Lit From Within

A round-up of the best brightening investments for your beauty wardrobe and regime.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

A round-up of the best brightening investments for your beauty wardrobe and regime.

Let your skin steal the spotlight this month. The latest slew of brightening launches is not just about embracing your skin’s natural beauty and tone, but also infusing it with breath-taking luminosity. 

Inspired by Korea glass skin and lit-from-within beauty trends, the universal beauty goal today is translucent skin that exudes its own light. Radiance staples run the gamut from skincare to makeup. Some are formulated with exfoliants which lift off dull surface cells, while others target dark spots and hyperpigmentation, or boost circulation and overall radiance. 

Glow-enhancers can breathe life into tired skin that’s endured the graveyard shift. They “rewrite your age” with a youthful radiance, give your face more dimension, make your best features pop, or subtly “airbrush” how your skin looks in photos – no filters required. In terms of versatility, radiant skin is the most universally flattering and easiest look to carry off. So here’s how to get your glow on.

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Penetrating deep into the skin, these hard-hitting serums target spots, lacklustre skin, redness, and even wrinkles.

Clean The Slate

Lift off the veil of dullness and dark spots, and infuse skin with a profusion of light and oxygen. Shiseido White Lucent Illuminating Micro-Spot Serum, $160 (30ml), reduces melanin with White Sand Lily from Crete, and accelerates skin repair for even-looking skin and youthful radiance. 


Think of Skin Inc Serum Glow Filter, $72 (30ml), as a natural skin filter that you can wear all day. Light Reflective Technology gives skin a soft-focused effect, and Gold Hibiscus Extract locks moisture in for that dewy glow.

Skin Awakening

Jumpstart cellular turnover and rejuvenate your skin clock. Chantecaille Radiance Elixir, $360 (30ml), contains a Skin Awakening Peptide and powerful botanicals such as tomato-derived colourless carotenoids. It helps reduce wrinkles and redness for a flawless pearlescent glow. 

Get Even

Nip melanin production in the bud for glass-like translucence. Decorté Whitelogist Brightening Concentrate, $210 (40ml), is formulated with Kojic Acid to reduce pigmentation for immaculate and moisture-rich skin.

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Beyond hydrating skin, these illuminating moisturisers deliver a fresh splash of radiance.

Vitamin Fix

Douse skin with a cocktail of vitamins. Laneige Radian-C Cream, $68 (50ml), is enriched with 8.5 per cent of a vitamin C derivative, as well as vitamin E to lighten spots and protect skin against both sunlight and blue light from our favourite mobile gadgets. 

Herbal Balm

Nourish skin with a concoction of Korean herbs. Sooryehan Chunsam Radiant White Cream, $179 (50ml), enhances skin elasticity with red ginseng, brightens skin with plum blossom and lily, and prevents free radical damage with an Oriental Medicine Vitamin Complex.

Rosy Radiance

Inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine and infused with roses, Dior Prestige Light-In-White L’Oleo-Essence Lumiere, $167 (150ml), enhances fluid circulation within skin and enables it to eliminate skin-darkening melanin, bathing skin in a rosy glow.

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These three lustrous and portable compacts are true-to-skin and deliver instant radiance on-the-go.

Dewy Glow

Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation Cushion Compact SPF 40 PA++++, $86, recharges skin with moisture and Chinese beauty botanical extracts such as cordyceps. It also shields skin from pollutants and sun damage. 

Second-skin Finish

Estee Lauder Double Wear Soft Matte Glow Cushion SPF 45/PA+++, $75, feels and looks like your skin – only better. It tames shine and blurs out fine lines with a long-lasting, lustrous matte finish. And unlike many cushions, it can achieve full coverage when layered on.

Veil Of Radiance

A compact foundation that truly moisturises skin, Diorsnow Perfect Light Compact SPF 10 PA++, $100, veils your skin in light. Edelweiss flower brightens skin, and micro-pearls tame shine and boost luminosity, while skincare actives correct colour imperfections. 

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For a quick pick-me-up, simply kick back and leave these glow- getters to do the work.

Complexion SOS

Resuscitate dull skin with Albion Excia Extreme Charge Serum Mask, $167 (six masks). Each sheet mask is saturated with an entire bottle of serum to help skin retain moisture and brightening ingredients.

Flower Power

Hydration is a prerequisite for glowing skin. Foreo Farm To Face Bulgarian Rose Hydrating Mask, $29.90 (six masks), immerses skin in Bulgarian rose water. The natural oils and sugar from the rose petals smoothen and soften skin, while brightening antioxidants give it a lovely glow. 

All That Glitters

Revive Brightening Moisture Mask, $200 (USD 142.95) (75g), is white when first applied on skin, but dries to a shimmery gold shade. It deeply revitalises skin with vitamin C and skin-energising ingredients.

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For targeted pigmentation control and flash result, add intensive treatment products to your regime. 

Spot Check

Zero in on sun spots and age spots with AHC Peony Bright Spot Corrector, $42 (20ml). Enriched with fermented Korean pink peony, pink micro algae, and vitamin C derivatives, it helps to reduce melanin and lighten pigmentation.

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Two-Week Programme

Transform skin in 14 days with Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Accelerated Clarity Renewing Ampoules, $155 (28 vials of 1ml). These potent ampoules target hyperpigmentation, and resurface skin with a trio of glycolic, lactic and phytic acid.

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Since the skin around the eye is thinner and more sensitive, it requires formulas that not just brighten, but also protect it.

Defence Class

Supergoop! Bright-Eyed 100% Mineral Eye Cream SPF 40, $55 (15ml), not only shields the eye area from UVA and UVB rays, but also fends off infrared A and blue light. A blend of probiotics, pomegranate, and caffeine reduce dark circles as well.

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Wake Up Call

Lighten the look of under-eye dark circles and fine lines with Sulwhasoo Bloomstay Vitalizing Eye Cream, $125 (200ml). Plum Blossom extract counteracts free radical damage, and anti-inflammatory ingredients repair and renew your peepers.

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Eight ultra-indulging ways to glow.

Flash Therapy

Kew Organics LED Facial, $80 for 20 minutes, emits LED light in four different colours – blue, red, yellow and infrared . Each targets a different skin concern, such as acne, scars, wrinkles and inflammation, for radiant, even-toned skin. At Kew Organics Facial Bar, Block 2 Everton Park #01-47, tel: 6534 8255.

Detox and Glow

DRx Essential Facial Re/juvenation [Clinic Protocol], $420 for 75 minutes, removes dead skin cells, impurities and makeup residue. It delivers powerful jet streams of botanicals to improve skin clarity, and minimise the look of pores. At DRx Medical Aesthetic Clinic and Medispa, #16-01/02 Tong Building, tel: 6733 1555.

Moisture Infusion

Estheclinic AquaPure, $128 for 30 minutes, cleanses with hydradermabrasion, and lifts off dead skin cells and brightens your complexion with a glycolic and salicylic solution. Comedones are painlessly extracted with a honey extract and salicylic acid, while skin is rejuvenated with hyaluronic acid, antioxidants and peptides. At Estheclinic, 72 Tras Street, tel: 6221 4797.

Stem Cell Technology 

The numbers in SW1 Spa’s 717 Treatment, $321 for 60 minutes, refers to the seven types of growth factors and 17 different amino acids that go into this facial. It activates your skin’s natural regeneration and programmes your skin to act younger for age defence and luminosity. At SW1 Spa, #13-03 Paragon, tel: 6817 8888.

Energy Surge

An intense pulse light therapy, Jet Glow, $180 for 45 minutes, delivers light energy directly to cells to help lighten pigmentation and accelerate skin rejuvenation. You get clearer, firmer and brighter skin that’s less oily. At Jet Concepts, #03-05 Wheelock Place, tel: 6733 7055. 

Slough and Beam

Spa Esprit Agent A16, $350 for 90 minutes, is a safe Retinol A facial that resurfaces and re-texturises skin. This powerful ingredient is carefully formulated for gentle efficacy to help even out complexions and lighten spots. At Spa Esprit, #03-19 Wheelock Place, tel: 6479 0070.

Ultra-Luxe Luminosity

Intensive Brightening Facial Treatment, $200 for 60 minutes, features a soporific eye massage to reduce under-eye dark circles and puffiness. A 15-minute face massage boosts circulation, lymphatic drainage, and product penetration, leaving you with a complexion that looks resplendent. At Cle de Peau Beaute, #01-09 Mandarin Gallery, tel: 6262 3615. 

Natural Lustre

Jurlique Purely White Brightening Facial, $230 for 90 minutes, taps into nature’s healing powers to restore radiance. Key ingredients include extracts of kakadu plum, African birch and red algae for for radiant skin. At Jurlique, #03-74/75 Plaza Singapura, tel: 6904 4531.

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Worn on their own, over foundation, or as a highlighter, these glow-enhancers achieve custom-made luminosity.

Gold For Glow 

111Skin Rose Gold Radiance Booster, $170 (20ml), gives skin a regal glow, thanks to a blend of 24K gold and rosa damascena extract. Spread it over the face for soft glow, or focus on the cheekbones for a strobing effect. 

Satin Lustre

A sheer iridescent-pink highlighting fluid, Chanel Le Blanc Rosy Light Drops, $85 (30ml), gives skin a healthy, rosy hue. Skin luxuriates in this ultra-lightweight and hydrating formula, exuding exquisite glow.  

Sun-kissed Luminosity 

A versatile addition to your base collection, Nars Tinted Glow Booster, $60 (30ml), can be worn on its own for a sheer glow, or layered over foundation to extend the staying power of your makeup. Formulated with yellow and beige pigments, it helps skin to look gorgeously sun-kissed.

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With countless celebrity photo shoots and editorial spreads under their belt, three top makeup artists share their latest brightening raves and insider tips.


Top Rave: Payot Illuminating Perfecting Serum, $149 (30ml), is enriched with hyaluronic acid and illuminating pearls to give your skin stunning radiance.

Hot Tips: Use it on its own to brighten dull skin and any discolouration. Alternatively, after applying a light foundation to your face, mix a drop of this serum with a little more foundation and apply it to the T-zone to give your face more definition. Since the pearlescent pigments in this serum are super fine, they won’t add unwanted shine to the T-zone even for those with oily and combination skin. 

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Top Rave: Hera Glow Lasting Foundation, $79 (35ml), veils skin with a soft glow, nourishing hydration and a skin-fit finish. 

Hot Tips: Apply this foundation with a foundation brush for an airbrushed finish that looks like a smooth glaze. Alternatively, wet a beauty blender and work the foundation into the skin to achieve your desired level of coverage.

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Top Rave: Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Primer Illuminating, $70 (50ml), enhances skin’s natural luminosity with micronised pearl. 

Hot Tips: After applying this primer, end the application with a downward sweeping motion – this keeps fine facial hair lying flat against your skin, allowing for smoother makeup application. You may also wish to keep this primer in the refrigerator to refresh skin and reduce any visible puffiness.