Hands up if you don't have much time in the day?! Hands up if you prefer the 5-7 minute makeup routine that everyone brags about?! Hands up if you have never worn a highlighter before?! This is my guide to the quickest and easiest ways to highlight and illuminate. Because if you are like me you prefer easy and effective makeup! Read on for my tips as well as a short review of Burberry Fresh Glow, Mecca Max Shimmer Shot Highlighting Wand and Ciaté London Dewy Stix Luminous Highlighting Balm.
You may notice that this post is in a slightly different format today - that is because I hurt my neck last week and I am in pain at the moment. You can't see my shining face in this post because I feared my expression would turn people away; my current mood is a grimace. So please excuse me for this week. Hopefully I'll be back to my regular self next week.
Before one of my readers asked for this post I had never used a highlighter before regularly. I have had my makeup done a few times before for events so of course I have worn highlighter; but it isn't part of my normal routine. The same way blush isn't; because my cheeks flush anyway when I haven't got access to fresh air flow. So I sort of shy away from blush. To me highlighter is something to wear for special occasions because it adds another step to my every day routine. So many beauty blogs talk about the 5-7 minute makeup routine. And I have always thought surely adding a highlighter would mean it wasn't a 5-7 minute routine any more...
There are so many fancy names for using a highlighter - strobing, highlighting, illuminating. Whatever you want to call it, it is pretty popular because some strategically highlighter can give you a healthy, luminous glow. Even if you’re into non-touring, you'll still need a good illuminator up your sleeve. What the heck is non-touring I hear you ask? It's a makeup technique that revolves around fresh, natural-looking makeup that gently encourages subtle shape with a glow-from-within look. Oh that is good. So I have been on trend all this time...
First thing is First, Pick the Right Colour Highlighter for Your Skin Tone
You should choose a highlighter that fits with your skin tone. There is no point picking a shimmery gold powder if you are a fair person for example. Fair skin tones can use pale pearl highlighters, medium-fair and medium tones can use champagne colours and darker skin tones can go for bronzed gold colours. Check a swatch of the highlighter on the skin of your hand. If it appears grey not radiant, you need something warmer with a more bronze or gold undertone.
Which Formulation Should I Choose for My Skin Type?
There are highlighters these days in cream, liquid, powder, balm and brush on formats. And it can be down to personal preference; however as a rule of thumb if you have normal or combination skin you can probably use any texture, oily skins prefer a powder highlighter while dry skin will like the feel of a cream highlighter. For a natural look go with a liquid highlighter with very little sparkle and if you want to really shine got for a powder with a highly reflective finish.
When do I Apply a Highlighter?
So when does a highlighter fit into your routine? In which order should I apply it along with my other makeup? It depends on your desired result. For a natural glow to the skin, you should apply it under a light foundation, if you want your highlighting to be noticed I would apply after foundation. Plus a little highlighter without base makeup can really light up your face too.
How do I Apply Highlighter?
Charlotte Tilbury has the answer - “Brush on to the top of cheekbones, temples, down the centre of the nose and on to the cupid’s bow to enhance the lip size and shape. Also apply a little in the corner of the eyes and across the eyelids to make the eyes pop.”
Apply highlighter to the areas where the light naturally hits however you want to avoid applying highlighter to areas that are textured, so large pores, acne scarring or pitting, and fine lines and wrinkles. It's also a smart idea to apply highlighter in natural light so you can really see what you are doing. You don't want to overdo it!!
So what are my highlighter picks for those of you who still want a 5-7 minute routine? What about highlighters for those of us who have never used a highlighter before?
Burberry Fresh Glow Nude Radiance No. 01
I was actually gifted Burberry Fresh Glow Nude Radiance No. 01 in a Christmas pack just a short while after Burberry released their Burberry Beauty range. I have also been treated to a Burberry makeup look by a Burberry makeup artist on a few occasions. I actually really love Fresh Glow. It is really easy to apply and very subtle. It only comes in two shades 01 and 02. Fresh Glow is a 55% water-infused primer that hydrates instantly and it includes mirror-flat intense reflection pearls to help blur minor imperfections for a shimmer-free, youthful luminosity. You can use Fresh Glow in a few ways: you can apply it to nude skin or under foundation to illuminate, you can blend Fresh Glow into eye shadow to provide a wash of transparent eye shadow colour or you can smooth Fresh Glow onto cheekbones, the bridge of the nose and the Cupid’s bow to highlight.
Burberry Fresh Glow Nude Radiance No. 01 Ingredients:
Water, Glycerin, Isohexadecane, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide, Polysorbate 80, Panthenol, Carbomer, Sorbitan Oleate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract, Tocopherol. +/- (May Contain): CI 77019 (Mica), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491 (Iron Oxides).
I use Burberry Fresh Glow Nude Radiance No. 01 to highlight my cheekbones only. This is in the interest of keeping my routine very minimal during the week. I apply more when I go out under my foundation.
Mecca Max Shimmer Shot Highlighting Wand Soft Gold
I am really loving all products in a brush format lately. I have a Chanel concealer that is in a brush format - you can check that out here in my What's In My Makeup Bag: The Products I can't do Without post. I also have a Byredo brush on perfume which you can find out more about in my Interesting Perfume Formats: Options for Sensitive Skins and Noses post.
When I saw that Mecca Max had a Shimmer Shot Highlighting Wand in their new collection released just last month, I had to give it a go. The Shimmer Shot Highlighting Wand in Soft Gold is most like my skin tone so it is really subtle in the way that it highlights. Mecca really promotes this product as quick and easy to use:
Overslept? Zing – a fast hit of highlighter slaps eyes wide awake! Feeling meh? An optimistic dose of glow on your cheeks or mixed into moisturiser and you’ll be your beamiest, best self. The neat self-filling brush tip brightens inner corners of eyes and targets cupid’s bows to make lips look full, cushy and lush. It’s a happiness shot for your whole face.
Plus I love it because I can brush the product out onto my skin and just blend in with my fingers. I mean it would be lovely to carry around brushes with me every day; but who wants to lug more stuff around. I really love using my (properly washed) fingers to apply product. Another great reason to buy the Mecca Max Shimmer Shot Highlighting Wand is that it is vegan.
Mecca Max Shimmer Shot Highlighting Wand Soft Gold Ingredients:
Aqua, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Phenyl Trimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Diisopropyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Dimethicone, Sorbitol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Mica, Tin Oxide, CI 77891, CI 77492, CI 77491.
Ciaté London Dewy Stix Luminous Highlighting Balm
I bought the Ciaté London Dewy Stix Luminous Highlighting Balm in Glow on a whim when I had some credit from Mecca Cosmetica. I was planning ahead and wanted to put it in this post. Let me tell you that I am so happy that I did. Firstly, I have never used a balm highlighter before, but it is in a crayon/stick like form so I knew it would be pretty easy to use. It smells fantastic and is a non-tacky, gel-like highlighting balm. This is for someone who wants easy and a subtle shimmer as the Dewy Stix Luminous Highlighting Balm keeps the shimmer to a minimum and dials up the dewiness for a natural, healthy-looking complexion. You don't need a brush with this portable twist-up stick and brushless highlighter. And you can wear it alone for a super fresh finish or layer under your fave highlighting powder for full-on radiance. It is kind of like a glow moisturiser and it smells like marshmallows! So I guess the Ciaté London Dewy Stix Luminous Highlighting Balm in Glow is not really a traditional glittery highlighter which is why I like it.
I really love this product because my skin is getting a little bit older now and it is sort of transparent. You can apply it to the highpoints of your face and Ciaté London Dewy Stix Luminous Highlighting Balm will make you look young, supple and so glowy. It also has great wear, I can wear it all day and it doesn't slide around my face. Plus it doesn't irritate my sensitive skin at all.
Ciaté London Dewy Stix Luminous Highlighting Balm in Glow Ingredients:
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Polybutene, Triisodecyl Trimellitate, Beeswax [Cera Alba], Polyethylene, Ozokerite, Dicalcium Phosphate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Diisostearyl Malate, Squalane, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax [Candelilla Cera], Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Mica, Stearalkonium Bentonite, Propylene Carbonate, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-t-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Ethyl Vanillin, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Isohexadecane, Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tripeptide-1, Tocopherol, Titanium Dioxide [CI 77891].
Free from parabens, sulphates and phthalates.
I have found my go to daily dewy highlighter in the Ciaté London Dewy Stix Luminous Highlighting Balm in Glow! It'll fit into my fuss free makeup routine.