One of the many things we all collectively look for in our skin is brightness, that glow that screams ‘I’m healthy, I’m youthful, step aside J-Lo you ain’t got nothing on me!’ – or to that effect. Fresh glowing skin is a big yes in the summer and helps you feel a bit more alive in the winter, so it’s no wonder that most of us champion bright skin alongside clear and calm complexions.

As it’s the summer aka the hottest week of the year, if ever, and we’re all melting, I’m looking to brighten my skin so that makeup is minimal and I can let my natural beauty shine through all the long evenings and days soaking up the sunshine. The good news is that it’s no solely makeup that can give you that J-glow, as clear bright skin starts deep within your gut, so get your shopping list ready for food, skincare and makeup must haves, we’re going to shine all summer long!

Brighten Skin with Food…


Obviously, we all need to drink 2 litres of water or 8 glasses a day as humans are made up of 60% water, which needs replenishing during the day due to sweat or toxins building up in our system. Drinking water flushes out the liver and kidneys, removing toxins, draining the lymph fluids and helping to bust bloat, plus drinking more water regularly is proven to help clear up your skin and get that natural hydrated glow back to all your features – hooray for water!


Packed with Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene, carrots helps improve cellular turnover and are also fabulous at combatting wrinkles and acne (can I get an amen up in here?!). You can eat up to a cup of carrot a day to get that glow shining from within, but be careful, as a few too many carrots can leave your skin looking seriously orange – trust me, I’ve been there, I was essentially a carrot in college.


These water based babies are fabulous with brightening your skin and doing so much more for your body; Cucumbers are packed with silica which helps to also prevent wrinkles and produce collagen to keep the skin plump, plus they’re also very alkaline on the stomach which is fabulous to reduce bloat in your stomach (see my post here on why cucumber water rocks) and helps reduce acne flare-ups. Cucumbers also help hydrate the body due to their water content and will also boost the detoxification process when consumed in any form.

Dark Chocolate

Chocolate that helps you skin, what could be better?! High quality and intensity cocoa or cacao helps improve arterial flow, making your skin appear more radiant. As dark chocolate is also high in antioxidants, it can combat wrinkles so go indulge in that extra square of chocolate tonight 😉

More foods that help brighten skin: Tomatoes, Porridge Oats, Red Bell-Peppers, Lemons

Brighten Skin with Skincare…

AHA/Chemical Exfoliants

If you really want to reveal that fresh new skin and buff away dullness, invest in a good chemical exfoliant such as REN Glycolactic Radiant Renewal Mask! These contain AHA and Glycolactic acids which work to remove the top few layers of skin and reinvigorate the complexion – do this once or twice a week depending on your skin and you’ll be left with bright fresh skin and less noticeable pores due to the dead skin cells being removed. Remember to put on SPF after doing a peel as your skin will be much more sensitive than before!

Brightening Serums

For a more daily approach to bright skin and to keep that newly revealed skin glowing, a brightening serum such as the MyChelle Apple Brightening Serum* can work wonders. Usually these contain retinol, fruit stem cells or vitamin C and help lighten the skin to remove discolouration from sun damage, age spots or pigmentation.  Brightening serums can also help cellular turnover so combine this in your routine if you suffer from blemishes too.

Brighten Skin with Makeup…

Illuminating Bases

The quickest way to fake a glow is through your makeup, but a little really does go a long way! Using an illuminating primer or brightening base such as the Clarins Beauty Flash Balm will add an overall glow and fresh dewy finish to your complexion in a letter of seconds. Another way to faux brighter skin is to use a product such as the Nourish Illuminating Face Shimmer* which you can use as base for foundation after primer, mix into your foundation, or wear alone for a natural looking enhanced glow. Perfect in the summer to making your skin look more tanned and alive than it is!


Contouring is a great way to define the face, and another way to add definition is to use a lighter concealer to exaggerate the areas where the light hits first. I love to use a concealer like Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in the lightest shade as it’s just a bit lighter and brighter than my skin tone but the high coverage formula help blend it in naturally to my skin whilst brightening under my eyes and cheekbones, nose and chin – great for a more dramatic look or to make you look 10000000x time more awake after a late night watching YouTube.


Slightly more subtle than using concealer, highlighters come in a range of formulas and tones to great a luminous sheen and glow to the skin without too much work. Cream formulas work so well in the summer as you can buff them into your freshly brightened skin and add more glow to high points (Benefit Watts Up! is perfect as it has a golden undertone that makes you look super tanned and J-Glow) but for something with a soft edge, highlighting powder formulas such as Sleek Face Form in Light* have a lovely silver pink undertone that makes you look a bit more perky thanks to the pearlescent sheen it gives off – a lot more natural, but also a perfect product for pale girls.

Strobing has fast become a big deal in the world of beauty, where instead of contouring using a bronzer or darker powder for sculpted features, you use a mix of highlighters to reflect extra light on your cheekbones and nose for a more defined but soft face. Definitely a great choice for paler skinniness or cooler months!

By starting your glow from within, your skin and complexion will be brighter and feel much more nourished and cared for in the long run. Now, where’s the dark chocolate and concealer? I’m off to give J-Lo the green-eyed monster…

How do you like to brighten your skin? Will you be trying any of these steps for brighter skin? Do you like to glow like J-Lo?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x

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Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more. 

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Brighton based Photographer, photographing your fave bloggers by day and testing the best vegan/cruelty-free skincare by night.


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