Highlighter is possibly my favourite makeup product. But it’s also one which can go very, very wrong. Depending on formula and application, highlighter can make your skin look incredibly healthy and radiant or very texturised, caked in makeup and dry. Luckily, I’ve managed to find a range of highlighters, both powder and cream, which I love…
‘SPOTLIGHT’ BEAUTY LIGHT WAND by Charlotte Tilbury
If you watch Vogue’s Beauty Secrets on YouTube, you’ve most likely seen a lot of celebrities using this creamy, ultra-glowy product. The colour Spotlight is a cult classic and my personal go-to. As a gorgeous icy champagne, it isn’t too dark for fair skin, but isn’t too light or cool-toned for more tanned complexions either.
My favourite mode of application is to get a bit on the back of my hand, and with my finger gently tap the product across my cheekbone. Next, taking my damp beauty sponge, I softly tap the product to blend. I prefer this method as opposed to applying the product straight from the component’s applicator, as it prevents putting too much on and any unwanted exacerbation of texture.
AMBIENT STROBE LIGHTING POWDER by Hourglass
On the other end of the scale, the Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders are the most natural, yet effective, highlighters in my collection. They’re my everyday go-to as they leave the skin looking radiant and glowy without looking like you’ve got any highlighter on.
The Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders should be applied with a fluffy highlighting brush, such as the 137S by MAC. From here, the product can glide across the cheekbones, being layered until the desired intensity has been achieved. The result is a beautiful lit from within glow. My favourite shade is Incandescent Strobe, a cool toned icy pink.
HIGHLIGHTING POWDER by NARS
The NARS Highlighting Powders are a fail-safe product and staple in a lot of people’s makeup collections. With a range of six colours, these non-glittery powders are more shiny than Hourglass’s Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders, but are still very much natural highlighters. My favourite shade is Capri, an icy nude pink, and Albatross, an icy shade with a golden hue.
HOLLYWOOD FLAWLESS FILTER by Charlotte Tilbury
The other cream highlighter I love is an icon – the Hollywood Flawless Filter. While this can be used all over the face underneath foundation as a glowy primer, my favourite way to use it is on top of foundation as a highlighter. Just like the Beauty Light Wand, a little goes a long way with the smallest amount sufficing. When it comes to application, I tap a couple of dots onto my cheekbones straight from the applicator and use a damp beauty sponge to blend it out.
The Hollywood Flawless Filter has more of a lotion consistency than the Beauty Light Wand, making it more dewy on the skin. If you’re particularly conscious about retaining as much coverage from your foundation and concealer as possible, you may prefer the Beauty Light Wand formula better if you’re after a cream highlighter. The Hollywood Flawless Filter does have a tendency to lift coverage ever so slightly – however, as it’s also a primer, it comes in an array of skin-coloured shades, so you can easily find your perfect tone.
I NEED A NUDE GLOW HIGHLIGHTER by Natasha Denona
If you have fair skin, flattering bronzy highlighters are extremely difficult to come by. Natasha Denona’s I Need a Nude Highlighter has a slight golden shimmer and looks really beautiful as a glowy bronzer topper during the summer months. Personally, I wouldn’t wear this highlighter as a highlighter on its own, just because the base is slightly too dark for me to do so. However, as a topper, I really love it. If I wanted to add a lighter highlighter on top, I’d use Albatross by NARS.