I was recently asked to give my opinion both professional and personal on a cult makeup item that is probably the most sold product on the market. And whilst at the meeting, I realised that most people own this product, but few actually know what to do with it. What am I talking about? The highlighter.
One of the many things discussed at said meeting was the evolution of the whole idea of highlighting since it was first introduced into women’s makeup. It started out with the highlighter being used to enhance and ‘bring forth’ features you’d like to show off, or to lighten darker areas on your face. Then, the introduction of shimmer changed it all.
Modern women wanted sexy, shimmery makeup to replicate the glow you get after spending the day in the glamorous St Tropez sun. So we have a myriad of choices on the market, but one thing I'm adamant about is that a highlighter is not a concealer. You cannot, and I repeat, cannot use a highlighter as a concealer (well, there are a few exceptions, but i'll explain). Let’s have a look at what’s out there.
Touche Éclat by YSL
The grande dame and original highlighter. Personal favourite of mine backstage at fashion week and on photo shoots. Four shades are available. Shade one is the ultimate to illuminate, highlight and radiate for almost all skin shades. I do everything with this: enhance cheekbones, lighten up dark circles, brighten tired eyes. The list is endless. And the fact that you can use it anytime, over any texture means you could carry it with you and whip it out whenever you need a radiance boost of any sort. Love it!
Flash Retouche & Flash Retouche Highlighter by Lancôme
I was introduced to this radiant concealer recently and was very impressed by the creamy, blendable texture. It comes in three lovely shades, and the 04 Universal Light is a sheer, shimmery fluid that quite literally draws light wherever applied.
Skinflash by Dior
Called the Radiance Booster Pen. Available in four shades and really easy to use, as well. Another one of my favourite items in my kit.
High Precision Retouch by Giorgio Armani
A hybrid of the concealer and highlighter, and I love it! This offers more coverage and yet has the ability to highlight. It’s also great for ‘blurring’ imperfections like lines or wrinkles. The great high-precision fine brush is excellent for dotting delicate areas. Three shades are on offer here, and if it’s more coverage you want, then this is it.
Airbrush Concealer by Clinique
Once again, a hybrid concealer/highlighter for those who want an all-in-one product. Good creamy texture that's easily blended and available in three shades.
Secret Brightener by Laura Mercier
One of the newer highlighters on the market is slightly shimmery and great for giving the sexy effect on cheekbones and cupid's bows to really highlight and shine. Two shades to buy, and I love this lightly dotted in the inner corners of eyes to brighten skin. Like most of the others, it comes in a very convenient click pen that controls and dispenses a small, just-right amount.
Stick & Chic Shine by Madina Milano
Staunch favourite of fashion shows and photo shoots. This amazing product is definitely one for the daring. The convenient twist-up stick is brilliant if you want high shine and highlights on cheekbones, down the nose, brow bones and cupid’s bows, shoulders...or wherever you want to gleam. Not a concealer, but a shimmery highlighter.
Stylo Éclat Lumière by Chanel
Another brush pen that comes in three creamy, flattering skin-tone shades to lighten up and brighten dark areas.
Ideal Light by Estee Lauder
I’ve tried this and actually really like it. It’s a slightly chunkier click pen that comes in four creamy, skin-toned shades - and another called soft pink that’s the universal brightener for all skin tones. The others are great hybrids that offer beautiful coverage that blends beautifully. Lovely product.
Secret Brightening Powder by Laura Mercier
Not your traditional highlighters as you know it. This lighter-than-air powder is great to set under eye concealers to give extra brightening and also great for dusting on top of cheekbones to enhance. One for those who favour powders over the ‘wetter’ textures.
With the makeup industry always changing and improving, I have no doubt that there will be newer and more radical products to try. I've tried all of these products, or friends have used and recommended them. As always, makeup is a truly personal preference. Get out there, try, play and let me know what you think. Have fun!
Photography: Emma Tempest @ www.emmatempest.com
Make Up: Kenneth Soh @ www.kennethsohmakeup.com