Each year there’s a new beauty trend that makes next to no sense. Usually it’s do to with your skin - the one thing you can’t really alter, no matter how many beauty tutorials you read. A personal favourite is 'fresh skin is in this year' (When is it not in? When is it going to be the year for shit, dull skin?) second only to 'this year is all about clear skin' (Not spots? Interesting) but 2016 has really outdone itself.
Because the catwalks and beauty trend presentations this year were all about wet faces. Shiny, slicked back hair is one thing - and one thing that’s very chic - but shiny, oil-slick skin is another. Sure, it might look interesting on a catwalk model who is also wearing crochet with no bra underneath, fully exposing her areola, but can you run to Tesco with a big wet face?
As with most beauty trends, it’s about taking it with a pinch of salt and recognising that the most you’ll get from a Big Face Trend is a new way of doing your makeup that you never recognised as valid before (remember when everyone was banging on about eyebrows and you gave it a go and realised it revolutionised your entire face? Yeah, that) and at the very least, you can have a fucking good laugh by a mirror.
Highlighting and having what I now term a Sort Of Wet Face began as the latter for me and has now turned into the former. I read about Strobing on the Debrief and became hell bent on getting some highlighter. Then I strobed a lot and people commented on how nice my skin looked. If you take it a step further, but pull back before things start looking sweaty, then it can genuinely make you look like a healthy fresh-faced cherub. Instead of the focus being on your eye makeup or your lipstick, the focus can be on your skin.
I’d advise giving it a go and, if you end up looking totally mad, then there’s no love lost right?
So here’s how to do a wet face. I’ve put down some fancy schmancy products that work, but also cheaper alternatives if you’re not a beauty journalist so don’t get sent loads of stuff you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to afford even if you didn’t pay rent.
Step one: exfoliate, serum-ize and moisturise like an absolute fool.
We’re talking big time exfoliating, big time serums and big time moisturising okay? I use Zelens bio resurfacing facial pads (£65 HAHAHA) but equally, Clean and Clear exfoliating daily wash (£3.10) did me proud for years.
Then use some form of brightening serum. By 'some form' I mean 'one that you already use'. If you don't use one may I recommend No7 Protect and Perfect (£24.95) or Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair (from £50) which I use morning and evening rather than just at night.
Next a fucking serious moisturiser. I use Clinique Dramatically Different (£18 for a little tube of it), but when going for a wet look it's time to crack out the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream (£26) and mix in a squeeze or two to whatever moisturiser you use. Yeah, the big guns. The big guns that smell like bacon and will give you a sheen for the rest of the day without looking greasy (if you don't use too much of it).
Now you've got a shiny face to start adding more shine to.
Step 2: Put highlighter all over your face
Step 3: use either a brightening foundation or a CC cream if you've got nice skin, you bastard.
I use MAC's Mineralize Moisture (£29) because it doesn't look like a cakey foundation, doesn't clog, and genuinely makes your skin look nice and bright. Most people say 'what foundation do you use' when I wear it. To which I reply 'I don't use any HAHAHAHAHAHAH no just kidding I use this one HAHAHAHAAH' - and that explains why many find me problematic in social situations.
For good CC creams, check out this list...
**Step 4: Really light contouring **
We're talking really light, if you're a contouring addict. The new Sleek contouring palettes (coming out this April - go to Sleek's website to bag them) are perfect because a) they're cream, so don't look like mud and b) there's a wide range of shades in each palette so you can go as light and subtle as you need.
Just contour below your cheek bones and blend like a crazy person.
**Step 5: Strobe **
Using either the highlighter you put all over your face, or another, more intense one - I'm using Benefit's High Beam (£19.50) because it's the best highlighter money can buy and I can't recommend it highly enough - dot onto your cheekbones, the centre of your forehead, down your nose, on your cupids bow, in the centre of your chin and under your eyebrows. Phew.
Step 6: Lip gloss
Yeah if you want full wet-look, you're going to have to wear lipgloss (check out the best ones here - I'm using MAC clear Lip Glass (£14.50) in this vine). Sorry about that. Here are some nice ones, if you're interested.
But Stevie, I hear absolutely nobody say, what makeup should I wear with this? A strong lip and a heavy brow? A heavy eye and a light lip? Why are we singularising the word 'lip' when normal people call them lips? My answer to that is: I usually wear loads of mascara and heavy lipstick but no eyeliner, but it entirely depends upon your face. Probably don't wear heavy eye makeup as well as heavy lipstick because this is supposed to be a fresh faced look so you might just look a bit mad. Also, I have no idea why beauty writers singularise the word lip - maybe they spoke to the fashion writers ('team this with a slim trouser!') and felt left out?
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Follow Stevie on Twitter @5tevieM
This article originally appeared on The Debrief.