Photo: Instagram / jin_a_nana
Blame it on the Koreans – and just about everyone who’s caught on to the culture’s millennial ideals of beauty (which, going by the proliferation of stars ranging from boy band BTS to Irene Kim at events spanning Fashion Week to the American Music Awards, means practically just about everyone). So thanks to Song Hye-kyo and co, we discovered the youthful appeal of coral cheeks and thick, straight brows, but their greatest contribution to today’s beauty conversation is arguably an implausibly clean, fresh glow. The variations that they’ve come up with (which have, in turn, ignited frenzied obsessions) call for their own glossary: Honey, Porcelain, the infamous Glass, and even Watermelon (the fruit’s a power soother and rich in amino acids).
The mass renewed focus on wellness and natural beauty has further made mattecomplexions feel increasingly (and ironically) retro. In a recent feature on the trend, The Guardian pointed out that “the word ‘glow’ appears in descriptions of more than 300 products on Net-a-porter’s beauty site, relating to everything from body oil to blusher”. This year, multi-label beauty giant Sephora has brought into Singapore a host of products that promise to help impart an enviable (faux) glow – from Cover FX’s Glitter Drops (mix with a base or use alone to lend a glamorous sheen), to Marc Jacobs Beauty’s Coconut Fantasy highlighter, eyeshadow and bronzer that promise a sophisticated, sun-kissed visage.
Once dominated by shine-free complexions, the runways are also championing the look. At Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton this S/S ’18, models strode out alarmingly bare-faced yet radiant (all thanks to nothing more than moisturiser for base) – the neo-Asian glow, if you will. The girls at Issey Miyake and Victoria Beckham sported stronger highlights on the nose bridge and Cupid’s bow, but otherwise looked equally fresh. And over at the buzzing Fenty x Puma, copious amounts of highlighter were dusted over cheekbones for a modern, highly editorial take on Malibu Barbie chic. Which brings us to a reality check: Sure, good skin helps (a lot – we won’t lie), but achieving an effortless-looking glow can often also be as much about using the right makeup. Here, three modern interpretations on the look, and what you need to create them.
The Asian Glow
So named because it originated and is fanatically popular in this part of the world, or more specifically Korea. Achieving this all-over supple, dewy finish (as seen here at Loewe S/S ’18) takes time, effort and patience – because a solid skincare routine is crucial. Try Su:m37˚’s Water-full Radiant Hydrating Glow Cream ($178), which not only hydrates, but also helps brighten with a host of exclusive active ingredients. And get a lightweight yet effective cover-up, like Cle de Peau Beaute’s Concealer SPF25/PA+++ ($105), which glides on evenly, covers hyperpigmentation and fine lines, and leaves a soft, natural finish.