How to get the golden hour makeup look.

Find out how to recreate a beautifully illuminated, sun-warmed effect with our step-by-step guide to the trending golden hour makeup look. 


How to get the golden hour makeup look.

Find out how to recreate a beautifully illuminated, sun-warmed effect with our step-by-step guide to the trending golden hour makeup look. 


When the seasons change and rooftop bars beckon, it’s time to evoke summer without the sun damage. Think warmer foundation shades, natural bronze makeup and dewy touches – anything that replicates the golden hour glow currently trending on TikTok.


Golden hour is that particularly photogenic moment just after sunrise, or just before sunset, where the low sun basks everything it touches in a delicate, golden glow. On the skin, it creates a soft-focus, beautifully illuminated, sun-warmed effect.


But you don’t have to wait until golden hour get the look. Warm up complexions and let your skin’s natural radiance shine through with our expert step-by-step guide to recreating that flattering sun-warmed glow. Here’s how to make every hour golden hour.




Step 1: Prepare your canvas.

This trending summer makeup look is all about natural, dewy skin, so preparation is key. Start with your usual cleanse and exfoliate, then hydrate skin with a weightless moisturiser for glowing skin, like Moisture Surge™ 100H Auto-Replenishing Hydrator, a gel-cream formula with aloe vera bio-ferment and hyaluronic acid to plump and hydrate. Next, apply an illuminating primer to mimic the look of warm, dappled sunlight.

Our NEW silicone-free Even Better™ Light Reflecting Primer harnesses the power of light with prismatic illuminators, vitamin C and three forms of hyaluronic acid to boost radiance and brighten skin. It delivers a gorgeous, lit-from-within glow, and locks in make up for 16 hours of fresh, flawless wear.


Step 2: Rethink your foundation shade match.

“When summer arrives, we find ourselves out and about more often. That gives us a couple of good reasons to look at our foundation,” says John Miller, Director of Global Education Development for Clinique. “SPF is even more important as the skin is exposed to more damaging UV rays. If you’re not wearing SPF 30+ all the time, it’s likely your skin tone may be a little deeper than in winter. I would recommend making sure your foundation and skincare have sufficient SPF protection and re-match your shade to help fake a summer glow.”

Even Better Clinical™ Serum Foundation SPF 20 is built with skin-loving ingredients like UP302 to target dark spots, vitamin C to help restore radiance and salicylic acid to help smooth skin. To create your perfect golden hour makeup base, apply this satin-matte foundation sparingly – either a half pump, or unscrew the cap and dap a few dots on the back of your hand before applying with either a foundation brush, a damp beauty sponge or clean fingertips. If you're looking for a separate summer foundation shade, read our guide to foundation shade matching or try out your perfect shade with our mobile virtual try on feature. You can also warm up your favourite foundation shades with a few drops of our viral Sun-Kissed Face Gelee bronzing drops.


Step 3: Sculpt your look with bronzer.

Once your base is set, you can begin building out your glowing skin look with a bronzer – but the real trick is where you place the product. “It’s really about making the bronzer serve your purposes,” says Miller. “There’s a subtle bronzing that can happen all around the face, or a more obvious ‘high point’ bronzing technique which places the bronzer only on the highest features like the bridge of the nose, the top of the forehead and cheekbones. Maybe even a little dab on the chin.”

Our Chubby Stick™ Sculpting Contour is perfect for any summer makeup look. This creamy bronzing and contouring stick creates the illusion of depth and definition, with a shimmer-free, natural-looking finish. Long-wearing and oil-free, it’s the perfect way to warm up your complexion and add subtle definition – simply glide it over your foundation and blend with fingertips for a flawless sun-kissed look. It also builds effortlessly so you can decide just how golden you want to go. You can then apply a touch of Chubby Stick™ Sculpting Highlight on the high points of the face to bring your best features forward.




Step 4: Add a healthy flush.

Another way to take your glowing skin to the next level this summer? “I love integrating a little blush into bronzing,” says Miller. “Using a neutral to pink blush on the apples of the cheeks along with your bronzer can add a flushed effect look to the skin. It’s a healthy, active look that I think is super fun.”

Channel sunset hues with your favourite shade of Chubby Stick™ Cheek Colour Balm (shade pictured is Robust Rhubarb). This creamy, mistake-proof check colour creates a healthy, ‘just back from the beach’ glow in an instant. Dot it on the apples of the cheeks and blend with fingertips up towards the hairline. You can also dab any excess across the tip of your nose for a natural sun-kissed effect.




Step 5: Choose a nude lipstick.

The look is post-beach day, so a Hollywood red lip might miss the mark if you’re looking for a golden glow. “A casual, nude lip perfectly complements bronzed and glow-y skin,” says Miller. “Try applying your favorite nude lipstick with your fingers for a soft, un-lined look that fits into the beachy feeling.”

Even Better™ Pop Lip Colour Foundation comes in 17 shades so you can find your perfect neutral shade for summer makeup looks. The vitamin E-enriched formula is ultra nourishing, while delivering a creamy matte finish. To find your ideal colour match, read our guide to finding your ideal nude lipstick shade. If you want to dial up the golden hour glam, complete the look with a slick of Clinique Pop Plush™ Creamy Lip Gloss in a complimentary neutral shade for high-shine finish.




Want more help creating your summer makeup look? Book in for a 1:1 Skin School consultation for personalised makeup advice.


June 2023. 

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