These Moisturisers Are So Glowy That You Won’t Even Need Any Highlight

January 08, 2022 at 06:30AM

Trying to nail the perfect, natural-looking glow is certainly no mean feat. Trust me. I’ve been trying to suss it out for years. It seems some people are just born with a radiant complexion that oozes luminosity and health. In a bid to replicate this glow, I have tried virtually every single highlighting makeup product under the sun, and I am yet to find a formula that doesn’t give the game away somehow. Whether it’s chunky bits of glitter or my lack of ability to apply it to the most natural-looking places, I have been forced to admit defeat when it comes to highlight.

So with highlighters out of the question, I have had to think outside of the box when it comes to upping my glow game. From primers to serums and cleansers to foundations, I have searched high and low for any product that can deliver a glowing radiance that might trick people into thinking it’s actually real. And finally, after many years of searching, I can say that I have found exactly what I have been looking for.

While glow-promising cleansers only seemed to cause breakouts and illuminating foundations left me looking sweaty after just a few minutes, one product has really proved its glow-giving abilities in a way no other has been able to. A new kind of moisturiser has found its way into my routine.

What I call “glowing moisturisers” are predominantly skincare products that possess radiance-boosting properties. For example, some might be slightly tinted while others contain light-reflecting particles. You simply slap them on either as part of or after your skincare routine, leave skin bare or apply makeup over the top, and you’ll be glowing all day long with absolutely zero fuss. Don’t believe me? Keep scrolling for the glow-inducing moisturisers that guarantee effortless luminosity all day long.  

Formulated with kombucha and fermented ginger to up radiance, this priming moisturiser is by far one of the glowiest I have come across. Plus, my breakout-prone skin has absolutely no trouble with it. Thanks to its light-reflecting minerals, whenever I use it, I get compliments on how healthy my complexion looks. 

This lightweight gel moisturiser is impossibly refreshing on the skin, so it breathes a bit of glowing life into lacklustre complexions straight away. On top of that, it also has a golden, pearly sheen that just radiates health and vitality.

The Ole Henriksen C-Rush cream is one of my favourite moisturisers out there. For those who consider their skin type “normal,” I highly recommend this radiance-boosting formula. The gel-cream texture is lightweight and refreshing but also has a very sheer peachy colour (it doesn’t have any pigment; it’s just the natural colour of the cream) that livens up any complexion. 

For no-makeup days, this stuff has become my reach-for. It’s jam-packed with oils and fruit extracts for optimum nourishment, but it doesn’t leave a sticky or greasy residue. If you’re into a super-glossy finish, nothing compares.

It’s a little pricey, I know, but if you ask me, it’s also one of the best illuminating products around. With powerhouse hydrators such as hyaluronic acid alongside shea and mango-seed butters, it’s a wonderful moisturiser on its own merit. However, it also contains diamond dust to give the most beautifully blurring (and radiating) sheen.

From a lifelong-favourite range, this glowing moisturiser champions vitamin C and therefore has glow-giving antioxidant properties. The light, gel-like texture is also wonderfully cooling and invigorating. 

This stuff is seriously rich. Full of essential oils and hyaluronic acid, it offers up next-level moisture. Because of this, I wouldn’t suggest it as an everyday option. However, it’s radiance-boosting, glow-giving properties are, if you ask me, totally unrivalled. It has an orange tint to it that works to colour-correct and also leave behind the most convincing sun-kissed effect. If you’re after instant results, this one is for you.

This ever-so-slightly iridescent formula is basically dewy, healthy-looking skin in a bottle. When applied after serum, it gives skin almost a wet-look finish, but it doesn’t look oily or sweaty, either. It just veils the skin in youthful radiance.

Confidence in a Cream has long been a go-to of mine whenever my skin is looking really dry and like it’s had the life sucked out of it. Recently, I discovered this stuff. Still containing all of the super-hydrating ingredients like squalane and iris root, it also had a rose tint that works to brighten up tired faces in an instant.

Sitting somewhere between skincare and a makeup product, this stuff is a really worthwhile add-on. If you don’t like the dewy finish that often comes with illuminating moisturisers, listen up. It contains vitamin E and squalane for a super-hydrating punch, but it also has a pearly finish that works to reflect light and boost luminosity. Plus, it’s soft and more matte than many others on the list. 

Another rich formula, with hyaluronic acid, shea butter and ceramides, this stuff means business. Ideal for dry skin, it also contains pearl particles for an out-of-this-world glow. 

Sitting somewhere between a rich moisturiser and a primer, for days when you don’t want to apply a full base, this perfecting balm is ideal. Reflective pearls illuminate while lychee extract revitalises.

I’ve waxed lyrical about this glow-giving moisturiser before. It’s one of the most subtly radiance-boosting skincare products I own. To put it bluntly, this is probably the one £140 skincare product I genuinely believe I would consider parting with the cash for. 

Price shown in members’ price. This moisturiser might not have evident illuminating properties, but its glow-boosting properties go unrivalled. With vitamin C to help boost the skin’s natural radiance and an oxygen complex to deliver a dewy glow, it’s like healthy skin in a tub. 

A number of celebs (including Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Katie Holmes) swear by Dr. Barbara Sturm’s glowing skincare, and these Glow Drops are a firm favourite. With polygonum bistorta root to help even skin tone, wild rose extract to refine pores and hyaluronic acid to plump and hydrate, these glow drops mean business.


Few skincare ranges are as glow-boosting at Sunday Riley’s CEO. This rich is lightweight cream is jam-packed with glowing vitamin C and contains gentle exfoliators to improve radiance.

Next up, basically every celeb swears by this one skincare brand.

Author Shannon Lawlor | Whowhatwear
Selected by CWC

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