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For many, “expensive skin” is the holy grail of makeup. Rather than the trendy no-makeup look, expensive skin is more polished and refined – although, of course, never cakey or obvious looking. In spite of the name, you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot to get the expensive skin look. It’s more about a dedicated routine, spending time on application, and using a clever mix of subtle yet effective products. And luckily for you, we’re here to help.

Expensive skin starts with good skincare, and I’m of the opinion that almost anything can be improved with the Origins Clear Improvements Mask. It’s a classic clay-charcoal affair, meaning it draws out impurities and gives pores a visible (albeit temporary) tightening effect. It’s also great for deeply cleansing and giving skin a cherubic glow.

If you really want an intensive at-home treatment though, I adore the Kiehls Epidermal ReTexturizing Microdermabrasion. It’s a scrub, but not like any I’ve tried before. It feels as if it’s literally buffing and polishing your skin’s surface, giving you the smoothest, most glass-like canvas.

For a chemical exfoliation, though, I’ve been obsessed with the Elemental Herbology Balance Skin Resurfacing Multi Acid Facial Pads. Pads are just so convenient, and these feel cushiony and luxurious on the skin. They’re gentle enough to use every day, but effective at smoothing, resurfacing, and giving mega glow.

A new launch that I urge everyone to try is the Weleda Skin Food Light. If you love Skin Food, but find it can be a little bit thick, this will be a total godsend. It has the same delicious scent and stunning propensity for glow-giving, but applies easier and absorbs quicker.

No expensive skin tutorial would be complete without the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter. This is a real one-stop-shop if you want to add a creamy, lit-from-within glow. My advice? Go in liberally. I like to apply this both under and over makeup (or sometimes without makeup at all) to get a highlight that’s somehow both intense and subtle.

To amp up the dew, there are two actual highlighters I’ve also been loving. The Noto Hydra Highlighter is a classic dewy glow, which leaves skin looking hydrated and glossy. A surprise hit has been the Glossier Play NiteShine. I suspected this would be a bog-standard shimmery liquid highlight, but that really isn’t the case. It somehow looks balmy and reflective, but sets in place, making it ideal for those who just can’t stand the feeling of a face gloss.

Expensive skin doesn’t necessarily have to cost a lot of money and a new launch that proves it is the Maybelline Dream Urban Cover. This is a medium coverage foundation with a natural-to-glowy finish and an amazing SPF 50. I’m completely obsessed – but a word of warning: a little goes a long way. Start slow and build up over time, otherwise it can be tricky to blend.

But if you want something super luxe, I point you towards the Koh Gen Doh Aqua Foundation. This may just be the best foundation on the market – and the price tag proves it. It’s supremely hydrating a glowy, yet lasts a really long time and looks beautifully natural. One caveat is the shade range, which is small but ever expanding.

A final tip for the expensive skin look is the Caudalie Beauty Elixir. Really, any final facial mist will do the job, but this one has the elusive princess quality. It sets down makeup and completes the final stages of blending, ensuring everything looks imperceptible yet also completely perfect.

Shop 9 edior-approved picks for expensive-looking skin

Featured images via Free People

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