BWA’s Guide To Highlighting And Illuminating

Highlighting is a step that many, if not most, people tend to skip, and I have no qualms about doing so on a day-to-day basis. When it comes to a night out or any event that demands effort makeup wise, illuminator is something that I always have at the ready.

Yes, I’ll admit it was a bit hard to get the hang of initially (I spent my fair share of days looking like a grease-ball) but once I did, I found it could totally provide that extra wow factor.

One of the tricky things about illuminators is the placement. You want to use it to highlight certain planes of your face to give extra dimension as well as a healthy glow. Sweeping it over the tops of your cheekbones is a great place to start. It’s also the easiest place as it’s harder to over-do the illuminator in this particular area.

The next best place is on the bridge of the nose, however this is a little more difficult as many people tend to get oilier t-zones. To avoid this, make sure your illuminator has no sparkles, use a powder instead of a liquid and apply with a fluffy eye shadow brush to keep it neat and on the tip of your bridge. For this, Nars’ classic ‘Albatross’ ($49) highlighter gives the perfect soft white-gold sheen.

A less common place for illuminator is the cupids bow on the top lip. For those who want to highlight their cupids bow, place a tiny dab of cream illuminator above the bow and blend thoroughly. You don’t want the illuminator to be visible but you want it to contrast enough with your lip colour that it makes the colour pop. Try Benefit Watt’s Up ($30 on Benefit’s website) highlighter.

The next step is to choose the right kind of highlighter for your skin type. I’m a firm believer in owning 2 staples: either a powder, a liquid or a cream. If you have oily skin try to avoid cream highlighters, as they tend to have the most slip. Liquids and gels are generally better as they usually dry down.

Body Shop’s Radiant Highlighter ($25.95) is good for a staple liquid highlighter. For drier skin, powders have a tendency to exaggerate flakiness or patches so a cream highlighter like Jemma Kidd Dewy Glow ($25.40 on Beautybay.com) is great. Colour is also important, you don’t want a highlighter that reads too pink or yellow. For warm complexions, try golden highlighters like Benefit’s Moon Beam ($30). Cooler complexions look best with an icier, silvery highlighter like Benefit’s High Beam ($30).

Overall I do think that highlighters can provide that little extra something when you want to look particularly striking. There’s just something about the subtle way they transform your face without being super visible.

How do you guys feel about highlighters? Are there any of you who use them on a regular basis? Are they too much trouble? Let me know your thoughts!

XX Jen

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44 Comments

  • Reply genckm Wednesday 12th September, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Benefit is such a great brand

  • Reply thugsy Thursday 6th September, 2012 at 8:23 am

    would love to try

  • Reply doogs Thursday 6th September, 2012 at 8:20 am

    thanks for that

  • Reply bardie Thursday 6th September, 2012 at 8:14 am

    I’ve never tried before

  • Reply jarjar Thursday 6th September, 2012 at 8:10 am

    love

  • Reply Lucinda27 Wednesday 5th September, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    I love Olivia Palermo’s hair and makeup here. I personally love my Bobbi Brown shimmer brick, highlighter and bronzer all in one.

  • Reply diamond0901 Wednesday 5th September, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    great tips thanks

  • Reply blakbirdiee Wednesday 5th September, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    always try and maintain highlighting in my daily make up routine make such a difference

  • Reply shazam Wednesday 5th September, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    I love wearing illuminators and highlighters, especially in the warmer months. It gives my cheeks a beautiful glow.

  • Reply Emily Kate Wednesday 5th September, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Thanks for the tips. Highlighting is something that I have wanted to try but haven’t been sure how to go about it.

  • Reply messyblonde Wednesday 5th September, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    I use an illuminator pretty much pretty much every day. I mix in a little bit with my foundation for an all over glow and then a little on top of my cheekbones. Lots of people notice it when your cheeks catch the sunlight.

    Stilla does a fantastic range of liquid illuminators.

  • Reply aalana Wednesday 5th September, 2012 at 10:14 am

    awesome 🙂

  • Luci
    Reply Luci Wednesday 5th September, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Im still confused

  • Reply foxoduck Tuesday 4th September, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Will have to give it a go!!

  • Reply lauralai Tuesday 4th September, 2012 at 11:20 am

    She looks great!

  • Reply ichigolove01 Tuesday 4th September, 2012 at 10:17 am

    I’ve always been way too lazy to be bothered with highlighting. But I might give it a try

  • make up magic
    Reply make up magic Tuesday 4th September, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Great tips. I really use a highlighter but this has inspired me to use it more

  • Reply dj23249 Tuesday 4th September, 2012 at 5:52 am

    Gorgeous

  • Reply Anastasija Tuesday 4th September, 2012 at 1:19 am

    Love

  • Reply Claireo Monday 3rd September, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    I always forget to do this!

    • Reply fifi73 Tuesday 4th September, 2012 at 8:24 am

      Same!

  • Reply cindyhu_1234 Monday 3rd September, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    hmmmmm maybe i should start doing this

  • Reply lizzie77 Monday 3rd September, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    thanks for the tips!

  • Reply punkemohardcore Monday 3rd September, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    What exactly is the difference between a highlighter and an illuminator?

  • Reply cindyfeng92 Monday 3rd September, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    need to learn this

  • kirab
    Reply kirab Monday 3rd September, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Thanks for the tips!

  • Reply ellenstewart Monday 3rd September, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Love it!

  • DearMonet
    Reply DearMonet Monday 3rd September, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    I’ve never tried a highlighter but I’m keen to try it!!!

  • Reply cadam Monday 3rd September, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    body shop one is great

  • Reply jreilly Monday 3rd September, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    so fresh

  • Reply MsKimo Monday 3rd September, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    I love the beautiful effects of highlighting but I rarely do it, too lazy.

  • Reply maggielyly Monday 3rd September, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    I want to try the benefit high beam~

  • Reply KatP Monday 3rd September, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    thanks

  • smurfette
    Reply smurfette Monday 3rd September, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Love it

  • Reply BellaB Monday 3rd September, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Haven’t added this to my routine – may have to consider it.

  • Reply godsaur Monday 3rd September, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    wow

  • Reply vikki18 Monday 3rd September, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    love it

  • Reply dapperdolly Monday 3rd September, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    A lot of women in the early to mid last century would do their forehead, cheekbones and chins, although the cupid’s bow was also a favourite!

  • Reply Jenny Monday 3rd September, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Love

  • Reply yslyenom Monday 3rd September, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    That looks like Olivia Palermo. Is that her?

  • Reply Whatthe Monday 3rd September, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    A very pretty lady in the picture! Wow!

  • Reply candicelee22 Monday 3rd September, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Thanks x

  • Reply ragdollbaby Monday 3rd September, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I love the idea of highlighting, but it’s on the bottom of the makeup procedure so rarely gets done.

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