Erin's Highlighters

Highlighting and contouring is analogous to the case of the chicken or the egg — which came first? In my eyes highlighter is a stand-alone product, whereas contouring often needs bronzer, highlighter, and a lot of blending to work. Besides, not everyone wants to use makeup to create an illusion of their bone structure. So let's forget about contouring for the moment.

What's the point of highlighter/illuminator/luminizer/brightener? To emphasize your cheekbones. To create a dewy and fresh look. To restore a youthful glow. To catch the light.

Despite highlighters being one of my favourite makeup items (can you tell), I've never actually written a complete post on them so this is long overdue. Read on for my thoughts on these highlighters and their formulas: powder, cream, and liquid.

I love powder highlighters that give an intense, wha-bam look. The type of brush you use is really important, though — use something too big or fluffy and you risk the disco ball look. I use the elf Small Tapered brush or the Charlotte Tilbury Powder & Sculpt brush.

NARS Highlighting Blush Powder in Albatross is totally different from what'd you expect just from looking at it in the pan. The white powder is not quite transparent so this highlighter is very cool-toned, despite giving a gold sheen. Unfortunately this contradiction won't suit everyone. I really like applying Albatross at the eye's inner corner – it reminds me of MAC's Nylon eyeshadow.

The Becca Pressed Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal is like sunshine on your face. It's beautiful golden tones pairs beautifully with bronzer. I love that Becca does a wide range of highlighters in different colours and formulas.
My first ever highlighter was theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer and it remains one of my all time favourites! This powder is so soft and blends like a dream, but it's not one for travelling — my first one shattered and was never the same (sob).

Creams are perfect for minimal makeup days because you don't need a brush! Creams are also stunning layered underneath a powder highlight for a multidimensional look.

Katherine and I talk about natural beauty products quite regularly on the blog (we descend on Whole Foods like locusts), and one of my favourites is the RMS Beauty living luminizer. I've done a full reviewbut essentially this is the perfect daytime highlighter for a dewy glow.

A brand new favourite is the Becca Poured Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone, a pale gold cream that is my new travel companion this summer. This is soft and creamy without any glitter. Really appreciate that there's a mirror inside.

I've mostly sidestepped the drugstore when shopping for highlighters (although I'm open to suggestions!). The Pixi Glow to Go compact is an exception, as is the Hard Candy Tiki Bronzer , which is awesome but I passed on to a friend. I picked this up in a haul recently and have been really impressed with the quality of the creams. It's very natural and not too shiny on the skin so those of you with oily skin types might want to check this out if you're interested in cream products!

Liquids are versatile and multitasking because you can mix them in with foundation, or use them under or over your base. These are the ultimate in creating a "glow from within" look because of how seamlessly liquids blend into the skin.

The Clarins Instant Light Complexion Illuminating Base in 01 Rose is an iridescent pink highlight that looks really beautiful added in to foundation or blended over the cheekbones. I'd love to try more shades, although I know that this sample size will last me for awhile!

My Benefit highlighters in High Beam and Sun Beam have lasted me for ages. These are really unique because of how coloured they are – pink and bronze, respectively. Although I don't reach for these as often as I should, they look great layered with blush and bronzer.

For the beginner —  theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer
For the J. Crew model — RMS living luminizer
For the queen of contouring — Becca Pressed Shimmering Skin Perfectors
For the one who likes options — Pixi Glow to Go

What are your favourite highlighters?