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Highlighter And Illuminator: What Are The Differences And What Are The Best Ones

Hollie agrees: “if you want to create a ‘lit from within’ glow to achieve luminosity through the skin, you can either apply all over the face before makeup, or you can mix it into your foundation to create your perfect hydrated skin tint. You can also apply on top of makeup to the high points of the face for a more subtle healthy highlighted finish.”

Highlighter on the other hand, should be applied strategically. Hollie explains that you only want to apply highlighter at the high planes of the face, where light hits naturally. “This is normally the top of the cheek bones, temples, below and above the brows, the bridge and the tip of the nose, the Cupid’s bow and a little on the chin,” she says.

If you’ve opted for a powder formula (which is a great choice for oilier skin types), Jamie recommends using a small fluffy brush to buff into skin. “If you are trying out liquid or cream formulas – tapping the product in with finger tips will melt it into your skin leaving a seamless finish.”

For the glow obsessives, you can layer your highlighter on top of illuminator for both an all over radiance and to spotlight specific features. “I personally use both daily no matter how much makeup I’m using, radiant skin is always my go to!” Jamie adds. 

The best illuminators

Bobbi Brown Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm in Bare Glow, £46, Boots 

“This balm has skin-improving benefits for long term hydration and imparts a healthy glow with pearl particles,” says Hollie. “It works on all skin tones and brings back that natural radiance to the skin.”

Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Illuminating Primer, £34, LookFantastic

“It creates a glass-like skin with a soft veil plus key ingredients to nourish and enhance staying power,” says Cher. 

Vieve Skin Nova, £27, Cult Beauty

“It’s a universal radiance multitasker that can be used alone, as a primer or mixed with your other base products to add true luminosity to all skin tones,” explains Jamie. 

The best highlighters

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Hefty-Highlight, £21, John Lewis

“If you prefer a cream highlighter, this is a luminous lightweight cream that is so easy to use and perfect for makeup on the go,” recommends Cher. “There’s always one of these in my daily makeup bag.”

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Highlighter, £45, Space NK

“I always carry these in my makeup artist kit as they are so flattering on the skin and mimic the natural skin tones,” adds Cher. “They’re formulated with ultra-fine micro pearl particles which create a more natural, less metallic finish.”

Inspired to get glowing? Check up our round up of the best highlighters as well as the ultimate hacks for your most radiant skin ever.

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