Ever had dim sum for lunch, marvelled at the moist sheen of a shrimp dumpling’s translucent skin and thought, “How can I cop that glow?” Well, makeup artist and Instagram’s Queen of Glow, Nam Vo, has the answer.
Having coined the cheeky term “dewy dumpling”, Nam Vo is a go-to covetable, radiant, glass-like skin and high cheekbones that are topped with an indulgent amount of glistening highlighter.
After doing bridal makeup and creating beauty looks for strippers at a club in New York, she now gives “glow jobs” to top models on editorial shoots, as well as celebrities with the likes of Chrissy Teigen, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and Kylie Jenner.
Daily Vanity checked in with the dewy queen herself and asked her to spill her secrets to achieving flawless skin that blinds. Read on for her top tips, her daily skincare routine, and why orgasms can give you better skin. Yup, you read that right.
Nam Vo’s secrets to naturally glowing skin, 24/7
Whenever I see Nam Vo’s selfies on my Instagram feed, one thing is consistent – her glowing skin. Though she has figured out how to fake an immaculate complexion, she also wants her skin to glow for real, sans shimmery makeup.
“Oh, I’m so high maintenance!” she exclaimed. “At night, I double cleanse, tone, layer on an essence, one or two serums, dab on eye cream, a moisturiser, and then sometimes I even use an oil to lock in all that goodness.”
According to her, she doesn’t have the most sensitive skin, which is why she’s able to dabble in new skincare products often.
Her favourite must-try facial treatments
An advocate for regular facials, Nam Vo is a huge fan of radiofrequency treatments. “It really goes in there and stimulates collagen production. So, it slims and sculpts – almost like a corset for the face, if you can imagine,” she raved. Indeed, radiofrequency treatments do actually work.
As we enter our late 20s, our collagen production starts to decline by around one percent a year. This is due to both internal and external factors, such as UV light, our diet, and smoking. While we can’t simply “drop” more collagen into our skin, we can prompt the cells responsible for producing it (fibroblasts) to work a little overtime.
With a radiofrequency treatment, it produces tolerable heat to contract the collagen fibres, resulting in an immediate skin-tightening effect. Plus, it boosts collagen and elastin synthesis, so the results are both instant and cumulative.
The makeup artist also swears by microneedling to keep her skin fresh and youthful-looking. While we can’t all go for treatments as regularly as she does, Nam Vo has a couple of microneedling recommendations for at-home use: the BeautyBio GloPRO Microneedling Tool and the Environ Cosmetic Roll-CIT.
For the uninitiated, microneedling works by rolling tiny, thin needles across the skin’s surface. This creates “micro-injuries”, which send the skin a signal to get extra collagen and elastin to the site of the damage quickly. The result is plumped, brighter skin, softened lines, and even a reduction in acne scarring.
The easiest way to achieve a dewy makeup look
To prep your skin for a glowy makeup look, Nam Vo says it all boils down to your skin type. If you have drier skin, you can massage a facial oil on your skin or reach for an illuminating primer. “Sometimes I use Supergoop!’s Glowscreen SPF 40. It depends on whether you want a glassy dumpling glow, shimmery glow or more of a bronzy glow – I don’t think there’s a one size fits all,” she shared.
For those with oilier complexions, you may want to skip the extra moisturising prep work and layer on highlighters strategically instead. When I asked Nam Vo if there’s a limit to the number of highlighters we should be swiping on our cheekbones, she said, “There’s never enough! I will usually do at most three.”
“I might do a cream or liquid highlighter, then a powder highlighter, and then maybe another shimmer on top of that,” she lets on. “Sometimes you want to be more subtle and sometimes you want to have the conspicuous glow – it really just depends on how extreme you want to go.”
Stop a dewy makeup look from turning into a greasy mess
Let’s face it. When it comes pulling off a dewy makeup look in Singapore’s heat, the line between glowy and greasy is an incredibly fine one. Before lunchtime even comes around, my complexion can often turn into an oil-slicked, melting disaster. So, I turned to Nam Vo for help.
“If you live in a very humid climate, start with less. You might want to use half as much highlighter and half as much glowing primer,” she suggested. As the day goes on and you start to get a bit greasy, she recommends touching up with a tiny amount of powder and/or blotting paper. While she’s careful to blot her forehead and nose, she thinks that cheeks always look good when they’re a little shiny.
For a midday touchup and SPF top-up, she recommends sweeping a light layer of Supergoop!’s 100% Mineral Setting Powder on high-shine areas. Then, go in with Supergoop!’s Glowscreen on your cheekbones to create a dewy sheen and a protective layer to shield your skin from the sun.
How to prevent maskne if you’re wearing makeup
Mask-wearing has shaken up many aspects of our daily lives, right down to our beauty regimes. Most of our makeup products have been relegated to home use in order to reduce and prevent maskne. However, Nam Vo has a way around that.
“A tip that I have been giving is to avoid wearing foundation on areas that are covered by your mask,” she shared. If you’re going out, you can still wear blush on your cheeks, and if it’s absolutely necessary, use concealer only on blemishes and imperfections.
“I wouldn’t put foundation on because there’s a lot of air and bacteria trapped within the mask, which causes breakouts. And if you think about it, you’re covered most of the day. The less you wear under that mask, the better,” Nam Vo explained.
Orgasm your way to better skin
There’s a reason why one of the most popular blushes in the world is named “Orgasm”. After climaxing, your skin takes on this otherworldly glow and flush that seems to radiate from within, which is why it’s an integral part in Nam Vo’s skin routine.
“You know, they say happier people are people that get ‘laid’. So what do you do? You have orgasms. It’s great for your immune system, blood circulation, and your mood,” she shared. “And it does lead to better skin, so self-pleasure is the way to go in 2020.”
She’s not kidding. Recent studies have shown that the female orgasm releases hormones that benefit the skin. That includes estrogen, which helps maintain collagen, as well as oxytocin, a feel-good hormone that lowers cortisol levels and boosts blood circulation.
In turn, these hormones stimulate and repair collagen, helping the skin to heal itself as inflammation decreases in the body. I guess you can think of orgasming as a really fun version of retinol. Are you ready to try the big O experiment to look like a dewy dumpling?