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Here’s How to Create an Easy Dewy Makeup Look You’ll Love

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When it comes to our skin, we’re all about that natural glow. You know, that lit-from-within, natural look you get after a workout session or a day at the beach. But (real talk!), we’re not always willing to hit the gym for a radiance boost. Thankfully there’s an easy solution for those who seek a fresh, hydrated complexion: dewy makeup. Dewy makeup has been buzzing for some time now—on the runway and on your Instagram feed—and shows no sign of slowing down. That’s because it’s the quickest way to look luminous from every angle, without having to overhaul your makeup and skincare routines.

So, what exactly is a dewy makeup look? Basically, it’s the perfect marriage between hydrating skincare and moisture-packed makeup (although you can create it with powder products, too). Dewy makeup can probably be achieved with makeup products you already have in your bag—bonus points if it’s an IPSY Glam Bag. We chatted with celebrity makeup artist Allan Avendaño about dewy makeup and got step-by-step tips from celebrity makeup artist Paige Pelfry to help you create it for everyday. Continue reading for the breakdown on how to get a dewy makeup look—trust us, you’ll want to wear this on repeat.

Want to give our dewy makeup tutorial a try? We got you!


About the Experts:

Paige Pelfry is a celebrity makeup artist based in Los Angeles and New York.
Allan Avendaño is a celebrity makeup artist based in Los Angeles.

How to Create a Dewy Makeup Look

1. Prep for Dewy Skin

“I love that [dewy makeup] can look good on anyone and it’s easy to achieve,” says Avendaño. “A dewy makeup look can help you look healthy, luminous, and hydrated.” So it’s no wonder one of the key steps to creating a dewy makeup look is starting with super hydrated skin. (Note: Exfoliating before will also help as it gets rid of dead skin cells that can clog pores and lead to dry skin and dullness, aka the opposite of the glowing skin we all want.)

Avendaño continues: “I like using hydrating products to prep the skin. Using products based on your skin type will help with the longevity of your makeup.” Ready to get dewy skin? We suggest prepping your skin with a moisturizer, then following up with a gripping primer to lock your dewy look into place. Then, apply your favorite dewy-finish foundation, tinted moisturizer, or even just concealer. It’s best to steer clear of matte formulas here unless you have oily skin. Avendaño’s technique for a natural-looking finish: “I always apply the foundation with a paddle brush and buff it into the skin with a buffing brush.”

E.L.F. COSMETICS Power Grip Niacinamide Primer

We Recommend: CHARLOTTE TILBURY Charlotte's Magic Cream to quench your skin and create a smooth, soft base for makeup, and E.L.F. COSMETICS Power Grip Primer + 4% Niacinamide to help grip onto your makeup and keep it in place. Together, they create the perfect prep for a dewy glow and no-makeup makeup looks.

2. Blend on Creamy Colors

Close-up of a model applying cream blush on her cheek

Next, adding a sweep of bronzer to your high-points and a touch of blush to your cheeks will warm up your complexion for that post-workout dewy glow. For the biggest glowy impact, we recommend sticking with cream formulas. Don’t worry! That gripping primer you laid down first will help them last all day. Using a fluffy face brush (or your fingers), work your cream bronzer where the sun would naturally hit, like the tops of your cheekbones, across the bridge of your nose, and on the center of your chin and forehead. Then tap your cream blush right on the apples of your cheeks. Pro tip: Take the same brush you used to apply your foundation to blend out the edges of your cheek color seamlessly.

SHAINA B MIAMI Cream Bronzer

We Recommend: SHAINA B MIAMI Cream Bronzer in Beach Babe—an ultra-velvety cream bronzer that gives you a warm skin look in just a few swipes—and RMS BEAUTY Lip2Cheek in Demure—a multi-use cream formula for lips and cheeks that’s packed with moisture. “This shade’s really nice and bright. It might look a little intimidating in the pot but once you blend it out, it’s really easy to work it into the skin,” says Pelfry.

3. Brighten up Your Eyes

Close-up of a model applying eyeshadow with a fluffy brush

OK, we love when we can multitask with our makeup, so when we saw Pelfry use blush on her lids we jumped for joy. “I like to put a little blush on my eyelids, too, even if I’m not doing a full eyeshadow look,” she says. “It just pulls the whole look together and looks springy and fresh.” Using a fluffy eyeshadow brush, take a blush color that’s similar to the one you used on your cheeks (or use the same one!) and blend it across your lids. ”To get that light, diffused look when applying blush onto your lids, you want to hold your brush towards the end because you’ll naturally apply a lot less pressure than holding it down the bottom,” adds Pelfry. Not only does this create depth and dimension in your eye area, it helps everything look more natural overall.

KVOSSNYC Blushing Beauty Luminous Blush Palette

We Recommend: KVOSSNYC Blushing Beauty Luminous Blush Palette that features three peachy-pink formulas that flatter any skin tone. Plus, they’re all made with naturally moisturizing ingredients like summer lilac and thyme extracts that help boost your glow.

4. Highlight and Glow

Close-up of a model applying liquid highlighter

Now for the most important part of a dewy makeup look ::drumroll, please:: highlighter! There are so many types of highlighters out there, each with a special place in our hearts. But when it comes to dew-factor, liquids and creams rule supreme. Take a cue from Pelfry and apply your highlighting product in multiple places, wherever your skin would catch the light. “You can put some on your finger and just dot it on wherever you want the light to bounce off the skin,” says Pelfy. Smooth it onto the highpoints of your cheeks, then bring it down the bridge of your nose, and finally, dab some right onto your lids and brow bones. Want your glow to stay put even longer? Lightly dust a powder highlighter right over top of the cream to lock it in place. But not just any matte powder! You want a luminous powder highlighter that doesn’t take away from your dewy makeup look. Look for a silky smooth pressed powder with no obvious shimmer.

FLOSS Highlighter in Sunset

We Recommend: Start with the TYNT BEAUTY Dew Balm—a balm-highlighter hybrid that you can apply literally anywhere you want to glow. It’s hydrating, plumping, and imparts the perfect touch of dew. You can even use it on your lips! Then, using a small fluffy brush, sweep FLOSS Highlighter in Sunset on top.

5. Try a Glossy Lip

Close-up of a model applying lip gloss

Sometimes, when it comes to dewy makeup looks, lips are overlooked. But a touch of color and shine can go a long way to boost that overall dewiness. Avendaño says, “Prepping lips is important. My go-to is  Aquaphor. Then, I will apply a satin lipstick or gloss to finish off the look.” For dewy lips, Pelfry swipes on tinted balm for a coat of light rosy color and a major hit of hydration. Then followed up with an extra quenching lip jelly (but you can use a clear gloss as well). “I like to layer [lip] products especially since your skin is really glossy and hydrated, so I’m going to add another gloss and I’m going to apply it right in the center of my lips for some shine.” The result: A lip that catches the light and reflects it back on you (just like your highlighter).

SWEET STREET Candy Paint Lipgloss in Comet

We Recommend: SWEET STREET Candy Paint Lipgloss in Comet. This pinky brown lip gloss is all you need to add some ‘oomph’ to your look. Formulated with pearlescent pigments, it gives your lips a voluptuous, juicy shine without any tacky feel. Whether you wear it alone or as a shimmer top coat, your lips will be the star of the show.

6. Set With a Dewy Mist

Close-up of a model using a makeup setting spray

Now that you’ve created your ultimate dewy makeup look, don’t let it fade on you fast! When you’re applying creamy makeup products, setting your makeup as a last step is just as crucial as priming your skin first. According to Avendaño, “Setting your makeup in certain spots is important because you don’t want to have oily skin everywhere.” Also, it can prevent those creamy products from settling into your pores or any fine lines. Avendaño suggests setting the T-zone with powder to tone down shine so the rest of your dewyness looks purposeful. We also love setting sprays and mists (like Pelfry applied) to help prevent your makeup from smudging, melting, and caking. They’re perfect for dewy makeup looks because you can apply them throughout the day to reset and smooth makeup, and to help give your skin a moisture boost. When applying, hold your spray eight to 10 inches from your face and mist all over.

MORPHE Continuous Setting Mist

We Recommend: MORPHE Continuous Setting Mist is infused with nourishing vitamins and fruit extracts to give your skin a healthy boost every time you apply. The unique continuous spray means even application, every time, and you can spray it on your makeup sponges and brushes before using them to give your makeup extra luminosity and staying power.

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About the author
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Pia Bhattacharya
Pia is a New York-based beauty editor at IPSY with over 10 years experience including editorial, public relations, and copywriting. Her work has appeared in SELF magazine, in beauty and branding for Bloomingdale’s, and others.
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Article Last Updated June 20, 2023 12:00 AM