With the trend of highlighting being all the rage in the makeup world, I have dipped my toes, or should I say cheekbones into stupidly excessive amounts of highlighting products. Whether it is a cream glow, a powdered shimmer, or even a cream-to-powder finish, trust me, I’ve tried it. There is nothing more exciting then making your face glow like a light bulb, right? This post is going to tell you all there is to know about highlighters, how to use them, and how to choose the right one for making your skin shine bright like a diamond.
What is it?
For those of you who don’t know, a highlighter in the makeup world is a product that is used to sharpen you features, making your face look more chiseled, glowy, and bright. It can come in many forms, whether it be a liquid, cream, gel, powder, or a combination. Highlighters are a great compliment to contouring products, for you put it on the points of your face that you want to accentuate and have the illusion of appearing higher on your face. That’s why highlighters are so often used on cheekbones, for they create the illusion of light reflecting off a highpoint of the face, creating the face to look more slim and structured. These products are seriously a gift from heaven.
How to use it
Using highlighters are quite simple, but you don’t want to overdo it. My best word of advice is to place the product anywhere that light would usually reflect. Think of how the sun hits object that are raised. The higher parts receive the light from the sun; where as the more shallow parts create a shadow. You face works this way too. Your cheekbones, the bridge & tip of your nose, brow bone, and the point of your upper lip tend to be the highest points of your face for most people. Therefore, if one were out in the sun, light would reflect off these areas. To accentuate these areas even more, highlighters are used to make them appear even higher, causing more light to reflect off them, causing a slimmer appearance. Not too hard, right?
When placing the product on your face it’s important that it is blended properly. As light reflects, it spans out gradually and no harsh division is created. Streakiness is not cute. When placing the product, start with a small amount and lightly blend it out to create a natural effect. If using a cream, liquid or gel highlighter, apply the product with your finger in a light tapping motion. If using a powder, apply with a fan brush, gradually building up coverage depending on the intensity you want.
Remember, don’t overdo it. The downside of highlighters is that they tend to accentuate your pores if they are not applied properly. They can tend to make your pores and fine lines more visible, so make sure not to bring down the product too far onto the cheek or it’s a recipe for disaster.
My Top 3 Favourites
1. BECCA Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed “Moonstone” Sephora ($46)
This highlighter is my go to for when I want to be glowing to the gods. It’s a pressed powder formulation that is easily buildable, but a little goes a long way. It has a shimmery finish to give you that extra glow, perfect for a night out. I love dabbing this on the bridge of my nose to make it look extra sharp. For an even more intense look I love using this on top of a cream or liquid highlighter, which ill discuss next.
2. Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up! Cream-To-Powder Highlighter “Luminous Champagne” Sephora ($39)
This creamy highlighter gives you the best of both worlds. It applies like a cream, giving you an intense highlight, but it finishes as a powder. This means it wont settle as heavily into your pores. It feels light but looks like you went bathing in the sunlight.
Even though this double-ended product directs you to glide the product directly onto the face and then follow with the sponge tip to blend out, I prefer to use it differently. I find that directly applying the product from the applicator creates streakiness and an unnatural finish and the sponge tip is pretty useless. Instead, I like rubbing my finger onto the product and then placing it on my face myself. I find it gets a more precise application and it blends out more evenly. The sponge was innovative, but I find it just wipes off all the product I just applied! Nonetheless, definitely a forever favourite.
3. Makeup Forever Pro Sculpting Duo “Pink Beige” Sephora ($46)
This is a love-hate product for me, but the love side is so real it still made top 3 favourites. This product is a “two-in-one” as it is half highlighter half contour. Initially you would think that this is a match made in heaven, for nothing compliments highlighters more than a chiseled contour. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, but the highlighter is really all that matters.
The highlighter has an iridescent finish, making the cheekbones look dewy and glowy without being too aggressive. You can build up the product and get a glow that can be seen from a mile away, but for those who just want a pretty finish to their skin, this is the way to go! Even though the highlighter only takes up half of the product, I’ve had this product for well over a year and I’m not even close to hitting pan.
The downside to this product is the contour side. Contours are made to create depth to the face, making it look hollow in specific areas. These areas should be matte, for a shimmer will only draw attention to them, creating them to appear higher. This completely defeats the purpose of a contour. This contour has a slight sheen to it, and doesn’t blend out properly. I find it to be very muddy looking and uneven. As much as it’s a bummer that it’s not something that I would use, the highlighter makes is totally worth it.
With the crazy amount of highlighting products on the market I could write ten pages on the do’s and don’ts, but at the end of the day there really are no “rules” to makeup. Play with makeup and express yourself the way you want to! Whether you bathe in a tub of highlighter or just dab a tiny bit on the end of your nose you’ll be beautiful inside and out.
Thanks for reading!