How to Get Instagram Glowy Skin & Makeup for Summer

How to Get Instagram Glowy Skin & Makeup for Summer

I get a lot of questions from people on how I get my skin so glowy and dewy… And sometimes, I’m like, “wow, it’s touching that you guys think I did this on purpose.” In reality, my skin is super oily.

But moving on, I do love that Instagram glow look. I find it so pretty, SO youthful, and really just looks so good on everyone…you’re just guaranteed to get a ton of compliments on your skin.

slightly savvy public relations post grad part 2

The thing I have learned about getting glowy makeup/skin the focus should be on your SKIN. When I feel a lot of people say though girl, and I agree with this, but I like a good glow with coverage. Like I wish I just walked around with Victoria secret model skin, but I don’t.

The whole vibe is healthy, glowy skin, big lashes, and NATURAL

1. Exfoliate on the reg 

Exfoliation is the best way to clear off dead skin cells and polish your skin. If you have oily skin like I do, I would recommend exfoliating 2-3 times a week. If you have more regular or dry skin, I would recommend maybe 2 times a week.

Exfoliators can be super harsh and actually damaging to your skin if they’re too rough or abrasive.

And I used to be like, “No, if my skin isn’t super red afterward, it’s not exfoliating right.” What I learned from my dermatologist was I was actually just making tiny little tears in my skin…aka terrible.

exfoliators I love

2. Moisturizer 

So after exfoliating your face, the next step is obviously moisturizer.

Pick your favorite one with SPF. Doesn’t have to be super glam. Moisture sprays are super fun for adding brightness and glowy-ness to your makeup.

 moisturizers I love

3. Daytime eye cream

During the daytime, I use a caffeine eye cream. It’s SO amazing, really wakes my eyes up, and this Origins one adds a pinkish undertone that makes glowing much easier –> here

 the only eye creams I’ve ever loved

4. Primer 

For an Instagram glow, definitely use a brightening primer.

My absolute all-time recommendation would be the Becca backlight priming filter –> here

It’s such a great glow without being oily (even for oily skin).

 brightening primers that don’t make your face an oily mess

Medium to full coverage foundation

When I want like super perfect skin, I don’t go for a CC cream or a light foundation. The truth is, I just need more coverage than that & especially in pictures, I SEE the difference between light foundation and medium or full coverage foundation.

secret trick: use 2 brushes for the smoothest, most airbrushed application ever

    1. Flat top kabuki or regular foundation brush to just get the foundation on your face –> this Sigma F80 has been my ride or die for like 4 years –> here
    2. Buff out with a damp Beauty Blender –> also an absolute necessity –> here

 face tools

 foundations for angelic skin

Brightening concealer

So yes, we want to be Insta glowy, but we always want some solid coverage. For those of us with permanent dark circles, brightening & full coverage concealer is an absolute must.

Also, make sure to apply it in your upside-down triangle look.

Buff out with your damp Beauty Blender, using tiny little taps to press the product in.

slightly savvy instagram glow

 conceal, don’t feel

Brightening stick

My under eye circles are DARK. And bringing that pretty glow involves layering typically a highlighting/brightening stick over the brightening concealer I’ve already laid down.

Go a little lighter hand on this but still in your upside down triangle.

 more under eye brightening because why not


At this point, I want to set my foundation + concealer. Setting your foundation + concealer with powder is super helpful because (especially in a humid place like Florida), it prevents your base from sliding all over the place, breaking up, or just somehow evaporating.

Because I am extra, I do 2 types of setting with powder.

  1. BAKING – right underneath the eyes. Literally the most airbrushed look ever
  2. SMOOTH/AIRBURSH WITH FOUNDATION POWDER – Carli Bybel showed me this trick & I’ve never looked back. Her skin is literally ultimate perfection. 

Dip your still damp Beauty Blender into the powder. Get a decent amount on there. Tap in a triangle right under your undereye (it should look weird).

Leave it on for 2-3 minutes. Then, go back in with a fluffy powder brush & gently swipe excess powder away. Swirl the brush around and buff the powder into your undereye area.

♡ baking tools

secret weapon to airbrushed skin

The Kat Von D powder foundation (here + first one below) is the one I personally use and love.

 But I’ve seen all the products below raved about by beauty bloggers or I’ve used them myself and really like them.

Cream bronzer

Cream bronzers are for real hard to find. The 3 linked below are ones I’ve tried myself AND basically the only ones I’ve heard the beauty community talk about.

The one I’ve heard raved about for perfect summer, bronzy, glowy looks most is the Chanel Tan de Soleil bronzer –> here

 bougie bronzer

Cream blush

I think cream brushes are really the secret weapon to a glowy look like this. Compared to powder blushes, cream blushes are so natural and so dewy.

I love the Stila convertible color – you can use it for your lips, too.

 cream blushes…key to your Insta glow

Cream highlighter

You get it – cream products. Cream products are going to give you that “from within glow.” They’ll sit a lot more naturally on the skin & look a lot more youthful. Plus, they’re going to easily reflect light & not make your skin look aged.

Place highlighter on the high points of your face – cheekbones, cupids bow on your lip, brow bone, inner corner of eyes. 


Intense lashes / falsies

Eyelashes are basically my favorite part of any look. SUCH make or break-ers. If you don’t want to use falsies, double up on the mascara.

But fake eyelashes get easier & easier to put on every time you try, and they look so awesome in pictures.

♡ bat those eyelashes

Shimmery eyes

Putting gold or rose gold shimmer on your eyelids is so pretty and subtle, too. You can even use the same exact highlighter you put on your cheeks.

Keep most of the product centered into the middle of your eyelid so the light reflects.

sparkle time

Eyeliner to compliment your eye color

Basically, the whole vibe of this look is natural, natural, natural…bringing out the natural glow and letting the light reflect off your face.

slightly savvy instagram glow

Photo cred: Momasaurus Blog –> here

Green eyes – purple eyeliner

Blue eyes – warm brown eyeliner

Brown eyes – taupe or purple eyeliner

♡ colored eyeliners


Finish this off with super natural lips. Use whatever lip product is your fave.

 some natural lip faves

Setting spray

You’ve used a lot of cream products, so we need to set it in place. Plus, if you are doing this for a summer look, it’s probably super humid and hot outside.

I never believed in setting spray, until I tried it one time. And then I saw how flawless my makeup still looked four hours later after even being sweaty and oily…and I was hooked.

Setting spray is seriously the final piece in taking good makeup to super beautiful, airbrushed makeup.

 game-changing setting sprays

Sooo, that is basically your go-to Instagram glowy makeup look. If you do this, I’d love to see it!!

follow me on Instagram to watch this in action –> here

Pin this on Pinterest if you liked!

slightly savvy instagram glow


  • Kaitlyn Rose

    Hi Katherine!

    I LOVE this post! What you said about “the whole vibe is healthy, glowy skin, big lashes, and NATURAL” is totally what I live by. The only makeup I ever wear is eye makeup and occasionally blush/bronzer. I think having healthy, clear, glowing skin through taking care of our skin is what makes a woman beautiful. So cool that you agree! 🙂

    And speaking of big lashes, I used to think I’d be lost without my mascara, but I actually might not need it anymore. I tried out Lashboost by R+F initially to get my over tweezed eyebrows to grow back in, and since it helped them to grow in so nice and full, I’m going to start using it on my lashes! Then maybe people won’t ask me “are you sick?” when I don’t have eye makeup/mascara on 🙂 haha

    Anyway, sorry the long comment 🙂 Thanks for the awesome posts!


  • Glowing skin will never get old, and like you said, it is pretty and youthful. I actually will be traveling a lot this summer, and plan to take hundreds of pictures. This post can help me keep a glow, even when I am not feeling the glow on the inside. Thanks, for sharing!

  • I love brigthening products and illuminating lotions! Game changers!

  • Jo

    Wow, this is such a comprehensive and detailed list. You’ve put in a lot of effort to get this all down!

  • I have been dying to try HERBAVORE’s products! How do you like them?

    xoxo Christie

  • I love how detailed this post is, definitely very helpful and I also see some of my favorite products above 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

    xo Tina

  • Nice post! Ive always been a fan of the Clinique products! Specially the moisturizer. I don’t do much make up but I’ll keep this tips for when I do.


  • Jes

    I really want to try that pixi setting spray! And I agree about cream blushes. I swear by my NYX orange cream blush. It makes me look alive!!

  • Kelsie

    I love this post. Thanks for the eye cream tips- this new mama needs them!

  • Super informative! I have been debating on trying the Pixi setting spray and now I think I will get it!

  • Girl I feel ya, my skin is super oily too. I’ve got no problem getting that dewy look.

    • Katherine

      Lol so same. People are like “wow your skin is so dewy & moisturized!” as I use like 10 oil sheets to wipe my face off.

  • Totally agree with all these suggestions! Summer makeup is my jam I love it!`

  • Ada

    What a thorough post filled with so many awesome products! Glowy skin is essential in the summer.