Friday, 4 October 2013

Let Me Glow - My Favorite Highlighters

If i had to pick a makeup item "type" that I am most fond of and one that is almost always guaranteed to peek my interest then highlighters or luminizers are definitively it (blush is a close second!)!
Come to think of it the same theme goes into skincare too because anything with "radiance" or "brightening" in the product name is on my radars almost all the time. It's not really surprising I guess since I often feel like my complexion is lacking it's own natural glow, which means I am always trying to produce it or "fake" it through some clever product maneuvering.  The key being in the word "trying"! 

After years of "beauty research" and blog stalking I have found that I am not alone in this "radiance" quest and beauty brands have definitively caught on to this notion as well - judging by the sheer number of products released for that purpose alone. 
The concept of highlighters is nothing new and the technique of applying them can get tricky, however the right formula, correct shade choice and some practice can really pay off. 

That being said I will admit that this is the type of product that is most likely to sway me into a purchase just based on design and/or packaging alone. They just make them too pretty...
Adding just a little sparkle at the appropriate areas can do wonders for your complexion and give you that "dewy but still glowy, yes this is my real skin and I sleep 10 hours a day, every day" kind of look that will flatter just about anyone. 
A great highlighter can perk up your complexion, accentuate your best features , and when used correctly even camouflage aging skin. Combining "the one" with a good contouring technique can literally transform your face and some say even mimic a subtle face-lift. The key again is knowing how to use it!

Applying the highlighter under the eyes, above the brows, and on the brow bone will add life and brightness to your face and in turn promote a healthier and even "younger" you. I also like to dust a very sheer amount to the top of my cheekbones for added definition and just above the Cupid's bow to mimic a fuller pout. Exercise caution though because a heavy hand and too much sparkle will just end up accentuating your flaws, enlarged pores or just make you look like a disco ball. Trust me - it's not a good look!

Even though I have an unhealthy number of highlighters and plenty of practice time, I am yet to master the perfect targeted approach but I am always  hopeful in upping my beauty game. 
Today I want to feature a few of my favorites that are definitively good at lighting me up :-)

*Benefit Cosmetics Moon Beam ($26.00, golden tone) and High Beam ($26.00, pink tone)

These two cult-products are probably well known to all of you and I have to say their popularity is well deserved. The versatility of these two are what makes them appealing to me - their liquid-gel like texture allows them to be added to foundations and moisturizers to create the "lit from within" effect but they also work equally well through targeted "dabbing" on features you want "noticed". The formula is low on the "frost factor" so it's relatively easy to work with and hard to mess up. I am sure all of us can appreciate that! 
The reason i love Moon Beam and High Beam is because I can easily control the "glow" from subtle to all out drama for night without too much fussing.
The Benefit Sun Beam is their bronzed princess counterpart and I have to say it too, is glowing on me :-)
A little bit goes a long way with these so the initial investment is certainly reasonable and worth every penny in my opinion.

Guerlain Meteorites in Mythic ($67.00 for 1.05 oz)

These pearly beads of light are a perfect example of my weakness when it comes to girliness, packaging and passion for the pursuit of "glowiness"! If I am completely honest with myself then I have to admit that the both Guerlain Meteorites and their voyage compact ($184)  were destined to be purchased by me regardless whether or not they worked for me. The luxurious, girly and captivating compacts and kaleidoscope like design caught my eye and it was love at first sight. Luckily for me these also turned to be one of those rare "mythical" products that both look amazing and preform beautifully too! I have several Meteorites from the various Guerlain collections but the original Mythic 01 are the ones I reach for most often! This is a very subtle, low-shimmer kind of highlighter which makes it ideal for daytime use and works amazingly well at just creating "beams of light" on your face. 
The secret of the Guerlain version of "glow" seems to be in the fact they combine both matte colour correcting powders and pearly light-reflecting pigments that work together to create the purest form of radiance. I have heard it described by many beauty bloggers as "Photoshop for your face" and I couldn't agree more. 

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Radiant Touch ($50.00 for 0.1 oz)

This makeup artist favorite has already reviewed (here) and even though it's probably misunderstood by most consumers, those who discover its purpose with the right technique will no undoubtedly love using it. The Touche Eclat is a targeted highlighter that is to be used on specific areas of your face that need some extra "lighting" and as such it will preform beautifully. This is not a concealer - in fact if you use it for that purpose it will do exactly the opposite of concealing and your imperfections will actually be "lit up" for all to see! Trust me - this is not a good look! 
The combination of the Touche Eclat with a good concealer will elevate your complexion to the spotlight level and with some practice this "dream duo" just might become a star in your makeup bag!

A more affordable "dream team" already exists in the form of the E.L.F Studio Under Eye Concealer & Highlighter ($3.00). This product boasts an amazing combination of a creamy concealer that covers both blemishes and red spots nicely while the non-glittery highlighter will add "light" in the best possible way. I am a huge fan, especially with a price tag that won't make you cringe at checkout! 

Paul & Joe Beaute Pressed Powder N 04 (lilac)

Paul & Joe Beaute and my own admiration for the brand and its products is rooted deeply in my appreciation of all things, whimsical, girly and beautiful packaging! I have made many regretful purchases in my beauty life, where the item in question had adorable designs and shiny, pink boxes but the product itself was underwhelming in results or performance. Paul & Joe Beaute luckily doesnt fit in that category and every product that I have tried from their collections impressed me beyond measure and never fail to put a smile on my face! 
The Paul & Joe Beaute Pressed Powder N 04 (lilac) is not exactly a traditional highlighter as it doesnt exactly luminize or add any significant sheen to your complexion but what it does do is brighten, correct and reflects light in the most flattering way. The light lavender colour acts as a brightener, covering up any redness or uneven areas on your face while adding dimension to the complexion and setting foundation. I would recommend this to anyone who uses a very matte base but wants to add some highlight while avoiding any kind of shimmer which can sometimes accentuate large pores and oiliness.
It really does work like a charm!

The last highlighter I want to mention is probably the most popular one among both beauty bloggers and makeup artists themselves and I can definitively see its appeal.
The NARS Albatross Powder ($33.00) is best described as a very light golden snow whose full beauty and potential are only visible out of the pan itself. In the pan its rather underwhelming and almost boring and I remember initially questioning my purchase before it even arrived. One swatch later and I was a definite fan!
The light golden sheen is almost opalescent on the skin and it does contain quite a bit of shimmer so using a light hand with this is essential. It can be tricky to find the right balance so experimentation is key but once you see what it can do for your skin you will realize all that playing around was worth it!

I hope you enjoyed this post :-)

What is your favorite highlighter!



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