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Makeup Trend Dissection: Flawless & Glowing K-beauty Glass Skin

k-beauty trend glass skin
Bae Yoon Young by Kang Kyung Suk for Vogue Girl Korea

What is the most widely-known Korean beauty trend, that have been viral for the past few years and took over the worldwide beauty industry? The answer is one and the only one - the glass skin trend. Every makeup artist and cosmetician are talking about the flawless glass skin look and every beauty lover layered tons of skin care products and dewy highlighters to reach the desirable 'wet and wild' allure on the surface of the skin.

What Is The Glass Skin Trend?

But what exactly is a glass skin look? The whole idea behind the trend is to give the skin a crystal-clear, flawless appearance, which reminds a smooth surface of the glass. The ultimate goal here is to achieve the youthful, poreless and dewy skin look with the help of thorough skin care routine and emphasize the skin care results with makeup.

One of the earliest mention of the glass skin trend I discovered in the How to Get Glass Skin... blog post written by beautician Dr. Rachel Ho, where she talks about the hydrated and luminous skin trend and how to reach this effect in three steps. Rachel Ho describes the complex idea behind multi-step Asia beauty routines - they layer skin nourishing and protecting products to achieve porcelain doll like complexion naturally. Sounds overwhelming, but is it as complicated as it sounds?

glowing glass skin makeup

Photo Credit: Jessica Felicio

How To Achieve The Flawless Glass Skin Look


Every person, who cares about the health and appearance of the skin follows a skin care routine, based on their skin needs and type. The glass skin care routine does not deviate from your regular routine drastically. It consists of the regular three-step routine, reinforced with hyaluronic acid serum and pampering sheet masks.

  • The first step in your daily skin care routine should be cleansing. Mild face cleansers that do not dry or irritate your skin paired with very gentle sponge or brush will remove any excess oil, dirt, and dead cells of your skin and refresh your complexion. 

  • To reach the glowing glass skin appearance, skin cleansing is followed by exfoliation, which should be done once a week. Regular exfoliation buffs of dead skin cells, making your skin look younger and brighter. If your skin is prone to telangiectasia (also known as spider veins), then you have to be very gentle on problematic areas.

  • To calm and refresh your skin, use a hydrating sheet mask. This skin care phase is optional, but if you feel like your skin craves some pampering, then give it what it wants. Using pampering sheet mask once or twice a week is more than enough.

  • Now, when your skin is fresh and clean, it is time for the second step - toning. Not all the toners are equally good for your skin type. Try to stay away from the products that contain alcohol, because they may dehydrate your skin. A good toner, infused with skin-benefiting ingredients and vitamins, will moisten thirsty skin cells and balance skin PH level.

  • Our skin is clean, refreshed, and soothed, so the last third step is moisturizing your skin. Hyaluronic acid serum with vitamins and nourishing oils will hydrate your skin, smooth out fine lines, and protect it from free radicals. The easiest way to get a naturally glowing skin is to apply your serum right after the toner, while your skin is still damp. Fortify the hydrating effect with a lightweight moisturizer. It should feel weightless on the skin and do not clog the pores.

The flawless glass skin is definitely something you can't achieve overnight, especially if you have a problematic skin type with constant breakouts and irritations. Of course, it is hard to stick to the regular skin care routine, but just like the hard work pays off, the consistent skin care routine will ensure the flawless results.

Linda Hallberg, glass skin makeup
Photo Credit: Linda Hallberg

Glass Skin With Makeup

To emphasize the results of  such a complex skin care routine and add even more divine glow to your face look for a water-weight BB cream with high SPF or a light to medium coverage foundation. These products won't overlay the beauty of your natural skin, yet even out the surface of your skin and hide blemishes. Never skip your makeup primer, because this product is a must-have for poreless skin finish. If you have an acne-prone skin look for a silicone-free makeup primer. 

Generous highlighting is the final and one of the most important steps that sums up and completes the glass skin look. Most of Korean beauties use liquid highlighters, profusely charged with light-reflective particles and shimmers. You can add a few drops of such highlighter to your foundation or BB cream. This method will illuminate your skin all over, giving it a very subtle radiant finish.

For the highest areas of your face - brow bone, nose bridge, cheekbones, temples, corners of the eyes and the Cupid's bow - use another round of liquid or powder highlighter. Make sure to blend the product well and try not to overload your face with light. Remember, the less is more! Even few swipes of the highlighter will brighten up your entire complexion. If you want to add even more glassy shine to your skin, apply a tiny amount of highlighter on your collar bones.

glowing morning routine
Photo Credit: amandakhamkaew

Dewy, Not Oily

Having a healthy skin, glowing from within is always appealing, but how to balance between the beautiful glass skin look and the unattractive greasy skin appearance. The line between these two skin finishes is very fine and at times it is hard to maintain a balance between the good and the bad, especially if you have oily or combination skin type from the start. 

One of the important verities we all have to realize - a healthy, beautiful skin is neither matte, not too oily. It is something in between of these two states. Our dermis is an elastic layer of tissue, it protects the body from tension and damage and situated underneath the epidermis. Dermis is lavishly supplied with blood vessels, oil, and sweat glands, so its healthy condition is to be smooth and well-nourished. 

Do not hurry to invest into the 24/7 matte makeup primer and foundation. Even if you have super-oily skin, you can still pull off the glass skin trend. In fact, you can use this characteristic of your skin in favor of your makeup look (no flakiness and dry feeling is a blessing!). Here is what you can do to avoid the oily appearance:

  • Makeup primer for oily skin will control the excessive amount of skin oil, ensuring the smooth and even skin surface.

  • Keep your highlighter withing highest areas of your face. Don't apply it on the oily areas of your face like chin, nostrils, and the tip of the nose.

  • Stock up with the rice paper blotting tissues, they will remove oil build up without smudging your makeup look.

  • Give your preference to powder highlighters instead of oil-based, liquid products.

And that's how you can give your skin a beautiful, glass-like finish. In my point of view, such effortless and glossy skin look is ideal for summer, when you don't won't to over-complicate your makeup routine, yet still look beautiful and radiant. At first glance, this might seem like a lot of steps to follow, but when you get used to the routine and it finally pays off, you don't feel the complexity. And what about you, lovelies, what do you think of the glass skin trend? Is it as beautiful and appealing, as everyone claims? Please, let me know your thoughts, I'm excited to read your point of view. 

Lots of love,
Liz