Hair & Makeup

10 beauty must-haves to make your skin glow

With healthy, glowing skin high on everyone’s most-wanted list, the PORTER beauty team reveal the skincare and makeup glow-makers that can give your complexion an instant lift. Discover the best highlighters to try now…


BEST HIGHLIGHTER FOR A GLASS-LIKE GLOW Gucci Beauty Éclat De Beauté Effet Lumière Gel Face Gloss

On no-makeup days, or when you don’t want it to look like you’re wearing makeup, this transparent highlighting gloss will give your skin a juicy, reflective quality without adding color. And, because it’s a clear formula, it works flawlessly on all skin tones. Just tap a small amount onto the high points of your cheeks and the bridge of your nose for the prettiest, glossiest glow.


This dual-ended highlighting stick allows you to dial up your glow depending on how subtle or bold you want to go. Apply the bronze side to the high points of your face for a touch of shimmer, then layer over the hydrating balm to intensify the effect. We also love to wear the clear balm on its own to champion natural skin texture. You can use a brush to apply, but we’ve found the easiest way to blend it into the skin is to apply the highlighter directly from the stick, then pat in with a finger.

BEST HIGHLIGHTER FOR LUMINOUS MAKEUP Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

This silky primer-cum-highlighter is wonderfully versatile. Buff a fine layer over moisturized skin before applying your foundation to give skin a soft glow, or pat over areas where you would like to see more luminosity (typically the tops of your cheekbones and the Cupid’s bow) after your foundation is on. You can even wear it on its own as a beautiful base: its subtle, warm glow is ideal for all skin types and won’t accentuate lines or uneven texture.


Despite the Instagram trend for all-over dewy skin (which can be unforgiving, as it needs a smooth and flawless surface to begin with), the more wearable alternative involves limiting the wet-look finish to specific areas. This highlight stick is by far the easiest way to create that effect, as it blends a soft, dewy sheen with Ayurvedic oils that plump up the skin with moisture. Apply it just to the tops of your cheekbones and Cupid’s bow, leaving the rest of your skin velvety and, to finish, pop a small amount on the center of your eyelids for a hint of gloss. You can apply it straight from the stick, but we prefer to pat it on with fingertips to avoid disturbing any foundation underneath.


Makeup artist Valeria Ferreira shared this trick with us and it has quickly become our go-to low-maintenance highlight method. After applying your foundation or tinted base, put one drop of this super-luxe oil into the palm of your hand, rub both hands together and then lightly press the sheen onto the tops of your cheekbones. The effect is a subtle glow that makes skin look beautifully healthy and naturally radiant.

BEST HIGHLIGHTER FOR A LASTING GLOW Tan-Luxe Super Glow Hyaluronic Self-Tan Serum

This is the perfect blend of self-tan and super-hydrating, luxurious serum (self-tanning agents can leave skin feeling very dry), ensuring your skin looks golden, glowing, plumped up and ultra-healthy. Plus, it’s cleverly formulated to let you tan gradually, making it virtually foolproof to use. Our tip is to apply it at night so the color can develop more seamlessly while you sleep.

BEST HIGHLIGHTER FOR AN ALL-OVER GLOW Tom Ford Beauty Face and Body Skin Illuminator

An outstanding glow-giver, this gorgeous skin finisher gives a lasting gloss to cheekbones, collar bones, arms and legs. Lovely as a highlight for the face, it also looks pretty used as you would a bronzer – blended along the cheeks and over the bridge of the nose, and even on eyelids. For the body, mix it with your lotion for an all-over glow, or use ‘neat’ to highlight shins and shoulders.


We love this serum for its double-duty properties. Its anti-aging credentials come from polygonum bistorta root, which evens out skin tone, and wild-rose extract, which minimizes the appearance of pores that would otherwise be a barrier to your glow. Its pale pink hue provides the instant brightening benefit we’re looking for and works from the palest to the darkest of skin tones. Try applying it immediately before makeup and gently pat on more (over your makeup) throughout the day.

BEST HIGHLIGHTER FOR A NATURAL, GO-ANYWHERE GLOW Victoria Beckham by Augustinus Bader Golden Cell Rejuvenating Priming Moisturizer

Think super-smart skincare with an added luxurious skin finish and you have this beautiful multitasker. Use under makeup, over makeup – even instead of makeup – and, as suggested by Victoria Beckham herself, blend it over bare limbs for instantly hydrated, glowing and glossy skin.

BEST HIGHLIGHTER FOR MULTI-TASKING Marc Jacobs Beauty Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter

Add a drop of this to your primer, tinted moisturizer or base to give dull skin some instant radiance, or use it alone and blended along cheekbones (a little really does go a long way) for a pretty golden gleam. If you have problems adding a creamy highlight over a powder bronzer, the secret to stopping both going patchy is to reorder your routine. “Usually the highlight goes on last,” says makeup artist Kay Montano. “But if you swap it around and apply the cream highlight first, then finish with a powder bronzer or blush, both will stay in place.”


The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown