There are so many genuinely brilliant highlighters launching right now, and they’re likely not quite what you’re expecting.
Seriously: gone are the days of shimmer-soaked liquids, frosted champagne powders and baffling rainbow-hued concoctions (let’s leave those firmly in the past, shall we?). Now, the best highlighters simply deliver skin that shines.
‘When highlighting first became a big thing it was about products that deliver the most dramatic results, and how we can put the most on our cheekbones to sculpt them to the heavens,’ says make-up artist Nikki Wolff. ‘Now, it’s about cleverly using highlighter for those little touches all over your face that give the effect of a natural glow, rather than a super-reflective cheekbone.’
How To Highlight Like A Pro
‘Highlighting is all about bringing light to the high points of your face, which creates dimension, so when you move your face around you get that 3D effect,’ explains Nikki. ‘It’s a super flattering way to give your skin a glow whilst subtly changing the shape of your face.’
‘Contouring and sculpting was a really big thing, but it’s so complex, whereas highlighting is a lot easier. There’s only really one rule, which is to find the high points of your face (the tip of your nose, your cupid’s bow etc.) and simply dab your highlighter there’
Liquid, Cream, Or Powder?
So, what’s the best route to beautifully highlighted skin? Imagine wet-look balms that don’t dry out, translucent liquids that bronze skin without masking freckles, and some frankly genius pigment-free sticks that’ll create that post-facial illusion.
When it comes to determining the texture that’s right for you, Nikki believes it depends on your skin type, as well as the finish you want to achieve.
‘I personally love liquid highlighters, even on oilier skin types. I’ll use a liquid product first then, if I need to set it, I’ll put a powder highlighter on top – just in the same way that you would set your foundation. With liquid highlighter you can create that dewy, healthy-looking spa skin without the reflective finish.’
It’s also important to consider colour, and the most flattering shades may not be what you’ve been led to think.
‘Often people will feel like they should go for a gold highlighter because it has a wonderful warmth to it. But, unless you have a deeper skin tone, gold can just look really metallic and a bit fake,’ explains Nikki. ‘I often go for quite light shades to highlight with, even on darker skin, because I want a pop of light rather than a metallic cheekbone. It’s a fine line of staying away from anything too dark but also avoiding highlighters that are too white and ashy.’
And her final words of wisdom? Leave the sparkle to the social media platforms. ‘Generally, leave the glitter to Instagram, rather than real life,’ advises Nikki. ‘Glitter photographs really well, so the videos you see where you’re like “Wow, what is that highlighter?” will usually feature a product with glitter in. But in real life, it doesn’t really work.’
Glass skin, right this way…
The Best Highlighters For Your Summer Of Glowing Skin
Reflect Highlighter Stick – £36
Victoria Beckham Beauty
Mood Lighting Luminizing Glow Drops
Ambient Lighting Palette Volume II
Forever Couture Luminizer Highlighter
Skin Illuminating Powder Duo
Skin Fetish Duo – Golden
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