I hope you are all enjoying the holidays and had an amazing Christmas! I personally feel like I have been in a food coma for the past week, and it doesn’t really help that I have been partaking in so many family stewing sessions aka couch potato/cuddling sessions. However, New Years is creeping up on us and I have been getting tons of questions on makeup products that I recommend for an ultra-glam holiday look. I decided to break it up into categories, so today we are going to be taking a look at some of my holy grail/favourite highlighters as well as some tips on how to make your highlight pop on extraterrestrial levels! Most of the products I’m talking about have actually been around for quite some time, but you know how it goes: #oldbutgold.
1. MAC Lustre Drops: I have been using this product for a few years now. This liquid highlighter comes in a soft 18mL bottle with a dropper tip. This is definitely a multi-purpose product. You can use the drops alone as a standalone highlighter, mix a couple drops into your foundation to give yourself an overall and very natural looking glow, or you can add it to any airbrush tanning system to zhuzh up your tan. Product can be purchased here.
USE: I use about 2 drops above my cheekbones and blend with my fingers to give my cheeks a nice lift and then a tiny little drop on my index finger into blend onto my cupid’s bow and the tip of my nose. The cupid’s bow and tip of the nose are not necessary, but if you want to be extra, like me, then you have to make sure all the high points of the face are nice and shimmery. Also, going forward, assume that I apply all of these highlights on all high-points of my face.
2. MAC Cream Colour Base: This product is another oldie but goodie. I have used both Cream Colour Base’s in Luna (shop here) and Pearl (shop here) for years. Actually, the CCB in Pearl was the first highlighter I’ve ever purchased! I included both because they’re equally amazing — I would recommend Luna if you’re wanting a cooler/icier glow and Pearl if you’re wanting something a little warmer. These are cream highlighters and come in 3.2g standard MAC packaging containers and last forever. There’s a huge shade selection (bless you, MAC) and a little goes a long way.
USE: I also use my fingers with this creamy highlighter as the natural heat from your body warms up the product and makes for a really smooth application. If you’re not into using your fingers, I would recommend a foundation brush or a small duo-fiber stippling brush.
3. MAC Strobe Cream: Incredible moisturizer that hydrates the skin and leaves a gorgeous iridescent & luminous glow (shop here). I don’t actually use this cream as my moisturizer, but more so as a primer and illuminator. I love the way it makes my skin look because there’s no actual sparkles, it’s just a stunning sheen (think JLo). I often wear this on it’s own in the summer time when I have a bit of a tan, because it leaves my skin looking healthy, plump and most importantly luminous!
USE: Easy peasy. Dispense in the palm of your hands and apply evenly all over the face, or simply use a foundation brush. If you’re someone who has very oily skin and is worried of looking too shiny, just apply the cream to the high points of your face. If you choose to apply it all over, make sure to set your t-zone with a translucent powder to reduce shine.
4. Benefit Watt’s Up! : Another cream highlight! Each container of Watt’s Up! contains 9.3g of luminous goodness and is bound to make your cheeks (and anywhere else) pop. It is a single shade product – luminous champagne – but works for almost any skin tone. I’m a huge fan of benefit products and they have a wide range of great highlights, but this one is definitely my favourite! (Shop here).
USE: Watt’s Up! comes in a twist-up container so all you need to do is dab it onto the desired area straight from the package and blend either with your fingers or a soft blending brush!
5. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder: Oh my goodness, this powder highlight is pure magic. I purchased this product last fall after obsessing over my best-friend’s insane highlight. If you’re new to the Hourglass brand, some key things to note are that all of their products are produced in a cruelty-free manner; they do not contain parabens, GMO’s, sulfates; the products are cruelty-free and vegan. Most importantly, their products contain active ingredients that leave your skin feeling and looking amazing.
The Ambient Lighting Powder line comes in 6 shades: Ethereal Light, Diffused Light, Dim Light, Mood Light, Luminous Light and Radiant Light. I purchased Luminous Light which is a warmer champagne pearl colour (shop here). The application of this product is extremely smooth and gives the face a very even glow. I think this is one of the most flattering highlighters I have ever seen applied on the skin. Although this shade guarantees a very noticeable highlight, it still manages to look natural. Not sure how, but it does.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that each shade has a different level of luminosity. For example, I initially purchased diffused light because I have a very fair complexion, but I found myself unsatisfied with the intensity of the highlight, so I exchanged it for the Luminous light. I would recommend the lighter shades for an under eye setting powder and the deeper ones for a more intense highlight for the cheek bones (if that’s what you’re looking for, obviously). Another thing to note is that the deeper shades are highly pigmented, so if you’re fair like me, the highlight can actually deepen your skin tone if you use too much and that really defeats the purpose.
USE: I apply this product with a dense fan brush and I layer it on… like two or three layers. But again, that’s just if you want to reach extraterrestrial levels of glow. Point is, it’s buildable. This is in fact a mineral powder, so to get the best colour-payoff and application, I highly recommend using a dense brush and swirling the product prior when applying it on your skin.
BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector: This is my latest favourite and high-key obsession. You’ve probably seen beauty guru’s and makeup geek’s raving about the latest shade from this line, which is the Becca x Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector in “Champagne Pop”. This product is a collab with YouTube beauty guru, Jaclyn Hill and is limited edition. It is by far the most pigmented highlighter I have ever used and I am beyond impressed. The product is warmer with peachy hues, is buildable and suitable for all skin tones. (Shop here).
USE: Same application process as the Hourglass highlight. If you prefer a more sheer application, I would recommend using a softer brush with longer bristles rather than a dense brush. Vice versa if you want to increase intensity.
TIPS FOR THE ULTIMATE GLOW
Now that you’ve read through my favourite highlighters, here are some tips on maximizing your glow:
1. In order to achieve the most prominent highlight, you’ll want to use a cream or liquid highlight (like the ones mentioned above) and then set it with a powder highlight. You will notice incredible cheekbone lifting action and will give off major JLo vibes. This type of highlighting is honestly a personal preference. It can be worn with a heavy glam look or it can be the focal point of your look if you pair it with soft eyes and lips.
2. To even more intensity, you can use a finishing spray concentrating on the high-points of your face (i.e. where you applied highlighter). My personal favourite is MAC Fix+. One of the key ingredients of this product is glycerin, which is meant to hydrate the skin. Using this spray takes away any powder-like texture from the skin and leaves it looking dewy and soft. Applyin Fix+ on top of your highlight (and your face overall) helps to amplify it even more and will keep your makeup in place all day.
3. For those of you that prefer an overall glow rather than super concentrated highlighted points that give off the whole “hard light” effect, I would stick to illuminating primers and bases (like the Strobe Cream I mentioned, or any other brand that you prefer) and luminous foundations. If you have a more natural or matte finish foundation that you use regularly and aren’t noticing the effects of a luminous primer, I would recommend mixing in a luminzer or Lustre Drops and applying your foundation as your normally would.
4. I hope you found this post helpful! As always, if you’d like to hear about any other products or have any questions, leave them in the comments below. I will be coming at you guys with some more product posts before NYE. Foundations coming up next, stay tuned.