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Beauty Look to try: recreating the post-sex glow

Jul. 20, 2021
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If there’s one look that has been consistently idealized in the world of beauty, it has to be the freshly fucked. The idea that we’re at our most beautiful in the moments of afterglow is so persistent that there are tons of beauty products named after this very vibe. And while the “beauty” version of the look may not always match up with reality, there’s something to be said for taking inspiration from post-sex moments. Dewy skin, flushed cheeks, bright eyes, and messy hair are always a look, after all. Here’s how to emulate at home, sans coitus.

Dewy skin

For this, you want to go for a glowy, almost softly sweaty look. As ever, it all starts with skincare. First, use an exfoliating toning product—I’ve recently been loving the Indeed Labs Bakuchiol Retinol Reface Pads, which buff my skin to smooth shininess without causing any irritation. The CosRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid is another great option for gentle but effective resurfacing and is particularly great if blackheads are a concern. 

Hydration is the next step to glow, and the Ingredients Face Serum is an exceptional find. Made of 100% natural ingredients, this is a delightful blend of floral essences designed to lock in hydration while feeling light as a feather. Add a moisturizer on top, or, if you want to go the extra mile, the Drunk Elephant F Balm Electrolyte Water Facial is a hydrating mask that works surprisingly well under makeup. SPF is fundamental, and the Murad City Skin Age Defense Pure Spectrum SPF 50 PA +++ gives great protection while adding a slight hint of illumination, too.

To prime, nothing adds glow like the Glossier Futuredew. It’s so glossy, in fact, that I’d actually recommend avoiding placing this product on any oilier areas like the sides of the nose, as it might just be too much. A light base like the Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream and a full-coverage concealer like the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch on any blemishes and you’re good to go!

Flushed cheeks

The Nars Powder Blush in “Orgasm” is the obvious choice here, and for good reason. The warm, coral-toned pink looks universally flattering, and the fine golden shimmer is just undeniably cheering. However, for a slightly less glittery look, the Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Blush in “Sex on Fire” is brilliant. Apply with her patented swish-and-pop placement for true post-O cheeks. 

If, like me, you prefer a cream product on the cheeks, the Bobbi Brown Pot Rouges are perfect. They’re slightly dewy in finish, helping to give a more natural illumination to the cheeks and can be dabbed on with fingers. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Smashbox O Glow Intuitive Lip Color, designed specifically to change color based on your skin’s pH and mimic your true post-sex flush. Magic!

Extra glow

You thought we were done with glow? Absolutely not. The whole point of this look is that lit-from-within skin, similar to the post-workout shine. The aptly named Charlotte Tilbury Glowgasm Beauty Light Wand is perfect for dotting along cheekbones and bridge of the nose to give your face some added dimension and light, though if you prefer powder products, the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed will give you a similarly beaming finish. 

Finish the skin with a liberal spritz of facial mist. The Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Chamomile, and Lavender is cheap and cheerful, sets makeup in place, and adds a soft-focus glow. For extra added reflect on the cheekbones, a clear balm like the Lanolips 101 Ointment is ideal.

Plumped lips

For a “just been making out” look, you want slightly swollen, reddened lips with a glossy finish. The Maybelline The Lifter Gloss is perfect for adding volume and a hint of shimmer, and the Lancer Volume Enhancing Lip Serum is totally clear but just as shiny.

To add extra color, the (appropriately named) Charlotte Tilbury Glowgasm Lips will give a just-bitten wash of color that’s unique to your own skin pH, while the Glossier Generation G Lipstick in “Crush” offers a universally flattering raspberry pink tint.

Smudged eye makeup

For a post-bedroom eye, you want to smudge on your liner like you’ve been wearing it for a while. The Nudestix Magnetic Matte Eye Color in “Slate” is wonderfully blendable, though once set, it stays put perfectly. Add some of the Glossier Lidstar in “Fawn” for a subtle hint of shimmer, and finish with lots of black mascara—the L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara offers the perfect level of drama.

To give the signature bright-eyed look, add a couple of the Rohto Eye Drops. You can also mimic the effect by adding some of the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in “Cottage Cheese” to your waterline and inner corner.

Tousled hair

Sex hair is famous for a reason. To achieve the signature volume, first, wash with the Lush Big Shampoo. This is incredible for adding oomph to limp or lifeless hair. Follow with the Lush American Cream Conditioner for smoothing and to prevent the shampoo from drying your hair out.

Scrunching hair with something like the Maria Nila Salty Cream while it’s still damp is ideal to add texture and definition, while the Amika Bushwick Beach Wave Spray can help boost second-day hair by adding some grit. And, as ever, the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray is a foolproof pathway to perfectly undone locks.

Sexy scent

The sexiest scents are, in my opinion, the ones that smell like you. Glossier You is therefore an obvious choice, as it changes in scent slightly depending on who’s wearing it. Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 is a similar concept, but a slightly more sophisticated, unisex fragrance. And for true bedroom vibes, I’d opt for Margiela Replica Lazy Sunday Morning. The clue is in the name, if you know what I mean...