After hella-glowy skin? I put Glow Recipe’s new Hue Drops to the test

glow recipe hue drops
Glow Recipe’s Hue Drops is glowy skin, bottledGlow Recipe

Trends come and go, but I’ll always crave enviously radiant skin. Y’know the kind that seems illegal, unless you’re familiar with a red carpet or your name’s Hailey.

I’ve found many foundations that give me the dewiest results (FYI, Shiseido’s Revitalessence is sublime). But as someone with a yellow undertone, it’s tricky to find a skincare product that perks up my sallow complexion without having to wear makeup. Well, until now.

As soon as I was told that Glow Recipe was launching the Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Hue Drops – a.k.a. a bronzed version of the brand’s OG Dew Drops – I had a hunch that it could be “the one”. Since trying it, it has become my Roman Empire.

I know what you're thinking, its tear drop bottle is giving déjà vu. The original Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops launched in 2020 and, soon after, it became the first product to enter my empties basket – which, coming from a beauty writer who is inundated with products, says something huge.

Not only did I crush on the packaging, but its formula turned my lust into love, errr, infatuation. The cooling formula is insanely hydrating, and it makes my skin look like a marble statue (read: beautifully radiant and glass-like). Then, it’s pumped with ingredients like niacinamide, watermelon and hyaluronic acid to reduce redness, unify uneven tone and perk up dull skin. Yup, not just a pretty face.

So, what’s up with this new version? The new Hue Drops are a bronzed iteration of the Dew Drops. It’s described by the brand as a “buildable tinted serum that flatters a wide range of tones for a natural glow.” Bold claims, I know.

Then, on the skincare side of things, it’s billed as “a multi-use serum which features the clinically effective brightening and hydrating ingredients of our bestselling Dew Drops, now with a warm hue.”

To get a little more science-y, hyaluronic acid and watermelon are the formula’s hydrators to flood the skin with moisture, while niacinamide works to tackle pigmentation and enlarged pores. Plus, Centella asiatica works as an antioxidant to protect the skin and reduce redness.

Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Hue Drops review

To get the low-down on application, I posed all my Qs to Adeola Gboyega, lead MUA at Glow Recipe, who told me that there are many ways you can play with the drops.

“I love to mix a pump in with my foundation for ultimate luminosity, but you can also use it in your skincare routine or as a highlighter. Whatever way, it’s going to make your skin look incredible,” says Adeola.

I tried the formula on its own to begin with, using it before my makeup or left alone for a bare-faced finish. At first, I was intimidated by how golden the formula is. (If you’ve ever tried Drunk Elephant’s D-Bronzi Drops, it gives that energy.)

But, after massaging it into my skin, the gel easily sank in to deliver a whisper of bronze that perked up my complexion. It didn’t deliver a disco ball iridescence, nor did it leave me resembling the Tin Man, but it gave my skin an elusive glow while providing the perfect plump canvas to apply foundation.

The best part is, while it works beautifully under makeup, its golden sheen is enticing enough for me to forgo foundation altogether. I often apply it before I head to the gym, or venture on my “hot girl” walks, to give a golden hue. My cheeks look like they’ve been touched by the sun, and a hydrated gleam makes my skin look a little moist (but in the best way, I promise).

I’m also here for the skin-kind benefits. “I'm a huge advocate for cosmetic products that provide skincare benefits, and this will help to target dullness and uneven tone. Niacinamide is one of my favourite ingredients; it’s great if you want to minimise the appearance of pores or refine the texture of your skin,” says Adeola.

As she tells me, the drops can also be used as a cosmetic to work alongside your makeup – like mixing it in with your base. Initially, I was concerned that it would alter the shade of my foundation, but I found that the golden hue diluted without changing its texture or tone. My foundation applied as usual but left a more radiant and awakened appearance to my skin.

Adeola also recommends using the drops as a highlighter. With a fluffy brush, I dabbed the gel onto my cheekbones and down my nose bridge which gave a dewy shine, as opposed to a full-on shimmer shot. It would be the perfect makeup bag addition for anyone who’s into minimalist looks – that's right, chalky powder highlighters can take the back seat.

Before you rush to the checkout, let’s talk about the shade Sun Glow. It only comes in one bronzey hue, however it’s designed to be a universal tint that flatters all skin tones. “If you have fair skin, you can use it as a bronzer on your cheekbones, nose or forehead”, suggests Adeola. On deeper skin tones, the drops will lend more of a radiant finish, as opposed to a warmed-up glow.

Spring is springing and I’m already using the Hue Drops every day. But come the summer, when my mini dresses come out of hiding, I know I’ll be slathering my arms, legs and collarbones in this bronzey goodness. And I’m sure it won’t be long until the Hue Drops join its older sibling in my precious empties basket.

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