Highlight Insight.

Highlighter is one of my favorite beauty trends (and secrets!) that seems to be appearing at all price points these days.  With all of the different highlighting products out there, it can be hard to find which consistency, color, and application is right for you.  I by no means am a beauty expert or makeup artist, I would consider myself more of a cosmetic connoisseur.  If there’s a new trend or product, I have probably researched it, YouTubed it, and bought it in three colors (only when it’s something I like, obvs).  Highlighter is one of those products I’ve loved for a long time and have picked up several forms of it in low to high end brands.  I’m going to share the ones I’ve found to be the best, from what I’ve tried.  Hopefully this will help shed some (high)light on what to look for and how/where/when to apply it!

Highlighting looks the most natural, to me, when the shimmer is very fine and uniform in size.  When you can see individual sparkles or glitter, it can look overdone.  The purpose of highlighting is to cast light on the high points of the face, making cheekbones appear higher, noses slimmer, top lips fuller, and give your skin a dewy/healthy glow.  You can also use it along your chest or collarbone for more definition.  I’m a big fan of highlighting because I prefer my foundation to be matte, especially in the summer months, and adding a bit of highlight takes my face from flat to radiant in a matter of seconds.  Honestly- this stuff is great even if you’re going makeup free and a little goes a long way.

So let’s get into it!  I’m going to start from high to low end since the higher price point products tend to have that fine shimmer I’m always after.

Product:  Shiseido – The Makeup Accentuating Color Stick

Color:  Champagne Flush – sheer, pinky color, cooler tone.  Best for fair to med skin tones.

Consistency: Smooth, glide-on formula, very sheer, minimal shimmer

Best Way To Apply:  Direct from the stick or use concealing brush, blend into skin

Price:  $35 (find in high end department stores)

Product:  MAC – Mineralize Skinfinish

Color:  Lightscapade – silvery, light gold finish, cooler tone.  Best for fair to med skin tones.

Consistency: Super-fine powder, fine shimmer, buildable

Best Way To Apply:  With a fan brush (to create lines) or small blending brush

Price:  $32

Product:  MAC – Mineralize Skinfinish

Color:  Soft & Gentle – goldy, bronze, champagne, warmer tone (one of my ABSOLUTE faves right now). Best for fair, med, deep skin tones.

Consistency:  Super-fine powder, fine shimmer, buildable

Best Way To Apply:  With a fan brush (to create lines) or small blending brush

Price:  $32

Product:  Benefit – High Beam

Color:  High Beam – pinky, silver color, cooler tone.  Best for fair to med skin tones.  Also makes Sun Beam, gold based, warmer tone.  Best for med to deep skin tones.

Consistency: Creamy formula, blends easily, needs some drying time, concentrated shimmer

Best Way To Apply:  Dab the brush onto back of hand, use finger or beauty blender to blend into face

Price:  $26 (Ulta usually has the small trial size in their grab-n-go displays, great for first timers, $12?)

Product:  BECCA – Shimmering Skin Perfecter

Color:  Moonstone – pale gold, cooler tone.  Best for fair to med skin tones. (comes in multiple colors to complement all skin tones)

Consistency: Creamy, blends easily, super-fine shimmer creates natural glow

Best Way To Apply:  Squeeze onto back of hand, use finger or beauty blender to blend into face

Price:  $19 for .67 oz size (lasts longer than you’d think- great for first timers). $41 for 1.7 0z (full size). Available at Macy’s and Ulta

Product:  Sonia Kashuk – Bare Illuminating Bronzer

Color:  Goddess 40 – bronze/gold, hybrid bronzer/highlighter, warmer tone.  Best for med to deep skin tones.

Consistency: Powder, fine shimmer with some glitter, buildable color

Best Way To Apply:  Use provided brush for precise contouring, use fluffy brush for allover application.  Great for chest/body

Price:  $12.99 (available at Target only)

Product:  Sonia Kashuk – Chic Luminosity Highlighter Stick

Color:  Sparkling Sand 45 – champagne, light gold, warmer tone.  Best for fair to med skin tones.

Consistency: Smooth, solid cream consistency, blends easily, powdery/dry finish

Best Way To Apply:  Direct from stick or on back of hand and blend with fingers or beauty blender

Price:  $10.99 (available at Target only)

Product:  Kardashian Beauty (formerly KHROMA) – Intimate Spotlight

Color:  Illuminate – champage, gold, warmer tone.  Best for med to deep skin tones (more colors offered).

Consistency: Creamy, blends easily, more larger glitter/shimmer pieces than fine

Best Way To Apply:  Dip brush or finger into pot, apply to face and blend.  Great for chest/body glow

Price:  $9.99 (Ulta or select CVS locations)

Product:  NYX – Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator

Color:  (L) Gleam – bronze/gold, warmer tone.  Best for med to deep skin tones.  (R) Sunbeam – pinky/silver, champagne, cooler tone.  Best for fair to med skin tones.

Consistency: Creamy, blends easily, fine shimmer with some larger glitter pieces

Best Way To Apply:  Squeeze onto back of hand, use finger or beauty blender to blend into face. Great for chest/body

Price:  $7.49 (Ulta or select CVS locations)