How to Use Illuminators

By Skye McKiernan

Also marketed as highlighters, luminizers, illuminators, and flash colors, illuminators add luminosity and radiance to the skin and can be applied anywhere. Like many makeup trends, you can use them sparingly or by the handful. Depending on the look you are trying to achieve, your type of luminizer and the way you use it will vary. Here are some tips on how to achieve different looks and effects.

A Quick Face-Lift via Lighting

Instead of going under the knife, use illuminators and the light reflectivity they provide to give your face a virtual face-lift. Start by lifting the appearance of your eyebrows and dab a tiny bit of illuminator underneath the arch of your brows and blend out well. To make your lips look fuller, add a touch of illuminator to the cupid’s bow of your upper lip and blend. Add a dash of any illuminator to the top of the cheekbones lightly above where you apply blush to make your cheekbones look fuller and more youthful. Choose your preferred form of illuminator when using any of these beauty tricks. Whether your preferred form of highlighter or luminizer is cream, liquid, or powder does not matter.

A Lit-From-Within Glow

Take a powder luminizer and swirl the powder into your brush, then dust it all over your face. This will give you a great natural glow as long as you do not use too much powder. If you want a more subtle look, use a cream or a liquid luminizer and mix it with your foundation before applying as usual. If you want to look lit-from-within, but in a more bold fashion, apply liquid or cream luminizer to the high points of your face. These areas include the nose, forehead, and cheekbones in particular. Blend out the cream or liquid, then mix a bit with your foundation and apply normally.

Super Subtle Glow

For the most subtle of all highlighted looks go for foundations that are labeled as illuminating or having a radiant finish. Both of these terms mean the formula has some extra light reflective particles to provide a subtle highlighted finish. There are tinted moisturizers on the market that offer this type of finish such as Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer from Laura Mercier. Also available are Liquid Illuminating Foundation from Stila and the Original Formula Bare Escentuals Foundation.

Be it winter, spring, summer, or fall, radiance is a popular trend. Change up your approach from time to time to make sure you look is fresh and season-appropriate. Have fun with the extra spotlight these products can shine on you.

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