“I’m a chameleon,” says makeup artist Eman Raouf of her ability to shape-shift and change up her look—embracing disco glitter–gold eyes one moment and then a tonal nude vibe the next. But there’s one thing the Egypt-born, Vancouver-raised It girl always swears by: supernatural glowing skin. “You can do the most beautiful makeup, but if your skin isn’t great, it’s hard to achieve that look.” For this reason, Raouf is, as she puts it, “very dedicated” to her ultra-effective skin-care routine. Another essential that’s in the YouTube star’s kit no matter what: a complexion-boosting powder that instantly lights up her skin—and outshines even the best KiraKira filter. Here, the rising pro and ambassador for Laura Mercier reveals her go-to tips and products for creating a supernova glow with lasting power.
Invest in a pre-cleanse.
Before putting a drop of anything on her skin, Raouf first swipes on a botanical face oil to clear out her pores (the oil acts like a magnet for debris) and seal in dewy hydration. “It’s the easiest way to remove any makeup or any residue in a very gentle way,” she says of the technique. Then she massages in a gel-based cleanser, which she finds balances her skin tone without stripping healthy oils.
Do a facial without even realizing it.
Instead of having to find time for lengthy spa facials or extra steps in her skin-care routine, Raouf streamlines things by patting on just two things every day: a daily serum and a moisturizer infused with retinol, a multitasking ingredient that fights hyperpigmentation, exfoliates, builds collagen, and basically “brings my skin back to life,” she says.
Keep your foundation light and liquid.
For coverage that won’t turn cakey, Raouf reaches for airy, tinted moisturizers or fluid hydrating foundations, all of which keep skin supple and bouncy with super-lightweight textures. Another trick: She applies a daily moisturizer with a hint of self-tanner to minimize any imperfections. “It gives your skin a little tint with very little effort.”
Try the set-up and set-down makeup trick.
The secret to a glow that looks natural in selfies and real life? Think strategically about where you can see shine. Raouf relies on Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder-Glow, a mattifying cult classic that she applies on areas where she wants to “set down” shine (“T-zone, sides of the nose”). Then, to “set up” light, she taps on Laura Mercier’s latest go-to, the Translucent Loose Setting Powder-Glow, on the high points of the face (the tops of the cheeks, the tip of the nose, sides of eyebrows, and the cupid’s bow). The result, she says, “is a very natural glow that doesn’t look overdone. It adds dimension without having to apply a lot of makeup.”
Prolong your glow.
On marathon days, Raouf applies Translucent Loose Setting Powder-Glow all over with a powder puff (you can also apply with the Glow Powder Brush, pushing the pigments into the skin and helping lock foundation in place so it lasts longer (“I can get double the wear time out of foundation with this technique,” she notes).
Get the right match.
Raouf—who is known for her flawless celebrity makeup tutorials (her Kim Kardashian West one went viral in 2010, and now she has nearly 1 million followers)—insists on cosmetics that can keep up with any lighting situation. Which is why she is obsessed with the fact that the Laura Mercier setting powder comes in two formulas—Translucent for fair complexions and Translucent Medium Deep for darker tones—and contains next-generation flashback-proof particles so you can layer it on without worrying about leaving a white-ish cast in photos.
Don’t forget mascara.
Once your glow technique is perfected, Raouf finds no need to adjust it much from summer to fall—unlike bronzer, you can embrace it year-round, she says. Yet, to give context to her look, she will transition her lip from peak-summer to late-winter months by moving from coral pink, sandy tones to deeper burgundy shades. The final touch: mascara. Always: “It creates a beautiful contrast with glow-y skin.”