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We're all obsessed with luminous 'Bridgerton skin' (and how to get it)

January 11th 2021 / Melanie Macleod / 0 comment


Hooked on Netflix’s Regency romp? We asked makeup artists for the key pieces in their kit to achieve that flawless, no-makeup eligible glow, for all ages and skin tones

There’s much to love about Netflix’s opulent period drama Bridgerton; not least mutterings of series two. From the dashing Duke of Hastings, to the exquisite Empire-line dresses (what better to reveal a heaving bosom) to string quartets playing modern tunes: who knew Thank U Next would sound so good at a Regency ball? One unmissable feature is producer Shonda Rhimes' (of Grey's Anatomy) representative casting across the skin colour spectrum. It's the skin that's the star. It's not just diverse but flawless and luminous as ageless mothers (no one said this was real life) debut their picture-perfect daughters in the hope of finding them a worthy suitor.

In this Jane Austen meets Gossip Girl mashup, you're as likely to see the peaches and cream complexions of the young debutante Daphne Bridgerton (second left played by Phoebe Dynevor) and her mother Violet (above left played by Ruth Gemmell)- ageless despite being a single mother to eight children, as Adjoa Andoh's formidable middle-aged Lady Danbury (second from right) whose dark skin is mesmerising in its radiance, and the caramel freckles of disgraced Marina Thompson (Ruby Barker, top right) sent to live with her well-to-do London relations, the Featheringtons.

There is little mention of makeup among the character (aside from Daphne Bridgerton having a home-made blush applied by her maid - and demanding more). Natural beauty was considered a sign of good breeding and eligibility, and it's this strictured life which becomes a source of conflict (and drama) for the young female characters as they push against the limitations of their age and station.

Still, that doesn't stop us from wanting what they are having when it comes to that flawless glow. According to our makeup artist experts, there are three simple steps to get there: glow-getting skincare, a luminous base and a delicate blush. Here are their product picks for all ages and akin tones.

Bridgerton skin step 1: a dewy base

Best products for younger skin:

"Young skin tends to already have a lot of luminosity and vitality to it naturally, but for a further pick me up for that flawless Bridgerton look, I'd recommend adding Pixi Glow Tonic, £18, to your skincare regime before any makeup because it gently exfoliates away dead skin cells that can make the skin dull," says MUA and podcaster Rose Gallagher. "I use it on models at Fashion Week when I need something quick to really give a glow."

Glossier Future Dew Oil Serum Hybrid, £23, is a great way to cheat glowy skin with just one product," says Adeola Gboyega, skincare makeup artist and UK education and artistry manager for Pat Mcgrath Labs, "It’s long-lasting and works well for all skin types. Apply it as the last step of your skincare routine for a gorgeous glow.”

"The Inika Cream Illuminsor, £23, look naturally flushed and effortless, especially if you layer on top of a cream blush,” says celebrity makeup artist Em-J Williams.

"The Becca First Light Priming Filter, £15, looks bright purple, but when you put it on it gives a Daphne Bridgerton ethereal glow," adds Rose. "I don't normally use primers but this is an example of one that gives a glow and keeps makeup in place."

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Best products for mature skin:

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Highlighter + Balm Duo, £45, is the perfect product to give your skin the ultimate radiance without settling into fine lines and wrinkles," says Adeola. "The two-part product contains a transparent balm containing skin caring ingredients such as aloe and hyaluronic acid to plump and care for the skin. As well as a cream highlighter which gives skin a natural glow. The result is smooth, illuminated skin.”

"For a flawless complexion with older skin, hydration is key," advises Rose. "So many people I speak to with fine lines and wrinkles want to reduce the appearance of fine lines and I really believe if they increased the level of hydration in skincare it would do absolute wonders. Use something light in texture such as the Murad Nutrient Charged Water Gel, £50. It feels so thin but it sits beautifully under your makeup and it's densely hydrating so instantly plumps out the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and it's a great foundation base too. Older people can struggle with their foundation going patchy but if your skin is hydrated it doesn't eat away at the moisture in the foundation, which is what leads it to go patchy."

"Clarins Everlasting Youth Fluid, £17.50, is great for evening out skin tone on more mature skin, concealing imperfections and age spots without the need for added concealer," says makeup artist Ruby Hammer.

"For older skin I also recommend the Laura Mercier Hydrating Primer, £32," says Rose. "Not only does it help to grip the makeup which you might benefit from if you're suffering from hot flushes and your skin is hot to the touch, but it's also hydrating to plump the skin for a fresh look."

Rose also rates Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector, £21. "This non-heavy concealer stays luminous, sitting where you want it to to brighten the area you've applied it. It was created in partnership with journalist Bryony Gordon's Mental Health Mates charity and a portion of each sale goes to the charity."

Bridgerton skin step 2: a lightweight luminous foundation

Best products for younger skin:

It Cosmetics’ Your Skin But Better CC Cream, £32, is a multi-tasking CC cream that is fantastic as it provides you with coverage, whilst also leaving your skin looking luminous and flawless," says Adeola. "The skin-boosting benefits work beautifully to give you that ‘your skin but better’ ultimate glow.”

“The Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation, £33, is a gorgeous, satin finish foundation. Whilst giving a medium coverage, it leaves skin looking healthy and natural like the Featherington girls’," says Em-J.

YSL Touche Eclat Le Teint Foundation, £36, provides medium coverage which can be built up if required without looking cakey on the skin,” says Ruby. “It is lightly illuminating for the healthy glow seen on the Bridgerton daughters.”

"For foundation L’Oreal True Match, £9.99, is brilliant," says Rose. "It's affordable, it looks really great and it's a lovely medium buildable coverage, so you can have a fresh look if your skin is already great, but if you need help perfecting it on pigmentation, redness or acne scarring, it will do a fab job the more you build it."

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Best products for mature skin:

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish Sublime Perfection Foundation, £60, is a nourishing formula that’s perfect for mature skin as the formula contains a vita serum complex that helps to keep the skin plump and hydrated," says Adeola. "The diamond core powder technology is great for improving the skin's texture and blurring the appearance of fine lines and imperfections.”

"I'd recommend Charlotte Tilbury Retoucher, £25," says Em-J. "It works really well under the eyes. It's super hydrating and also has great pigment- excellent for dark circles as well as blemishes. When it comes to blusher, powder blush often sits on top of the make-up which can be quite ageing as well as looking like make-up."

"Sculpted By Aimee Connolly Second Skin Foundation, £25, makes easy work of making skin look creamy and healthy," says Madeleine. "It offers medium coverage if applied neat, but if you want it to be a little juicier, add a smidge of moisturiser or a liquid highlighter to a dollop in your hand before massaging onto skin with clean fingers. For less sheen and a matte Bridgerton finish, opt for the matte version - it contains zero oil but doesn’t look chalky in the slightest owing to it containing no talc."

Powder is a firned of mature skin, as Em-J explains: "The Tropic Mineral Powder, £24, is a true make-up saviour for anyone with fine lines," says Em-J. "When buffed into the skin it creates a flawless canvas without sitting in the fine lines – essential when Bridgerton was filmed in HD. The minerals in the foundation are light reflective which give an almost Photoshopped finish which is also long-lasting."

"If you want a little blur and to take down shine while keeping your glow, Charlotte Tilbury Magic Powder, £33, is the powder for the job," says Madeleine. "Try taking it on a small brush such as the Nanshy Face Shaper, £7.95, for ultimate control."

Bridgerton skin step 3: a flushy blush

Best products for young skin:

"For the ultimate in faking gently lit-from-within I’ve-been-for-a-walk-in-a-topiary-maze-with-a-hottie skin, take a few dots of Daniel Sandler's Watercolour Blush, £16.50, in your chosen colour and blend onto the apples of your cheeks, softening the edges with a buffing brush if that works for you," recommends podcaster and beauty expert Madeleine Spencer.

Fenty Beauty’s Cheeks Out cream blusher, £19, is a lightweight non-greasy blusher that’s perfect as it melts into the skin effortlessly and provides you with a fresh-faced flush," Adeola recommends. "There are so many shades to choose from for all skin tones to provide us all with a natural youthful glow."

"Cream blushers are so flattering and give a very skin-like appearance," says Em-J. "The Juice Beauty Phyto Pigments Last Looks Blush, £28, is a cream blush that melts into the cheeks with minimal effort."

"Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge blushers, £23.50, give a juicy glow and enhance an already lovely complexion. You can add it to your lips as well so you've got a matching look."

“Cheeks should be softly rouged for a healthy peaches and cream complexion,” says Ruby. “Glossier Cloud Paint, £15, is perfect for younger skin. It’s a soft buildable formula that when dabbed onto cheeks gives them a natural flush.”

Best products for mature skin:

Trinny London Lip2 Cheek, £25, is a fantastic multitasking cream-based product that you can use on the lips and the cheeks," says Adeola. "A cream-based product is great for a more mature skin because it blends into the skin easily and doesn’t sit in the fine lines and wrinkles and looks like skin. This is a great product that makes the skin come alive and looks natural.”

"For mature skin that requires a hint more blush Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks, £46, has a creamy texture with more impact, it can also be dabbed on to the lips to complete the look," says Ruby.

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