The best glowy make-up products

The “golden hour” make-up trend makes it look like you’ve genuinely been on holiday

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We’ve collated the best hair, skin, face and lip products to emulate the happy glow of holiday – tried and tested by Stylist’s beauty experts.

Things just seem better with sunshine, don’t they? Walking into the office, popping to the post office or, simply, scrolling through your phone all become pockets of warm joy dotted throughout the day. Even washing the car takes on a new kind of enjoyment. 

Much like everything else, sunshine makes our beauty regimes more fun, too. A recent trend coined by beauty insiders and experts, the golden hour glow is a skincare and make-up trend that brings the luminous wash of sunshine to our faces, hair and skin. 

Characterised by soft washes of light and healthy colour, golden hour make-up focuses on shimmer, shine, sheen and softness. The way a slowly sinking orange sun would hit your face at the end of the day, illuminating the areas it naturally reaches – the forehead, cheekbones, temples and lips.

Make-up artist and founder of the Glowbabe Academy Tori Rosero explains more:

“When applying make-up, you want to focus on applying it in all the right places, to resemble the golden hour light. Find an illuminating highlighter that you can carefully apply to the highpoints of your face, focusing on areas where the light would naturally hit, such as your cheekbones, brow bone, nose and forehead.

“For that just stepped off the beach, bronzed look, find a bronzer that has a slight shimmer to it; again, not too matte, which you can brush over your cheekbones, nose and forehead, to replicate sun-kissed, beachy skin.”

“When it comes to formulas for your summer make-up products, I love using cream-based products, as those are most likely to melt into your skin, keeping it hydrating and glossy.”

So, to capture that happy glow, here’s our curated edit of the best beauty, skin and haircare products that mimic the effect of a golden hour sun, wherever you are.

  1. 1. Refy Gloss Highlighter

    glowy makeup refy

    A smooth, almost gel-like formula, this highlighter is the thing that made me believe in glow again. Creamy and easy to use, it’s enriched with natural oils and minerals that sink into the skin, leaving a deep golden, luminous glow. 

    Shop Refy Gloss Highlighter, £18

  1. 2. Iconic London Prep-Set-Glow

    glowy makeup iconic london prep set glow

    Use this fine mist to set your make-up, leaving a light-reflecting shimmer behind, or as an illuminating skin mist after your skincare routine.

    Shop Iconic London Prep-Set-Glow at Cult Beauty, £24

  2. 3. Jones Road Miracle Balm in Disco

    glowy makeup jones road

    A year-round staple in my get ready regime, the Jones Road Miracle Balm is a multipurpose wash of moisture and glow. My favourite shade, Disco, is a deep terracotta colour, flecked with minute gold shards.

    Shop Jones Road Miracle Balm in Disco, £34

  3. 4. Chanel Les Beiges Illuminating Oil

    glowy makeup chanel les beiges

    One for an all-over glow, this luxurious dry body oil can be used on your face, hair or body – creating a soft veil of iridescent shimmer.

    Shop Chanel Les Beiges Illuminating Oil at Feelunique, £70

  4. 5. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer

    best glowy makeup hourglass bronzer

    In lieu of a cream bronzer (which can be applied beneath an equally creamy highlighter), a powder bronzer can be a safer choice for even shimmer. 

    Not only are the particles evenly dispersed throughout the powder, but powder bronzers are also easier to dust onto the areas that light would naturally hit – the tops of your cheekbones, the tip and bridge of your nose and your cupid’s bow.

    Shop Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer at Space NK, £50

  5. 6. Trinny London Sheer Shimmer

    glowy makeup trinny london

    Like almost all Trinny London products, there’s always a little more to them than meets the eye. This unassuming pot of nourishing, creamy shimmer can be used on your lips, cheeks and eyes for a wash of hydrated colour. 

    Shop Trinny London Sheer Shimmer, £22

  1. 7. Vieve Skin Nova

    glowy makeup vieve makeup

    A plumping, hydrating primer, make-up artist and founder Jamie Genevieve created Skin Nova to help make-up stay in place and impart a golden hour like sheen to the skin. 

    Another one to wear with other products or alone, it also boasts skincare ingredients like niacinamide and beta-glucan to soothe and strengthen the skin. 

    Shop Vieve Skin Nova at Cult Beauty, £27

  2. 8. Dior Addict Lip Glow Oil in Bronze

    glowy makeup dior lip oil

    A limited-edition shade of the cult favourite Dior Lip Oil, this bronze tone creates a slightly tinted, highly glossed, non-sticky shine that suits everyone. 

    Shop Dior Addict Lip Glow Oil in Bronze at Selfridges & Co, £29.50

  3. 9. Lisa Eldridge Elevated Glow Highlighter

    glowy makeup lisa eldridge

    A highly pigmented highlighter, founder and celebrity make-up artist Lisa Eldridge has recently released a range of five liquid shimmers to suit all undertones. 

    Shop Lisa Eldridge Elevated Glow Highlighter, £27

  4. 10. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Golden Shimmer Multi Usage Dry Oil

    glowy makeup nuxe

    It’s not big or clever, but my family have been known to fight over Nuxe products and who gets to use them first on holiday. Luxurious, softening and deeply repairing, this golden body oil helps to moisturise and protect the skin and hair. 

    Shop Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Golden Shimmer Multi Usage Dry Oil at Lookfantastic, £19

  5. 11. Lottie London Dewy & Illuminating Setting Spray

    best glowy makeup lottie london

    A dewy setting spray to fix your make-up in place and hydrate skin at the same time, thanks to potent aloe vera extract and subtle, glow-giving micro-pearls.

    Shop Lottie London Dewy & Illuminating Setting Spray, £8.95

  1. 12. Supergoop! Glow Screen SPF30

    glowy makeup supergoop glow screen

    One of my go-to SPFs, this sunscreen protects skin from the damaging impact of sun exposure, creating bouncy, radiant skin without a hint of white cast. 

    Shop Supergoop! Glow Screen SPF30 at Cult Beauty, £32

  2. 13. Emma Lewisham Illuminating Face & Body Oil

    glowy makeup emma lewisham

    Not only is this one of the best-looking bottles sitting on my bathroom shelf but it’s also one I look forward to using most. A radiant glow that can be applied to the entire body, it helps to improve elasticity and moisture levels in the skin. 

    Shop Emma Lewisham Illuminating Face & Body Oil at Naturisimo, £52

  3. 14. Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops

    glowy makeup drunk elephant

    A concentrated bronzing product, the idea is to mix a drop or two into your usual moisturiser, serum, sunscreen or facial oil for even, diffused dispersion.

    Shop Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops at Cult Beauty, £31

  4. 15. Pai Skincare The Impossible Glow

    glowy makeup pai skincare

    One for people with sensitive or easily irritated skin, this highlighter contains rosehip oil to soothe, strengthen and fortify while vitamin C and sea kelp protect, hydrate and firm. 

    Shop Pai Skincare The Impossible Glow at Cult Beauty, £29

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