This Is Why The Glossier Skin Always Looks So Good

The models in Glossier's impossibly glowy ads have a lot working in their favor: a professional makeup artist, studio lighting, and — let's face it — really, really good genes. But there's more to that lit-from-within skin than just "drinking a lot of water." So we went straight to the source to find out what actually goes down on set.

We met with Katie Jane Hughes, makeup artist and a friend of Glossier, who painted the faces for the brand's most recent Haloscope highlighter and BodyHero campaigns. Ahead, you'll find the products and techniques she used, plus some of our favorite drugstore alternatives for those who can't drop all their cash on a full Glossier face routine. Check out her secrets, ahead.

Read These Stories Next:
12 Before & After Photos That Show How Important Your Hair Part Is
I Drank A Gallon Of Water A Day For Better Skin & Here's What Happened
This Eye-Makeup Trend Is Going To Be Huge & It's SO Easy To Copy

Skin Prep Is Key

The morning of Glossier's Haloscope highlighter shoot, Hughes made sure to take her time cleansing, misting, and massaging the products onto the models' skin. "The key to [dewy skin] is to really prep and clean it," she says.
After removing excess oil and makeup from the skin with a cotton pad and some Bioderma micellar water, Hughes generously sprayed each models face with Glossier's Soothing Face Mist. "I mist the skin because having a dewy, freshly-misted face before adding face cream helps maintain the glow for longer," she says. "It also keeps the face cream from soaking in too fast."

Glossier Soothing Face Mist, $18, available at Glossier.
Or Try...

Mario Badescu Facial Spray, $7, available at Ulta Beauty.
After misting, Hughes followed up with a layer of moisturizer paired with a lengthy facial massage. "I massage the skin to get blood to rush to the surface of it," she says. "Rolling your skin in outward motions is almost like what your grandmother would do to you when you were a kid by squeezing your cheeks. This gives the models that hydrated, fresh glow."

Glossier Priming Moisturizer, $22, available at Glossier.
Or Try...

CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM, $14.60, available at Walmart.
Ace Your Base

Rather than caking on layers of foundation and concealer, Hughes prefers a more minimal approach.
First, Hughes smoothed on Glossier's Skin Tint to even out each model's complexion. "It doesn't cover much, but it gives that glow that's ideal for that no-makeup makeup look," she says. "And it's great because you can buy your shade and a shade darker and mix them to create an all-over glow." Pro Tip: "Skin Tint can look shiny upon application," says Hughes. "But the more you work it in, the more it will mesh with the skin."

Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint, $26, available at Glossier.
Or Try...

L'Oréal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream, $10.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
Hughes then buffed Glossier's Stretch Concealer around the nose, mouth, forehead, and over any blemishes or discoloration. "It covers, but it's glowy and has a gorgeous sheen," she says.

Glossier Stretch Concealer, $18, available at Glossier.
Or Try...

Nyx Cosmetics Concealer Jar, $5, available at Nyx Cosmetics.
Hughes finished off the skin with setting powder. "I place powder anywhere where there's shine, like around the T-zone and eyes," she says.

Glossier Wowder, $22, available at Glossier.
Or Try...

E.L.F. High Definition Powder, $6, available at E.L.F.
Go For The Glow

When it comes to highlighter and blush, Hughes' approach for the shoot was to keep things fresh and natural. She used her fingers and duo-fibre brushes to create soft washes of color (rather than intense high beams) that enhanced each model's complexion.
"I love mixing the Cloud Paint in Dusk [a tawny pink] with any other shade in the range," says Hughes. "It tones the shade down. I buffed it on with a duo-fibre brush and went in with a tiny bit of Haze [a richer berry] onto the center of the models' cheeks."

Glossier Cloud Paint, $18, available at Glossier.
Or Try...

L'Oréal Blur Blush in Soft Peach, $12.99, available at L'Oréal.
Now comes the piéce de résistance: highlighter. "I used my ring finger to press Haloscope onto all the areas I wanted glow, like the cheekbones, down the bridge of the nose, and the Cupid's bow," says Hughes. "I even like putting it where people would get a monobrow; it just looks like a natural place you'd get dewy if you were walking down the street."

But she doesn't stop there, Hughes used Haloscope on the eyelids and inner corners, too. There was only one place she didn't use it: "I never apply highlighter to areas where one would get fine lines and wrinkles," she says. "I use it anywhere you'd naturally build up a glow throughout the day."

Glossier Haloscope, $22, available at Glossier.
Or Try...

Maybelline FaceStudio Master Strobing Stick Highlighter, $8.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
Related Video
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!
Show More Comments...