Make a splash: everything you need to know about wet-look skin

A hot trend for summer holidays, get that ‘just stepped out of the pool’ look 

Perhaps it’s down to craving a cool dip in a gorgeous pool, but there’s a total beauty crush on wet-look skin right now. Check out the Instagram accounts of celebs including Zendaya, and top make-up artists including Nam Vo and Mary Phillips, for the evidence.

Also known as the ‘dolphin’ trend, wet-look skin is a step-up from the popular K-beauty ‘glass skin’, which has a subtle, dewy finish. Wet-look skin goes all-out for a drenched #beachlife look. This really is your iconic Ursula Andres moment (Google it).

Getting the glow

Glowing, youthful, sporty and sultry, wet-look skin is an intense statement. To achieve it, you’ll need layers of carefully selected product – but the trick is to make it look natural (no glitter!).

Slippery, sheer and glistening, you’ll need a flawless base to nail this mermaid-friendly style. A very rich moisturiser could allow this high shine look to slide off, so choose a lightweight product and follow with an illuminating skin primer.

A liquid highlighter will add shine: you could add a few drops to a dewy foundation (avoid anything matte in terms of finish), or use on it’s own if you prefer a lighter base.

Next you need to layer up on the high-shine accessories: think clear balm, then a creamy glow-blush, then, more highlighter – pearlescent if poss. Add these shiny products to the areas of your face that naturally catch the light – the bridge and tip of the nose, the cheekbones and the forehead. Blending will be your friend, although you could choose more defined lines for a night out or a statement look.

A sheer finish is needed to seal the watery deal: use a shimmery pressing powder to set the look, and follow with a spritz of alcohol free, ‘dewy finish’ setting spray.

Get wet!

Get ready for the high shine with these must-have products, ideal for helping you to achieve wet-look skin:

Dermalogica New Skin Smoothing Cream – a cult favourite from Dermalogica, this next-generation moisturiser features a state-of-the-art complex that infuses skin with moisture and works on a molecular level to help reduce trans-epidermal water loss and shield the skin’s natural micro biome. Light and powerful, apply just a small amount as a base for your wet-look skin.

Avant Pro Intense Hyaluronic Acid Illuminating Day Cream  – an age radiance cream with an intensively illuminating effect, this product smoothes fine lines and wrinkles, leaving the skin radiant and hydrated.

Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer – enhancing skin radiance, with pore refining properties, Dermalogica’s Hydrablur offers neutral coverage with unique microencapsulated colour technology to prevent shade shifting and providing bursts of colour upon application to provide light coverage.

New CiD i-Prime – i-Prime improves the appearance of the skin instantly, allowing foundation to glide on perfectly and stay on all day. This lightweight serum is applied after moisturising and features skin-quenching shea butter and powerful antioxidant vitamin E.


Amazing Cosmetics Illuminate in Light Caramel – this silky, lightweight formula, with light diffusing technology, works beautifully as a highlighter to make features pop and to help create your wet-look skin.


Balance Me Stellar Beauty Balm – affordable and multipurpose, this hardworking beauty balm acts as a highlight when added to the cheekbones and other high-points of the face.

New CiD i-Glow Aurora – there’s something wonderfully aquatic about this marbelised glow powder. With famous baked pigments for easy, silky smooth application, blending evenly, i-Glow has light reflective pigments for mimicking your skin’s natural radiance.

Gatineau Perfection Ultime Radiance Perfecting Drops – transforming dull, lacklustre skin, these clever drops contain potent anti-ageing compounds, skin smoothing, light-reflecting and radiance-boosting ingredients. An illuminating finishing serum, it can be worn over make-up or combined with foundation for a radiant glow.