Highlight, Illuminate, Glow, Strobe & Shine bright like a diamond…
Holy Highlight! When it comes to makeup there are a few secret weapons that I always swear by, lipstick to create a bold lip, mascara and liner to define the eyes & brows and of course highlighter! In the world of beauty, the year 2015 ended with women adorned with glowing skin. This set the page for 2016 and I am already predicting that this year will officially be the year of the ‘HIGHLIGHT!’ That said, the secret weapon I’ll be focusing on today are my favorite highlighters—the key to a more youthful and dewy complexion.
I honestly believe that a highlighter is perhaps the secret weapon to youthful, glowing skin. Whenever I’m wearing makeup my face always feels incomplete until I apply highlighter, & despite my oily skin challenges, I still love glowing skin because it just looks so healthy. I actually love highlighter so much that I get excited after I’ve finished contouring and applying blush because I know I’ll be applying my highlighter right after lol. So for my gals out there who aren’t as blessed as J.Lo to be born with glowing skin, guess what…you can fake it—with highlighter of course! The key it knowing how to use it, and if used well your skin will look like a real-life Instagram filter.
I personally apply highlighter above my brow and on my brow bone, on the tip of my nose, on the highest points of my cheeks and just above the cupid’s bow on my lip. This helps to add life and radiance to my skin.
I actually have a total of 10 highlighters but unfortunately I went on a little trip out of town and forgot my makeup bag with three of my absolute favorite highlighters (Anastasia Beverly Hills highlighter in SO HOLLYWOOD, Bobbi Brown highlighting powder in BRONZE GLOW and Laura Geller highlighter in GILDED HONEY). I promise to do separate posts on these three highlighters sometime this year.
In case you aren’t sure where to begin I’ve rounded up my favorite highlighters for this post, ranging from high-end to drugstore and from creams to powders. Oh, & don’t pressure yourself to own this many highlighters—I just happen to have a slight obsession with them. Now sit back, relax and scroll through my roundup of my fave highlighters and get ready for a glowing 2016!
Okay! Okay! This right here is my HOLY GRAIL HIGHLIGHTER (next to the three I left at my friends house). It’s like Becca heard my cries and created the perfect highlighter for me and I suppose for everyone else since it somehow is able to morph and work with almost every skin tone.
The shade ‘Opal” is a unique toned highlighter that I think every woman should own and experience for herself. On myself it’s a beautiful champagne highlight with a golden sheen, that catches the light perfectly leaving my skin looking radiant throughout the day. The formulation of this highlighting powder is buttery, velvety and smooth making it apply beautifully onto the skin.
Everything about this highlighter is perfect—the color, the texture, the finish, the longevity. I must admit it is quite expensive but definitely worth it. Plus a little really goes a long way so it will last you forever!
Mac describes Gold Deposit as a “soft reflective golden bronze” and I completely agree! It has a warm/orange-copper tone mixed with specks of golden sparkle and shimmer. So it works perfectly as a highlight but because of its golden bronze shade I also occasionally substitute it for blush.
The formula is not nearly as fine as the Becca highlighters but it still applies and blends easily. Against my tanned skin, Gold Deposit works perfectly because it gives me the perfect summer glow. It almost looks as if there is a golden morning light on my face whenever I wear it. Because of the bronze-copper tone of this highlighter, I think it is more suitable for medium to dark skin tones especially those with warm undertones.
This was the first ever pressed/powder highlighter I ever purchased and I’m still using it today! Albatross was released many years ago as part of Nars’ highlighting blushing series (blushes designed to illuminate instead of adding lots of color). Now, don’t be fooled by the white color you see in the pan. I remember when I first went to Sephora 4/5 years ago to buy my first highlighter. The sales associate recommended Nars Albatross…my face went pale when I saw the white color in the pan. I thought to myself…’as a woman of color there is no way I can pull that off!’ But as she applied it to my cheeks the cool-toned ivory shade transformed to sheer golden perfection!
Albatross also has a noticeable yellow undertone when applied. I personally don’t mind this because I have warm undertones but currently I do prefer highlighters that do not have such a strong presence of yellow tones to it. I think this is why I don’t reach for it as often to use on it’s own. Now I prefer layering it on top of a more bronze/copper cheek powder (like Gold Deposit). All in all it is a lovely highlighter!
I picked up this baked highlighter in Walgreens, on a trip to New York a few years ago when I was low on cash and left my highlighter in Jamaica. At the time it only cost me $3 and it is perhaps the best $3 I spent on that entire trip!
Blush gems is a beautiful cool-toned champagne highlight that works pretty well for the price. In comparison to the more expensive highlighters I own, blush gems isn’t as pigmented, but it still creates a beautiful sheen to the skin, making it a good highlighter for everyday use.
My only problem is the durability of the packaging. It’s pretty cute but the lid broke off very easily because it was not firmly attached to the base. So elf could definitely reconsider the design, but then again, that may change the price point of this product (& we don’t want that to happen now do we?).
If you’re a woman on the go and want a natural, gorgeous glow, then Watts UP is definitely the highlight for you! A champagne hued cream-to-powder highlighter that almost appears like it will be too much, but once blended out, it results in a gorgeous, luminous, ‘glow-from-within’ finish. It really is an amazing stick highlighter because whenever I do wear it people don’t notice I’m wearing a highlighter. Instead they just notice this ‘glow’ about me,haha!
It’s packaged in a handy stick format so you can literally use this on the go by gliding it on your face and then blend the product out with your fingers. It applies smoothly and effortlessly without bunching up in places. I’ve never had issues with it interfering with my foundation and powder like other cream products. On myself, it is a shimmery, peachy glow but on my girlfriend who is much lighter than I am, it has more of a pink-champagne glow.
Benefit’s High Beam is a cream highlighter that I’ve had in my makeup bag for a few years now. It’s a luminizing highlighter that has a slight satiny-pink tone to it which is super flattering and also helps to brighten dull complexions. From the bottle, the color appears to be a very pigmented pink, but no worries, after application you’re left with a glow that looks natural and dewy rather than shimmery and glittery. This creates the illusion of a face-lift and leaves the skin with an ethereal glow.
It’s also pretty easy to use this product. I apply a few dots where I want to achieve that glow (cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose, etc.) then blend it out using a light dabbing motion with my fingers. It also blends very well on my skin, both before and after my face powder.
The nail polish style packaging is very cute but I question how sanitary it is because you’re forced to use the brush directly on your skin and then place the brush back into the bottle after use. Personally I’ve never had any skin issues after using High Beam but it isn’t a highlighter I would share with anyone because of that matter.
Josie Maran has created the perfect golden liquid highlight! It’s like candlelight in a bottle! Except the bottle is also filled with a slew of natural, ‘good-for-you’ ingredients, like organic argan oil, vitamin E and essential fatty acids.
It’s a multipurpose highlighter that can be used alone or mixed with a base product like moisturizer or foundation. I personally like to mix it with my foundation to create a subtle, all-over glow to my skin. I also love using this on the tops of my shoulders during the summer months, to create a pretty light-reflecting radiance on my shoulders when wearing sleeveless tops, dresses and bikinis. Thank you Josie Maran for this beautiful golden illuminator!
There you have it! My current favorite highlighters (well minus the missing three) that I wear depending on the occasion and the makeup look I’m going for that day. Now I’m sure I am not the only one who thinks highlighting is the best step of makeup application. If you’re a lover of making your cheekbones pop leave a comment below mentioning you’re current favorite highlighter and also if you have a holy grail highlighter that I missed and you would recommend! Talk Soon. Nuff Love, Natasha ♥