You know what traveling is great for? Exploring, adventuring, learning … and ruining your skin. Despite my best efforts, I have never been able to come off a airplane looking radiant and glowing. Ever. i just returned from my European adventure on Sunday, and I still haven’t recovered. Two weeks away from my drawers of skincare products and favorite makeup, (yes, drawers: plural) and two weeks in foreign places with new altitudes, time zones, and climates, and I’m a mess. (The 4AM commuter plane, six hour layover, and eight hour journey to my final destination sitting behind a colicky baby the whole way didn’t help either.) Luckily, I’ve found the best way to fake vibrancy in my jet-lagged face, and I’m willing to share it!
My number one go-to skin helper when I’m looking sluggish is some kind of luminizing product. I must own two dozen highlighting and glowing powders, illuminators, and radiance boosters that I’ll never use because they fall about two flecks short of dusting your face with Ke$ha glitter. Lots of them aren’t great for full-facial use, either, and you’ll practically need to be Van Gogh to find the precise areas of your cheekbones that will benefit from strategic highlighting. So, no. I don’t have that kind of free time.
My favorite, most goof-proof luminzer in my makeup drawer is, by far, Cover FX’s Radiant FX Luminesence Powder in Platinum. You can easily get away with using just this product and some mascara during your vacation. It’s a powder formula that you sift out of the jar as needed. It gives you a hint of coverage (so you can skip foundation if you have a nice tan that you don’t want to hide) and also contains shimmer, NOT glitter. You’ll underestimate the importance of this distinction until you apply a glittery glow to your wan, gray skin and suffer the consequences. (Trust me, I’ve been there.) I use a big, fluffy brush to apply it all over my face for some warmth and sheen.
Unfortunately, I didn’t pack my Radiant FX on my trip. In attempts to pack lightly so that I could bring back international beauty products to share with you lovely Collaboreight readers, (keep an eye out! Coming soon!) I decided against bringing any brushes. I packed only tiny sample sizes and compacts with their own applicators and cut back to what I thought my essentials were (a mini foundation, mascara, and eyeliner.) By the time I had gone through a third of my European tour, I was missing my glow powder. Luckily, a stop at a lovely Paul & Joe boutique in Luxembourg city had a solution for me: Paul & Joe Beaute Pearl Foundation Primer. [Try this site] The adorable Dippin’ Dots-esque packaging (top photo) would have sold me on the product anyway, but this primer turned out to be incredibly useful.
I’ve never understood the need for foundation primers: isn’t foundation the primer for the rest of your face? I happily found that Paul & Joe’s version was not just an unnecessary, expensive foundation-for-your-foundation.
If you use it the traditional way and apply it first, underneath your liquid foundation, it’s the quickest way to bring your skin back to its old self again. The shimmer isn’t super obvious, so it only really counteracts the extra dullness that you don’t normally have. However, applying this primer over your entire finished face results in a completely amped-up glowing effect. And since it’s liquid, you can apply little dabs in a highlighting way without worrying about the precision I complained about earlier.
Want to kick the whole look up a notch? Try mark.’s Glowdacious Illuminating Powder. It’s customizable (meaning you can control the shade) bronzer and luminizer, so you can play up a tan- or fake the one you don’t have.
Illuminators are a little bonus pick-me-up in your makeup routine best reserved for days when you don’t necessarily want to show the blah that you’re feeling. When you find the right one, you can also cut down on applications of the rest of your products: perfect for an easy, lazy summer!