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How to Get a Glazed Donut Glow

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The shimmery, glowing effect of a good highlighter has been compared to many things—diamonds, disco balls, moonbeams—but the one that hits home for me is a glazed donut. It sounds weird, but picture just-glazed Krispy Kremes gliding along a conveyor belt; who wouldn’t want that glassy, smooth, perfectly reflective sheen? So, in honor of National Donut Day (and also because, why not?), I set out to create the ultimate fried-dough glow.

To achieve the smooth, glazed finish of a donut, a good skincare routine is a must. Everyone’s skin has visible pores and texture, but I’ve found that using a well-formulated chemical exfoliant a few times a week helps to keep my skin less rough. Before I pulled out my highlighter stash, I patted in several layers of hydrating essences, serums and facial oils to give my skin that plumped-up, I-just-got-a-facial look.


After some experimentation, I discovered the key to the glazed donut glow: It’s all about how you layer. To start, I mixed a pump of my go-to foundation with a dab of Danessa Myricks Illuminating Veil to give my skin a subtle all-over sheen. A luminous primer (shout out to VDL Lumilayer Primer) would also work well.


Next, I used a brush to pat a dewy, wet-finish highlighter (I used Danessa Myricks Dew Wet Balm in Morning Dew) to the usual spots: cheekbones, browbones, the tip of my nose, cupid’s bow, and the inner corners of my eyes. After it sets, Dew Wet Balm has an ever-so-slightly gripping finish that makes it perfect for layering under other highlighters.

Now that my skin was pretty well-frosted, I used my finger to tap Kevyn Aucoin Glass Glow Face in Crystal Clear onto the highest “peaks” of my face (cheekbones, nose, cupid’s bow and chin). Glass Glow has a glossy, slightly pearlescent formula that’s also buildable, so you can layer up if you want to go extra-glowing. I applied clear lip gloss to my lips, patted more Glass Glow onto the center of my bottom lip, and looked in the mirror. Freshly-frosted pastry status, achieved.

Model wears Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Liquid Foundation in Natural (face), Danessa Myricks Illuminating Veil in Serenity (face), Danessa Myricks Dew Wet Balm in Morning Dew (face), Kevyn Aucoin Glass Glow Face in Crystal Clear (face), TOM FORD Soleil Glow Bronzer in 01 Gold Dust (cheeks), TOM FORD Cream and Powder Eye Color in 07 Sun Worship (eyes), Burnt Orange from Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Palette (eyes), and Danessa Myricks ColorFix 24-Hour Cream Color Glaze in Crystal (lips).


Model: Elaine Whae | Makeup: Tracy Chase | Illustrations: Christina Fung