How to make pale skin glow, makeup tips

Here are my tips on how to look glowy with makeup, ways to illuminate pale skin and make it super glowy, glossy and reflective for the perfect no makeup makeup look! This is a look that has become really sought after lately, how to get glass skin with makeup to give your face that translucent, otherworldly glow that is perfect for daytime or for festivities and parties this season. It is how to get super glowy skin in a way that doesn’t look like you’re wearing makeup!

Pale skin can be tricky to illuminate in that it often ends up looking flat, it is super hard to see the beautiful contrast between the silvery, light catching natural facial glow and our own skin, that gives other skin tones their gorgeous facial dimensions. Often we end up resorting to fake tan or tinted products to give our face a little more ‘oomph’. Here are some tips to make the most of your natural skin tone if you are on the paler side, but these tips should work for all skin tones too! 

1. Before the makeup – gently moisturise your skin with thin lightweight layers that will help to soothe it and replace any oils stripped away in the skin cleansing process. Now your skin is freshly moisturised, place yourself in good lighting or near daylight and notice the parts of your face the light is hitting. This might be along your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose or the cupids bow.
Be sure to apply an spf on the face and neck then wait five minutes (or ten if you can! If I have time I do my hair here) to let everything soak in. This will ensure a nice, smooth and natural finish. An spf infused primer is perfect for this, it will make your skin all velvety and ready. 

2. Apply any liquid or cream based foundation – you want to use, of any coverage. I always recommend a liquid or cream based formula as putting liquid products later on top of powder can unseat it and smear it around, resulting in a cakey texture. If you are definitely a powder person, try apply only to places you need it, places like the middle of the forehead and the chin are perfect for powder, and avoid touching those areas with highlight later on. 

3. Use a good coverage concealer – on any areas of the face you like to keep hidden, ‘spot treat’ each little area and keep it free from highlight if you can. Use it anywhere on the face that makes you feel confident, like the shadowy under eye area. Dab it down a bit on to your inner cheeks to brighten and open up your whole face.

My dream concealer is the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away, it’s definitely on the pricier side at £24 but worth its weight in gold, it is pure magic and like nothing I have ever tried. It feels so comfortable, the coverage is insane and it makes your skin look like silk. I think shade 1 is perfect for the palest skin, whereas shade 2 is perfect for pale-light skin, with warmer undertones. I’ve also had very good results with NYX’s stick foundation, a more affordable option that costs under a tenner, it gives such good coverage and works perfectly as a concealer. 

4. Choose a ‘dewy’ liquid or cream highlight – liquid or balm highlight creates that molten dewy effect and makes your face look extra dimensional as you move and catch the light, making you look super glowy with makeup. They tend to give a more natural ‘wet look’ glow as they are emulating the natural oils of the skin. When testing highlight, always test in different light settings and measure the swatches on your hand for longeivity too, see which ones give a wet look glow for longer as some are quick to dry up!

I really recommend the NYX Dose of Dew Face Gloss a lovely affordable option that leaves a gorgeous, glossy finish, for heavenly results the pricier Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wand or the highly coveted wet look Becca Shimmering Skin perfector in Opal, you can find for only £16 right now!

I always think to go for a highlight which colour roughly matches the shade of your foundation, sometimes the very pale or silvery ‘frosty’ highlight shades can come out as blueish or purplish and give you a bit of a ghostly glow!

5. Apply it on the higher parts of the face – the tip of the nose, the brow bone and either side of the forehead, near the temples are perfect places to put it. Also, across the top of the apples of your cheeks – find those round points of your cheeks that bulge out when you smile and apply highlight across the top of them, to make your cheeks sparkle and glow. A great way to apply is to pop some product on the back of your hand and then dab it gently on the areas you want it. 

6. Press on and blend with fingertips – for the most natural results and to avoid dragging the base of your makeup along with it. 

7. Apply a little highlight to the centre of your eyelids – for a natural glowing look, it really lights up your face and gives you that supermodel glow look. 

8. A dab of high intensity highlight – you know that one glittery, discoball highlight, that really crazy strongbeam product, it’s time to use it strategically on your face. This ASOS liquid highlighter definitely comes to mind here, it’s perfect because the pigmentation is insane and it’s so affordable at only £4.50 right now! Dab it in teeny tiny amounts just on the highest point of wherever you applied the other highlight, just for extra oomph and to draw the eye to that area. This is magical because in small doses it will really enhance the other highlight and totally make it pop, without stealing the show or overpowering the face, or turning you all glittery. 

9. To keep the texture flawless – generously coat a sponge, beauty blender or absorbent material in setting spray and very gently dab it all over the face where fine lines form, like the under eye area, to stop any makeup gathering or any creasing appearing. 

10. Go all over with setting spray – a dewy setting spray like the Barry M Dewy Finish at £4.99 would be perfect but any will do! Just spritz a good few times over every area of the face, from an arms length distance.

To maintain it in winter weather I always think, keep a sturdy umbrella with you, be kind to your skin when cleansing it, use gentle products and pamper your skin by enriching and nourishing it with lots of lightweight layers of hydration. Learn what your skin loves, you’ll be on your way to emulating the natural formulation of your skin ♡ 

All content is my own. My posts contain affiliate links. For full disclosure, click HERE



  1. the creation of beauty is art.
    December 7, 2019 / 10:34 pm

    These tips are fantastic! Yes, sometimes my pale skin can look flat so I'll definitely be putting all of your advice to good use. I just added a glowing setting spray to my routine so hopefully that will help!

    • elizabeth
      December 15, 2019 / 7:22 pm

      Thanks so much, I'm so glad you liked it! It's so tricky in the winter because skin gets dry and chapped in the cold weather 😀 there's so many lovely products you can try and indulge in for a bit of me time! ♡

  2. Sharon
    December 9, 2019 / 5:03 am

    Great tips! I always think using a bit of blush and highlighter really helps for my pale skin!

    • elizabeth
      December 15, 2019 / 7:24 pm

      Thanks so much Sharon! Using blush creates such a lovely, healthy glow 😀 ♡

    December 9, 2019 / 3:50 pm

    Oh my I will have to try that Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away it sounds incredible.

    Allie of

    • elizabeth
      December 15, 2019 / 7:27 pm

      Aw do try it! It took me forever to get round to it, it was a bit too expensive for my budget so I received it for my birthday, but I would 100% purchase again and again, it's that good!! ♡

  4. Jyoti
    December 9, 2019 / 4:33 pm

    These tips are so amazing and helpful! Thanks a lot for sharing! Have a great day!

    • elizabeth
      December 15, 2019 / 7:27 pm

      Thank you so much Jyoti! You too! 😀 ♡

  5. Frederic Michel-Verdier
    December 17, 2019 / 2:38 pm

    Love this, very nice idea!!

    December 19, 2019 / 5:29 am

    Great idea! Love it. Thanks for sharing!!

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  11. UpYourVlog
    February 6, 2020 / 12:42 pm

    Love this! I'm all about the glowy skin now after being a matt girl for som long!

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  13. Leo5
    June 16, 2020 / 8:29 am

    fantastic tips! Love it.. how to make pale skin look super glowy very nice idea!!

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