The beauty industry is no stranger to sizzle. But now, the sizzle is coming from the bottoms of dolphins. The latest Instagram cosmetic craze has you rubbing dead sea creatures into your skin. The idea is that the oils on the bottoms of dolphins, seals, and other sea creatures create a barrier that prevents bacteria and dirt from spreading on the skin.
The craze that’s sweeping the Internet is known as dolphin skin. It’s a unique makeup trend that involves painting your face with dead dolphins’ skin. It’s being called the “Black Swan of Makeup” because the makeup looks different every time you wear it. You can even change your look by varying the color. The animals are taken from the shores of the Pacific with the help of volunteers. The trainers then use the skin of the dolphin to provide temporary tattoos that are more than enough to last for an entire day. The volunteers then use the skin to create temporary tattoos for the dolphin’s next day of work.
That pesky skin on the bottoms of swimming pool filters is being called the “Dolphin skin” trend. Just as it sounds, it’s a trend that shows up on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and more every now and then, and it’s caused by a little trend called “viral marketing.” That’s when a newly-made product, like a new piece of makeup, catches on like wildfire and starts to spread through social media and through word-of-mouth. As more and more people hear about it, more and more become interested, and the more interested people become, the more they share it and the more they share it and the more they share it, and soon it becomes a social media frenzy.
On the internet, there’s no lack of beauty trends and viral makeup tutorials. But every now and then, we’ll come across a style or trend that’s ideal for the time we’re in. And, in an era where “your skin, but better” reigns supreme, when people prefer lip balms to lipstick and natural, bushy brows are all the rage, it’s no surprise that dolphin skin is all over Instagram.
“Dolphin skin is a beauty phrase that describes a glistening, moisturized, ‘fresh out of the water’ cosmetics look,” says Mary Phillips, a professional makeup artist who has worked with celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Bella Hadid, and Kendall Jenner. “Dolphins are renowned for their smooth, plump, shiny skin,” says the designer, “therefore I believe it’s a great, fun way to define this style.”
While a fast Instagram search may lead you to think Phillips coined the phrase, she doesn’t claim credit for it. Despite this, she’s “beyond pleased” that her trademark dewy appearance has earned its own name and life. Phillips says, “I’m very happy to see the dolphin skin style trending and becoming so popular,” because “I’ve always considered young bright skin that just accentuates one’s own inherent beauty to be ageless.”
We’ve contacted a number of beauty professionals to find out how to get dolphin skin. Here’s all you need to know about the products they swear by and the methods they employ on their own customers.
Unlike previous skin care fads such as “glass skin” or “cream skin,” dolphin skin is as much about skin care as it is about strategically applying and positioning makeup. What’s the end result? A style that is super-luminous, dewy, and multifaceted, combining skin care and cosmetics methods.
Making ensuring your skin is healthy and moisturized is one of the most essential stages in attaining dolphin skin. “Skin care does not have to be complicated,” says Dr. Rachel Maiman, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. “However, essential components to improve the rate of cellular turnover should be included.” Why? It turns out that cellular turnover is one of the most important elements in having beautiful skin.
“Exfoliation eliminates extra keratinocytes via chemical or physical means,” she says, “which promotes cell turnover, resulting in a more polished, smoother, transparent surface.” Starting with a nightly retinol or retinoid cream, such as Skinbetter AlphaRet Overnight Cream or A-Passioni Retinol Cream by Drunk Elephant, is a great way to get started with a regular skin care regimen focused on attaining that radiance.
According to Maiman, after you’ve established a nightly retinol regimen, you may begin to add other chemical exfoliants to your face. The AP25 Exuviance Performance Peel and the Isdin Peel Night are two products she recommends.
When utilizing exfoliants (and in general), Maiman and Phillips believe that daily SPF protection is essential. “This is very important for keeping smooth, radiant, and bright skin,” says Maiman, who suggests applying a daily sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
Perhaps the most important key to glowing, healthy-looking skin? Getting adequate sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising frequently are all important. As Maiman says, these are all methods to enhance blood flow, aid skin repair and rebuild, and decrease inflammation – all of which will have a significant effect on your skin’s health and look. Phillips agrees wholeheartedly. She says, “I’m a firm believer in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and utilizing the proper skin care routine to keep your skin looking and feeling its best.”
AlphaRet Overnight Cream by Skinbetter Science ($125; skinbetter.com)
AlphaRet® Overnight Cream by Skinbetter Science
“This night cream is technically a retinol,” Maiman explains, “but I adore it because it combines retinol with lactic acid, which are both powerful anti-aging ingredients.” According to Maiman, the composition of this nightly cream is chemically stable, nonirritating, and suitable for novice retinol users. Because the recipe keeps your skin moisturized, it minimizes the possibility of irritation.
A-Passioni Retinol Cream by Drunk Elephant ($74; sephora.com)
Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream
This Drunk Elephant retinol cream is a popular favorite if you’re searching for a retinol cream to use with your preferred moisturizer. Its composition contains 1% vegan retinol and a slew of superfood-rich nutrients that work to reduce dark spots, indications of aging, and general skin firmness.
Exuviance Performance Peel AP25 ($79; ulta.com) Exuviance Performance Peel AP25 ($79; ulta.com)
Exuviance Performance Peel AP25
This product, according to Maiman, is a “powerhouse of an at-home peel.” Not only does it include a 25% mix of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), but it also contains exfoliants including glycolic acid, mandelic acid, and gluconolactone, which results in a smoother, brighter skin. Because of the high concentration of glycolic acid in this peel, she advises applying it twice a week.
Night Peel by Isdin ($38; amazon.com)
Isdin Night Peel
According to Maiman, this peel is “an efficient and synergistic mix of glycolic, tartaric, and malic acids.” As a result, she says, it “stimulates mild exfoliation and provides a glow with extremely little risk of irritation.” It’s also mild enough to use on a regular basis!
Invisible Shield by Glossier ($25; glossier.com)
Invisible Shield by Glossier
This lightweight, gel-like alternative from Glossier is ideal for layering under makeup and is really a sunscreen for people who despise applying sunscreen. It’s clear, non-greasy, and even has a light citrus smell that’s much more pleasant than traditional sunscreens.
Supergoop! Supergoop.com’s Unseen Sunscreen (beginning at $20)
Supergoop! Unnoticed Sunscreen
This sunscreen is so excellent that it may even be used as a foundation. It’s completely undetectable, lightweight, and scentless, and it leaves a velvety finish that’s more serum-like than lotiony, which is ideal for people who don’t want to appear greasy or shiny all day.
It’s all about moisture and hydration when it comes to preparing your face for makeup application. You’ll never have to worry about looking too dewy with dolphin skin makeup since it depends on layering moisturizing and illuminating items.
Tobi Henney, a professional makeup artist who has worked with celebrities such as Megan Fox, Jessica Alba, and Jennifer Lawrence, says, “I usually start with the Luminous Dewy Skin Mask by Tatcha.” Before applying makeup, Phillips loves to use a moisturizing treatment. Active Botanical Serum by Vintner’s Daughter, Renewal Oil by La Mer, and HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator by SkinMedica are among the products she recommends. These products will smooth your skin, increase its brightness, and keep it moisturized throughout the day, all of which are essential for attaining that shine from inside once you begin wearing makeup.
Then it’s time to hydrate. Phillips offers La Mer’s Crème de la Mer, whereas Henney suggests Augustinus Bader’s Rich Cream. We’ve been using the Lilah B. Aglow Golden Priming Oil — a super-luxe, nongreasy facial oil that preps your face for makeup — as an extra step to boost the glow.
Luminous Dewy Skin Mask by Tatcha ($45; tatcha.com)
Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mask
Face masks are a pleasant and soothing method to prepare your skin before applying makeup. With just one application, this silky soft alternative from Tatcha offers a complete arsenal of oils and extracts that leave your skin extremely smooth and radiant. It “creates the most beautiful skin,” according to Henney.
Active Botanical Serum by Vintner’s Daughter ($185; nordstrom.com)
Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum
Phillips isn’t the only celebrity makeup artist who swears by this serum; it also made our list of cosmetic splurges that are absolutely worth it. This product will leave your face nourished, rejuvenated, and completely prepared for a flawlessly dewy, radiant makeup appearance, thanks to 22 of what the company claims “the world’s most nutrient-rich botanicals.”
Renewal Oil by La Mer (beginning at $140; nordstrom.com)
La Mer Renewal Oil
Facial oils are an excellent product to apply under your makeup if you want to get a healthy glow. This La Mer choice will leave your skin feeling extremely soft, silky, and radiant. You may use it not only on your face, but also on your neck, décolletage, and other areas of your face and body for a delicate, beautiful, but natural-looking glow.
HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator by SkinMedica ($178; dermstore.com)
SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator
This face serum has a mix of five distinct kinds of hydrators that will keep your skin hydrated for eight hours. While it is expensive, critics say that a little goes a long way and that the application is silky smooth. If you have dry skin, a hyaluronic acid serum (like this one) is a complete game changer.
Crème de la Mer de La Mer (from $95; nordstrom.com)
Crème de la Mer de la Mer de la Mer de Mer de Mer de Mer de Mer de Mer
Phillips suggests warming a pea-sized quantity between your fingers and gently massaging the lotion into your skin to apply this ultra-luxe cream. Despite its high cost, critics think it is well worth it. People praise that this cream really restores your skin to its healthiest, most moisturized, most youthful-looking state, with a 4.6-star rating from over 6,000 reviews.
The Rich Cream by Augustinus Bader ($170; sephora.com)
Augustinus Bader Rich Cream is a rich cream created by Augustinus Bader.
This ultra-hydrating moisturizer contains TFC8, a proprietary amino acid, vitamin, and molecule combination that has been scientifically shown to minimize wrinkles, fine lines, and hyperpigmentation. This is “the finest moisturizer for an all-over skin shine,” according to Henney, and it’s a great way to get that bouncy, dolphin-like skin.
Stay clear from matte bases when it comes to your foundation. Because it’s all about complementing your natural skin than than covering it up, stick to dewy foundations and lightweight, blendable products.
Phillips recommends putting a thin layer of hydrating foundation to your face and neck after moisturizing, beginning in the middle of your face and blending outward for a smooth, dewy, even complexion. The Luminous Silk Foundation by Armani is highly recommended by Henney.
Phillips suggests using concealer beneath the eyes or on any places with blemishes or flaws at this stage for further coverage. Concealer Clé de Peau Beauté and Radiant Creamy Concealer by Nars are two of her favorites, both of which “have a silky texture and excellent blendable coverage.”
Armani Luminous Silk Perfect Glow Flawless Oil-Free Foundation ($64; sephora.com) Armani Luminous Silk Perfect Glow Flawless Oil-Free Foundation
Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
Henney raves about how much she adores this foundation, which she describes as “absolutely glowy and luminous” (as the name suggests). This product combines the best of both worlds, providing a natural, dewy finish as well as excellent medium coverage. You don’t need to worry about putting on extra product; just increase the amount as needed and wherever it makes sense for your skin. It also comes in 40 different colors, which is one of the most diverse choices we’ve seen for such a popular product.
Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer Broad Spectrum SPF 25 ($73; nordstrom.com) Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer Broad Spectrum SPF 25
Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer
This legendary concealer is silky smooth, oh-so-creamy, and provides long-lasting, complete coverage. While it’s on the pricey side, the combination of excellent coverage and a nondrying formula means you’ll get a lot of mileage out of your one purchase. The moisturizing formula will assist guarantee that you don’t get any of the unpleasant patchiness or flaking that may occur with other less-than-ideal concealers, especially if you suffer from dryness or fine lines.
Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer ($30; sephora.com) is a creamy concealer by Nars.
Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer
This velvety concealer is a cult favorite for a reason: it’s a staple in so many people’s cosmetic kits. It has the ideal amount of medium coverage, so you won’t appear cakey or have to spend a long time blending out a thick product. It’s long-lasting, easy to blend, and all-around a fantastic concealer to have on hand, whether you’re aiming for dolphin skin or any other glowing makeup look.
The next stage is to restore your complexion’s depth and warmth. Phillips uses the Face Trace Cream Contour Stick by Westman Atelier to sculpt the face and the Nudestix Nudie Matte in Sunkissed to restore warmth and radiance.
She then adds a burst of color to the apples of the cheekbones with a silky powder blush. Pat McGrath Labs and Tom Ford are two of her favorite brands. Sticking with a cream or liquid blush for an even dewier appearance is another option. Rare Beauty’s Soft Pinch Liquid Blush and Tower 28’s BeachPlease Lip + Cheek Cream Blush are two of our favorite liquid blushes.
Face Trace Cream Contour Stick by Westman Atelier ($48; sephora.com)
Westman Atelier Face Trace Cream Contour Stick
Phillips says, “I enjoy using this contour stick to give depth to the face.” “The clean, relaxing elements in this creamy contour stick melt seamlessly into the skin.”
Nudestix Nudies Matte Blush & Bronze ($34; ulta.com)
Nudestix Nudies Matte Blush & Bronze
Phillips uses this multipurpose stick in the shade Sunkissed (a coral bronze hue) on the cheekbones and “anywhere the sun would naturally hit” to add warmth and create a radiant, bronzed appearance. For a sleek, monochromatic makeup look, use this product to your eyes or lips.
Skin Fetish: Divine Powder Blush ($38; sephora.com) by Pat McGrath Labs
Skin Fetish Divine Powder Blush by Pat McGrath Labs
This super-soft powder blush blends easily and has a distinctive velvety feel, making it a favorite of both daily makeup users and professional makeup artists. Reviewers love how high-quality this blush is (which comes as no surprise considering the brand’s legendary status), and it has a 4.8-star rating based on over 550 reviews.
Cheek Color by Tom Ford ($67; cosbar.com)
Cheek Color by Tom Ford
Another velvety choice, Tom Ford’s blush is suitable for all kinds of makeup users. The formulation prioritizes comfort and buildability for those who want a touch of color to those who desire significant reward. As a result, you’ll have a super-versatile, practical blush that’s ideal for creating bright, radiant looks.
Soft Pinch Liquid Blush by Rare Beauty ($20; sephora.com)
Soft Pinch Liquid Blush by Rare Beauty
The popularity of liquid blushes has exploded. They’re a quick and easy method to get a lot of color payoff without using a lot of powder, making them ideal for dewy makeup looks. Because a teeny-tiny little of this product goes a long way, don’t be scared to start with a small amount. There are two distinct finishes to choose from: radiant and matte. We suggest sticking with the radiant formulation for the most dewy of dolphin skin appearances.
BeachPlease Lip + Cheek Cream Blush ($20; tower28beauty.com) by Tower 28 ($20; tower28beauty.com)
BeachPlease Lip + Cheek Cream Blush (Tower 28)
Cream blushes, like liquid blushes, appear to be ubiquitous these days. They stand out since they’re fast and easy to apply, and they’re simple to build up to your desired degree of pigmentation. This tinted balm blends seamlessly and has a natural, radiant finish that complements dolphin skin wonderfully – you’ll never appear dry or cakey again.
A cream highlighter is essential for creating the dewy, almost wet appearance of dolphin skin. And, although it’s unlikely to be found in most cosmetic bags, it’s a game changer for creating a natural-looking glow without the use of powder.
Phillips begins with the Glow Stick by Marc Jacobs, which she uses her fingers to apply. Henney uses the Face Palette in Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Cream, which has a cream contouring shade as well as a cream highlighter. Phillips uses a powder highlighter after the cream to give that additional shine. She recommends the Sheer Sheer Sheer Sheer Sheer Sheer Sheer Sheer Sheer Sheer Sheer She in Reflect Gilt and the Sheer Brilliance Highlighter (ByMe), both of which she says “give the right amount of reflected shine to the complexion.”
Another method for enhancing the moist appearance of dolphin skin? Apply a face oil on the tops of your cheekbones (Henney suggests the La Mer Renewal Oil). Henney says it’s all about positioning if you’re concerned about appearing oily or shiny. She recommends using oil or highlighters on certain areas of your face, such as the tops of your cheekbones, the middle of your nose, and your Cupid’s bow.
Marc Jacobs Glow Stick ($21; marcjacobsbeauty.com; originally $42)
Marc Jacobs Cosmetics
Marc Jacobs Glow Stick
This thin cream highlighter gives the skin a “uniquely mist-like brilliance” that suits both warm and cold complexions. And, unlike other highlighters, it leaves a natural-looking shine on the complexion, rather than a glittering finish that isn’t always the best. Phillips suggests using the cream on your face’s high points, such as the tops of your cheekbones and the bridge of your nose. Then mix until all of the product has dissolved into your skin.
($88; sephora.com) Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Cream Face Palette
Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Cream Face Palette
This duo’s highlighting shade is more transparent than conventional cream contour sets, making it ideal for creating that wet, dolphin skin appearance. Henney explains, “It provides the most beautiful finish on the skin, extremely shiny and glossy.” Even while it’s a little pricey, you’ll also receive a super-creamy contour shade that’s ideal for this and almost any other makeup look.
Sheer Highlighting Duo & Eye Palette by Tom Ford ($84; sephora.com)
Tom Ford Sheer Highlighting Duo
This pair, which includes a dazzling rose and a yellow-gold accent, may be worn alone or together. Despite the fact that it isn’t the most cheap highlighter, critics praise that nothing compares to it when it comes to a bright, moist glow. It isn’t sparkly, and it can be swiped on for a subtle sheen or built up to a thick, wet-looking sheen.
Sheer Brilliance Highlighter by ByMe ($24; mybeautybrand.com) is a highlighter created by ByMe.
ByMe. Sheer Brilliance Highlighter
These highlighters are created with a light-reflecting mica that gives them a gorgeous iridescent and dazzling appearance. They’re simple to apply, include natural oils for a smooth and seamless application, and have a swoon-worthy powder-to-cream finish, which is just what you want for this trend.
Phillips finishes by gently dusting parts of the face with Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder in Translucent to minimize shine. Because putting a setting powder over a cream highlighter or oil-based product would simply mattify it, you’ll want to apply these to any areas you didn’t highlight. Instead, concentrate on regions of the face that you wouldn’t highlight with a highlighter, such as your forehead, T-zone, or chin.
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder ($39; sephora.com) is a translucent loose setting powder by Laura Mercier.
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder
The secret to dolphin skin, according to Phillips, is hydration, flawless blending, and understanding when to use powder and when to let your skin shine. This translucent setting powder is essential for achieving the desired brightness of dolphin skin without appearing oily. Phillips says it helps to “set your makeup while enabling your highlighted areas to shine and sparkle.”
Basically, you’ve got to make up your mind if you want to try this, or not. If you do, you’ll need to make some changes to your daily routine. For one, you’ll want to put on some sunscreen. Secondly, you’ll want to be careful not to get any of this on your skin. If you’re up for the challenge, here are the steps to ensure that you don’t end up looking like a dolphin.. Read more about how to get dolphin skin and let us know what you think.
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