Okay, this is a tough one. There were so many candidates for this list I could barely make myself decide which ones to go for. Highlighting has got to be one of my favourite steps when doing make-up because I feel it brings light to the face, and adds a polished finish to the skin. The best thing is, with so many amazing formulations on the market these days that you can easily opt out from looking like a disco ball if you wish and go for a really natural glow with no sparkle whatsoever. I usually gravitate towards the liquid and cream formulations with hardly any sparkle – they do tend to look more natural on the skin but I occasionally reach for the powders too.
Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate
The Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate palette is a long time favourite of mine though it is not mentioned too often these days since Charlotte Tilbury, Becca and Hourglass have taken over most of the social media recently. It does still deserve a place in my top 5.
The lightweight cream gives a very sheer, soft glow and it is easy to blend it into a subtle, chic highlight without shimmer or sparkle. Dab it along the cheekbones with fingers or use a buffing brush to apply, make sure you blend the edges really well. Bonus feature: as I mentioned in my Top 5 Bronzers post, I’m a sucker for nice packaging and this one is luxurious through and through so is the price, unfortunately.
Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate is available for £56.00 here.
Mac Cream Colour Base
Why don’t people talk about the Cream Colour Base more? It is the highlighting product that I’ve used the longest and to this day I always have more than one colour on the go both in my pro and private make-up kit. It is basically a multitasking product and with a bit of creativity, you can use it many ways. CCB can be an eyeshadow, an eye base, a brow or cheek highlighter, blusher or even bronzer. The concentrated solid cream melts with the warmth of your hands so it is easy to blend and buff it over the required area. There are 18 shades available on the Mac website from white to the brightest of magenta and red. The ones I tend to use most is Pearl(champaign colour), Luna(white) and Hush (salmon colour).
CCB is very affordable and lasts a long time.
Mac Cream Colour Base is available for £17.00 here.
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector
I cannot rave about this enough! The Shimmering Skin Perfector has been around for years but really only took off when the whole blogging/Youtube-ing world exploded. Now it exists in liquid, cream and powder form but I still prefer the classic liquid in a pump bottle just because it is more hygienic in a makeup kit. It comes in 5 shades, but the one I use the most is Pearl.
As you buff this into the skin you get the sheerest, most natural looking and juiciest highlight of them all. The effect is very refined and polished. It also has a prismatic effect, that allows the product to adjust to lighting so your highlight is nice and visible all the time so it photographs beautifully too. For £34.00 you get 30ml which is a huge amount.
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector is available here.
Rimmel Sculpting palette
This is one of my recent discoveries, it also features on my Top 5 Bronzers list. It is a very handy little compact, excellent on the go. The golden toned highlighting powder has a very light texture, sheer coverage and it works really well with the other colours in the palette.
This is a quick and easy option, you can even use only one brush to apply all the colours starting with the lightest. Bonus feature: the price. This is an excellent option for the ones on a budget.
Rimmel Sculping palette available for £6.99 here
Ben Nye Lumiere Lux powder
This is a really fun product and had this sitting at the bottom of my pro kit for a long time. This super fine powder filled with sparkle diffused over the cheeks with a fan brush you can achieve an extreme high shine effect.
I would probably use this for editorial or fun fantasy looks (Halloween, anyone?)rather than a daytime look for the office. It shows up in photographs beautifully, so why not using it for your next Instagram make-up selfie too? The loose powder can be mixed into sealers to make it more durable or use makeup mixer to turn it into an eye gloss. This product is pure fun and for £15.99 (8g), it’s an absolute steal.
Ben Nye Lumiere Lux Powder is available here.