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!