It's Official: "Golden-Hour Makeup" Is This Summer's Most Flattering Trend


(Image credit: @tobimakeup)

You know that time right before sunset or sunrise when everything turns a gleaming shade of gold? Everything looks soft and diffused. Even without makeup, your skin has an ethereal glow, and your features pop. That, my friends, is golden hour, and it's the inspiration behind the summer's biggest beauty trend: "golden-hour makeup." It's currently going viral on TikTok, racking up millions of views (and counting). 

What is this makeup look all about? It's essentially mimicking the effect of golden hour on the skin, with no sunset or sunrise necessary. "The golden-hour makeup trend is a look that captures that warm and glowing light at sunrise and sunset," says celebrity makeup artist J Guerra. "This trend is skin focused and involves using warm, shimmery, and bronze-toned products to create a radiant and luminous glow. The final look is ethereal. It's a magical play on light with how it illuminates makeup and skincare products and brings these reflective textures to life. The lighting does all the work for you." Keep scrolling to learn everything you need to know about this summer's biggest makeup trend.


(Image credit: @jastookes)

One TikToker calls it "no-makeup makeup's big sister." So in other words, it's a little more glamorous and golden without being too perfect or full coverage. Take it from Jamie Greenberg, celebrity makeup artist and the creator of Blighlighter and Bloss. She says golden-hour makeup is going viral because it's the natural next step from other popular TikTok trends. "I think this trend is going viral on TikTok right now because it's another form of the no-makeup makeup look," she says. "Golden-hour makeup allows for a natural and glowy finish, which is what people are currently going for as opposed to a full-coverage look. This trend is also rather simple, so everyone can achieve it with a few simple products/steps."


(Image credit: @gigihadid)

Celebrity makeup artist Andrea DiSabatino agrees that a natural-looking finish is key to this trend, saying she's "thrilled" it's going viral right now. "In a time when 'baking' and heavy contour have become the norm, I think it's time for a change. Natural, dewy makeup is making its way back on-trend and is here to shine—pun intended. The goal is to create an overall lustrous glow using minimal product," she adds.


(Image credit: @loriharvey)

Since the goal is to mimic the warm light of sunrise or sunset, it's important to use only warm-toned makeup products. That doesn't mean just traditional bronze, though. As celebrity makeup artist Elizabeth Seropian says, "It involves using peachy, golden, and bronze tones to achieve a luminous complexion and enhance natural beauty. The focus is on creating a fresh and dewy look with a touch of warmth and an ethereal glow." 


(Image credit: @hungvanngo)

When applying golden-hour makeup, Guerra says the goal is to "create a real feeling of warmth." When done right, golden-hour makeup "makes skin look youthful, balanced, and healthy. This look epitomizes the trend of natural, sun-kissed beauty. It allows you to bring 'golden hour' to all hours of the day using makeup and skincare products," he adds. 

The best part? Guerra says it's super inclusive and "can be adapted to various skin tones and features." Keep scrolling to see the best makeup products to achieve golden-hour makeup.

Step 1: Skin Prep


(Image credit: @kyliejenner)

Step 2: Base Makeup


(Image credit: @hungvanngo)

Step 3: Blush, Bronzer, and Highlighter


(Image credit: @hungvanngo)

Step 4: Eyes


(Image credit: @hungvanngo)

Step 5: Lips

Next, How to Get TikTok's Viral Mermaid Hair, According to 3 Expert Hairstylists

Kaitlyn McLintock
Associate Beauty Editor

Kaitlyn McLintock is an Associate Beauty Editor at Who What Wear. Although she covers a wide range of topics across a variety of categories, she specializes in celebrity interviews and skincare and wellness content. Having lived in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, she recently relocated back to her home state of Michigan where she works remotely. Prior to Who What Wear, she freelanced for a variety of industry-leading digital publications, including InStyle, The Zoe Report, Bustle, Hello Giggles, and Coveteur. Before that, she held a long-term internship and subsequent contributor position at Byrdie. When she's not writing, researching, or testing the latest and greatest beauty products, she's working her way through an ever-growing book collection, swimming in the Great Lakes, or spending time with family.