If you are, and actually even if you are not, a skin care and beauty die hard, you have come across the very latest buzzword: glow.
Alternatively it is called radiance. It is a look that can be achieved with a growing to-do list.
It dates back to bronzing and then of course, contouring and highlighting that were beauty trends designed to help a woman “capture the light” or “find her light,”-those parts of her face where the sun beams and bounces off.
Small wonder this trends picked up steam off Instagram, the virtual world where faces are sculpted, noses are reshaped, cheekbones are created and eyebrows are enhanced.
It also explains why Fenty Beauty’s most known beauty product is Trophy Wife, a minimalist packaging of stunning compact gold flecks applied sparingly on the tautest part of the cheekbone.
The most natural occurrence of this glow, is pregnancy. Expectant women are praised for possessing this radiance without the addition of any skin care product. It is a recapturing of that youthful glow thanks to the play of hormones.
Of course it figures then that someone would attempt to bottle this.
Google has plenty of recipes for getting your glow on. Exfoliating the skin, using sheet masks, brightening serums, massaging with extra virgin 100 per cent oils, honey and turmeric, sleeping for 7 uninterrupted hours a night, drinking a gallon of water a day, sex twice a week, proper cleansing, specific facials, home-made masks, making sure you consume your daily portion of fruits, green smoothies, hot yoga, exercise - in fact this was initially that post-workout glow.
The one that transitioned into the Alicia Keys hashtag, the no makeup movement. It also involves the kind of prepping you do to your skin before wearing makeup from the choice of primers, illuminating foundations to powders with ‘diamond’ particles and face creams with snails or some kind of bee or whale extraction. It is a list as simple as it is complicated because anything could give you a glow so long as your skin likes it.
I blame this obsessive glow on K-Beauty. They have another word for this kind of look with 6 to 15 step skin care regimens and specific products to bring it about - glassy. Skincare is so important in South Korea that beauty products are secondary.
There is no better look than this poreless skin with a finish that literally looks like glass. They are not big on the American penchant for contouring, highlighting and strobing, the latter a technique that works beautifully when the lights are on your face such as on screen, on camera or on the red carpet. Instead of dedicating time to cosmetics, they amp up their skin care.
The challenge with the glow is something of a paradox. You earn it. You don’t just wake up with it. It has a lot to do with nature, as much as it does what you do with what you inherited from mum and dad. You can lose it, but you can regain it. This glow is yet another thing women now have to concern themselves with. The glow is a result of youth, great skin care and mastery of cosmetics.
With the matt look getting shelved and radiance fast becoming a trend, more than enough products now promise this mask of youth. The glow is not just a superficial thing however.
It is primarily about being in such robust health it is positively rude. A sort of aliveness that reveals itself on the surface of your skin because life is working out for you. Basically, the true glow is about being in love, your career or yourself. Who knows. All we know is this joy is written all over your face.
The glow is an inner and outer beauty thing. This makes it a trend worth aspiring to, because it is a result of healthy living and sweet life choices. Should this not be the case, then of course you can find ways to generate it, including being smart and strategic with your makeup application.
How do you know you have achieved this look? It is rather difficult. How do you know if you have achieved enough glow simply by looking at the face you see in the mirror all the time?
It is not a transformation you can see like applying a different lipstick colour and gauging yourself. Only others can. And they might now have the words ‘glow’ on the tip of their tongue when they see you.
The best way to know if you have a glow is to rely on other people’s perception. When they say things like ‘You look good!’ - it has to end with an exclamation mark. And especially if they say it more than once. Or, if you are complemented on your youth, health, skin generally or a state of happiness is projected on to you whether you feel it or not.