Monday 15 October 2018


Return of powder

Truly a welcome news for those with oily skin, Funmi Fetto - a contributing beauty editor to British Vogues announced that the glow is dead in her recent editorial (November 2018 issue). So what does that mean and is the glow truly dead or have we re-used the term in such way, it’s no longer sustainable? This beauty blogger investigates.

A few years ago we embarked on a journey to a true glow and what a road this has been. From a little highlighter here and there, we are now a generation of an ultra glow. A highlighter is no longer an option, it’s a necessity but have we’ve gone too far? I’m a poster child for over-strobing. I sometimes layer down 3 different highlighters and that’s on a random Tuesday... Having always suffered from dry skin, I welcomed the trend which saw the end of mattifying powders and embraced the dewiness. 

But even I - the poster child for highlighter promotion found herself drawn to the new matte formulas. Matte is no longer flat, drying and flaky. Matte that embraces natural luminosity is making a comeback. Should we be glad? Let’s face it, full coverage ‘Instagram makeup’ with layer upon layer of metallic highlight does not translate that well into every day. I am as guilty as anyone for setting up unrealistic expectations for that brand new foundation or powder or highlighter but I come to realise that the road to flawless skin isn’t easy for many of us out there. Adult acne, uneven texture - we spend our lives covering it all up. Should we embrace the way our skin is naturally more? 

I spent a few weeks recently using the bare minimum of products and forgetting highlighter. A week with only a modest layer of Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue* (currently on offer for £23.80 from £28!), only topped up with a little concealer & set with a matte yet luminous Charlotte Tilbury Genius Magic Powder made me rethink my ways! In fact, I got complimented on my skin more than ever despite the lack of full coverage and a highlighter visible from outer space! Then I swapped for a week with a new gen matte foundation, like Too Faced Peach Perfect Liquid Matte Foundation which offered a decent coverage and almost matte finish that I set only in certain strategic places (T-zone ish) with a little powder. Again, I survived the week without an extra layer of glow! I know, I’m shocked too.

The idea isn’t to eliminate glow entirely, rather embrace more natural luminous finish like one achieved by the cult classic Armani Luminous Silk or the new Fenty Beauty Po Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear. Both almost matte, long lasting but ethereal somehow. I found it hard at first if I’m being honest. I prefer more dewy finish, yet I feel I’ve learnt a lot during those few glow-less weeks. Yes, I missed my highlighters dearly but I’ve also learnt to appreciate a more natural finish. I no longer use a brush, but sponge instead to blend in the glow better and make it look like skin after facial instead of the Tin Man afterparty. The biggest lesson of all being that life makeup without highlighter is not that bad, in fact, I rejoice even more once the natural glow comes out at hour 6 or so. 

On the road to embracing my own skin, I decided to go foundation-less for a few days. My favourite Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer which I have sung praise about for years needs no introductions. Sadly still not fully available in the UK and if so (QVC UK), quite expensive so it’s nice that I finally found another full coverage alternative in Too Faced Born This Way Super Coverage Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer (now that's a mouthful... That's what she said? No? LOL). Another massive packaging (hihi I simply can't stop!) means the product will last forever! It also covers beautifully and allows me to highlight with, even if it’s ever so slightly darker than Tarte. I’ve been using it for a couple of months now and can't really fault it. Under eyes, I tend to apply a stamp just below by the bridges of the nose and blend upwards and outwards so the only minimal amount is left under eyes. It's a great trick if your concealer tends to set in your the lines! Lastly, another newbie in my collection which made me forget others for a while is Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Liquid Concealer. It's a funny one that one. When first applied to the skin, it looks almost sheer yet it's more than enough to cover dark circles and highlight under eyes. Not the cheapest and probably worst value for money from all the above (only 4ml for a whopping £24) but also the best for under eyes if you're no longer a teen and have developed some lines from those bursting out in random laughing fits and generally living your life. Ultralight, you must be either a ghost like me or love that super highlighted look, but I'm forever grateful to Charlotte for bringing out a shade even I can highlight with! Bravo!

The trend to bring powders back into the limelight isn’t surprising. With new technologies, mattifying powders now offer such beautifully blurred finish one can question if you’re actually wearing powder! There are so many on the market but if you’re dry, dehydrated and even combination, my favourite for the face is Too Faced Peach Perfect Mattifying Setting Powder which smells incredible, sets everything in place and is actually quite buildable if you’d like to powder down later on in the day. For under eyes the crown goes to ultra blurring Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Loose Powder*, which offers soft finish and doesn’t look dry at all! If you’re into baking then Kat Von D Lock It Translucent Setting Powder is one I really love, finely milled and not too matte. I love it but won’t be buying again as I simply can’t agree with the founder’s philosophy on vaccinations! I usually dismiss the dramas around the beauty industry, but having seen the devastation actions like that can cause, I simply can’t get over it! Drama-free Charlotte Tilbury Genius Magic Powder is the newest of the bunch and perfect for all - face and eyes. I haven’t tried baking with it yet but it’s so lovely and blurring, I love to use it as either a setting powder (applied by pressing in with a sponge) or a buffing powder instead. 

Along the way to the super glow, have we lost the point the trend was originally trying to make? If we have to cheat the glow, shouldn’t we try and achieve it by great skincare instead? Add a little oil to your morning routine, opt for exfoliating facials aka embrace the acids or simply stop and take time to learn what it is that your skin needs? Whatever works for you, but if you’re dry - I highly recommend using AHA toner daily and the introduction of vitamin C treatments can make a massive difference almost overnight! 

What are your thoughts on glow? Have you gone the extra mile one too many times and decided to tone it down, or perhaps like yours truly, you want to embrace it until someone literally takes all your toys (highlighters) away?  Let me know in the comments section below.

Thank You For Reading.

With love,


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  1. I'm still all about the glow as it's flattering but matte products have come a long way! xx


    1. I completely agree! I feel deprived of my 3 layers of highlighter somehow yet don’t miss it too much either? It’s weird but I kinda loved the new look, it was a little different :) you are right - powders and matte foundations came a long way and I really enjoy some of the formulas!

  2. I still love highlighters but natural looking ones. I think I went through a few months where all I want was highlight to be seen from space but have been over it for almost two years.

    Shireen⎜Reflection of Sanity

    1. I use a lot of highlighter but now that I somehow survived without it, I prefer to apply powders with sponge and just make it look as if I had a facial twice a day ;)

  3. As someone that has been fighting the glow I let out a sigh of relief! My Skin will never be matte, not even with the Estee Lauder Double Wear and powder on top, but it looks natural that way.

    Anne|Linda, Libra, Loca

  4. Oh wow it all looks so nice! I love a glow but matte still, perks of having oily skin lol

    Erin || MakeErinOver

  5. I'm definitely a matte girl!

  6. After years of chasing flat matte I am happy to state that I hope glow is not dead. I love my natural God-given glow and only seek to secure makeup in place but not mattify these days. Newer powders are so good at blurring as you say and thankfully don't make the complexion appear matte. I want to try the Too Faced Loose Powder next xxx

  7. I love matte products as I'm so oily, but you can't beat a glowy highlighter on the cheekbones! x


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