Everyone loves a bit of glow (a safe assumption?), which explains the never-ending highlighter launch throughout 2016, and if I may make a prediction, the trend is not going to die down in 2017 either. Because… well are we ever going to stop loving a glowy skin? Probably not.
I, as a beauty junkie, obviously are not an exception. But I’m not one that’s striking for the blind highlighting effect, I want a subtle, lit-from-within glowy sheen, the kind of glow that makes people wonder “is her skin naturally glow like that?” So today, I thought I would share my favorite (subtle) glow inducing makeup bits.
Now, start with the base. For the longest time, Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base mixed with Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation does the trick for me. I still haven’t found any primer or foundation that gives me such realistic and perfecting glow effect. The Bobbi Brown foundation is uber lovely by itself, even when you swatch on the back of your hands, you will notice its glowing property, it’s just beautiful (I’m working on a full review of this foundation, expect it coming your way soon…). But the Burberry fresh glow base takes everything up a notch. I still cannot explain how it does what it does even after finishing a whole bottle. When you swatch on the hands, it seems very subtle, perhaps too subtle some would argue, but on the face, it instantly wakes up your face and makes you look fresher. It’s the type of product that translates better in person than photos – it’s too subtle to be captured in the camera. It would be a lie if I say I haven’t been itching to get a new bottle every time I pass Sephora (though I have too many products to finish…).
This base combination is not the most long lasting one, or the best coverage. It’s light to medium coverage in my opinion, and lasts around 6 hours on me. It’s more suited for combination to dry skin, oily friends, you may end up feeling too dewy as both of them also have hydrating effect.
If you are looking for a liquid highlighter that’s a bit more noticeable but still in the subtle family, M.A.C. strobe cream is a really good to look into. I like to use it all over my face as a primer. Similar to the Burberry base, it doesn’t look shimmery in any way, but provides a luminosity that compliments pretty much all foundations. M.A.C. extended the strobe cream line sometime last year with 4 more shades, so it would work with many more skin tones now. Oh, did I mention strobe cream has a skincare benefit? It’s a proper moisturizer booster.
For the more traditional highlighters, my favorites are hands down the Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked highlighter 01 and Diorskin nude air luminizer 001. They are basically what my dream highlighter in a compact. Both have extremely finely milled shimmer, which doesn’t show up on the face or enlarge the appearance of pores. The Laura Mercier one is more leaning towards beige tone which I think would work with literally any skin tones, and the dior one is a bit peachier with a hint of pink, would work the best with light to medium skin tones – though Dior released 3 more shades recently, so you are very likely to find your perfect match. I consider these two the grown-up version of highlighters, because they don’t look even a tiny bit of powdery or cakey. If you ever wonder what a healthy glow would look like, just go to their counter, try them on and stare yourself in the mirror.
If I’m in the kick of cream products (cream products in general are more forgiving for dry or/and mature skins) then I usually rotate among these three: the rms beauty living luminizer, the M.A.C. cream color base in hush and the benefit watt’s up cream highlighter.
RMS living luminizer has gained quite a lot of cult followers over the years, because it really is a very unique product. It has literally zero shimmer particle, and is essentially a solid, but balmy textured oil, which gives nothing but gleam and sheen. It’s probably the most subtle yet still noticeable highlighter in the market, and also one of the very few that will work even with no makeup – when you just want a bit of dewy, heathy look to the face.
M.A.C cream color base hush is peachy tone, can be used as a highlighter alone or a blush topper if you fancy a bit of dimension to your powder or cream blush. Texture wise, it dries down a bit more than the rms living luminizer, and I find it slightly less reflective. In general, I would say M.A.C. cream color base deserves more praise than it has now, it really is a beautiful line of subtle, sophisticated highlighters.
The benefit watt’s up cream highlighter is the latest addition to my arsenal, but has quickly become one of my favorites. It’s cream to powder finish, once sets on the face, it doesn’t slide or move around whatsoever, and works both on top of or below powder products -a big win! Really, it’s one of those magical formulas that gives natural, delicate glow without accentuating fine lines or pores, which we all can appreciate.
Here is a final look of these highlighters swatched side by side on me:
So here you go, after repeating the words like “nature”, “subtle” and “sophisticated” a million times, these are my current favorite makeup picks for a realistic glowy skin. Have you tried any of these?