Still trending strong this season are luminous complexions paired with low-impact lips. As a fan of all things dew and glow I could seriously not be any more ecstatic especially with all the new formulas that have been launching left and right. When it comes to face makeup, skin has been and will always my focus. The perfect canvas comes from a flawless foundation base, a subtle pop of color, a radiant bronzed glow and a healthy luminous highlight. Highlighters to me are the ultimate cherry on top, the grande finale of completing the makeup process right before setting it. Traditionally, I’m pretty open to all forms of highlighters regardless of intensity, color, finish, etc. I feel that with makeup we’re always in the position to learn more about products in their entirety as opposed to just from what we can see on the surface – and as I’m continuously learning, my personal preferences kind of evolve right along. Nowadays, I prefer powders that are finely milled and light on the shimmer factor with a good amount of color pigment and none of the frost. Creams and liquids are a venue I’ve been actively exploring more as well in the recent years and have found that during the late Spring going into the Summer season are the formulas I gravitate the most towards. The highlighters I usually pick up are those that I am certain of would compliment my medium skin tone the best. I love warm-toned highlighters that mostly roam in the golden, bronze, champagne and beige realm.
For today’s roundup I have gathered my current favorite highlighters, based on criteria as in what I have been reaching for the most – and categorized them into the 3 main formula pools: powder, cream and liquid. Let’s jump to it!
Up first are powders. Undoubtedly you’ve been seeing quite a bit of the Tom Ford Sheer Highlighting Duo in Reflects Gilt (reviewed here) around here but that is because I am so obsessed with this that I am starting to develop an (un)healthy habit towards it. I really love this highlighter for the colors, the finish, its versatility – all in all, without a doubt Reflects Gilt is one of the best highlighters for this year.
Next is the Chanel Plisse Lumiere de Chanel Illuminating Powder (reviewed here). This is from their Énergies et Puretés Collection and is a soft rosy champagne highlighter with tiny micro gold reflective particles. Texture is extremely smooth with an almost silky consistency. The pigment is quite intense but can be easily blended out for a more diffused look. In comparison to the previously released Camelia highlighter (reviewed here), the shimmer factor is definitely not as intense but is still quite strong.
Another highlighter launch that captured my heart this year so far is the Nars Banc de Sable Highlighter Palette (reviewed here). The invitingly warm palette features three universally flattering highlighters designed to illuminate the eyes and cheeks. The three shades are designed to layer endlessly and illuminate all skin tones for a subtle veil of a radiant second-skin glow. They can be worn individually or layered together on the face and eyes to naturally play up the features, or to create that coveted “just back from vacation” reflection. Besides the face, I also love to use this palette on the eyes. In terms of overall formula, these finely milled powders are among some of the smoothest I’ve ever tried and glide across the skin simply beautifully.
Dior’s Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer in 001 (reviewed here) is another win in my book. This is a gorgeous, borderline orgasmic, warm champagne beige with peachy undertones that has a beautiful sheen finish. It has a finely milled smooth and silky texture that blends powder flawlessly into the skin for an almost second-skin look without emphasizing pores or exaggerating texture and stays put all day.
An oldie but definitely a classic is the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle. I’ve repurchased so many of these compacts that I have pretty much lost count. Described as a “gilded peach bronze”, it’s the perfect champagne beige with enough of a tinge of frosty metallic sheen, a format that lends to virtually all skin tones. The luxurious texture consistently glides on smoothly and subtly brings in the light. On my skin, Soft & Gentle has a reflecting sheen that catches more of the gold in the shade than it does the champagne beige side of it. Depending in which type of lighting though because sometimes it captures both tones in one.
Next up are creams. I’m still in the process of testing multiple cream-based products and have garnered quite a nice array of new brands that will be forthcoming in the next couple of weeks. For now I decided to stick with the ones I frequently use plus am 100% satisfied with.
I love the Nars Multiple sticks. They are creamy, multipurpose makeup sticks that induces a flush of color and highlight into one, and thanks to the giant applicator are easy to use with precise application on larger areas. For me, they fit seasonal Summer makeup to a fine detail since the finish is more natural and feels relaxed, lightweight to wear. South Beach has been one of my go-to colors for quite a while. It’s a shimmering apricot but can take on the life of a peachy-bronze shade when layered. During the Summer I either use this as a highlighter or bronzer. With its cream formula it blends into the skin beautifully, leaving a pretty highlighted sheen that resembles a faux dewy glow. Just like with any of the other Multiple shades, this one can be used on the cheeks, eyes, and lips. Compared to the MAC Quiktrik Sticks, my preference in terms of workability lies with MAC as they glide easier onto the skin as opposed to The Multiples since they are quite emollient but still firm. That being said, there’s something completely irresistible about The Multiple color lineup.
MAC’s Quiktrik Sticks (reviewed here) are convenient double-ended twist-up sticks holding cream-based formulas that work for contouring, bronzing, blushing or highlighting. These have buildable and blendable color that can be worn over bare skin or foundation. The Quiktrik Sticks have a nice emollient texture which makes them easy to move across the skin and are a dream to blend for a natural wash of color on the face. They give the skin a nice glowy finish without emphasizing the skin’s texture or pores. What I really like about these is that they don’t remove any base makeup during application nor does it break apart my foundation after hours of wear. Currently my preference lies with the shade A Latte Sheen/ Semi-Sweet which is a combination of a warm light-medium coppery brown with red undertones and a gold pearl. Semi-Sweet is a warm medium brown with red undertones and has a natural sheen finish.
Last for creams is the Nudestix Nudies All Over Face Color Bronze + Glow in the shade Hey, Honey (reviewed here). The Nudies have a soft texture that feels cool to the touch and blend flawlessly. Coverage and pigment is quite sheer compared to what you see in the tubes, but they layer nicely to give the complexion a dewy, natural glow with a subtle hint of color. The finish of each is dewy but in a editorial kind of way, these do dry down all the way and give the skin a beautiful, youthful glow. Hey, Honey is a warm golden champagne with subtle yellow undertones. The shade is relatively close to my skin tone so it looks very natural on me but the color still shows up.
For liquid highlighters, up first are the Tom Ford Fire Lust (reviewed here) and Marc Jacobs Beauty Dew Drops (reviewed here) liquid highlighters. Both of these are perfect for mixing in with foundation for an all-over healthy luminous glow or as a spot highlight. As of this moment I have not fully switched to using creams or liquids exclusively which is why I have been using these mostly for mixing in with my base products. I mix a tiny drop in with my foundation for a naturally radiant finish. When mixed in with foundation they give a gorgeous healthy glow that lasts literally all day without changing the color of my foundation or any other follow-up products. I love making foundation cocktails, especially with liquid illuminators because it gives the best of both worlds in terms of flawless skin with dimension, and of course that coveted glow!
Lastly was a product I had my eye on for the longest time, but due to them continuously selling out I kind of forgot about them until I received a deluxe sample of the Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in Moonlight. This is highly pigmented and can either be played down easily for a soft luminous glow by sheering it out, or amped up to give an intense highlight by layering. It has a nice fluid consistency which makes it very easy to blend. I love to use this mixed in with my foundation and dabbed on the cheekbones as well as other high-points of the face. Mixing this in with foundation does not affect its overall formula nor color and performance. Moonlight is a light to medium warm golden bronze with yellow undertones. Due to the intense shimmer factor, the swatch of Moonlight almost look like it has a foil finish and will look very different depending on how the light hits it not to mention the actual lighting condition. Cover FX in the meanwhile has launched three new additional shades to the Custom Enhancer Drops line and the one I have my eye on is Rose Gold.
That wraps up my current favorite highlighters for Spring. There have been so many new launches that are different in texture, formula and color that it has been almost impossible to keep up with all the glowy goodness that consistently rolls out. If you have a favorite go-to highlighter, or have recently purchased anything from the new launches, let me know your thoughts in the notes!