Glowing skin is a beauty phenomenon that’s not going anywhere soon. We have countless highlighters, face oils, facial devices, dewy primers, and luminous foundations at our fingertips, just waiting to help us enhance (or, on rougher days, fake) a perfect glow.
But what is a perfect glow?
That’s where things get interesting for beauty enthusiasts. In the past few years, we’ve witnessed the rise of the no-makeup makeup trend, a fairly natural look that allows skin to show through, and we’ve also seen super highlighted looks featuring cheeks that sparkle like diamonds. There’s also a look that’s somewhere in between the two—but also a standout on its own.
It’s called the Dewy Dumpling look, perfected by makeup artist Nam Vo. (And obvi, we love dumplings around here!)
Her style of makeup application features all-over luminescence (not unlike the buttery surface of a dumpling!) with a natural cheek flush and gorgeous highlight. What strikes me about this look is that it combines the best of several worlds. It says, I know how to take care of my skin (skincare is the foundation of the Dewy Dumpling look, after all), and I can pull off *just* the right amount of glamorous makeup. It’s a high-end look that’s accessible for even small beauty budgets because so much depends on technique rather than dozens of products (though there’s room for lots of products, too!). It’s adaptable. It’s flattering. It’s ultra-contemporary.
Here’s how to try it for yourself!
The Nam Vo Glow, a.k.a. The Dewy Dumpling Look
The foundation of the look starts with pampered skin.
That may mean something a little different for everyone, so keep doing what makes your skin look the best. For Vo, that’s a little bit of everything, from jade rolling to frequent exfoliation to vitamin C and face oil to masks to specialty treatments. For others, good skincare may take the form of regular self-massage, a cleansing balm, and a hydrating serum. The end goal is supple, well-moisturized, smooth skin. “It really does starts with skincare,” Vo told The Cut. “The better your skin is, the better the makeup is going to lay.”
Go easy on the setting powder.
Setting powder has the best of intentions, but a dewy dumpling it makes not. “If you’re one of my friends, I’m honest with you,” Vo says. “I’ll tell you that the reason you look older than you are is because you’ve used primer, foundation, and powdered your whole face. I only like powder on the nose and side of mouth. I’ll leave cheeks shiny. You don’t have to look like an oil well to look glowy. I also use a non-shimmery eyeshadow and a dewy mist for glow.”
Now that I am in my thirties, I’ve found that any powder I apply in the morning is likely to feel drier as the day goes on—rather than just merely absorb excess oil. Focus on what Vo calls your “hot spots.” (The T-zone is a likely culprit!)
Fall back in love with highlighter.
Yes, you can look dewy with just hydrating or oil-based products. “‘Glowy’ isn’t necessarily about highlighter and your skin finish,” Vo explains. “It’s about a radiant, moist look. But you don’t have to wear any highlighter, that’s for fun. Sometimes having a bit of radiance in a product makes a difference.”
If you want to look a little more glamorous, a little more ethereal, however, it’s time to establish a deep and meaningful LTR with your highlighter. “My highlighter is a little extreme, perhaps. Some people want to be super subtle and I want it to be blinding. I layer it. The most popular way to apply it is in a “C shape” toward your temples and above the cheekbones. I use different textures too, since highlighters now come in drops, liquid, powder — every kind of format.”
If you really want to look multi-dimensional, try layering them!
Experiment with iridescent products.
Nam Vo suggests using a delicate pressed highlighter to set your makeup instead of traditional matte powder. This is also a great way to ease into a more dewy style. “If you don’t want to look like a unicorn and just want a bit of dewiness, use a more subtle one. One of my other favorites is to use a subtle highlighter like the Hourglass Ambient Lighting palette. It has three creamy colors. It’s not shimmery. Instead of using a traditional setting powder, it leaves a subtle pearlescent finish.”
What do you think, Peaceful Dumplings? Are you feeling the Dewy Dumpling look?
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Photo: Nam Vo via Instagram, Hourglass