The TikTok ‘Pearl Skin’ Trend Is The Superior Take On 2010’s Blinding Highlight

We all want to be luminescent like a pearl…
Image: Instagram

You’ve heard of glass skin and you know all about the ‘clean girl’ aesthetic, but the newest iteration is something TikTok is dubbing ‘pearl skin’.

This look is all about bringing a lustre to the skin that seems to reflect the light back at you as you move.

Rather than ‘glass skin’, which had an almost wet look, this is a more satin finish aesthetic that utilizes light-reflecting particles to bring luminosity without the slickness.

Think about your cheekbones, eyes and any high points of the face (the tip of the nose, cupids bow, inner eye) as the key places that you want to apply to, to draw light there.

Similarly to glass skin and clean girl aesthetics, it’s all about skin prep with pearl skin.


PEARL SKIN TREND achieved using @maccosmeticsusa products #MACCrew #AD MACHyperReal​ I used: – Hyper Real Serumizer – Hyper Real Skin Canvas Balm – Strobe Cream (Pinklite) – Serum Powered Foundation (NC18) – Glow Play Blush (Temptalia) – Mineralize Skin Finish (Lightscapade) – Eye Glass – Lip Liner (Vino) – Squirt plumping gloss stick (Lower Cut)

♬ original sound – stephhui

How To Achieve The Pearl Skin Look

You want to opt for a base liquid that has light-reflecting particles, such as the MAC Strobe Cream or even the Kevin Aucoin Glass Glow applied all over the skin to start the luminescent base.

If you struggle with oily skin, consider applying a more matte primer underneath the glowy layer to help it bind to the skin and not slip around.

From there you want to apply a very light layer of coverage in the form of foundation or a skin tint. The key here is to go as light with the application as you feel comfortable doing. You don’t want your foundation to cover all the luminosity in the skin prep you’ve just achieved.

After your base is complete, it’s time to move back in with a liquid highlighter applied to all the high points of the face. Don’t be afraid to be a little heavy handed with it if you need to. This is all about that editorial glow.

Add a liquid or cream blush to the cheeks and finish with a sweep of a finely milled pearlescent powder. The difference between the pearl highlight and the blinding silver highlights circa 2010 is choosing a powder that is not ‘chunky’ and applies like a fine sheen across the cheekbones.

Finish off the look with the type of makeup that suits you. Adding a gloss or liquid eyeshadow to the centre of the eye will help add to that pearl glow aesthetic.

A gloss is the essential final step (extra points if you have one with light reflecting specks or glitter) and you’re finished.

Shop The Pearl Skin Look

MAC Strobe Cream, $68, MAC


A gorgeous illuminating formula designed to make the skin look more flawless and radiant.

  • Smoothes skin
  • Improves clarity
  • Provides radiance
  • Hydrating

Kevin Aucoin Glass Glow Face and Body Gloss, $35, Kevin Aucoin


Elevate your look with a luminous base product that’s bound to turn heads. This multi-purpose gel highlighter imparts a youthful, hydrated glow reminiscent of dew-kissed skin.

  • Enriched with Passion Fruit Oil and Marula Oil
  • Can be used on the face and body
  • Non-sticky formula.

ICONIC London Illuminator, $96, Pretty Little Thing


A concentrated shimmer that effortlessly blends for a luminous finish. Versatile liquid formula allows customization for any style and can be placed on top of or mixed in with foundation.

  • Shimmery liquid highlighter
  • Intensely pigmented 
  • Super blendable 

Benefit Cosmetics Bene Tint, $42, The Iconic


This rose-tinted blush has a watery finish that looks light and sunkissed without being flat or at all cakey. It’s perfect for minimal looks like this one.

  • Thin water-like formula for easy blending
  • The lightweight blush is buildable
  • Lovely pink-hued tone for a subtle blush

Too Faced Kissing Jelly Lip Oil Gloss, $38, MECCA


These new glosses smell amazing and are a brilliant way to master the ultra-high shine gloss that this look demands.

  • Delicious juicy scents
  • Ultra-nourishing lip oil/gloss hybrid
  • Made without parabens, silicone and gluten

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