Even as someone who lives and breathes all things beauty, I admittedly am not a highlighter fan. Maybe it's the fact that the shining technique doesn't so subtly translate from Instagram to IRL. Or, perhaps, it's just because I've been dialing my makeup routine way back during quarantine (ahem, virtually all of 2020). But, on the other hand, I'm a fervent fan of a healthy complexion that glows — especially when I'm trying my best not to look like a sun-starved zombie on Zoom. That's where Glow Recipe and its newest product drop comes in to create my skincare-meets-makeup savior: a highlighting serum. Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops is the newest member of the beloved K-beauty brand's cult-favorite watermelon collection. The new product's hero ingredient is niacinamide — aka a form of vitamin B that's said to help curb excess oil while minimizing the appearance of texture for a clearer and more radiant complexion. Below, I find out first-hand if this new good delivers on its luminous-skin promise.
As someone with oily and acne-prone skin, glow-boosting products (a substantial moisturizer or even a buttery highlighter balm) have historically been very hit or miss. At best, I look like a Glossier model for the first 30 minutes. At worst, I end up looking like a walking oil slick — or I'm left with a parting gift of new acne breakouts after applying a heavy cream. When it comes to testing products (one of the most delightful aspects of my job), I ascribe to a "nothing ventured, nothing gained" MO. With that in mind, I dispensed a pump of Glow Recipe's Dew Drops to the back of my hand and swatched it. It had a juicy, jelly-like texture and noticeable watermelon scent (which smells just like a Jolly Rancher, IMO), and left behind a crystal-clear, almost wet gleam. How this would translate on my face? I was intrigued to find out.
Unlike other serums I've tried, I liked that this tiny pink bottle can be used in myriad ways: Applied as a serum before moisturizer, as a skin-care top coat for a glossy effect on cheekbones, or my personal favorite, mixed into your favorite foundation for dewy, buildable coverage. At first, I tested Dew Drops on top of my sunscreen, strategically applied to my cheekbones and a bit on my forehead. A little went a long way to take me to Glowtown, U.S.A. — and for me, it was a bit much for just another Sunday at home. Like I said earlier, my winning combo was a 1:1 ratio of serum to foundation that left my skin looking and feeling hydrated and radiant in all the right places. (I personally love a matte or demi-matte formula if you're using this trick, but if you can't get enough glow, a dewy foundation will also work!) Plus, since my skin gets drier in the winter, I loved how this added some much-needed moisture back with a side dish of some gorgeous sheen. (P.S. My Zoom colleagues commented on how noticeably dew-kissed my complexion looked.)
The instant gratification element of the product will certainly appeal to impatient types like myself — but, with continued use, the skin-care grade ingredients purport to visibly brighten skin over time. (I will keep you posted on that front!) At $34 for a 1.35 oz bottle, it's not a cheap buy by any means — especially for how much product you're getting. That said, I feel like depending on how you use it AND how often, a little goes a long way to last you a long time.
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