How I Get My Glow: Cream Edition

I realized last night during a clean out of my makeup drawer that I own an obscene amount of glowy base products. Like, more than the average person should have. If it’s shine-inducing and hydrating, it’s going on my face.

First, a bit about me: I have constantly dry, dull skin. In the winter I have to double-moisturize every morning just to make my skin look alive again. Oil based cleansers are the only kind that leave my skin feeling soft and not stripped. Glow is not my friend. But, just like my high school crush, I would do just about anything to have it in my life. I live for the glow.

Let’s be clear here: I’m not trying to look like any of those Instagram tutorials where they appear to have just stepped off of the sun. I want to look like my skin is saying yes, I have always looked this good or, more appropriately, yes, I do drink enough water in the day! 


$32 |

I got this bright purple tube off of the free table at work. It doesn’t even say what kind of product it is on it the front — all it says is “BRIGHTER DAYS,” but I was sold. I found that it wore well under my makeup and delivered a seriously pretty, pearly glow. The cream stars out white but sheers out on application. There’s no detectable glitter and I didn’t notice if my pores looked any bigger after application.I also found that it’s a really nice second moisturizer over top of my Clinique Moisture Surge gel moisturizer. Makeup applies well on top, and the glow comes through my foundation, which is a medium to full option from Too Faced.

Rating: 8/10



If anyone ever tells you that influencer marketing doesn’t work, tell them about the time I went out and bought something I didn’t need just because every blogger I follow was talking about it for a month straight. I have the shade 902 Light Glow, which is a really pretty your-skin-but-better shade on my complexion. I like to wear this under makeup as a primer and then again on the high points of my cheeks as a highlighter primer before powder. It lasts all day even if my foundation doesn’t. I want to buy the bronzy shade for the summertime, but I figure I should probably use up some of my other options before I go out and spend more money I don’t have. Also, this feels super hydrating on the skin!

Rating: 9.5/10 


$13 |

This was another free table snag, and my gateway drug into the world of illuminating face bases. But, like many of my “firsts,” it paled into comparison when up against some of my newer picks. Whereas the Tarte and L’Oreal options were more dewey, the Flower option has actual sparks of glitter in it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. This looked pretty under foundation, but I found that it did nothing where elongating my makeup’s wear-time was involved. In fact, I found in hindsight that this broke my makeup down over the course of the day. The consistency is thicker than the other two options already on this list, and blending was a challenge unless you applied a lot of it.

Rating: 5.5/10


$34 |

Ahhh yes where would a highlighter roundup be without MAC Strobe Cream. There was a time in in the olden days of YouTube where Mac Strobe Cream topped every vlogger’s list of makeup must haves. A very young and a very broke Julia was once horrified at the thought of spending $34 on a highlighter. I don’t have the original shade, PinkLite. Instead I opted for GoldLite, which MAC’s website actually recommends for medium to dark skintones. I have generally warm, olive-y undertones to my skin, and the idea of slathering anything with pink glitters in it made me nervous. This would probably suit someone with an oilier skin type — I found that it wasn’t especially hydrating on my skin. But it did last all day. There was a point in time where I believed this was breaking me out due to my using it every day. Now, I apply it mainly over foundation as a base for my powder highlighters.

Rating: 7/10 

And there you have it — my oddly long list of products that all do the exact same thing! If anything, I am reminded that highlighting bases are the reason I cannot eat poke every day for lunch. Glowy skin > using up all those punch cards I have to The PokeSpot.