Do you remember when we used to call a spade a spade, and a highlighter “a highlighter”? Things were so simple then. You mixed a few drops of liquid illuminator into a foundation and called it a day. Then, naturally, we had to take the road less travelled more complicated. All of a sudden, the beauty world was churning out highlighter trends like K-Pop churns out ambitious dance machines swathed in crystal-studded spandex. These trends took us from baking to strobing to flaring to something called a “galaxy sunset”, which, as you can imagine, is just as garish as its name suggests.

Recently though, I dove down a Youtube rabbit hole so deep I had to remind myself what year it was. Within minutes I’d gone from watching  ‘What My Sugar Daddy Bought Me’ to discovering a little something called “glass skin”. Thank you algorithm, you are so random. By the end of this “glass skin” beauty tutorial by some beauty vlogger with a considerable amount of time on her hands, I was sold. I mean, would you look at that angelic glow

But there was a catch. Glass skin, the latest cosmetic trend to come out of Korea, requires a considerable amount of time and effort. One must clear out their entire schedule for the day. One must layer on more than twenty skincare products. Twenty! I mean, I didn’t even have the patience to sit through the edited twelve-minute clip – how on earth was I ever going to achieve such fastidiously primed skin in real life? Being the impatient and overindulged millennial that I am, I wanted my glass skin NOW.

This is where the highlighter hack comes in. It’ll give you that whole filtered yet natural look in under five minutes, with little more than three products. Cue a mirror-like, glazed-donut, post-facial complexion. Yes, it is that good.

The best part of all? You probably already have the essential tools lying around in your very own bathroom.

What you’ll need.

Liquid illuminator

 MAC Strobe Cream

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector

Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops


Powder highlighter

Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder

Maybelline Master Chrome

Hourglass Ambient Strobe Powder


Face oil

La Mer The Renewal Oil

SKII Facial Treatment Oil

Weleda Skin Food


Step 1: Mix liquid illuminator into moisturizer

After applying your usual skincare, mix a few drops of liquid illuminator into your moisturizer or your coverage of your choice. Use the warmth of your hands to pat and press it into the skin. This will give you an even, radiant base in the time it takes to order a coffee.


Step 2: Combine powder highlighter and face oil

Now, this is where the magic happens. A high-watt powder highlighter can look a little OTT on its own. In harsh daylight, you’re likely going to give off the air of a well-polished disco ball, and by 3pm flecks of glitter will have migrated down your face. Not a strong look. When mixed into a face oil or balm, however, you’ll get the light-diffusing magic of the powder, coupled with a glossy, just-like-skin finish. That is, the oil will help the pigment blend seamlessly into your skin.


Step 3: Pat DIY highlighter onto the highpoints of the face

You know the drill: cheekbones, cupids bow, inner corners of the eyes, bridge of the nose and chin. Anywhere the light naturally hits. If you’re baring a sexy slice of shoulder or leg on a Friday night, make sure you take some of this magic mix along the collarbone, shoulders, arms, and legs. Prepare to temporarily blind all those who come your way.