The new trend for base makeup is being coined ‘glass skin’. Glass skin refers to glowing, light coverage, healthy-looking skin. To achieve such a look, very little product is needed, and although foundation can still be used, BB creams and tinted moisturisers are probably the best way forward. The powder is used sparingly to set places that easily crease and a glow, from highlighter or prep products, achieves the glassy, reflective finish. This swing into light coverage foundation was overdue, as the decade of the ‘cake face’ and heavy ‘Kim K’ contouring was bound to wear off. Newer brands such as Fenty Beauty and Glossier have latched onto this trend with products like Fenty’s Diamond Bomb highlighter and Glossier’s Perfecting Skin Tint. Fenty Beauty even uploaded a Youtube tutorial in which their global makeup artist, Priscilla Ono, explained how to achieve the glass skin look with their products. Ono stresses the seamlessness of glass skin and reiterates throughout the tutorial how only very little product is needed for everything to flow together really well.
Fenty Beauty's YouTube tutorial on 'How To: Get Glass Skin'
Glass skin has come into the Western eye after being popularised in Korea. Recently, Refinery29 uploaded a Youtube video named ‘I Got A Glass Skin Facial in South Korea’. This video points out that glass skin isn’t just about makeup, its base lies in skincare. It’s therefore unsurprising that this trend has followed a piqued interest in luxury skincare. Vogue started a popular Youtube series this September where celebrities show their extensive pre-makeup skincare routines, from face masks and moisturisers to serums and oils. Brands like Tatcha have also recently blown up thanks to coveted products like their Water Cream moisturiser. It then comes as no surprise that this raved about the brand has its roots in classical Japanese beauty and skincare.
Kimdao's YouTube video ‘How To: Korean 10 Step Skincare Routine | Glass Skin’
A simpler base seems appropriate due to the rise in graphic, neon eye looks and use of blush. A natural layer of foundation allows these other components to have their moment, and experimental eye looks or a blushing cheek become the focus of the face. Many makeup professionals and Instagram users are sharing looks with a light coverage base and rosy glowing cheeks, with only a dusting of bronzer. Even Kylie Jenner is really into blush at the moment, evidenced in her Youtube video with Vogue ‘Kylie Jenner’s Guide to Lips, Brows, Confidence | Beauty Secrets’. However, this tutorial was over a year ago, and although blush was making a comeback, the foundation, concealer and baking trio were still there to stay.
Although this may be a trend on social media, I think it has yet to follow through in a lot of young people’s lives. Comments on Fenty Beauty’s Youtube video ‘Everyday Glass Skin Tutorial with Tommy Genesis’ criticises the video for using a model with already perfect skin. One user said ‘her skin is already glass without makeup… sigh’ with another commenting, ‘how to achieve glass skin: have clear skin’. Although it may be a quicker routine, it’s probably not the approach many people feel comfortable using. Teens and young adults everywhere tend to use makeup as a cover-up for imperfections such as dark circles and acne, but a glass skin look doesn’t allow for this kind of coverage. So although it may look beautiful, for many it will be something to simply admire, not to administer.
Words by Amy Ellis
Graphics by Katie Janes