If you have any interest in the beauty world (and we’re going to assume you do if you’ve come across this article), then you know full well that glowing skin has become peak beauty goals.
A few years ago, strobing hit the scene in a huge way. Largely a makeup artist’s trick, the highlighting technique became mainstream and women around the world started searching for makeup tutorials to teach them how to use illuminator to accentuate the high points on their face. Since then we’re also now spoilt for choice in the toolkit department thanks to the multitude of products that can help give our skin that perfect gleam.
The hard part is choosing the right highlighting and illuminating products to get the exact glow you’re after. Here are seven different ways you can achieve a radiant complexion - all you need to do is pick the one best suited to the look you’re after!
An illuminating primer
Start your makeup routine with an illuminating primer that’ll add a subtle all-over glow to your complexion. You may not immediately see an obvious sheen, but layered with a BB cream or sheer-medium coverage foundation, the hints of reflecting particles in the primer help diffuse the light to give you a gorgeous, natural glow that looks like you didn’t have to do a thing to achieve it.
A luminising foundation
Similar to using an illuminating primer to give you a lit-from-within radiance, a foundation that contains light-reflecting particles will add shine (the good kind) and gleam to your complexion. The benefit of using an illuminating foundation is you get an illuminator and foundation in one, and can build your foundation coverage without worrying about compromising your glow.
Liquid illuminator mixed with your regular foundation
Mix one pump of a liquid highlighter with your regular liquid foundation and buff the mixture all of your face for an even greater luminous glow. Mixing the two separate products also allows you to customise the glow factor to suit your desired look. As there are different shades of illuminators available, it’s best to pick one that will work well with your foundation shade, as this will give you the best result. If you have fair skin, pick a liquid illuminator that’s light pink or silver, if you have medium skin, opt for a golden shade, and if your skin is tanned or dark, look for a bronzey colour.
Liquid or cream highlighter
If you’re after natural dewiness with your radiant look or you have a dry complexion, use your finger to gently dab a liquid or cream highlighter onto your cheekbones and temples, as well as the bridge of your nose and the middle of your forehead. If you’d prefer to use a brush, use one that has synthetic bristles as this will give you the best finish. A loose powder brush will give you a more subtle result, while a densely packed one can help you achieve that more intense strobing effect. It’s also good to note that you can use your cream or liquid before or after your foundation, but for the most noticeable results, we recommend applying it after.
For more of an intense glow, opt for a powder highlighter and apply it with a natural fibre brush onto the same areas mentioned above - this application will help you achieve an almost airbrushed finish. Just be careful not to apply too much powder from the get-go. Start off slowly and gently layer your highlighter. For a soft, subtle glow, use a fan brush, and if you’re after a strong highlight, use a loose powder brush.
When picking the texture of your highlighter, it’s a good idea to match it to the texture of your foundation for a well-blended result. So pair a cream or liquid foundation with a cream or liquid highlighter, and a powder base with a powder highlighter. If you'd like, you can pair a powder highlighter with a liquid foundation, but applying a cream highlighter over powder foundation will shift the product and you’ll be left with a patchy result. As a general rule of thumb, if you’re mixing mediums, always finish with powder to set any creams.
A glow-inducing translucent powder
If you’re looking for a subtle, barely-there glow that won’t change how you regularly do your makeup, look for a translucent powder infused with blurring and light-reflecting properties to give your skin sheer luminosity. Lightly dust the powder on the high points of your face to give them added light and radiance, and for an all-over glow, apply to your entire face (just don’t forget the rule above about how highlighter can accentuate any bumps, pores, or wrinkles!)
Illuminating concealer pen
While this new generation of concealers work brilliantly to brighten dark circles and tired eyes, they can also work wonders on fatigued skin that needs some pepping. Use the brush of your concealer pen to draw a line down the bridge of your nose, some short lines across your cheekbones, and a triangle in the middle of your forehead (with the base of your triangle sitting at your forehead), then use your ring finger to blend it all in. If you prefer makeup brushes to do the hard work, use a semi-densely packed face brush to buff the concealer in.
Carli was BEAUTYcrew’s Editor from launch in 2016 until May 2020. You can find her words right here on BEAUTYcrew, and previously on beautyheaven.