That Glow

The look of the season: bare skin, but better.

It sounds great in theory, this phenomenon of no-makeup makeup, which spread like pale fire across the spring runways, from Calvin Klein (polished, natural) to Marc Jacobs (literally barefaced). After all, who wouldn’t love to march out of the door each morning with tomboyish ease, ethereal skin, and minutes to spare? In the cold light of the bathroom, however, reality often intrudes—­scattershot redness here, the shadow of a former blemish there—­leaving the mere moral to whisper, No makeup??

Fortunately, the season’s refreshing new approach to beauty—no-fuss skin that evokes a certain low-maintenance luxe, not to mention confidence—isn’t just relegated to genetically gifted 20-year-olds. Because here’s the thing: This isn’t a call for the renunciation of foundation. It’s the moment to rethink what you use and how you use it. Thanks to a new cast of pre-makeup primers that double as invisible troubleshooters, featherweight foundations, and updated application techniques (forget full face—forever), arriving at the very best version of your own skin is now within reach.

Prep Work

It should come as no surprise that the basis for great skin is…great skin. “I’m a believer in daily exfoliating,” says New York dermatologist Patricia Wexler, M.D. “That is immediately going to make you look more luminous.” Wexler suggests finding an exfoliant that works with your skin type and sticking to it, whether it’s a refining serum (her recommendation: Ren’s Radiance Perfection Serum with fruit actives) or a microbrasion product (her own Skin Resurfacing Cream, made with finely scaled aluminum-oxide crystals, is an easy add to your shower routine).

A skin-cleansing device can also help dislodge impurities and dead skin cells, further delivering fresh-faced polish. “Think of a dirty windowpane, the light bouncing off in all different directions. That’s what dull skin looks like,” says Manhattan dermatologist Catherine Orentreich, M.D. Clinique’s new sonic-powered handpiece features two types of bristles for targeting both T-zone and delicate areas like the cheeks; the palm-size, Swedish-designed Forco Luna—clad in pebbled silicone in a range of cheerful colors—issues rapid-fire pulsations to gently cleanse and boost microcirculation. (Bonus: no brush head to replace.)

For a truly transformative glow, Wexler recommends scheduling an in-office peel, like the multi-acid Spot Treatment peel, safe for all skin tones. “Two days later, you shed like a reptile,” she says. “It makes the skin radiant, and I mean radiant.”

Source: Vogue. March, 2015