Explore the trend of achieving a glass-like skin appearance in makeup as I share insights and recommendations on methods, techniques, and products for creating this popular look, the glass skin effect.

what’s the best makeup to create glass skin effects?
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In This Episode We Cover:

  • The glass skin makeup trend relies heavily on skin prep, the use of oils and serums, and multiple-step processes to achieve a clear, taut, and glossy skin look.
  • Product recommendations for creating the glass skin effect.
  • Your best options for creating the glass skin effect in film and TV makeup.


click here to read the transcript!


Episode 46: Show notes

a couple of women standing next to each other

The Art of Glass Skin Makeup: Tips, Techniques, and Product Recommendations

Exploring the Trend of Glass Skin Makeup

Glass skin makeup, a trend that has gained popularity in recent years, aims to create a flawless, translucent, almost plastic-like skin look.

It has become a viral makeup look, and in this blog post, we’ll explore the tips, techniques, and product recommendations for achieving this stunning glass skin effect.

The Origins of Glass Skin Makeup

Initially popularized by a TikTok phenomenon and further propelled by the real-world viral makeup look, glass skin makeup relies heavily on skin preparation, the use of oils, serums, and meticulous skincare routines to achieve a clean and taut, glass-like skin appearance.

It has become a sought-after look in the beauty and fashion industry, often requested by makeup artists for film sets and fashion projects as well.

Product Recommendations for Glass Skin Makeup

When creating a glass skin makeup look, having the right products at your disposal is essential. Some recommended products include the PPI – Skin Illustrator Clear Gloss, a product specifically designed to achieve the robotic and non-fleshy looks seen in the Steven Spielberg movie AI.

Additionally, aerosol Kryolan Fixier Spray can be used to build layers of high shine, creating the desired glass skin effect.

However, while retail clear lip glosses and all-over face makeup gloss products are available, they may not be practical for covering larger surface areas.

Section 3: Considerations for Long Shoot Days and Set Makeup

When working on film sets or extended photo shoots, it’s crucial to consider the staying power of the products used to achieve the glass-skin look.

While setting sprays can help enhance the shine, it’s important to choose products with longevity to withstand long shoot days. Ventilation and product evaporation should also be taken into account when using high-sheen sprays or sealers to achieve the glass skin effect.

Section 4: Techniques for Creating Glass Skin Makeup

In addition to product recommendations, you can explore various techniques for creating the glass skin effect.
This may involve airbrushing thin layers of Green or Blue Marble Sealr, experimenting with thicker, gel-like materials such as KY Jelly or Ultra Slime, or using a wet material that dries like a second skin to achieve the desired sheen.

When working with prosthetic appliances, pre-painting the gloss effect onto the pieces and seamlessly joining the edges around the eyes and mouth can yield effective results.

Testing and Preparation for Success

Testing and familiarizing yourself with the materials and techniques are crucial steps before attempting the glass skin makeup look for a professional project.

It’s essential to approach the process methodically, ensuring that the chosen materials and application methods align with the desired outcome. Proactive testing and preparation will contribute to achieving the best possible results when creating the glass skin effect

So, stepping back and looking at this makeup style, the art of glass skin makeup requires meticulous planning, the right products, and a thorough understanding of application techniques.

While the trend may have origins in viral makeup looks and social media, achieving a flawless glass skin effect involves a blend of creativity, technical skill, and product expertise.

By experimenting with different products and methods, you can elevate your craft and offer clients and performers stunning glass skin makeup looks.

To share your experiences with creating glass skin looks or to explore more makeup tips and recommendations, please find me on Instagram @themakeuprefinery.

Click here to listen to this episode!


Episode Transcript

[00:00:01]: When I first decided to look into this as an episode topic, I had no clue that this was a new thing, a TikTok phenomenon, if you might say TikTok viral. I don’t even know the correct term, a thing that all the young kids were doing about six months ago. And this is at the start of 2024.

So this is a look that comes up often as a request for us makeup folks on film sets or fashion projects, and that is to create an almost plastic-like skin look. And whenever I’m in conversations about this look and how you might go about achieving it, my memory tends to go back to the Steven Spielberg movie AI and the looks that Ve Neill and her team created on Jude Law and the other mecca, the robot characters in the movie, to give them their robotic and sort of non-fleshy looks.

Well, makeup brand PPI-owned Skin Illustrator created a product called Clear Gloss specifically for Ve and her team on the project. So there lies my first recommendation for the look.

[00:01:15]: But let’s go back, or rather forward to where it is right now, because it seems like it’s become a real world viral makeup look, aka glass skin. That, from what I can gather, relies heavily on skin prep, the use of oils and serums, and no doubt a lot of exfoliation and multiple-step processes to get your skin clean and taut for that effortless clear glass skin look.
But I want to go further than that. I want to give you methods and techniques and products that you can refer to when you get the call to create that glass look for work, because it seems to come a lot, doesn’t it?

So I hope this episode helps you with some quick go to product ideas to use and as opposed to a longer term process of clear glass skin, as is the current trend of today’s youngens.

[00:02:49]: While there are plenty of intensely shiny and sheeny clear lip glosses, the now, I think, discontinued Mac clear lip gloss comes to mind. Halsey’s About Face Vinyl Effect Clear Gloss, even Makeup by Mario’s Master Secret Glow, is a beautiful all-over face makeup balm gloss product.

But for the most part, these retail products come in, are available in teeny tiny little tubes and cases and packages and aren’t really going to cut it if you have to do a whole face or, heaven forbid, a whole body. I mean, that’s a lot of very expensive little tubes there. That’s going to add up really quickly. And the other thing to remember is that these products are likely to evaporate somewhat and perhaps might not even have the staying power for the very standard long shoot days we’re used to on set. So what about setting sprays?

We tend to fight the shine that they create most of the time anyway, right?

Well, my pick would have to be the aerosol Kryolan Fixier Spray, which does have quite a high level of sheen or shine, and you could very easily build up layers.

[00:04:10]: And if you’re going to do this, my first word of advice is be sure to have good ventilation or apply this outside. And what about Green Marble Sealer, or even its water based cousin, the Blue Marble Sealer?

Perhaps you’d want to think about thinning these down and airbrushing them on. While this avenue may give you the shine that you’re after, one thing to consider is that depending on what creates the shine, is it a polymer or an acrylic? Or is it a type of vinyl or plastic that sits on the skin like a, well, skin?

If so, there is a good chance that over the course of time, this material might end up stretching and sadly, could end up resembling more of an old-age makeup than that taut gloss sheen that you were hoping for.

And depending on the exact look that you’ve been asked to create, you could also explore a thicker, more gel like material, such as a KY Jelly or Ultra Slime. And tread lightly with the ultra products if they are new to you and if you give them a go. You have been warned, my friend. These types of materials will require an all day and ongoing maintenance, and are certainly not a set it and forget it solution. For more control over your look, you could also tinker with using a material that you apply wet and that dries like a second skin, like a Super Baldiez material, which the challenge that it will present you with is no doubt wrinkling where the face moves.

[00:05:48]: So if you get someone that’s got an incredibly expressive face, that’s definitely going to be where your challenges lie.

If creating this look involves using prosthetic appliances, then in one way you already have a wider range of product choices, as you could pre-paint the gloss effect onto the pieces and then very easily use one of the makeup products I mentioned earlier. To join the edges around the eyes and mouth and no doubt create a really effective look. And this would probably be my choice if I was required to create this look too.

And now, if your appliances were custom-made for the job, you could even have the sculpture finished with a highly smooth surface, which could also add to the level of your sheen effect and play with using sheen products in different amounts to enhance or highlight certain parts of the sculpt to your liking.

There are definitely plenty of options when it comes to creating a look, such as the glass skin effect, and of course, it’s vital to test these things before the big day comes.

Testing and trying out something like this is crucial if you’re wanting to get the best results, and especially if you’re doing it for the first time. You never want to go into your workday blind and without being familiar with how the materials you’ll be relying on behave have you created a glass skin look that you’ve had success with?

Have you seen one in a movie or a magazine that you love? I’d love to see it, so please feel free to DM me on Instagram @themakeuprefinery.

[00:07:27]: And yeah, enlighten me. Until then, I’ll no doubt be sticking with Skin Illustrator Clear Gloss and probably tinkering with everything else in between.

Did you enjoy this episode? Yes. Then I’d love to ask you just a little favor. Could you take a minute and give me a five star review on Apple? It helps me get the show out there just a little bit more and get it seen amongst the gazillions and billions of podcasts swimming in that big podcast ocean out there. But I really appreciate it.

Okay, till next time, go and check out AI, the movie, not the real life, current modern-day phenomena that’s terrifying us all. Yeah, check out AI and take a look at Jude Law’s makeup in the film.
It’s the perfect inspiration for the glass look, for sure. Okay, see you next time.

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