What Is the New Makeup Trend ‘Dolphin Skin’ All About?

The pursuit of glowy skin has levelled up with the introduction of “dolphin skin”. The new beauty trend is all about makeup application to achieve a flawless, glossy and dewy complexion which mimics the plump skin of a dolphin. Wild.

The term was popularised by celebrity makeup artist Mary Phillips, who counts Kim Kardashian West, Kendall Jenner and Jennifer Lopez as clients. Phillips uses a plethora of glow-giving products in order to achieve wet and gleaming skin that never strays into the territory of oily. Here’s what you need to know about dolphin skin.

What is dolphin skin?

“Dolphin skin is a new beauty term being used to describe a glistening, luminous, fresh-out-of-the-water makeup look,” Phillips told Allure. “I think it’s a perfect way to describe this multidimensional aesthetic.”

While Phillips herself says she didn’t coin the term, she has followed the principles of dolphin skin for years. Since discovering the phrase, Phillips has popularised it via social media, leading many to think she created it.

“My signature look has always emphasized hydrated, dewy, radiant skin, so I’m happy to see it trending,” Phillips said.

While other trends like ‘glass skin’ put a large emphasis on skincare, dolphin skin is all about makeup application to achieve an amped up glow. To take glass and dolphin skin to the next level, MECCA recommends combining the two for a seriously glowy complexion.

How to achieve dolphin skin

Ready to rock skin inspired by an aquatic mammal? Us too! Here’s what you need to do. Start off by prepping your skin with your usual skincare as you would before applying your usual makeup regime. If you have any glow-giving primers or skin prep products, layer those on now. You can also dab a little highlighting liquid to your cheekbones at this point too.

“This look is best achieved when it is built up in layers starting with your skin-care and skin-prep routine,” makeup artist and CEO of her own beauty brand, Danessa Myricks, told Glamour. “Use complexion products that are hydrating and have a luminous finish, and then amp up the look with hyper-radiant highlighting products like balms and oils as the perfect cherry on top.”

After your skin is prepped, go in with your foundation. If you have a glowy foundation in your kit, use this one to help up the ante on your dolphin skin glow. If your skin is on the oilier side and you prefer matte foundation, this works too.

Now it’s time to go in with highlighting products — you’ll basically need to dig out every highlighter you own for this one. When applying highlighter, you don’t want to slather it over your whole face as the end result you’re looking for is gleaming and dewy — not oily. Using dewy highlighting balms and creams rather than shimmery products will help keep you looking glowy and not like a mirror ball.

“Glow looks beautiful on all of the natural high points of the face,” Myricks told Glamour. “The bridge of the nose, the small area between the brows, the brow bone, the temples, the tops of the cheekbone and chin are perfect points to target.”

At this point, you can also add a little blush to the apples of your cheeks and a little bronzer to the hollows of your cheeks to create more dimension in your face. Again, try to use cream products over matte to tie the look together.

You’ll also want to add some glossy or creamy products to your eyes and lips for cohesion. Allure recommends avoiding matte products on these areas too as you want to keep the look airy and multi-dimensional.

Finally, finish your face with a light dusting of translucent powder, which Phillips adds “to reduce unnecessary shine. This helps set your make up while allowing your highlighted areas to glisten, gleam, and be seen,” she told Allure.

While you most likely already apply highlighter to the high points of your face, dolphin skin requires you to use a little more product than you usually would. And, to create the full glowy look, use creamy products over matte for the rest of your skin. If you have oily skin, this trend might not be for you unfortunately as it’s a fine line between wet and gleaming and oily and shiny.

Good luck!

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