Want gorgeous, glowing skin? Enhance your cheekbones, brow bones and lips with our pick of the best highlighters and illuminators.
In the wake of the strobing trend – a technique that sees us lift our features using luminous pigments – the demand for highlighter makeup and illuminators has never been higher. Is it any wonder? A subtle daub of these pearlescent creams and powders can undo the visible signs of ageing and too little sleep in the sweep of a brush. Magic, no?
A touch of shimmer can do great things – on cheekbones, highlighter lends a 3D gleam that breathes life into languid skin and subtly defines your contours. On the brow bones it instantly lifts while, nudged above the Cupid’s bow, a dewy glow creates the illusion of a plumper mouth with a more prominent shape.
The question is, what highlighter should you use? It all comes down to your base makeup, and whether you’re using a cream, liquid or powder foundation. Treat like with like by dusting powder highlighters over powder makeup, and tap a cream or liquid shimmer over a base with a similar texture.
So, are you ready to make your skin looked nourished and dewy with a luminous highlighter? We’ve rounded up the very best for your glow-seeking perusal…
Illamasqua Radiance Veil, £32
Now, isn’t this a pot of joy? Illamasqua has encased the most velvety priming crème in the Radiance Veil, and we almost want to bathe in it. Pinky pearlescent pigments impart a micro fine shimmer that bathe languid cheeks in light, and its plush texture means it easy to buff into your skin. Dab a small, fluffy brush into the pot and gently whip it over your face before makeup, for an almost ethereal effect that flatters everyone.
Achieve a radiant complexion wherever you are with this Mini Ambient Lighting Powder by Hourglass. Simply dust the magic powder all over your face, et voila – imperfections have disappeared and skin is glowing.
Indulge yourself this party season with Dolce and Gabbana’s Illuminating Powder Shimmer. With an exquisite blend of pearlescent tones this product creates a pretty, natural looking glow.
Every make-up bag needs a little bit of Chanel. Lightly sweep this powder onto your cheekbones, forhead and decolletage for a subtle golden glow. And with its luxurious, iconic packaging this one make for a totally irresistible buy.
Bump up your beauty routine with Giorgio Armani’s award winning Fluid Sheer Skin Illuminator. Blend it with your foundation, or simply wear alone to achieve a radiant, polished complexion.
Define, contour and highlight your face with this genius product by Tom Ford. The sheer light shade can be used to brighten and lift the face, while the dark shade defines and contours the cheekbones. The result? Scultped features and a glowing complexion, in an instant.
Get a gorgeous champagne glow with this soft focus highlighter from Benefit. Simply glide it over your cheek and brow bones for an enviable luminous sheen.
This might just be the best £3.99 you’ll ever spend on makeup. The Speedy Highlighter is just that – speedy – as you glide the rounded stick over cheekbones, the bridge of your nose and the Cupid’s bow for a subtle gleam that’s buildable. The creamy texture ensures it’s easy to blend, while the shape allows the highlighter to snugly fit and accentuate the curves of your face.
If you prefer a more hands-on approach to your makeup, this beautiful, melt-into-skin highlighter can be patted over contours with the very tips of your fingers. It’s a gel-like cream that tucks neatly in your handbag for speedy touch-ups, so you can daub it on dull cheeks whenever a busy day begins to take its toll.
As one of the very best beauty bars for immaculately groomed brows, Blink knows what it takes to create an arch that instantly lifts and takes years off your face. To work in tandem with a freshly waxed or threaded brow, this illuminating pen should be nudged below the strands, and then gently blended with the sponge on the other end. Hey presto – you look instantly rested.
A gloriously golden highlighter infused with light reflecting pigments, this creates a sheen that’s always dewy and never garishly glittery. Pat it right onto your skin wherever you want to brighten up, smoothe on as a primer, or cocktail it with foundation for an all over radiance boost.
Joining the Chubby franchise is a highlighting pen so pearlescent, it veils skin in a 3D sheen that instantly makes your features pop. Hook it around the tearducts of your eyes and your brow bones to instantly fake eight hours sleep, or sweep it above your blusher for an everyday dewiness.
One of those most illuminating contour sets we’ve found, a dusting of this shimmering bronzing and highlighting duo cheats luminous, Hollywood siren skin. Sweep the deeper hue under cheekbones to create some subtle definition, and then focus the champagne powder wherever you want to catch the light. Cue a post-holiday freshness.
Seriously versatile is the best way to describe Clarins’ Instant Light Complexion Perfector, which can be used alone in summer as a lighter base, or mixed with your regular foundation to create a subtle, pinky iridescent sheen that spells healthy-looking skin.
Once you’ve applied your foundation, a quick way of creating a luminous glow is with Nars’ liquid illuminator. Simply blend into the top of your cheekbones and temples and the light-reflecting particles will work to give a subtle shine, without looking overdone.
St Tropez’s Skin Illuminator has kicked off a beauty buzz around the industry, thanks to a clever iridescent blue sheen that really gets skins glowing. Perfect as we move into autumn, apply to cheekbones, décolletage or bare legs to counteract the dulling effects of cooler weather.
Healthy-looking skin is what every woman desires, so boost your visage with a flash of No 7’s Skin Illuminator. Dot across your brow and cheekbones after your foundation is set for a flash of colour and an iridescence and enviable shine.
Keep your skin looking radiant with some clever highlighting. YSL Touche Eclat, is the highlighting pen to invest in. Just apply to the corners of the eyes and nose, under brows and anywhere you notice the light naturally reflecting for gorgeous, glowing skin.
Open up your eyes with this muti-tasking cream-to-powder eye highlighter. Apply Anastasia Beverly Hills Eye Lights Matte Highlighter just under the brow to highlight the eyes, wear as a base for eyeshdow, or wear alone to add light and contours to the eye area.
Jemma Kidd’s All Over Radiance Crème can be used all over the face to create a lustrous, hydrated and illuminating finish. Simply apply under or over foundation – or use alone for a bare-skinned look to achieve that sought-after, dewy complexion.
For a super-quick skin enhancer, Benefit’s High Beam pot is perfect for pepping up lacklustre skin. Simply dab this pinky highlighter onto brow and cheek bones to instantly lift your complexion and create a radiant-looking finish.
Enhance your eyes and cheeks with Jane Iredale’s Complete In Touch Highlighter. Simply brush this cream-to-powder highlighter over the desired area to add a youthful, golden glow, or dab on with fingers for a more precise application.
Benefit’s Big Beautiful Eyes Contour Kit has everything you need to brighten tired eyes: From concealer, to eyeshadow and even a luxe eyebrow powder. So start from the beginning and build up to create wow-factor peepers.
Loved by Kate Middleton, get your own royal glow with the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact. Brush over cheeks, forehead, nose and chin as the last step in your makeup routine to see a more radiant version of yourself.