Nam Vo Drops Her Skin-Care Routine


Instagram has helped launch the careers of plenty of makeup artists, but few have leveraged the power of social media as well as Nam Vo. She’s known as the queen of glow because her page is essentially a highlight reel of the dewiest skin you’ve ever seen. It’s hard not to get sucked into video after mesmerizing video of her flawlessly applying highlighter.

Her signature “dewy dumpling” glow has earned her celebrity clients like Chrissy Teigan and Kylie Jenner as well as countless editorial jobs, but the most eye-catching complexion on her page is her own. Even without a trace of makeup, Vo’s skin is as smooth and shiny as, well, a dumpling.

However, Vo is open about the fact that her skin is the result of some serious effort that began before she even started in the industry. “I’m high-maintenance,” she says with a laugh. “I’m Vietnamese, so I think that already kind of gave me a head start. Since I was a child, it’s been instilled in me the importance of good skin care and staying out of the sun. My mom had really bad melasma and bad skin, and she used to sit me next to her at the mirror. She grew up poor; she didn’t have skin creams and sunblocks and whatever. So I always laugh about it, because my mom used to chase me around with an umbrella because she was scared that I would get sun damage. And now I chase other people around with an umbrella. You know, they say that you become your mother.”

Vo’s skills with a makeup brush are undeniable, but when it comes down to it, she swears that skin care is the bedrock of her signature glow. “People are always like, ‘How do you create the illusion of this? How do I look like a dewy dumpling?’” she says. “But I actually think that it’s such a back-to-front way of thinking, because rather than using foundation, makeup, highlighters, this, that, and other things to create that illusion of glowy, dewy dumpling skin, I tell people to go get facials and spend that money on skin care, and actually work for the real thing rather than creating the illusion of it.”

In fact, for Vo, being a dewy dumpling is basically a way of life. “I have been diligent about my skin-care routine my whole entire life,” she says. “I think I landed in the right businesses, because I am just really obsessed with skin care. I literally have a facial every day. I get boxes [of skin care products] sent to me every day. I started early in my career working on celebrities and doing photo shoots. And I was always kind of known in the business, like, ‘Oh, God, book Nam an hour and a half, because she spends half the time on prepping the skin.’ So I eat, breathe, and drink my dewy dumpling lifestyle.”

Below, Vo shares all the products she can’t live without—including a $22 retinol and $2,100 LED mask—for Glamour’s Drop the Routine

My cleansers

I love the Elemis Rose Balm Cleanser, I use that first. I also love the Then I Met You Cleansing Balm  and the Pai Oil Cleanser—I’m a real oil cleansing whore. Then I move into a gel cleanser: I love the Peach & Lily Power Calm cleanser and iS Clinical Cleansing Complex.

Elemis Pro-Collagen Rose Cleansing Balm

Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm

Peach & Lily Power Calm Hydrating Gel Cleanser

iS Clinical Cleansing Complex

My toners

Then I go into toning. During the daytime, I use the new Elemis Superfood Fruit Vinegar toner. I also like P50 by Biologique Recherche and the Paula’s Choice BHA Exfoliant. I like my toner to do something like exfoliate.

Elemis Superfood Fruit Vinegar Liquid Glow

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

My essences

After that, I’ll move into an essence. I love the Amorepacific Essence. I don’t know what it’s doing, but I feel like it’s plumping my skin, it’s brightening up my skin. My mom always said, “Put on your body moisturizer right after the shower, while you’re still moist,” so it feels like it helps grab the next products. I’m not sure if that’s right or if that’s just something I made up. Basically, I don’t know what it’s doing, but I think it’s doing something good.

Amorepacific Vintage Single Extract Essence

My retinol

After the essence, I’ll use the Versed Retinol Serum. It doesn’t irritate my skin, and I feel like the next morning I wake up and I look refreshed. And I’m such a bougie person, but I actually like a product that’s inexpensive—I have a category of products called Save Money, Honey.


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