Every Product You Need To Get The "Dewy Dumpling" Glow From Instagram

Before the Kardashians and YouTube, most of the general public had no idea what contouring and highlighting was. Still, one quick look at the history books will tell you that people have been using matte bronzer and shimmery powder to create facial illusions for centuries.

In the mid-1500s, stage performers would use chalk and soot to exaggerate their facial expressions for the audience. When artificial lighting was finally developed 300 years later, actors ditched the dirt for waxy, oily creams (a.k.a. “pancake makeup”) to accentuate their features under the spotlight. From then on, contouring evolved, touching everyone from the drag communities buried deep in uptown New York to Kevyn Aucoin’s band of ’90s supermodels. And eventually, the industry-only technique hit the mainstream market, launching what has become one of the fastest-growing makeup categories.

Now, a new iteration on the look is here, spearheaded by Instagram’s makeup artist du jourNam Vo. She says that contouring isn’t exactly dead (despite reports), but she’s more drawn to a plump, three-dimensional, healthy glow. Vo captures her mastery of this particular look with IG hashtags, like #highlighterporn, #glowgasm, and most importantly, #dewydumpling, emphasizing that, right now, it’s all about moist, delicious skin — and who doesn’t want that?

To master the look at home, we asked Vo exactly what she uses to make the “dewy dumpling” look a reality, from skin-care must-haves to highlighting creams and powders she can’t live without. Her answers, ahead.

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The “Dewy Dumpling” Glow
Before we get into her kit, Vo clarifies exactly what the “dewy dumpling” glow is. Ever noticed the moist, shiny luminosity of a steamed dumpling? That’s it. According to Vo, when the top third of your cheekbone is covered in highlighter, it looks exactly like the cooked Chinese dough.


The Skin-Care Prep
Vo may be known as the highlighter queen, but she swears that it’s all thanks to on-camera sorcery and an extensive skin-care routine. “I get asked a lot about my favorite highlighters, but if you look at the makeup I do [on Instagram], the highlighter is just the finishing touch,” Vo explains. “It looks good because the skin is already wet, and the whole canvas is prepped. Beautiful makeup starts with beautiful skin.” Vo says she’s really big on oils for a slick, melted glow. One of her favorites comes straight from the drugstore.

Olay Regenerist Miracle Boost Concentrate, $31.99, available at Ulta Beauty


But no one’s skin is the same, so prep routines vary depending on the model’s skin type. Vo tells us that she’s a big fan of masking ahead of makeup. She almost always turns to a hydrating formula, like this one from Summer Fridays that gently exfoliates while simultaneously softening the skin.

Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask, $48, available at Sephora


If your texture is dull, rough, and speckled with patches of dry skin, Vo recommends a heavy-duty chemical exfoliant, like Drunk Elephant’s Sukari Babyfacial.

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial™, $80, available at Sephora


“I’m big on facial massages,” Vo tells us. “I always use these rollers from ReFa to sculpt the jawline and cheekbones before makeup.” (Priyanka Chopra’s makeup artist, Pati Dubroff, is also a fan.)

ReFa ReFa CARAT, $290, available at DermStore


Don’t forget the eyes! Vo says that if you travel a lot and your skin is dehydrated, puffy, or just plain exhausted, these undereye patches will revive your most sensitive skin in minutes.

Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Pure Retinol Eye Mask, $65, available at Sephora


The Cream Layers
After the skin care comes the layering of cream makeup — including primers, foundation, concealer, bronzers, blush, and of course, highlighter. For Vo, the latter can come at any stage of the makeup process. Depending on the look she’s going for, Vo might add highlighter drops into a tinted moisturizer for an all-over glow or sweep a cream from the apples of the cheeks to the top of the temple.

One product that she uses to give a quick, subtle glow is Charlotte Tilbury’s Flawless Filter. “It has next to no coverage, but it leaves a 3-D, buttery kind of radiance to the skin without making it look greasy,” she says, adding that this is her personal go-to on no-makeup makeup days.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter, $44, available at Sephora


For deeper skin tones, Vo likes to use NARS’ classic Orgasm shade in a liquid formula to create a peachy, champagne glow.

NARS Liquid Blush, $30, available at Sephora


Now that you know how Vo feels about healthy skin, it’s no surprise this multipurpose highlighter is a mainstay in her kit. Not only is it made with nourishing skin ingredients, including jojoba oil and hyaluronic acid, but it’s also the perfect, warm glow on medium and dark skin.

Westman Atelier Super Loaded Tinted Highlight, $65, available at Violet Grey


This gel highlighter’s gilded sheen is super flattering on all skin tones — which is probably why it’s always selling out.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter, $44, available at Sephora


The Powder Finish
Vo stresses that she almost always starts a model’s skin with wet, cream products. “Then, I’ll go in with the bling-bling powders,” she says, mentioning Fenty Beauty as a routine regular.

Fenty Beauty By Rihanna Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter, $34, available at Sephora


A cheap alternative to Rihanna’s bold pigments are ColourPop’s Super Shock highlighters. Bonus: They’re bouncy, so you won’t even need a brush to sweep it on the high points of your face.

ColourPop Super Shock Highlighter, $8, available at Ulta Beauty


Of course, this cult-favorite highlighter is seen time and time again on Vo’s Instagram feed. She says that if you’re not into a dewy glow that burns out onlookers’ corneas, Becca Cosmetics’ Champagne Pop is the perfect middle ground between barely-there and blinding.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector® Pressed Highlighter, $38, available at Sephora


If you do prefer a beaming strip of highlight, Vo swears by Kylie Cosmetics’ loose powders. Pro tip: Mix these pigments with water for a matching “dewy dumpling” eye.

Kylie Cosmetics Wisteria | Ultra Glow, $14, available at Kylie Cosmetics

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