Dumpling Skin Is The 6-Step K-Beauty Trend To Give You A Dewy Glow

June 05, 2020 at 12:20AM

Ever gape at a basket of fresh dumplings and think, That highlight! Why are you so glowy? Well, if you’re envious of a steaming piece of shumai, it turns out you’re not alone: Dumpling skin is very much a thing, garnering so much traction that it’s become a makeup look in its own right, right beside K-beauty mainstays like glass skin and a 10-step regimen. Better yet? It’s not so difficult to replicate. Here’s how to get dumpling skin in seven steps, so you can achieve that fresh, plush glow.

What is dumpling skin?

Take a closer look at the aforementioned basket of dumplings—notice their moist, slightly glistening appearance? Makeup artist Nam Vo certainly noticed the glow, whose hashtag #dewydumpling went viral as soon as she swept highlighter across her skin, resembling freshly steamed dough. And thus, dumpling skin was born.

You’re probably thinking: How is this look different from glass skin? Don’t they both emphasize plump skin with an emphasis on the dew? And you’re definitely right; the looks are perhaps two sides of the same coin. But dumpling skin focuses on supple, moist skin rather than looking luminous and reflective.

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How to get dumpling skin: 6 steps to a supple glow.

Here’s how to replicate Vo’s glow, so you can become your best dumpling self:

1. Start with skin care.

As with glass skin, you can’t achieve a dewy dumpling look without focusing on skin care. To get that dumpling glow, it’s all about hydration: That’s why Nick Stenson, Ulta Beauty’s senior vice president of salon services and trends, recommends using a cream cleanser to preserve the natural oils in your skin and keep it looking moist. If you choose to use toner (a personal decision, really), he recommends not letting it dry on your skin. “Immediately after, apply your moisturizer,” he tells mbg, to give your skin a slight sheen.

As for the cream, you’ll want to keep it water-based to keep the look lightweight. “That will eliminate the reflective shine a more occlusive formula would provide,” explains makeup artist Alexandra Compton, product development manager at clean beauty retailer Credo. To seal in the moisture (don’t forget, a water-based formula can evaporate and dry your skin out even further), apply a good facial oil with your fingertips. Keep your touch light, really focusing on the areas you’ll highlight later on to emulate a healthy glow.

Try these products:

Herbivore Botanicals Pink Cloud Rosewater Moisture Crème
1Herbivore Botanicals Pink Cloud Rosewater Moisture Crème

Touch In SOL Pretty Filter Waterful Glow Cream
2Touch In SOL Pretty Filter Waterful Glow Cream

Touch In SOL$38
NakedPoppy Revitalize Organic Facial Oil
3NakedPoppy Revitalize Organic Facial Oil

Indie Lee COQ-10 Toner
4Indie Lee COQ-10 Toner

The Detox Market$34

2. Support soft skin from the inside out.*

If you support natural collagen levels in the body, your skin will appear firmer and more taut—the perfect base for a dewy dumpling look.* The most effective way to do so is through hydrolyzed collagen supplements, as collagen is too large of a molecule to penetrate the skin topically.

Try mbg’s grass-fed collagen+ to keep your skin glowy and plump from the inside out. This supplement has been shown to support skin elasticity and hydration and smooth the appearance of texture (like fine lines and wrinkles).* The formula also contains antioxidants like vitamin Cvitamin E, and sulforaphane glucosinolate, which can neutralize free radicals and manage oxidative stress.* Finally, dumpling skin is all about hydration: The blend also includes hyaluronic acid, which helps enhance your skin’s natural moisture levels.*

3. Primer is your friend.

Now, on to makeup: “Start off your look by introducing the first layer of glow,” Compton says. Reach for a primer that’s super buildable (not glittery, not matte) to gently pat on. As with the oil, focus on areas you plan to highlight—the cheekbones, bridge of the nose, cupid’s bow, and center of the chin. Keep your formulas lightweight here; dumpling skin is all about letting your natural texture shine.

Try these products:

Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Illuminating Primer
1Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Illuminating Primer

Vapour beauty primer
2Vapour Beauty Gentle Illuminating Primer

Vapour Beauty$60
Crop Natural Radiant Glow Primer
3Crop Natural Radiant Glow Primer

Ilia True Skin Radiant Priming Serum
4ILIA Beauty True Skin Radiant Priming Serum


4. Create a multidimensional glow.

Perhaps the most important difference between dumpling skin and its K-beauty counterparts, this makeup look is about layering products to create a multidimensional feel. When you strategically layer makeup products, you can achieve that same feel. “The goal is to look like you’re glowing from within instead of looking flat and reflective, like glass,” Compton explains.

To do so, she suggests mixing your foundation (or BB or CC cream, if you so choose) with a few drops of liquid highlighter. That way, the product will cling to your skin’s natural shape and texture.

Try these products:

Maya Chia The Highlight of the Day
1Maya Chia The Highlight of the Day

ILIA Beauty Liquid Light Serum Highlighter
2ILIA Beauty Liquid Light Serum Highlighter

ILIA Beauty$42
Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer
3Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer

Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Juice Boost
4Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Juice Boost


5. Strategically place concealer.

Choose a brightening concealer (maybe one or two shades lighter than your usual color) to strategically spot-treat and highlight the high points of the face, says Compton. By using concealer to do the job, you can give those high points some love (reminder: That’s the cheekbones, bridge of the nose, cupid’s bow, and center of the chin) without adding any extra shimmer.

Try these products:

Kosas Revealer Concealer Super Creamy + Brightening Concealer
1Kosas Revealer Concealer Super Creamy + Brightening Concealer

rituel de fille concealer
2Rituel de Fille The Ethereal Veil Conceal and Cover

Rituel de Fille$34
ILIA Beauty True Skin Serum Concealer
3ILIA Beauty True Skin Serum Concealer

Tarte SEA Hydrocealer Concealer
4Tarte SEA Hydrocealer Concealer


6. Layer creams and powders.

Next up, blush, an oft-overlooked step, according to Compton, but an important one nonetheless: Use a cream blush to hit the highest points of your cheekbones, following with a powder highlighter to emulate that plush, filled dumpling look. Now, you might think liquid highlighters would be top dog, but stay with us here: By dabbing powder highlighter over the cream, you can make the look even more three-dimensional.

Just don’t go too heavy on the highlighter, and keep most of it on those cheekbones. As Stenson points out, “too much highlighter can become reflective,” which may fare better for a glass skin look than a dewy dumpling glow. Less is more to achieve the natural dumpling steam sheen. Finally, be sure the powder is your last step in the routine; you don’t want to be layering cream products over powders, as they won’t glide on as easily and can even become splotchy.

Try these products:

Westman Atelier Super Loaded Tinted Highlight
1Westman Atelier Super Loaded Tinted Highlight

Westman Atelier$75
Rituel de Fille Rare Light Crème Luminizer
2Rituel de Fille Rare Light Crème Luminizer

Rituel de Fille$29
RMS Beauty Luminizing Powder
3RMS Beauty Luminizing Powder

RMS Beauty$38
Aether Beauty Supernova Crushed Diamond Highlighter
4Aether Beauty Supernova Crushed Diamond Highlighter


7. Add a veil of moisture.

The final step? Spritz a hydrating face mist to amplify the glow, says Compton. That way, you’ll emulate those freshly steamed dumplings sitting in their basket, with just enough moisture to look supple, not sweaty. Just a few spritzes will do the trick.

Try these products:

Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator
1Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator

Tower 28 SOS (Save. Our. Skin) Daily Rescue Facial Spray
2Tower 28 SOS (Save. Our. Skin) Daily Rescue Facial Spray

Herbivore Botanicals Rose Hibiscus Face Mist
3Herbivore Botanicals Rose Hibiscus Face Mist

Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist
4Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist


Key takeaways.

Keep in mind that this look is about suppleness rather than shine—that’s what makes it unique from glass skin. While both looks blur the line between skin care and makeup, there are two slightly different vibes here: Think of dumpling skin as moist and plush, glass skin as reflective and luminous. To emulate the soft skin of a dumpling, make sure the look stays multidimensional, with highlight in just the right places. Of course, you can’t really achieve dumpling skin without starting off with a healthy, refreshed base—for this look, supporting supple skin from the inside-out is key to creating that flawless gyoza glow.*

Author Jamie Schneider | Life by Daily Burn
Selected by CWC

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