The fastest, quickest way to fake healthy glowing skin is to add a highlighter to your makeup routine. Easier to master than contouring, highlighting also known as strobing, can help blur minor imperfections, erase signs of fatigue and restore youthfulness. Just a few swipes of these light reflecting powders and creams on the high points of your face will create a flattering silhouette and give the illusion of a flawless complexion.
Think of highlighters as your personal light box that create a soft focus effect on your skin and play up your best features. Not all highlighters are created equal, though, some offer a subtle sheen, others a noticeable glow and yet some others an all out strobe effect. I’ve listed a few of my favourites that will help you achieve the glow you want.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
Glow factor: Subtle sheen. Suitable for use during the day.
Comprising three Ambient Lighting Powders – Dim Light, Incandescent Light and Radiant Light, it allows you to recreate a range of lighting effects. I sometimes use Dim Light all over my face – not as a setting powder, but just to finish my makeup. It blurs any fine lines and gives skin the illusion being smooth and velvety. Incandescent Light is reserved for use on top of the cheekbones, bridge of the nose. And I dust Radiant light where the sun would normally hit. The beauty of this palette is that you can use these powders alone or together to create the look you want. And because the powders are so finely milled, they work on all skin tones and are suitable for use on mature skin as well.
Shu Uemura Glow Creator
Glow factor: Just back from vacation glow
If you’re looking for a glowing complexion that doesn’t look like you tried too hard, layer this liquid under your foundation or BB cream. It will give your skin a healthy radiance. To further enhance this radiance, using your fingers tap some on over your foundation on the high points of your cheeks, and on your forehead and chin if you like to emphasise them.
Illamasqua Gleam in Aurora
Glow factor: Just-done-with-gym healthy glow
This is exactly what you need to mimic that healthy sheen model’s have been sporting on catwalks the last few seasons. I prefer to use my fingers to tap on and blend this creamy champagne-toned highlighter over my foundation at all the high points that the light would naturally hit. Since it is a creamy texture, you may want to avoid it if you have oily skin but it works beautifully on dry skin.
The Balm Mary Loumanizer
Glow factor: Visibly highlighted skin
The list wouldn’t be complete without a mention of this cult favourite. Not one for the wallflowers, you only require a couple of swipes of this richly pigmented powder to achieve luminous skin. Its warm tone lights up skin without emphasising pores or fine lines and it’s easy on the wallet too.
Urban Decay After Glow 8-Hour Powder Highlighter Sin
Glow factor: Hyperreal Glow
When the brand realised that makeup junkies were using the eye shadow with the same name as a highlighter they paid attention and launched full size version as part of their 2016 summer collection. The beauty of this is you can use is dry for a subtle glow or wet – with a sponge like the beauty blender – to really get the full effect. Whichever way you decide to use it, start with a little and layer on to till you’ve reached the desired result. And don’t forget to blend.
Illamasqua Beyond Powder in OMG
Glow factor: All out strobe effect
The effect you can achieve with this highlighting powder is truly OMG. Finely milled and baked, the champagne hued powder can be used wet or dry to achieve the glow you want. Used dry, it offers a highlighted glow that Kim Kardashian would approve off. When used wet, the effect is more akin to what you might see on Instagram and is probably best kept for nights out.
The one thing you need to keep in mind when using highlighters is to make sure your skin is prepped and well moisturised. You don’t want your highlighter looking patchy because of dry skin and playing up any dry patches.
Which are your favourite highlighters? I’d love to try a new one!