Dewy vs. Oily…A Fine Line

It seems like my customers fall into two camps…” dewy skin, yes please” versus, “no shine, bring on the powder.” I myself fall into the “no such thing as too dewy” camp. When I ask those who prefer a matte look why they feel that way it always seems to lead back to days when their skin was oily. They spent so much of their youth blotting and patting on powder that they can’t wrap their head around wanting their skin to glow.

Conversely, the ones who want a glow at all cost are so accustomed to feeling dry that they will do almost anything to achieve it. Moisturizers, highlighters, and constant spritzing to appear dewy becomes almost compulsive. So, what is the best look and when does the dewy look cross the line to looking oily?



Of course, the answer is subjective. Some people look perfectly gorgeous with a matte look and some do better with a dewy visage. Sometimes too much powder or a thick foundation can make you look dry. In this case, it isn’t the matte look that’s a problem. It’s the products you’re using to achieve that look. The good news is that it’s fairly easy to tell when you’ve gone too far. No shine is one thing, but when your skin looks dry and almost cakey…you don’t look your best. Lay off the powder and use a mattifying primer instead.

On the other hand, when you’re trying to achieve a glow…how do you know when you’ve over done it? I see a lot of photos of women with glowing skin. Sometimes I think they look amazing and other times I think they just look shiny. Too shiny. At what point did they take the look too far and how can we avoid doing the same?



Each time I think someone looks too shiny it seems that they all have one thing in common. A shiny t-zone. To avoid this look, I often recommend using a mattifying primer on the t-zone and a luminizing primer on the rest of the face. Once you’ve applied your makeup, the outer areas of your face will glow and your t-zone will be matte. If you want to amp up the glow a bit you can use a targeted highlighter on the upper cheek bones and a very thin line down the center of the nose. This will bounce the light back without creating a greasy look. The effect you should be after is one that looks like your skin is glowing and peeking through in certain areas, as opposed to an overall shine.

A good rule of thumb…if your skin is radiating the same shine across your whole face…you’ve likely left the dewy zone and headed straight to oily.


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I have been a beauty junkie for what seems like forever, but before I did anything about it, I went to law school. (Yes, my life is a little like the reverse of Legally Blonde.) Then, I worked as a prosecutor in Sonoma County after which I moved to the DC area with my husband in ’97. I served as Majority Counsel to the Senate Banking Committee followed by a year-long stint at a lobbying firm. You get the picture. It was then that I decided to act on my dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Finding my favorite beauty products proved to be impossible without stepping foot in a mall–the horror. So, I decided to bring my favorites to Alexandria. A few trips to New York and a flight to France and Bellacara was born in March 2000.

Located in historic Old Town Alexandria, for more than 17 years Bellacara has been Northern Virginia's preeminent boutique for high end cosmetic, skincare and haircare products. At Bellacara you will find premiere beauty products that have been carefully edited by the store’s owner, Angela Sitilides, who personally tests all the products sold in store. The boutique carries only the best product lines – Kiehl’s, Jouer, Dr. Dennis Gross, Christophe Robin, Moroccan Oil, Bumble & Bumble, Fresh, Molton Brown, Skinceuticals, Smashbox, Stila, Mario Badescu, Clarins, Dermalogica, Kevyn Aucoin, Kai, Child, St. Tropez, Smith and Cult, and many more.

1000 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314


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