Go for the Glow or Make it Matte?


When it comes to beauty, there are generally two schools of thought. I'm not talking about less vs. more, or natural vs. synthetic - I'm talking about glowy vs. matte.

Over the past decade or so, trends have tick-tocked back and forth between the two, either urging us to embrace our inner 90's chick and powder our faces and slick on a matte lip to match, or become a Glossier girl and forgo powder altogether in the name of dewy skin.

Now, with the individualism of social media thrown into the mix, trends don't oscillate as much as they integrate. Beauty influencers douse themselves in highlighter, while promoting a heavy-powdering technique known as baking. Women who embrace bare, hydrated skin are celebrated as much as those who are perfectly set, appearing softly matte in their Instagram photos, not a bit of misplaced shine in sight.

So, where do you stand in the debate? Are you Team Make it Matte or Team Go for the Glow?

I tend to be bandwagon jumper. Depending on the season, I like to switch up my beauty routine. Here's the twist: I don't use products that align with the traditional ideal of glowy skin in the summer and a more matte look in the winter. I use products that offset the effects of the weather.


The key to great makeup all year round is choosing the right products. I might know someone who can help with that. 😉


Let me break it down for you. I have combination skin, which means it has a tendency to be both dry and oily, depending on the climate, what I've been eating, and the time of the month (yep, you know what I mean). Because of this, I can't adhere to just one finish of makeup, either glowy or matte. I need to switch it up depending on what my skin looks like in the morning in order to achieve the look that I want.

For that reason, in the summer I reach for matte products (particularly when it comes to my base: foundation, concealer, powder, etc.) to offset any oiliness that my skin is already producing because of the good-old Midwest humidity. Contrary to what you might be picturing, this doesn't actually leave me looking matte at all. Instead, it gets me back to a more neutral, natural finish, eliminating excess oil in my T-zone, but letting my skin shine in more acceptable places like on the tops of my cheekbones.

This rule applies in the winter too. When snow begins to fall and the air becomes dry and frigid, my skin follows suit. I need to use products that will inject hydration back into my skin to bring it back to neutral. I choose cream products that have a dewy finish so that my dry skin can soak up a little life, but won't leave me looking overly glowy and out of place in wintery Wisconsin.

If you find that you can't see yourself going full glow or mainly matte, try out this technique instead. Instead of leaning in to the look of the season (and risk looking too wet + oily/dry + crackly), use products that have the opposite finish and embrace a more neutral vibe.


Are you Team Go for the Glow or Team Make it Matte? Let me know where your allegiance lies in the comments below, or let me know if you're more of a play-both-sides kind of girl like me!