Time for another entry in the tried and tested series! Today, I’m talking about the products I’ve recently been using to help me achieve that lit-from-within glow (we all wish came naturally). While contouring has basically become second nature to most, highlighting is just as crucial. A great highlighter is the easiest way to create a youthful, dewy complexion – it can accentuate the features you love, and even camouflage aging skin. When looking for a luminizing product, one of the most important factors for me is that the product makes me glow, NOT sparkle – you don’t want to end up with a shiny, and dare I say it, somewhat stripper-ish effect, so steer clear of products that contain large flecks of glitter.
So how exactly do you add a little life and brightness to your complexion? For me, I typically apply highlighter down the bridge of the nose, underneath the arch of the brow, and then hit the c-curve (the end of your eyebrow, to the high point of your cheekbone). Sometimes I also add it to the inner corners of my eyes, the centre of the eyelid, and to give the illusion of a fuller pout, I’ll apply a small dab just above the cupid’s bow on my lip. Be careful not to use a heavy hand, you simply want to add radiance and enhance the natural structure of the face with just a little added light. For powder formulas, apply it with either a fan or fluffy brush, and for cream formulas, I personally just like to use my fingers.
So let’s get to it! Keep reading to find out my thoughts and see some swatches of my favourite glow-enhancing highlighters.
I’m a sucker for packaging, and the mirrored compact that houses this product is beautiful, plus I’m a fan of its contents as well. Out of all the products mentioned today, I would say this one is the most golden, and slightly deeper hued in comparison to the others. While I sometimes prefer a lighter shade for highlighting, the name does deliver, giving you a nice overall glow. Plus, the product buffs well into the skin, but can easily be built up as well if you’re looking to go from midday to midnight.
This is my new favourite powder highlight (of course NARS takes the cake, I love every product of theirs that I’ve tried). This highlighter is created with transparent pigments so it doesn’t appear heavy on the skin, and it creates the most perfect light-reflecting glow. At first glance the product looks like it’s just white, but once you apply it to your skin, the gold undertone reveals itself to give you a natural radiance. This is also amazing to layer over blush and sweep on the apples of your cheeks to add more dimension to your blush colour. This ones a major winner for me, and will probably be my go-to from now on for a powder highlight.
While Champagne Pop is probably the most popular shade of this highlighter, and the liquid version is the stuff of legends, I decided to go with the pressed highlighter, and chose the shade Moonstone (a slightly lighter pale gold in comparison to it’s coveted cousin, Champagne Pop). The beauty of pressed powders is that there are fewer opportunities to waste product (anyone else walked by the liquid or cream version of this at Sephora, the testers are usually a mess). The formula blends pigments with liquids, which gives it this almost creamy bounce, and the texture is a dream: smooth against the skin, incredibly finely-milled, and it has excellent colour payoff.
This formula actually made me discover that I quite enjoy cream formula highlighters. I generally warm up the product between my fingertips before applying it to my face, which helps make sure the product will blend more seamlessly into my skin. The finish is dewy, and I like the pink and silver undertones on my skin. While the size is convenient to bring with you anywhere, it is quite small in terms of price per ounce of product compared to others. That being said, it is also a cheaper way to try out an amazing product that you don’t need to use a ton of everyday.
As I mentioned above, I have a new found love for cream formula highlighters. I prefer them because the application and amount of product deposited on your skin is easy to control since you simply use your fingertips. This Marc Jacobs Illuminator is my latest highlighter purchase, and it’s my favourite. The packaging is sleek, the formula is creamy, but never feels wet or sticky, the shape allows for on-the-go application, and both warm and cool skin tones can wear this product since it is a universally flattering shade – they’ve used both gold and silver pigments to produce a looks-good-on-everyone kind of sheen. The product blends so easily for the most natural-looking glow, and the tiny flecks of shimmer are so fine, there’s zero chance of ever turning Edward Cullen-in-sunlight sparkly. While this is the most expensive highlighter of the bunch, it’s also the largest (0.49 oz worth, when comparitively, my other favourite from Nars is only 0.16 oz). Having used this almost everyday for the last 2 months I feel like I’ve barely put a dent in the stick, so I can see this lasting a long time.
That’s it! Let me know if you love some of these highlighters too, or if there’s any other standouts that I haven’t tried (I also really want to test out the RMS Living Luminizer in the future, has anyone tried that one?).
Until next time,