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For me, there’s no beauty ideal that beats a bright complexion. Glowy skin is my first, my last, and my everything. It looks healthy AF and touchably smooth, suggesting a lack of makeup and a #blessed complexion. And the best part is that it’s achievable. Even if you rarely sleep, or eat mostly things out of packets, you can trick your way to a bright, luminous complexion. Here’s how.

The foundation of any smooth and sheeny face is exfoliation. A brightening mask can really help you out, particularly if you’ve been neglecting your skincare routine. If you’re feeling bougie, the Natura Bissé Diamond Mask is hard to beat. But if you’re balling on a budget, the Mario Badescu Enzyme Revitalizing Mask can do wonders. With each, you apply, leave for a few minutes as they munch off your top layers of dull, grey skin cells, then flannel off to reveal your new baby face.

To keep up skin cell turnover, I’ve recently been loving the Mario Badescu Glycolic Toner. It’s quite an alarming blue colour, but it’s surprisingly gentle. If little and often suits your skin in terms of exfoliation, then this may be the better option for you.

Physical exfoliation gets a bad rep, but if you, like me, enjoy an illicit gritty rubdown, there’s truly no better than Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub. The scrubby particles are so small as to feel almost like a powder, meaning you get a super fine exfoliation experience. Afterwards, your face is visibly and touchably smoother.

Another hero ingredient for brightening is vitamin C, usually administered in the form of a concentrated serum. Two of the very best are from Mario Badescu and Dr. Dennis Gross. Both sink in effectively don’t irritate or clog pores, and, with use over time have a noticeable cumulative brightening effect.

If vitamin C scares you, another totally brilliant brightening serum is the Aveda Tulasara Bright. It’s 98% natural and uses the principals of Ayurveda to help balance common skin concerns – in this case, discolouration and dullness. It’s also nicely hydrating, without ever feeling greasy or problematic on the pores.

A recent makeup find which has done wonders in terms of faking brightness is the Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter. It’s somewhat of a confusing product, primarily because it can be tricky to figure out what is actually is. But to me, that’s the beauty of it – it can be used as a primer, as a light coverage base, as a liquid highlighter, or even as all three. It gives serious glow, without ever looking too much like product.

An old classic that I still turn to is the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid. Rather than using this as a liquid highlighter, though, I love this under a fuller coverage foundation. It basically just turns the glow on your face way up, and makes you look lit from within. From within your foundation, maybe, but still.

There are a ton of glowy base products on the market, but one I believe deserves more love is the Givenchy Teint Couture Balm. It gives just enough coverage and just enough glow to be one of the most natural looking bases on the market – but the difference before and after is quite noticeable. Plus, it has a nice shade range and SPF 15.

A final tip to up your facial brightness is the Caudalie Beauty Elixir. This can be used as a toner, but what I particularly love it for is spritzing over makeup. It has a layer of oil suspended in the liquid, which means a light spray adds an immediate hydrated glow. It is also supremely cooling, making it a superstar product for summer.

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Featured image via Vogue

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