Applied under the brow, down the nosebridge, just above the arch of your brows, on the tops of your cheekbones, on the cupid’s bow, and sometimes on the temples, chin, and occipital bone, highlighters are pretty damn multi-functional. It doesn’t matter what you go with — cream, pencil, gel, liquid, or powder (my fave) — they all do pretty much the same thing: brighten up your face by adding luminscence and depth to specific points.Choose your perfect product by trying it on, optimally! But if that’s not an option, don’t fret. Highlighters are low-pigment high-sheen, which means that most of them only come in one or two shades anyways. If for whatever reason you do have options (lighter than your skintone, matching your skintone, and darker than your skintone,) though, choose the one that is lighter than your skintone — if it matches, you won’t get as much depth, and if it’s darker, you’ll be counter-productively “pushing” those hilighted points back into your face with shadowy darkness.
If there are multiple ones lighter than your skintone, go with your gut. I would never use a white-white highlighter on my sister, for example (she’s about a NC20) — I’d maaayyyybe use a white hilight in the winter on myself, but ivory ones on her. (And light beiges on my mother, who has tanned to a stunning NC35ish this summer as she’s been outdoors a ton!)
(I know my recommendations list always looks like it’s a foot long, but once you choose which type you’re looking for — which is personal preference! — it’s really only one or three products.)
- For a cream, try a MAC Cream Colour Base in Pearl or Hush, or Fresh’s Satin trio. Or even a jumbo pencil highlighter, for the girl on the go!
- For a liquid, take a look-see at Benefit’s ever-popular High Beam or Moon Beam (I personally prefer the finish of Moon Beam), LORAC’s Oil-Free Luminizer, or Stila’s All Over Luminizing Liquid. Which doesn’t have a cute name but is slightly cheaper than the Benefit ones with more product in the bottle. So I guess it’s okay.
- For a loose powder, give MAC Vanilla pigment a go — like a liquid, it’s very multi-use. Like a cheap hooker but way better, this gal will add a glow to anything and anyone. And hey, they even cost about the same!
- For a pen-dispensed liquid, check out something like Dior Skinflash or YSL Touche Eclat. I don’t know how to get that accent and I’m too lazy to look it up. (WIN!) Don’t worry if the price scares you — it scared me too — as there are lots of drugstore dupes for these. Also note that these are more of a natural hilight, almost a blend between a highlighter and a sheer concealer.
- For a powder, seek out the super-hyped Guerlain Meteorites, Smashbox Soft Lights, a MAC MSF, or a Bobbi Shimmer Brick – all with a fan brush or something similar (with precision). I use a Quo All-Over Eye Brush for most of my hilighting (with a very light hand) and it’s wonderful!
Please check back at 2:00 for the next and final installment of “get your glow on”! Also, I’d appreciate it if you held questions until then… I may answer it in the next post!