt for a water-gel moisturizer instead.)
If you wear makeup, opt for products that will enhance your glow. Stiles says, “Add a little concealer if you need it and a tiny bit of highlighter. The texture of the concealer is important as you don’t want anything too heavy or matte.” Instead, use a cream or liquid concealer wherever you want to even out your complexion. Stiles adds, “If you lean towards having oily skin, you can use the softest dusting of blurring setting powder to knock down any extreme highlights along the sides of the nose or center of the forehead. Use a light hand, so you don’t undo all of the hard work you just did making your skin look dewy.”
Shop The Best Glass Skin Products
Want to amp up your glow ASAP? Shop the best glass skin products below:
- Editor’s Pick: By Terry Brightening CC Serum
- Writer’s Pick: L’Oreal True Match Lumi Lotion
- Best Face Mist: PÜR Cosmetics Miracle Mist
- Best Toner: PCA Skin Nutrient Facial Toner
- Best Serum: Image Skincare The Max Serum
- Best Brightening Glow Drops: Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Drops
- Best Moisturizer: Peach & Lily Glass Skin Water-Gel Moisturizer
- Best Face Oil: Catrice Cosmetics Beautifying Face Oil
- Best Sunscreen: Supergoop! Glowscreen
1. Editor’s Pick
Elite Daily beauty editor Adeline Duff calls By Terry’s Brightening CC Serum a “one-step solution for radiant, glassy skin.” She says, “This is one of the MVPs of my beauty cabinet — you can wear it on its own, on top of your favorite dewy moisturizer, or mixed in with your foundation to give your skin a legitimate glow.” Sold in four shades, this CC cream/primer hybrid is enriched with rose stem cells to pamper your skin as it simultaneously brightens, color corrects, and perks up tired skin. “I love how it evens everything out without offering any coverage, and how it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing anything on your face at all,” says Duff, who calls it her top pick for glass-like skin.
Key Ingredients: Rose stem cells, soft-focus micro-spheres, color-correcting pigments Cruelty-Free: No Size: 30 mL Available shades: 4
Relevant Review: “I use this product as a glow-up every morning. Love its texture and how lightweight it is, allowing my skin to still breathe and yet add a sheen and glow to my [every day] with a hint of bronze. Love this so much.”
2. Writer’s Pick
L’Oreal’s True Match Lumi Lotion has been a staple in my makeup routine for years because it never fails to give my skin an iridescent shine without exacerbating my oily T-zone. Rather than looking glittery or shimmery, this product provides a luminous glow that makes my skin simply look like dewy, glassy skin. I enjoy applying this product all over my face, neck, and decolletage before going in with a concealer for a dew-enhancing effect. But if you only want to highlight certain areas, Figueroa recommends “[applying] some on your ring finger and patting where needed.”
Key Ingredients: Jojoba esters, capryloyl salicylic acid, glycerin, shea butter Cruelty-Free: No Size: 40 mL Available shades:
Relevant Review: “I love this product. It makes it look like you have a natural glow, without feeling heavy or looking cakey. Great for those with dry skin who can’t wear heavy foundation but want to smooth out their skin.”
3. The Best Face Mist
Figueroa says, “A trick I love to do when applying any skin care is to lock it in with a hydrating spray. The PÜR Cosmetics Miracle Mist is a kit staple for me. I do this before and after makeup to give the ultimate hydration while extending the longevity of the makeup.” Along with giving your skin a dewy boost for a glass-like effect, this mist also contains nutrient-rich fulvic acid and mandarin oil to promote a brighter, less oily complexion.
Key Ingredients: Fluvic acid, orange essential oil Cruelty-Free: Yes Size: 120 mL
Relevant Review: “I really love this for hydrating my dry skin. A few sprays and my face feel and looks refreshed without having to reapply anything. It's also good to use when it's hot out and you don't want to pile on more moisturizer. After giving myself a DIY scrub, this is a great product for soothing my skin. I also think it makes my pores look smaller and skin look healthier.”
4. The Best Toner
If your love for pumpkin extends to all seasons of the year, consider PCA Skin’s pumpkin wine-rich Nutrient Facial Toner. “I love the PCA Skin Toner; it [makes skin] feel clean without feeling stripped,” says Stiles, who recommended this toner when asked about the best products for glass skin. Pumpkin wine is made from fermented pumpkins, which, according to the brand, is rich in nutrients like vitamins A and C, and this toner also contains lactic acid to help with exfoliation and aminoguanidine to support healthy skin.
Key Ingredients: Pumpkin wine, lactic acid, aminoguanidine Cruelty-Free: Yes Size: 130.1 mL
Relevant Review: “This stuff is expensive but awesome. Tones without drying your skin. Cleans my pores really well and makes my skin just glow. The smell is super nice too.”
5. The Best Serum
“The peptide-rich The Max Serum from Image Skincare feels amazing on the skin and is a great base for the next step, which is to add a little [makeup],” says Stiles of the glass skin process. This serum is ideal if you’re looking to smooth and plump up your skin since its peptide complex helps to speed up collagen and elastin production. Additionally, vitamin C provides antioxidant protection, while plant stem cells help to keep the proteins in your skin healthy. Sure, this product’s price reaches into the three-digit territory, but it’s worth it considering that you’re getting a peptide, vitamin C, and stem cell treatment in one slim package.
Key Ingredients: Multi-peptide complex, plant stem cells, vitamin C (tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate) Cruelty-Free: Yes Size: 30 mL
Relevant Review: “I’ve been using this serum for about [three] weeks. [I’m] a long-time user of all kinds of products, especially those with big brand names...I can [say] this product has [superior] quality than many serums of designer brands at twice the price [of this serum]. My skin is glowing, [and] looks firmer and more even...than before. Definitely, I recommend this product.”
6. The Best Brightening Glow Drops
People all over TikTok rave about Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Drops for its ability to add a reflective, glass-like dew to the skin. Figueroa joins in and reveals, “I love to start off with glow drops to add hydration to the skin, like the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Drops. This product is amazing because it helps deliver glowing skin instantly and over time.” The formula contains hyaluronic acid to make your skin look plump and dewy, and niacinamide to promote a brighter, more even complexion over time.
Key Ingredients: Niacinamide, watermelon, hyaluronic acid, moringa seed oil Cruelty-Free: Yes Size: 40 mL
Relevant Review: “I normally don’t use any skin products [...] because I have really sensitive skin, and I decided to use this [because] I wanted to try a glass skin look (the super glowy look). It’s sooo good literally. [...] It also cleared my skin since I used it constantly [so I] had results super fast. My hyperpigmentation cleared and I had a lot less texture. Definitely a 10/10.”
7. The Best Moisturizer
The Peach & Lily Glass Skin line is a beauty-insider favorite for its ability to give skin a glass-like, luminous glow. This water-gel moisturizer is perfect for adding a dewy — not greasy — sheen to all skin types, since it’s oil-free and has a gel-like consistency that won’t add unwanted shine to oily skin. Instead, this moisturizer contains three weights of hyaluronic acid to hydrate all layers of your skin, while a proprietary vegan prebiotic and probiotic complex supports the skin barrier. A great choice for dry and oily skin types alike.
Key Ingredients: Prebiotics, probiotics, hyaluronic acid, chamomile extract, kiwi extract, peach extract Cruelty-Free: Yes Size: 2 oz.
8. The Best Face Oil
The Catrice Cosmetics Beautifying Face Oil is one of Figueroa’s favorite products for glass skin, saying it “gives the skin a radiant glow using four oils and lasts all day.” Since this oil contains light-reflecting shimmer particles and almond oil, argan oil, rose oil, and jojoba oil, it locks in hydration for an all-day glow. Bhatty echoes Figueroa, saying that she uses this oil to “plump up skin and lock in the glow from all the skin prep.” At about the same price as a lunchtime salad, and with two makeup artist recommendations to back it up, this face oil is well worth the purchase.
Key Ingredients: Almond oil, argan oil, rose oil, and jojoba oil Cruelty-Free: Yes Size: 2 oz.
Relevant Review: “Makes your face glow! great bottle design too.”
9. The Best Sunscreen
Why not amp up your glow while partaking in a vital part of your skin care routine? Supergoop!’s Glowscreen is a chemical sunscreen with light-reflecting properties that leaves absolutely no white cast — just a glowing complexion. It glides on like a lotion, soaks into skin quickly, and provides a glass-like effect — and it doesn't even feel like you’re wearing SPF.
Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, provitamin B5, niacinamide, sea lavender, cocoa peptides Cruelty-Free: Yes Size: 50 mL
Relevant Review: “My skin looks like glass when I put this on! The tint is perfect & I really like the shimmer. Because I have dry skin, the hydration of this is perfect but It could be a bit to oily for those that are not dry. I will be buying again, love this product.”
Kirin Bhatty, celebrity makeup artist
Effect of topical application of aminoguanidine cream on skin tissue of rats with diabetes, by Zhonghua Shao Shang Za Zhi; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21591336/