Ask any celebrity makeup artist what beauty trick makes the biggest difference and they’ll answer in one word: highlighter. Dabbing a little illumination on the cheekbones adds definition to bone structure and captures light like a cosmetic fountain of youth. And best of all, you don’t need a full face of makeup to enjoy the benefits; luminizers work equally well on bare skin.
To curb (or add to) the confusion, they’re sold under many different names. You’ll hear them referred to as illuminators, highlighters, luminizers, brighteners or shimmers and come in liquid, cream and powder form. Even the shades range is extensive, from opals and silvers to pinks, purples, golds and bronzes.
Highlighters are so sheer it’s hard to go wrong with your color choice, but fair skintones will find pearly opals and silvers most flattering, medium skin tones will get the most pop from pinks and purples, and deep tones look best in rich golds and coppers, says celebrity makeup artist Tina Turnbow.
Yet no matter the consistency or shade, the way you apply a highlighter remains the same. “Blend a highlighter along the tops of cheekbones, down the bridge of your nose, on the eye lid, and brow bone,” says Turnbow. “The key is using a tapping motion to blend out the edges.”Try these top picks to revive and brighten any complexion.