How to GLOW in the Dead of Winter

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It’s pretty challenging to duplicate a “summer glow” in the dead of winter, but I was up for the challenge with this makeup look.

I’m not sure there is anything better you can do to your skin to make it look more youthful and fresh then applying a rich moisturizer and an illuminating primer. Dry skin lacks vibrancy, bounce, glow, reflection, etc. So if there is only one thing you take from this demo, let it be that you need to find a richly hydrating moisturizer for your skin. Even for those of you with oily skin, there is a moisturizer out there that will hydrate where it needs to hydrate, and not clog pores in the meantime.

The biggest impact from the glow in this look is from the illuminating primer, though. In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m an on again off again primer user. Sometimes I’m dedicated to daily use, otherwise, I forget to use it and don’t really notice. However, if I use this Illuminating Primer from Laura Mercier one day and not the next, I notice.

I was browsing the beauty department at Nordstrom recently and tested a few different primers from Laura Mercier’s new line up, and the Illuminating one was my very favorite. I considered getting a sample to try since the consultants at Nordstrom are always so helpful when I ask to try out products, but I just loved the finish so much I decided to go ahead buy the primer.

I’ve used it every day since then!

Before I show you a side by side of how beautiful this primer is, I want to share one tip if you are going to begin using this product or something like it:

If you want maximum impact from this primer, be sure you pair it with a sheer or medium coverage foundation. That will allow the glow to shine through. Covering it up with a full coverage foundation would be a crime! 

So here is my lovely, sensitive, irritated in some areas skin in its natural state.

And here is the Illuminating Primer applied to the right side (my left).

Not only does a primer like this add hydration and stickiness for makeup to adhere, but it offered the prettiest pearlized glow to the skin.

Here is another view of my skin without the primer.

And here is the side with the primer!

I chose my favorite sheer/buildable foundation, NARS Sheer Glow for this glowing makeup look. I also did not skimp on the highlighter application either, and would highly recommend the Bronze and Glow Duo from Charlotte Tilbury!

You can check out the products I used for this makeup look below, as well as a few other highlighting primers to explore!

One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten. Eleven. Twelve. Thirteen. Fourteen. Fifteen. Sixteen.

Glowing, hydrated skin always looks beautiful and if you are feeling drab and dull this winter season, try this primer!

This post was sponsored by Nordstrom.

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Comments (31)

  1. Paige says
    Posted January 27, 2020

    Looks beautiful! I want to confirm that you only used the one eye shadow on lids and no actual lip color – only the lip liner?

  2. Jen says
    Posted January 27, 2020

    Which color is the Laura Mercier caviar eye stick? The link takes me to “blossom” or “caramel”. Just curious which one you used.

    • Kate says
      Posted January 27, 2020

      I have Au Natural and Caramel, both are great!

  3. Tricia says
    Posted January 27, 2020

    Holy Cow – that last photo!! I am not sure you have ever looked more lovely! And that is saying something, because you always looks Beautiful 🙂

  4. Bridget S. says
    Posted January 27, 2020

    Those lips though! What are those products?

  5. Lillie says
    Posted January 27, 2020

    This is so timely! I have booked family photos for April on the eve of my son’s high school graduation. We have never done professional photos of all four of us, probably because I’m camera shy. Looking back, waiting until I turned 50 wasn’t my best decision. Do you have a blog post on makeup and hair for photographs? I am planning to get a blowout, but I like to do my own makeup. I definitely have an everyday look that is more natural, not unlike yours. I don’t want to look super-glam, but I do know I need to step it up a notch. Thanks!!

  6. AA says
    Posted January 27, 2020

    Hi Kate,
    Do you apply the primer everywhere or do you avoid shine-prone areas like the forehead?

    • Kate says
      Posted January 27, 2020

      My skin is dry so I apply it all over. If you have oily areas you may want to avoid those!

  7. Sadie says
    Posted January 27, 2020

    You mention the importance of moisturizer in this post:
    “If there is only one thing you take from this demo, let it be that you need to find a richly hydrating moisturizer for your skin.”
    Can you please let us know which is your favorite moisturizer . . . or perhaps do a post that recommends some good options?

  8. Jennifer Williams says
    Posted January 27, 2020

    From past posts, I think we tend to use the same foundation colors. What shade do you use in Nars Sheer Glow? Love the finish and final look!

  9. KIM FORBES says
    Posted January 27, 2020

    I absolutely love this!! Could you do a video with how you apply everything? You look beautiful! xoxo

  10. Belinda says
    Posted January 27, 2020

    Beautiful!! What mascara are you using??!!

  11. KIM FORBES says
    Posted January 27, 2020

    Also, what mascara and lipstick are you wearing? Thanks again!!

  12. Holly says
    Posted January 27, 2020

    What lipstick color is that? So pretty!

  13. Sheila says
    Posted January 27, 2020

    What heavy duty moisturizer would you recommend for dry sensitive skin that isn’t in the $60+ price range and available in Canada.

    • Kate says
      Posted January 27, 2020

      Olay!

  14. Posted January 27, 2020

    Looking gorgeous, Kate! Thank you for sharing this makeup look with us! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  15. Kelly says
    Posted January 27, 2020

    The first thing I noticed were the lips!! The lip liner and lipstick combo is glowing!! And I’ve never thought of lips as something that can add “glow” to a makeup look. So pretty!!💕

    • Kate says
      Posted February 14, 2020

      For my lips I lined them with Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk, blended it in around the edges of my lips, then finished with a clear gloss!

  16. Karen says
    Posted January 28, 2020

    Good Morning,

    Is the shade finder feature on Sephora’s website a good indication for foundation shade? I want to try the NARS foundation but struggling with what shade I am. I currently use the Bobbi Brown BB Cream in shade light but I need a little more coverage for redness.

    Thank you! I really enjoy your blog and instagram stories!!

    • Kate says
      Posted February 14, 2020

      I use 4.75 in the NARS foundation!

  17. Cam says
    Posted January 28, 2020

    What lipstick are you wearing?
    Love the color.

    • Kate says
      Posted February 14, 2020

      For my lips I lined them with Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk, blended it in around the edges of my lips, then finished with a clear gloss!

  18. Sue says
    Posted January 28, 2020

    I don’t see the lip color you used ?

    • Kate says
      Posted February 14, 2020

      For my lips I lined them with Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk, blended it in around the edges of my lips, then finished with a clear gloss!

  19. Kate says
    Posted January 29, 2020

    Thanks for sharing this! You looks so great as always!!

    -Kate
    https://daysofkate.com/

  20. Annie says
    Posted February 8, 2020

    What lipstick color are you wearing? Beautiful!

    • Kate says
      Posted February 14, 2020

      For my lips I lined them with Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk, blended it in around the edges of my lips, then finished with a clear gloss!

  21. Candace B says
    Posted February 9, 2020

    Gorgeous!

  22. Karen Jedrzynski says
    Posted February 14, 2020

    What colors did you use in this? When I click on the link it takes me to the website, but it gives me the choices of colors. I’m especially interested in your lip color.

    • Kate says
      Posted February 14, 2020

      Can you be more specific about what colors you are asking for? For my lips I lined them with Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk, blended it in around the edges of my lips, then finished with a clear gloss!