When highlighting first emerged as a trend, I was rightfully reticent. After all, as an oily skinned person, I spent my entire teenage and adult life trying to look less shiny. So as matte-matte-matte skin disappeared and full-face glam became the norm, highlighting was a natural step forward. As makeup gurus contour their faces to perfection, highlighting is just a natural part of that.
But still, it was a hard trend to hope on. I don't typically contour--and I definitely don't use cream contours. If I'm going out for the evening, I might use bronzer alongside blush, but that's about it. However, once I started using highlighter, I realized that I really, really like it... and that you don't necessarily have to do a full contour for it to look good.
Highlighting brings attention, and dimension, to the high points of your face. Think your cheekbones, the tip of your nose, and your cupid's bow. By applying highlight to these places, you can make them more pronounced--and create cheekbones where you might not have great ones. I have a pretty round face with prominent, and full, cheeks, so highlighting my cheekbones is a daily must now.
I narrowed down my highlighters to my four favorites. As a note, I definitely prefer a more subtle highlight--I don't like going crazy or playing with a lot of colors--but these are not the only highlights I use!
I received this highlight in last month's ipsy bag (review here) and, as I posted on Instagram recently, it's rapidly become my favorite highlight. It is a more cool-toned pale pink color and applies beautifully with a fan brush. It's pigmented enough that you could also use it as a blush or even an eyeshadow. For a daily, subtle glow, this one is perfect. (I'm also partial to the Bellisima color from DLS!)
I originally received this highlight from the 12 Days of Beauty Advent Calendar from Ulta. (You can read my full review here!) As I wrote then, I was unsure of what color this highlight actually was, as it's not labeled on the packaging. However, I think it is closest to either Mermaid or Fairy (although it looks like Fairy is no longer available). It is a duo chrome, which means it is not sparkly like some highlights, but shifts between white, pink, and lavender, with a hint of blue. It is absolutely not an everyday look, but for events, it can make a huge difference.
Rainbow highlights aren't everyone's cup of tea, but they sure are popular. There are rainbow highlighters available from not just Ulta Beauty, but tons of indie brands as well was Wet'n'Wild, TooFaced, Maybelline, Essence, and more. Again, this is not necessarily an everyday look, but can look great in photos or for more fun events. As well, you can use the separate rows on their own, or as eyeshadows. I personally love using the yellow and gold lines as solo highlights, as well as to highlight my inner corner.
Have you tried adding a few drops of liquid highlighter to your foundation? At first, I thought this did nothing... but let me say, once I started doing it, I was surprised at how it turned out! If you are looking for a lovely, subtle glowy look, add a few drops of this liquid illuminator (Northern Lights is a very light, pearly pink shade) to your foundation and it will change your entire look.