Beauty In A Tik Logo

This Golden Hour Makeup Routine Is Like Wearing A Glow Filter IRL

Welcome to Beauty In A Tik, where each week we put TikTok's viral beauty hacks and innovative trends to the test.
It's difficult to pinpoint exactly when the phrase "golden hour" came to pass. Some say it was coined by photographers, who use it to describe the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset, when the landscape is bathed in a low, warm, golden light. It makes sense, then, that golden hour has long been synonymous with one thing: the selfie.
Celebrities like Hailey Bieber and Kylie Jenner are proof that capturing a shot in golden hour is a fast track to compliments. There's something about the all-encompassing wash of amber light that makes skin appear dewy and sun-kissed — airbrushed, almost. If you're lucky enough to live somewhere sunny, it's likely that golden hour is a given most days. For those of us who don't often get to experience warmer climes, makeup is a pretty good way in.
@victorialyn The Golden Hour GLOW!✨💁‍♀️What makeup aesthetic would you like to see next?☀️#Makeup #Beauty #Bronzer #Eyeshadow ♬ Tití Me Preguntó - Bad Bunny
Golden hour makeup is the beauty trend on everyone's lips this July. With 1.6 million views on TikTok, the hashtag #goldenhourmakeup is packed with different takes on the trend but they all have the same thing in common: warm tones and a touch of sparkle — exactly like golden hour sunlight.
In a tutorial with 241.5k views, TikToker Victoria Lyn refers to golden hour makeup as "no-makeup makeup's big sister" but "a little more glam". Judging by the tens of similar videos, the look appears to be mostly lightweight, with skin tints, tinted moisturisers and concealers typically favoured over foundation. But there isn't anything subtle about the gleam at the end.
Victoria starts with a tinted sunscreen, namely Supergoop! Glowscreen SPF 30, £34, which lends skin a glossy effect. What follows is a tinted serum, bronzing drops applied on areas of the face that would naturally catch the sun like the forehead and cheekbones, and a dab of highlighter. That constitutes the base. Gold eyeshadow blended up towards the brow bone, a slick of mascara, brown lip liner and a gold lip gloss pull the look together.
I've tried many glowing makeup trends this summer but this one is arguably the most mesmerising. Perhaps it's the twinkle of the carefully placed highlighter or maybe it's the sun-dappled finish of the bronzing drops. Either way, it was a dreary day in London and my dull skin needed a serious pick-me-up.
I was already wearing sunscreen but I wanted to try Victoria's trick of applying Glowscreen — an SPF I love — with a brush. Sure enough, it gave my skin a golden glint, but I'd recommend applying it with your fingers so as not to lose half the product to the bristles. (Dermatologists recommend at least two finger-lengths' worth of sunscreen for your face and neck.) Next, I picked up Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 30, £46, which is highly moisturising and lends skin a dewy sheen. If you'd rather spend less, try Rimmel London Kind & Free Moisturising Skin Tint Foundation, £9.99, or Maybelline Super Stay up to 24H Skin Tint Foundation + Vitamin C, £12.99.
Bronzing drops were my next port of call and I opted for Jones Road Gel Bronzer, £32, which I blended up into my hairline, down the centre of my nose and along my cheeks. I used the second gold shade in Morphe's Ready For Anything Eyeshadow Palette Wallflower, £14, applying it all the way up to my brow bone, then I fluffed up my lashes with Max Factor Masterpiece 2 In 1 Lash WOW Volume & Length Mascara, £12.99. Last of all, I traced the outline of my lips with Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Liner in Hazelnut, £18, and applied a dot of Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter in 2 Fair, £39, in the centre with a touch of clear gloss. You can use this highlighter to accentuate your high points like cheekbones and the tip of your nose. (Try e.l.f. Halo Glow Liquid Filter, £14, if you have less to spend.)
@refinery29 Sun-kissed, glowing makeup with no harmful UV rays? We’re in. 🌞 #beautyinatik #goldenhourmakeup #sunkissedmakeup #iliaskintint ♬ Campfire - Charmer & Klay
This is golden hour personified and I think two products in particular carry the look: Glowscreen and Hollywood Flawless Filter. Applied under makeup (whether you like the lightness of a skin tint or prefer more coverage via foundation), they make it seem as though your skin is lit from within.
One thing I discovered is that it's very easy to go overboard on bronzing drops. Towards the end of the day, my makeup got much darker in the areas where I had applied them and I had to blot some away with a tissue. I always forget that TikTokers go a little wild in their application so that products show up on camera. In reality, you don't need anywhere near as much to make an impact.
I have a holiday coming up and golden hour makeup will be my go-to look on balmy evenings. It has everything: warmth, subtle sparkle and glossy skin. I see now why it has TikTok in a chokehold.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy or click on something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

More from Makeup

R29 Original Series