When I read about ‘Yoga Skin‘ in Glamour magazine, I was all in on the makeup technique that mimics glowing, naturally-flushed skin straight out of a workout session. I posted about it on a Sunday morning in a weekly link roundup. Then I tried it myself that afternoon with the products I had in my makeup stash.
The results were just as good as I hoped. (With way less effort than an exercise class.)
Editor’s note: This post first appeared on the blog in January 2019. I noticed it’s getting a little boost in search traffic recently, so I’m reposting in case you missed it back then! The ‘yoga skin’ makeup routine is still a go-to for me, but over the years I updated the products in my routine that make it even better — and easier! –than the original. You can find my 2022 updates highlighted throughout the post for reference.
UK makeup artist, Sara Hill, coined the term ‘yoga skin’ and shared her technique on Instagram. I know some of you may think this is shine overload, but it’s exactly the kind of skin-care-first, no-makeup-makeup routine I’m really into right now. (See: @katiejanehughes.)
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“Yoga Skin“ a technique I created to help people achieve a natural glowing complexion easily. It is more than a technique, in fact you don’t even need to mix facial oil and highlighter into your foundation to create it, for me it’s more about the finished look. It differs from glass skin because it’s not polished perfection. It’s skin that looks real, raw, healthy, hydrated and glowing. It’s about beautiful skin, great skincare and embracing the no makeup makeup vibe. It’s not for everyone. Makeup styles, like everything in life is down to personal taste. But if you fancy giving it a go just add a few drops of facial oil into your water based foundation, a few drops of liquid highlighter and apply, I like to use my hands to massage it in, however, you can use a sponge if you prefer. #yogaskin Model @laurengreeny ❤️❤️ Hair @jackbaxter Video @_donnamcgowan #glowingskin #yogaskin #sarahillmakeup #inbeautmag #skingoals #makeuptutorial #makeupvideos
Here’s what I used to get the glow:
I opted for MAC Face and Body Foundation (shade C1) because its lightweight coverage dries down to a budge-proof, natural satin finish; it’s the next best thing to bare skin. I mixed it in my hands with 2-3 drops of MAC Prep + Prime Essential Oils and a small amount of L’Oreal True Match Lumi Glotion in ‘light glow’ and massaged a light layer of the cocktail into my skin. I gave it a minute or two to set down, then went back in with a second layer. I love that this technique gives you some flexibility with coverage and the level of glow: you can customize the mix to find your ‘perfect’ recipe, and work in light layers to build up to your desired coverage.
2022 Update: I still love and recommend MAC Face and Body Foundation! I would swap the Prep + Prime Essential Oils for a drop or two of marula oil. The L’Oreal Lumi Glotion is still a drugstore favorite in my stash. However, these days the beauty market is filled with skin tints that achieve a similar radiant, perfected base, in one simple step. I love the Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 (very dewy).
I used a minimal amount of MAC Studio Fix 24-Hour Smooth Wear Concealer (shade NW24) on a Real Techniques Setting Brush to spot-conceal, brighten my dark circles, and add extra coverage to any areas that needed it. This concealer is perfect for this routine because it gives seamless coverage and doesn’t need powder to set. The Real Techniques Setting Brush is my favorite do-it-all brush, and you can get it on Amazon for less than $8.
I used a small stippling brush to lightly apply L’oréal Infallible Longwear Blush Shaping Stick in ‘Cheeky Dimension’ to the apples of my cheeks, blending up to my temples; I used the brush to diffuse the color into a faux post-workout flush. Here’s a good cream blush tip: load a little onto the brush from the stick, then dab the brush on the back of your hand to get rid of excess product before applying it to the face. It’s easier to control and build to the amount of color you want.
(I also dabbed a teeny amount onto my eyelids with a fingertip as a shadow stand-in.)
2022 Update: Cream blushes reign supreme in my makeup collection. I love Merit Flush Balm.
To really amp up the glow, I used RMS Living Luminizer blended into my skin with my fingers: on the high points of my cheekbones up to the temples; just below the brow bone; down the center of the nose; and along the cupids bow of my top lip. This natural cream highlight has a coconut oil base and a pretty iridescent sheen that looks just a little sweaty (in the best way). A dab of the Lumi Glotion from the base step would work just as well for this part! We love a multi-tasker.
2022 Update: The Merit Day Glow Highlight Balm is my go-to right now. It has a similar glow, but wears better over makeup and lasts all day!
I tamed my brows with my favorite one-and-done tinted fiber brow gel that fills and sets in one step. As always, I brush ’em straight up, then smooth down the tails and use what’s left on the brush to shape and define the bottom. (Like this!)
Then I lightly contoured, because I can’t leave the house without warming up my face and giving it some definition. I love Make Up For Ever Artist Face Color Sculpt Powder in the shade S112 ‘shadow sculpt’ for a natural contour on my light skin tone.
Finally, I finished the look off with a coat of black mascara (here’s my current fave) and a glossy lip with Bite Beauty French Press Lip Gloss in ‘Dirty Chai‘ — a lovely terracotta rose that lasts for hours and smells like a latte.
2022 Update: RIP Bite Beauty. The brand is finished and the gloss isn’t available anymore, but I love and recommend Merit’s tinted lip oils. Taupe is my #1 shade pick, but there are beautiful colors for every skin tone. I also love the Merit mascara for every day!
A note: this isn’t the longest-wearing makeup routine; I definitely needed a real good blot-down several hours in. After a few more attempts since this first try, I found that omitting the oil — or using literally one drop — and ever-so-lightly setting the t-zone with a luminous mineral powder helped with staying power.