In the beauty industry, there's no shortage of products across the makeup and skincare categories that promise to give you glowing skin. As a beauty writer, I've tried the vast majority of them—from dewy foundations, highlighters, and self-tanners to cleansers, serums, exfoliators, and beyond. Throughout my years of testing these glow-giving products, I've learned something. That is, I want the instant gratification I get from makeup products, and I also want long-term benefits from skincare products (in other words, I want to have my cake and eat it, too). That's why I gravitate towards products that combine skincare and makeup elements into a single hybrid formula.
I keep a variety of these hybrid products in my beauty collection, and each one is noteworthy. However, I have to admit that I'm most excited about the newest addition. It's an innovative product that's one part serum, one part highlighter, and one part mixing medium. Since it doesn't sit squarely in a single category, it's incredibly versatile (I use it in 3 different ways). I've only been using it for a couple of weeks, but I'm officially hooked, thanks to the effortless glow it creates. Keep scrolling to read my full review.
Here it is—Versed's Mood Lighting Luminizing Glow Drops. This tiny bottle contains a softly shimmering liquid that's formulated with good-for-skin ingredients. Let's go through them, shall we? First up, there's polyglutamic acid, which is a naturally occurring peptide that acts as a humectant. Translation? it can bind and retain moisture. It does this so well, in fact, that it can hold up to 4000 times its weight in moisture, so it can effectively hydrate the skin.
The second star ingredient is blackberry extract, which is an enzyme that provides antioxidant protection along with gentle exfoliation. Both the polyglutamic acid and blackberry extract work in tandem in this liquid formula to offer long-term skin benefits, which is why, at first glance, this product could be considered something of a serum.
However, when you take into account the superfine, light-reflecting pigments it contains, it could also be considered an illuminating skin tint. You can also use it on top of your normal skincare products on the high points of your face, which means it could also be considered a traditional highlighter. But then there's the fact that you can mix it into your moisturizer or foundation, so it's kind of an illuminating mixing medium, too. Like I said before, it doesn't sit squarely in any single category.
The product comes in two shades. The lighter golden shade is called "Sheer Golden" and the darker, bronze shade is called "Sheer Bronze." Both shades work well across a variety of skin tones and can be mixed together or used separately. They start off as a sheer, illuminating tint, but they can be built up to appear stronger and more shimmery. It all depends on the look you're going for and the way you use them...and that's where I come in. I used them in 3 different ways (and took pictures) to prove that a lit-from-within glow is always the end result.
PS: From July 13 through July 14, Versed is offering a free mint headband for the first 100 orders over $40 with code SUMMERHEADBAND.
Method #1: Smooth All Over Skin as an Illuminating Skin Tint
My daily makeup aesthetic is minimal, and I love a good no-makeup makeup look. So, the first way I decided to use this product was as a sheer, illuminating skin tint. I started with my standard skincare routine—cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen—then dispensed about 3 drops of the Sheer Golden shade into my palms and smoothed it all over my skin (I followed up with a few quick dabs of a damp beauty sponge to ensure it was blended evenly).
The result was a super natural-looking radiance. Sure, you could still see redness and hyperpigmentation poking through, but I didn't expect it (or even want it) to cover that up. It was more about blurring the look of my skin and adding a subtle illumination.
Method #2: Apply to the High Points of the Face as Highlighter
The next day, I decided to use it as I would a traditional highlighter. I applied my makeup as I would normally, which involves the pretty minimalist use of concealer, some bronzer, and mascara, and applied the product to the high points of my face. I concentrated on my cheekbones since that's where I wanted the majority of the glow, but I also added a dab to the bridge and the tip of my nose, my cupid's bow, and even a bit in the inner corners of my eyes. I went over those areas with a damp beauty sponge to make sure it was all blended in.
Again, I was happy with the subtly radiant result. I thought my skin looked healthy and dewy, and I didn't see streaks of blinding highlighter on my skin like I do when I use some powder formulas (I don't know about you, but I'm over the intense highlighter trend of yesteryear). My skin looked even better when I ventured out into the sun, as the light reflected off the golden pigment particles nicely.
Method #3: Mix It Into Foundation Makeup
The third and final way I used the glow drops was by mixing them into my foundation before applying them all over my skin with a damp beauty sponge. This time, instead of just using the Sheer Golden shade, I used the Sheer Bronze shade, too. I simply dispensed a pump of my foundation on the back of my hand, then added a drop of each shade into it, before mixing it up and dabbing it on my skin.
I think this was my favorite way to use the product since the coverage from the foundation and the glow from the drops worked in tandem to smooth and illuminate my complexion. A touch of mascara and a swipe of lip balm was all I added before heading out the door and getting on with my day. It was a minimal makeup success.
10 Other Glow-Giving Versed Products to Try
Using an antioxidant-rich face oil is a surefire way to boost my skin's natural radiance.
You can read all about my love affair with this brightening mask here.
This serum uses vitamin C and niacinamide to brighten the skin.
This mask uses AHAs, BHAs, and enzymes to resurface dull skin.
Speaking of exfoliation, this physical exfoliator is a favorite.
This toner uses a combination of acids, as well as vitamin C, to brighten the skin.
This best-selling mask works overnight to resurface the complexion.
This serum is packed with antioxidants from ferulic acid, phloretin, and stabilized vitamin C.
With ginseng root extract and niacinamide, this eye gel helps brighten the under-eyes.
Bring the glow to your body with this moisturizing body oil.