To highlight or not to highlight? That is the question. For me, I like to glow like a beacon every single day. However, I have had a lot of people in the last few months asking what highlighter is? Is it easy to use? Where does it go? How do I decide which one to buy? So I thought I’d write a little article just for you that will give a definitive answer to these all these questions and give you an insight into what I like with some handy tips and tricks I’ve learnt along the way.
Every single makeup artist will have some form of highlighter in their beauty arsenal, but I have found there are so many people unsure of this relatively new trend as it can be portrayed as being rather difficult you use, or something that you need a high skill level to be able to achieve high quality looks. This is really not the case so I’ve put together a little guide of tips and tricks to get the most out of your highlighter. I would just like to clarify that as a working mum I very rarely get the chance to do all these little tricks every day. Just this morning for example, while I was getting my glow on Matilda, ran off with a liquid lipstick and decided to colour all over her nice clean white top, all in the space of about 10 seconds! But whether you have 5 minutes, 15 minutes or 50 minutes to do your makeup I hope this post will help you make the most of the time you have and rock that summer glow all year round.
- Along your cheekbone: This is the best way to get some definition on those cheekbones, sweep in a diagonal line from just below the centre of your eye and all the way up into your hairline, but make sure you give it a good blend out to give you a beautiful reflection as you turn your head this will make your skin look fresher and appear more youthful.
- Down the bridge of your nose: Surely I’m not the only one that’s not 100% happy with they’re schnoz? If like me you wish you make your nose a tad slimmer then pop a line of highlighter down the bridge of your nose alongside some concealer down the sides a shade or two lighter than you would normally wear and gently blend in.
- Save those tired eyes: All you tired mamas and hard working ladies you’ll want to listen up for this bit. If your working on only a few hours sleep or you’re constantly on the go and your eyes are starting to give you up then dab a pinch of highlighter on the inner corner of your eyes to brighten up an area that might otherwise be a tad dark and give you that sparkle back.
- Create the illusion of larger eyes: Now I can’t give you the magic formula for larger eyes but I can help you create that illusion. Apply highlighter just under your brow bone, but above your eyelid to give the effect of larger eyes. Also, a tiny dab of highlighter on the centre of your eyelid will give you a double win by making your eyes look larger and more awake!
- All over glow: Want to create that beautiful glow from within look mix a little of your liquid highlighter to your foundation for all over dewiness.
- Say bye bye to dark circles: Get rid of those dark under eye circles by adding a small amount of creamy highlighter to your concealer and apply sparingly to those dark circles to brighten the entire area.
- Plump those lips: Give the illusion of nice juicy lips by dabbing a touch of highlighter on your cupids bow, you can also apply some highlighter over the top of lipstick to give the appearance of larger fuller lips.
Okay, now we’ve discussed the how too’s let move on to finding the perfect highlighter for you. When you start on this quest you might feel as though your drowning in a sea of shimmer and sparkles, with nearly every brand doing several variations of highlighter these days it can be a little overwhelming, but I hope to make things a little easier for you when it comes to making that leap. The main decision you’ll have to make is whether you go for liquid, cream or powder highlight. I’m going to take you through some pros and cons of each now and some products I really love.
Liquid: I really do love a liquid highlight as they tend not to be as concentrated as the other versions and can be used in a variety of ways. Liquid really does sit best on dry skin as it can be a little problematic for oily skins as the consistency can make the highlight slip as the day goes on. I really like to mix my liquid highlighter in with my foundations as suggested above it really does give me a stunning all over glow. However, if you want a more concentrated glow put a few dots of the product over the high parts of your face and use a damp beauty blender or your fingers to gently blend in. Also with liquid, it can be conveniently worn all over the body and can double up as a base for powder highlighter when I want some extra shine.
There are two liquid highlighters I can highly recommend at varying ends of the price spectrum. The first is the Marc Jacobs Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter as it gives such a natural glow and is perfect for mixing in with foundation and is very buildable if you want a more noticeable sheen. An added bonus is my face feels and smells incredible when it’s on, it may be a tad more expensive but you really can feel the quality.
Now at the other end of the scale price wise but just as good is the Barry M Liquid Chrome Highlighter Drops. It comes in five different shades and trust me these give a very intense glow. If you want to stand out in a crowd then this is the right highlighter for you. These retail at £6.99 each which I think is fantastic and before long I think I may have sneaked all the shades into my collection. What I really like about these colours as the range is so varied you can either be seen from space or create a naturally radiant look. When I first tried these I wasn’t expecting much for the price, but I was pleasantly surprised, a tiny bit goes a very long way the first time I used this I squirted a large amount onto my face and end up looking like I was auditioning for a part as the tin man! I also dab a little on my collarbones whenever I’m wearing a strapless dress. This little bottle has now become a staple in my makeup bag as it gives me the high shine that I love. I am currently using Beame Up but pop into your local Barry M supplier and have a play to find your perfect shade.
Cream: Cream really does differ greatly from liquid and powder formulations as both of these tend to give you an almighty shimmer, whereas cream can tend to lean towards the matte side. Creams are less about glow and more about being a compliment to your contour, they are best for those who want to achieve and sculpted look and avoid any form of dewiness. If you’re terrified of looking shiny or suffer from oily skin then cream highlight will be your jam. I haven’t had much practice with cream highlight but from my experience, it is natural looking and is very forgiving as I felt as though it melted straight into my skin rather than laying on top. However, they can fade easier so its best to set with powder if you want to maintain the look all day. A really big bonus is if you like to do your makeup on the go all you need to do is quickly swipe on and blend out with your fingers as you don’t need to worry about harsh lines.
Like I said I don’t have much experience personally with cream highlighters but I’ve been doing some research into the best low and high-end cream highlighters for you. First up we have Benefit’s Watts Up highlighter. This product comes in a delicate champagne glow and is a cream to powder finish, his product gives a beautiful soft focus look and a luminous sheen. This product is mostly designed to be used on your cheekbones & brow bones, and perfect if you don’t want to glow like a disco ball, but instead, want a pretty, long-lasting and discreet enough to be worn anywhere then this is the one for you. Another little handy thing about this product is that it comes with little blending sponge at the bottom of the stick so it really is great for on the go. At the moment this product retails out at £25.50. Now I’ve finished my research on this products it’s gone straight to the top of my to buy list!
Secondly, if you want something stunning that’s not going to cost a bomb Maybelline’s Master Strobing Stick is coming up at the top of my list. At a very affordable £7.99, this product isn’t going to break the bank and comes in light or medium. Now I don’t own this but I did pop into my local Superdrug and have a little play. The first thing I noticed was it had a very light texture and blended in extremely well, perfect for if you’re only just starting out with highlighting. It’s not glittery like most highlight products and layers well with all foundation types. Perfect for everyday / casual use.
Powder: Powder is most definitely the most potent and by far my favourite formula highlighter. You do need to be careful with most powder products as they tend to have a very strong concentration of shimmer and it can be quite easy to overdo it. If you suffer from dry skin you do need to be careful that it doesn’t crack the skin, however, my skin is very dry but as long as I look after my skin it sits absolutely fine. With a light hand, it can blends into foundation seamlessly and is the least likely of the formulas to slip or become greasy. The only thing to remember with powder is that it cannot be used all over the face like creams or mixed into foundation like liquids, powder is only meant to be used on all the high points of the face. Powder isn’t designed for contouring but is perfect for strobing as it’s easily controllable, just remember not to pack your brush full of product. The application is easy as it doesn’t need to be extremely precise.
My favourite powder highlight is GWA’s Galactic Glow Palette, the quality of the powder is extremely high and I think a really good price for a palette at £15.99. Not just my favourite powder highlighter but it’s the best highlight product I’ve used in a long time. If you want to know a little bit more about this product then check out my last post for an in-depth look at this stunning palette.
If you wanted to try a more affordable powder highlight before you fully invest then I can highly recommend Maybelline’s Master Chrome Metallic highlighter. This comes in three stunning shades, Molten Gold, Molten Bronze and Molten Rose Gold. As you know with me anything rose gold is immediately in my good books. These are extremely well priced at £7.99 each. I’ve had a play with all these shades but surprise surprise the rose gold is my favourite. Each of the colours really does give a fierce metallic shine and is easy to apply. I was really happy with how pigmented these colours are all I needed was one swirl in the pan and then swipe on my cheek. This is definitely a must for any makeup lover. If I’m going to pick faults then the only one I can with this product is the case as there is no little lip to help flip it open, so if I’m not careful my nail goes shooting straight into the powder! But like I said a very small issue and won’t stop me from buying more shades.
So there we are, my definitive guide to all things highlighter! I hope you enjoyed reading and cover any of you strobing needs. Drop me a comment and let me know what your favourite highlighter is, I’m always looking for new products to try.