Get that Glow - All About Highlighters!
I love a good glow up and I think a great highlighter can really give your make up look that extra je-ne-sais-quoi! If you're a fan of highlighter, then this blog post is definitely for you!
Let's start by discussing, what is highlighter? and why in the world is everyone so obsessed with it right now? Highlighting, illuminating or strobing as it's called is a make up technique to accentuate the high points of your face, where light naturally falls. By adding a bit of shine/sparkle, every time these points catch the light, you look like you're glowing! It's the perfect way to make your make up look effortless and pull your look together without much effort at all. Unlike other techniques, it's SOOO FORGIVING, which means you can apply a little or a lot, with your hands or a brush, and it always comes out looking 10/10! It's also the perfect foil to contouring, which deepens and darkens certain points of your face to define them!
One of my all time favourite highlighters is Becca Cosmetics' Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter, in the shade Champagne Pop. It's a silvery golden colour that looks amazing on almost all skin tones (warm or cool undertones) and is super versatile to use since the powder has more shimmer than colour! I've been using this one for years and I'm a massive fan, the large size retails for approximately $38, £30 or INR 3000, and is also available in India @ Sephora. It honestly lasts for months if not years, and the only time I've had to replace mine was when it shattered while I was travelling (*sad face* *tear*). I personally prefer using powdered highlighter as I think it's easier to blend and comes across looking wayyy more natural than liquid highlighter! I tend to use my fingers or Sephora's Highlighting Fan Brush (no.65), mentioned in my previous blog to place the product gently on the high points of my face: under the eyebrows, on my cheekbones, bridge of my nose and cupid's bow! I also add just a spot to the inner corners of my eye for that youthful glow! Honestly it makes a world of difference, try it and let me know in the comments if this works for you! Another great tip I like to follow is spraying some setting spray (I currently use the NYX Professional Makeup Matte Makeup Setting Spray) before dabbing on my highlighter, this way the powder tends to stick better and stay on for much longer!
If you're looking for a highlighter which has a tinge of colour to it, then I'd suggest getting the Huda Beauty Golden Sands 3D Highlighter Palette, this product is great because it has 4 separate tiles of pressed highlighter and not only do they come in different shade variations but are also slightly different texturally from each other. I tend to use this palette when I'm creating looks for a wedding or when I'm wearing Indian/ethnic wear because I think the gold colour in the highlighter really helps elevate and bring the look together! There are 4 different shades in this palette - Fiji (slightly creamy golden highlighter- great for a dewy effect!), Seychelles (similar to champagne pop, it's a light golden pressed powder), Tahiti(bronze/brown shimmer) and Zanzibar (Rosy pink). At £40, $45, or INR 3600, you're essentially getting four different highlighters for the price of one, which is extremely cost effective, and they are great quality! however personally I still prefer Champagne pop because I think it's more versatile! That said, this one lasts just as long and I really do love the packaging. (I'm a sucker for pretty products!)
If you're the kind of person who loves a dewy make up look and uses cream blush/cream bronzer, then I'd suggest using a liquid highlighter! While this may be an absolute pain to blend out, the pigment does pack a pretty punch! Again, it lasts for ages and a few drops is more than enough to have you shining all night long! One liquid highlighter that I tried and actually liked is from the British brand Iconic. Several make up artists use a technique where they underlay their foundation with a generous layer of highlighter (added to their pre-prep moisturiser or on its own) so that the shine appears more natural and lasts longer. I've tried this technique before but again I'm not a huge fan of liquid highlighter because I think if you do use a lot of other powders/make up on top (like I do), it ends up giving you a very cakey result! That said, if you don't use many products, and prefer the "natural" look, this is a great alternative and doesn't need to be topped up often at all! At £30 for 13.5 ml, it might not be the cheapest option but it's pretty much in the same boat, as far as value for money is concerned. Infact, I'd say you're slightly better off buying this, as with liquid highlighter you don't need more than a few drops to make even the most dramatic statement looks!
Other than the favourites I've mentioned above, a few other brands have also caught my eye! I've heard nothing but rave reviews about Rihanna's Fenty Beauty Killawatt Highlighter Duo, and I've been dying to try it out but I just can't seem to convince myself to swap out my Champagne pop just yet! at £28, it not only undercuts the current market but it promises to offer 10x the pigment, the question is can I really be Unfaithful? It's definitely one of those products that I'd love to test out very very soon! I know a lot of people also swear by theBalm Mary Lou Manizer Luminizer Highlighter, but for some reason it just didn't do much for me! I wish I was a fan, but at this point, it's a no from me. *quote unquote savage Simon*. At £20, it is a steal though! If you're looking for a great bargain highlighter, then one drugstore highlighter that is BOTH cost effective and ahmmmazingggg, it literally blew me away with it's promising pigment was Maybelline's Master Strobing Liquid. It retails for only INR 665 on Nykaa, and under $10, it's honestly a game changer! I remember the first time I tested it was back when I worked at Nykaa in 2017, and before then I was really uptight about the products I used, but I can guarantee that this highlighter definitely gave me all the feels that my Becca one did but for 1/5th of the financial pinch! (shout out to my friend & colleague Mini, who to this day remains the *OG pigment princess* - we were always on a quest trying to find new products with THE most pigmented payoffs that wouldn't break your bank!)
A few years ago, I was also incredibly excited to try the Marc Jacobs Coconut Gel Highlighter - Dew Drops, but I quickly abandoned that idea when I googled all the ingredients! That for me was an important lesson in branding and packaging, one that I haven't forgotten to this day!
Many established beauty business' rely on clever wording or fancy packaging to sell products at premium prices that are not good for your skin! This product comes across as more natural than the rest of them, however let me tell you it's the devil in disguise! (It's far from natural!!!)Most makeup, if not all, do have chemicals in them, but it's important to know what you're applying on your skin, especially if like me, you do use makeup often - do yourself a favour and google the ingredients, as well as do a patch test before you slather your face in anything! A good example of misled packaging/branding is Lush Cosmetics, which appears to be as natural, good for your skin and homemade but contains several parabens and chemicals in most if not all their products! so WATCH OUT!
Hope you've enjoyed reading this edition of my blog, if you have any suggestions for natural highlighters or questions on any of these products/what strobing is, feel free to DM me on instagram, my handle is @alldressedupandnowheretogo20. Thanks for reading xx lots of love, Far
(P.S - ALWAYS remember, Glow up, THEN Show up! ;) )