The Secret to the Dolphin Skin Trend

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Dolphin skin is social media’s latest viral beauty trend, and we’re here for it (and any excuse for dewy skin, for that matter). Here’s all you need to know about this new trend, plus our insider secrets to help you achieve the look at home.

In this article, you’ll discover:

  • What is dolphin skin?
  • Part 1: How to prep for the dolphin skin look
  • Part 2: Makeup to achieve the dolphin skin

What is dolphin skin, exactly?

In an era where natural beauty (think bushy brows and no makeup makeup looks) reigns supreme, it’s no surprise that #dolphinskin is gaining popularity online.

The dolphin skin makeup trend is inspired by the way a dolphin’s skin is smooth and glistening when coming out of the water. To achieve this fresh out of the water look, “it’s important to prep your skin thoroughly with skincare before applying any makeup,” shares Parisian makeup artist Joleen Emory. “Ultimately dolphin skin is a glowing fresh skin look compared to other beauty trends like the glass skin look, which is really more about the makeup.”

Part 1: Glistening Skincare Routine for Dolphin Skin

“Dolphin skin really lies in prepping your skin before your makeup,” says Emory. The secret to achieving this impossibly glowy dolphin look lies in your skincare routine, and not just any products will do. To nail the glossy skin look, you’ll need to apply skincare products that work to hydrate, plump, and help your skin radiate. “We want a really healthy skin base, so exfoliation, hydration, sunscreen to avoid redness, and the moisturized base is really what’s going to help the glow,” shares Emory.

Step 1: Brightening Enzyme Mask
For an instantly radiant complexion, we recommend using a gently exfoliating mask like Fruition to slough away any dead skin that could be causing dullness. This 45% real fruit puree mask harnesses powerful actives like orange, mango, passion fruit, papaya, pink grapefruit and lemon purées that are known for their complexion brightening properties. These fruit enzymes are combined with pioneering biotechnology and hyaluronic acid to effectively plump and revive your skin.

Shop the Fruition Brightening & Polishing Mask.

Step 2: Dewy Toner
Getting your skin to look fresh and dewy is arguably the most important step in achieving dolphin skin (cue the DEW toner). This gorgeous, luxurious toner combines the benefits of a skin-perfecting primer and hydrating serum to leave your skin instantly glowing like no other. Apply DEW to enrich your skin with a rich complex of amino acids, lactic acid and botanicals to add an enviable boost of dewy radiance for an radiantly fresh dolphin-skin complexion. Best of all, this multi-tasking toner balances your pH, refines pores, and keeps irritation at bay at the same time.
Pro tip: Apply generously for a more noticeable glow.

Shop the DEW pH Perfector.

Step 3: Hydrating Serum
Take your radiance to the next level to nail your dolphin skin look by replenishing your skin with a deep layer of hydration. With adding the richest dose of long-lasting moisture in mind, Circcel’s ABO +|- serums are powered by plants and optimized with clean biotech including a cocktail of medical-grade gas carriers that support oxygenation and microcirculation. Each application delivers a silky veil of moisture with the best natural humectants that are known to retain more water than hyaluronic acid.

Shop the ABO +|- serums collection for the eyes and face.

Step 4: Moisture Massage
The secret to a dewy dolphin glow is to seal in the moisture with even more moisture. “If you really want extra glowy skin, you can use a facial oil underneath the moisturizer,” says Emory. “Then, give yourself a facial massage with the oil and work around the eyes and get that blood pumping so your skin is nice and rosy and glowing.” And don’t skip the eye gel and SPF!
Shop the CREME ER3, amethyst roller, and Nancy’s Facial Oil.

Part 2: Dolphin Skin Makeup

By this point, your skin should be perfectly primed, dewy, and radiant. All that’s left is makeup. “When it comes to achieving this dolphin skin look, cream textures are key,” shares Emory. This means that shying away from matte products is essential to nailing this look. “Another important tip is being sure to take the time to blend the products in really well for a ‘second skin’ look.”

Step 1: Foundation
“After you’ve properly prepped your skin, your skin should be looking glowy already. We don’t want to dull that down,” states Emory. “We’re going to opt for foundations that are more on the liquid side with a lightweight texture.

Skip the foundation if you can, advises Emory. “If you don’t need a lot of coverage, a tinted moisturizer is a great option.”

Once you’ve applied your base, “take the extra minute to use your brush to really blend your foundation into your skin. Blending is key to this look- the more you blend the product, the more skin like your foundation will look.”

Step 2: Highlighter
First, highlight certain areas of your face using a lighter colored concealer. “Use your concealer to highlight your cheekbones, nose, forehead, chin, jawbone, and under-eye area,” Emory insists.

This next step is the most important part when it comes to nailing this fresh out of the water look: a shimmery, glossy highlighter. “Use a creamy highlighter to achieve that wet dolphin skin glow we’re aiming for. You can add it to the outer corner of the eyes and to the temple as well for a nice shine.”

Step 3: Blush
One important tip to note for this dolphin skin look is to avoid using powders when you can. “Opt for a cream blush since they’re super blendable,” says Emory. “Using a blush brush, make your cheeks flushed and rosy to give you an instant healthy glow.”

Step 4: Set It (Optional)
Using a setting spray or powder can help seal your look, but it can also backfire by removing the dolphin skin shine that we’ve just created. “The problem is that cream textures tend to crease, so you may need to use a loose and translucent setting powder,” says Emory. “We want to control the shine, we don’t want the shine to control us.

Here’s how to prevent product creasing without stripping away too much shine: “Use a narrow powder brush. We’re going to be strategic about it, with just a little bit of powder on it. Tapping off the excess, apply the powder underneath the eyes and your T zone. Avoid doing it around your cheeks to not remove too much shine.”


Image credit: @rafeekalove

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