Certain beauty products — think NARS blush in Orgasm, Clinique's Black Honey lipstick — are so good, they're practically famous. And, while we do love so many of those well-known, well-loved products with a loyal following, we've been wondering why others have been quietly flying under the radar. With that in mind, meet our beauty series, Cult Classics, in which we'll introduce you to the products you really, truly should know about (and try, like, right now). They're not brand new, but trust us: They've got staying power.
About three years ago, celebrity makeup artist Katey Denno told me that I "absolutely needed" this little highlighter pot. "Nine times out of 10 when a beauty editor contacts me to find out how I made my actress client look 10 years younger or like she has perfect skin, it's because I used Living Luminizer to accentuate her cheekbones, the bridge of her nose, the inner eyes, and the Cupid's bow," she said.
So, I found a way to get my paws on one, despite samples being extremely limited. Then, right before an 8 a.m. call time at the Carolina Herrera show during my first Fashion Week as an official beauty editor, I did just as Katey instructed.
"What are you wearing around your eyes? They look amazing," was the first thing that one very prominent director said.
"You are glowing, and the rest of us look exhausted," someone else added.
And, just like that, I was a convert. (If you don't believe me, I just told The Coveteur that I've barely gone a day without it for the past three years.) It is the one product that hasn't been rotated in my routine.
When I tell this to Rose-Marie Swift, the makeup artist and founder of RMS Beauty, she seems unfazed. "It's hands down my best seller," she says. "When I do makeup on shoots now, models ask me to use it. Gisele [Bündchen], Miranda [Kerr], and Karlie [Kloss] all love it."
The reason it's so special, she explains, is that it's actually mica (shimmer pigment) mixed with oils. "The cosmetics industry is scared of oils," she says with a laugh. "If a bigger brand were to replicate this product, they'd probably use petroleum oil. But, I wanted something good for the skin that would actually stay, so I chose coconut and castor. The residue from both is the perfect relationship for light-reflective properties to make the skin glow and look dewy."
Also added to the formula was organic beeswax, Vitamin E for antioxidant benefits, and organic rosemary, which acts as a preservative. "We went through so many versions of this product so many times. We had to strike the right balance of glow and not shine," Swift says.
For best results, she recommends tapping it onto the high planes of the face using your fingers — "If you use a brush, you might leave a line...skin to skin just melts the product." She also puts it down the middle of the legs, so it elongates and catches the light. "If a model is holding something in a shoot, I even dab it along the fingers a bit," she says. I, personally, make a V-shape from my outer brow to my cheekbone, and then mist with a little rosewater to finish.
Living Luminizer stays best when it sits atop foundation or tinted moisturizer, but you could just as easily apply it after your concealer to master the no-makeup makeup trend with minimal effort. Plus, you don't have to feel so bad about putting it on the skin because there's coconut oil. (And we all know how much you love coconut oil.)
Not to mention, if big names like Miranda, Gisele, and Karlie all use this to score their impossibly glowy skin, then why not try it for yourself? That's like the Destiny's Child of Dewy right there. It's more like a quad, if you count me, but you probably aren't, which is fine.
RMS Beauty Living Luminizer, $38, available at J.Crew.