I love a good highlighter – there is no denying the power of a good one – it can bring out features and brighten skin instantly. Unfortunately however, highlighter is also the one that if not used correctly, can be very unflattering.
Hop onto Instagram and you’ll more than likely see someone applying a lot.. while this may look (possibly) ok, let us remember those images are not real life. The look may work in controlled lighting but what about us every day women; lots of shimmer in the wrong place can actually make us look hot and sweaty. Brides-to-be take note. What might look good to the eye, can look completely different with a camera flash on it.
Used correctly though, highlighter can lift, brighten and even cheat sleep.
Choose the formulation according to your skin type and desired finish. A cream highlight and blusher are my personal skin saviours. I love creams with minimal shimmer – large glitter and shimmer particles can end up blotchy and sit in fine lines and pores. If you have got textured skin, try gently dabbing on a small amount of moisturiser instead of an actual highlighter, you’ll get the glow without drawing attention to problematic areas. I will use powders too, these might be better for an oilier type skin for longevity, but the key, whatever formulation you choose is to blend, blend, blend.
What’s the difference between a highlighter and an illuminator?
As the name suggests, highlighters are designed to ‘highlight’ areas of the face. They’re typically used on cheekbones, browbones, centre of the eyelid and cupids bow – anything you want to bring attention to. They should be slightly lighter than your skintone, typically they have a shine or shimmer to catch the light but a highlight can also be a matt texture. Anything too shimmery can be unflattering on some skin textures.
Illuminators can be used in the same way but are softer I would say, they can be used to create more of a radiant luminous glow. They can come in the same format as a highlighter but can also come in more liquid forms to be used all over the face or mixed into a foundation for example. Again be careful of anything too shimmery – especially if going somewhere where there is flash photography; they can reflect the light too much and make you look too shiny. Illuminators tend to come in multiple shades – typically golds, pinks, champagnes etc.
I probably lean towards illuminators as I like to give skin that healthy radiant glow as opposed to a starker highlighted look. However you can use either type to create similar looks – if your product is a little too dense or shimmery, try mixing it with something else to soften it. Or use it under foundation rather than over it.
The Madara Cosmic Drops are great – quite shimmery but mix and play! Pai have some really great drops as well that contain hyaluronic acid so really great for your skin too – use them straight onto skin or mix into your foundation or moisturiser.
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