Bright Here, Bright Now


ITG intern Kim Johnson (Barnard Class of 2015!) is always on the hunt for the next best skin-brightening potion. Here, she shares her latest fixation:

If we’re being honest here, I’m not really a “makeup girl.” Of course I love a good cat eye as much as the next person, but that’s really where makeup and I go our separate ways. What I am obsessed with is skincare, specifically anything that promises to “brighten.” Mists, masks, BB creams, illuminators, I love them all. The only hurdle to a great glow has been my naturally oily skin. Yes, I know I sound all too much like a Clean & Clear commercial, but it’s true! What does a girl have to do to get a dewy glow in this city?

I was pretty certain I’d perfected my daily ritual a few months ago, when I switched from using a basic, drugstore tinted moisturizer to mixing my new MAC Studio Moisture Tint with a dab of MAC Strobe Cream (thanks, Azza Yousif!). I would top that off with a bit of Nars Orgasm Illuminator and a spritz of Caudalie Beauty Elixir, and I was on top of the world—yes, a tad of a beauty-intern cliché—but on top of the world nonetheless. But soon I began to feel stifled, unfulfilled, just not-quite-there yet. I couldn’t put my finger on it. Was my illuminator just not illuminating enough? Was my tinted moisturizer too mattifying? Whatever the reason, I felt dull on the outside and—let’s be real—that begins to affect the inside. When I first spied Tatcha’s Luminous Dewy Skin Mist on a Gloffice shelf, I didn’t think much of it because, hello, I already own the best beauty elixir of all time: Caudalie. But boy, was I wrong, my friends. (Let me say here that I will stand by my Caudalie Beauty Elixir until the end of time—it was my first facial mist, and as the taker of my mist-virginity, I won’t soon forget it. But there is something to be said for different seasons calling for different products.)

Being the impatient child that I am, I decided to try the Tatcha as soon as I got home from ITG HQ. (Hey, it’s never too early, or late, for a little bit of dewy mist.) My best friend, who also happens to be a beauty junkie, wanted in on the action, and probably described it best: “It’s like air on your face!” It was true. Almost as soon as I finished spritzing my face (three pumps), the liquid was gone. Nothing. No leftover mist sitting on my skin. No strange elixir-y scent filling my nostrils. Nothing. Just a dewy-looking and illuminated face staring back at me in the mirror..

Needless to say, I’ve been using the Tatcha for the past few weeks now and I’m loving it. Not only have I started to get compliments on my skin in the morning right after I’ve done my makeup, but also at night, when I haven’t touched up my face one bit. Looks like the Tatcha is here to stay. Now, about that perfect highlighter…Suggestions anyone?

—Kim Johnson

Kim Johnson photographed by Emily Weiss. 

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • kneelbeforetigers

    Yay! Glad to see faces of color on the editorial team (even if miss is an intern)!

  • Josef Šlaich

    Oh yeah I'm with you! I love everything by Tatcha.

  • SkinByRenee

    Kim I'm so excited for your new obsession! I am a skin therapist and I want to tell you that your newest obsessesion Tatcha is also great for your oily skin. The more you hydrate your skin the less oil it will produce! And I checked the ingredients I'm impressed! So hydrate away! Thanks for sharing!

  • Rebeka Osborne

    I don't think I've ever tried a facial mist... I might need to get some Tatcha! I love hearing other people's suggestions of new beauty products and this article was fantastic. Thanks for sharing!

  • Syden T. Abrenica

    Best highlighter I've ever used (and I've tried plenty being in beauty editorial), is by a pretty new natural brand called W3LL People. Great products, awesome ingredients, and the highlighter is a super lightweight cream that goes on and dissolves instantly. I put a dab underneath my eyes to give 'em some pop!

  • Cay

    I love Tatcha!

    I'd say I love their products ALMOST as much as I love stumbling across fellow Barnard girls doing cool things :).

  • Ada

    Amazing! For highlighter maybe try Edward Bess Afterglow?

  • columbia represent

    i literally let out an audible gasp because i recognize this girl from mutual friends in the columbia community! gorgeous girl and great write-up.

  • ddelriobud

    Yaaayyy diverse faces!!!

    Also, I love highlighters and here's a few that I love buds: Stila illuminating highlighter in Kitten, Benefit's 'Girl Meets Pearl' & Benefit's 'High Beam'

  • grey_nyc

    love this post, and love Barnard! (class of '00 here!)

  • Elena

    Great article and great product! What a fun piece to read! Good job Kimmie!

  • Blurred

    I, too, was on a quest for months looking for the perfect highlighter for my super pale, dry skin. After trying a Nars multiple, a couple drug store brands, and a Dior highlighter, I was still no closer to finding the perfect one for me. Then I found Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector. It's amazing, lasts all day, and comes in a variety of shades for different skin colors. Since trying it, I have used it every day and gone through two bottles (in two years). If that's not enough of a motivator, Lisa Eldridge (the YouTube makeup guru) raves about it in her video here:

    • Julia

      I also started using Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector after watching the amazing Lisa Eldridge rave about it! It's amazing! So happy I purchased it. Makes you look 'alive' and has none of those gross sparkles that other highlighters seems to contain.

  • Pemberley Jones

    Great post! For highlighters, try RMS Beauty's living luminizer!

  • Ziba Khatibi

    I really liked your post! I am not one to wear any makeup other than the basics and it is always nice to find out about other products. <3<3<3

  • Meagan

    Kim, as for an illuminator, try BECCA Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector! I am obsessed with this moisturizing and pearllized glow that this product acheives for me. I mix it in with my SPF each morning, or with any foundations for an immediate radiance. I bought it about 5 months ago, and haven't ever gone a day with out wearing it! I just look so happy, fresh faced and radiant!

  • BC ’09

    Yeah Barnard!!! Welcome to ITG, Kim!

  • maddy

    When should you apply this product? After moisturizing, before makeup?

  • Lola

    Anyone knows where to buy Tatcha Europe/France ?
    Barneys doesn't ship to France :(


  • Patricia Montenegro

    I really want to try this now! As for highlighter suggestions -- I love Too Faced Candlelight Highlighting Powder Duo. So subtle... yet beautiful.


NARS Illuminator
MAC Strobe Cream
MAC Studio Moisture Tint SPF 15
Caudalie Beauty Elixir
Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist