Between the dry heat inside, the freezing temperatures outside and Omicron ruining pretty much everything, you might be struggling to get your skin glowing. But the good news is you can be radiant once again. In fact, celebrity makeup artist Nam Vo is here to tell you how you can get her signature “Dewy Dumplings” gleam—even in the dead of winter.
“Rather than using makeup, concealer and highlighters to create the illusion of dewy skin, you have to work for the real thing,” Vo says. “Since I was a toddler, I was trained to use SPF. Using SPF, exfoliating and investing in good skincare and tools is key. The better your skin is, the less makeup you have to wear. And the better your skin is, your makeup looks prettier, right? It all circles back to good skin. Everybody’s skin is different, so you have to know your priorities. For example, if you’re extra dry, then you might want to invest in a really high-quality hyaluronic acid serum. The beauty world can be very overwhelming, but you have to know what your target goal is.”
The beauty guru is all about skin that’s lit from within, and to prove that you can get incandescent complexion without breaking the bank, Vo is partnering with T.J.Maxx and Marshalls. “A lot of people think that I’m bougie and I do have a bougie tendency, but even bougie people like great value and great prices,” Vo says. “The last time I went into the store, I got a rug, a frying pan, a new LED mask, some lipstick and socks. There’s something for everybody. There’s great designer brands. It’s like a one stop shop for me. Recently I discovered this 2-in-1 Flat & Curling Iron that I used on my hair. I thought it was going to be hundreds of dollars and it was so much value for what you got. It’s a fun experience for everybody. It’s curated really well. There’s a lot to discover.”
To nail the “Dewy Dumplings” look, it’s all about your skincare. “During winter months, thanks to the heater, we’re all a little bit more dehydrated,” Vo says. “You need to give your skin a little bit more love. Some people don’t believe in cleansing during the day, but I do because I feel like it’s like a restart and I want to work on clean skin.” In the morning, she cleanses, tones (with this soothing toning lotion or this unique Korean clarifying toner), uses a vitamin C serum and tops it off with an SPF, like this SPF 20 Algae Smoothing & Protecting Cream. For daytime, she suggests a lightweight lotion, like this rose duo moisturizer, and a heavier option before bedtime, such as this nutri-define supreme restore rich cream.
Exfoliation is a cornerstone in Vo’s skincare routine. “Everybody just starts to pile on the oils or the moisturizers in the winter,” she says. “It sounds counterintuitive, but when you’re dry and flaky and I feel that winter shift in my skin coming up, I do exfoliation because I need to take off that dead skin so my products can work better. Your products are not going to penetrate if you have all that surface dehydration.” Instead of a rough and granule physical exfoliant, Vo recommends a using a chemical exfoliant twice a week, such as peels or products with lactic acid, a gentle exfoliating ingredient.
A key part of Vo’s regimen is using a facial steamer. “When we get facials, steam opens the pores and softens the skin,” she says. “I like to steam before I use a deep pore cleansing mask because then it’s easier to suck everything out.” Another must-have device for Vo is an LED mask. “I tell everybody to invest in a high-quality LED mask,” she says. “I just got this LED Facial Toning Device at TJ Maxx; it’s very functional because I can still do the laundry and do my business—I don’t have to lie down to use it.”
Vo also winterizes her makeup. “During winter, I like things to be easier, creamier and a little bit more effortless,” she says. “I’ll use a dewy foundation, or I’ll skip foundation altogether. I like a moisturizer that’s like a little bit more luminous. I just want to feel fresh and weightless. I’ll use a little concealer because my problem is under my eye area, and if I have a blemish or a little discoloration. I want breathable, moist, dewy, fresh skin for the winter. I’ll go in with a cream blush and it might be a multiuse situation.” She’ll dab it onto the center of her lips, her cheeks and then use concealer as needed, and her look is complete. To step it up for a night out, she’ll add a statement lip and blot three times to make sure there’s no residue that will rub off under a mask.
For a Dewy Dumplings shortcut, highlighter will help. “My favorite place to highlight is the high of the cheekbone because it’s big and it catches the most light,” Vo says. “If you have textured or mature skin, I would use like a wet balm, and if you want to burn out some eye corneas and want a really shimmery look, you could do shimmery highlighter. There’s different kinds of highlighting: there’s the kind that like look almost wet and luminous. There’s the kind that look very shimmery, like there’s a disco ball in your face. It’s such a fun thing to do because you don’t have to be a great makeup artist; you don’t have to have amazing technique. It’s literally one product that brightens up and gives you literally a highlight on your face.”
Stick applicators make using highlighters a cinch, like this golden shimmer bronzer stick. For more intensity with your highlighter, tap it on; for a more sheer look, slide it on. No matter if you use a powder or wet formula, highlighter is very buildable. If you go overboard, you can take it off with a makeup sponge. After all, there’s more than one way to get that Dewy Dumplings glow.