Glitter eyeshadow, ombre lipstick, white eyeliner: How come the most impractical makeup trends are always the prettiest? This time around, face gloss has taken the beauty world by storm, and I might as well be leading the charge: A few years ago when highlighter became A Thing, I decided to sit on the sidelines, waiting until something slightly less sparkly—and, well, less iridescent—came along.
In the meantime, I used RMS’s Living Luminzer, a glitter-less highlighter that I waxed poetic about for months, until one day last summer when I made a fortuitous discovery: I has dispensed way too much Glossier Balm Dotcom from its tube, so I rubbed a bit on the apples of my cheeks, up toward my cheekbones. The result? I looked well-rested, and a few years younger, if I do say so myself. Eventually I started using it in the center of my lids for an all-over refreshed look.
It was three months later that I found out face gloss was an actual thing, and not just a hack I’d been taking credit for throughout the tail end of 2016. Applied (almost) in the same way you’d wear highlighter—to the points of your face, like your cheekbones, just above your outer brows, and at your Cupid’s Bow—face gloss extends beyond looking naturally dewy and instead escorts you directly into angelic territory.
As with most products, face gloss is buildable, and though you can go from dewy to editorial to greasy in three second flat, it’s mostly a godsend. I like to apply my CC cream as usual, then use my Beautyblender to dab some gloss on my cheekbones, eyelids, and even into the corners of my eyes. Yes, it feels a little tacky, and yes, it takes some getting used to, and yes, you will look approximately one million times better than if you were to pile on enough highlighter for the same effect. Just know that your hair will stick to your entire face, should the wind blow—they still haven’t figured out how to fix that when lip gloss was a thing in the ‘90s.
Ahead, the best face gloss products to shop now—including two that aren’t face glosses at all.