Highlighters. So many to choose from. Shimmery, glittery, pearly, embossed with brand names and swirly patterns that make them look so pretty you won’t want to ever put your little paws in them.
So about a year ago when I officially became a Beauty Bitch for an entire cosmetic department, I would walk around trying to familiarise myself with everyone’s star products so that I would be on top of current trends and so that I would know what the hell I was talking about when people asked me about products from different brands. Look I’ll be honest here, it didn’t take me becoming a Beauty Bitch for an entire floor to do this, all makeup artists do this anyway because although we get given a lot of goodies, we still buy stuff just like you do even when we don’t need it and yes, even makeup artists have 456 different shades of red lipstick because we notice the subtle differences even when no one else does. In my honest opinion, I believe we see colours that no one else sees, you know, like those special kinds of people on the X-Files. Okay, maybe not and now you’ve seen through the facade of my poor justification for owning so many of the same colour so I will pretend I never brought it up.
Okay, so back to me walking the floor, poking around everyone’s tester bar, feeling textures and rubbing products on the back of my hand. After a few minutes of testing textures and colours under the lights like the NASA analyst I have become when it comes to makeup, I walk over to one of my favourite brands of all time, Laura Mercier. I see a palette displayed on an angle so that it will get special attention and I am told it’s one of their star products called ‘Indiscretion’. I thought ‘ooh, Laura’s getting a little saucy with her name choices’ and so I picked it up and inspected it very closely in complete awe of its beauty.
The first thing I noticed was the gorgeous swirl pattern which made it look fake and almost untouchable. I then ran my finger over it and was enchanted by its velvety gorgeous shimmery pigment. It’s a rose gold sort of colour, that’s not too pink and not too yellow. I just can’t describe the beauty of this little gem. This is honestly one of the most beautiful bronzer/highlighters on the market and you know what’s more exciting? Laura has just released three more shades for you to choose from and for all the alabaster skin beauties who need a natural bronzer, I can safely tell you all your bronzer dreams are about to come true.
Being a Beauty Bitch who gets to see all the new releases fresh out of the box, I thought I would review all four shades in order to give you an idea of what you should be looking for in a highlighter that complements your skin tone and caters to your needs. I have to say, they’re pretty spectacular and choosing one will be very difficult for you especially if you’re a makeup junkie and if you’re not, then you’re bloody boring.
The palest of the four illuminators. This cool silvery- pink shade is perfect if you look like Casper’s cousin. The pearl pigments are lighter than the others, so if you want your gorgeous mug to reflect more light then this is the one you should be wearing.
A gorgeous gold shade which is great for light to medium tones and also for people who want to cut the pink tones down in their skin. The yellow base will counteract these tones and make you look like Goldfinger. Well, not really, you’d have to put a lot of it on and even still it’s too sheer. It will however, make your skin look like it’s 24-carat and very precious. Also great for the Casper look-a-likes who want a pale bronzer effect.
A warm rose gold shade for skin that needs warmth added to it. Great if your foundation colour is a little too light for you and also great for anyone that has light to medium and medium to tan skin tones. The darker your skin, the more this acts like a highlight. This one’s the most universal of the four shades and suits almost everyone.
So chocolatey and velvety looking you’ll want to eat it but please don’t do that, it’s not as tasty as it looks and it’s cheaper to just buy some chocolate instead. This is the deepest of the four shades and best suited to medium and darker skin tones. If your chest and neck are darker than your face then this is perfect to use in order to make you look even from face to decolletage.
Dip your brush into your bronzer/highlighter and dust lightly all over the face, neck and decolletage. The best way to apply an illuminator or highlighter is by using a fan brush or a brush with sparse tips. The reason is very simple: The sparser the bristles, the more subtle the result. A sparser bristle picks up less product so it looks most natural and sheer. You with me?
If you want a more dramatic effect then by all means, use a fat rounded bronzer-like brush. The denser the bristle, the more product your brush picks up and the more ends up on your face; which if you choose the pale highlighter, will result in a T-1000 like effect from Terminator 2. That guy is really cool, so if that’s the look that blows wind up your skirt, then who in the Devil am I to judge? Okay, enough about futuristic cyborgs and back to technique.
Concentrate on your cheekbones for an extra highlight effect. Remember, highlighters have reflective pigments which means that anywhere you apply them, will be like a giant arrow pointing to that area saying ‘look at this’. This applies especially to the paler shades in the range.
If you’re trying to match the colour of your decolletage to your face then dust only on one or the other in order to ensure you look even from face to chest. In other words, if your face is paler than your chest colour, then only bronzer your face. The two deeper shades in the range will help you achieve this due to their darker pigments but you already knew that though because you’ve been paying attention, haven’t you?
So there you have it. The Beauty Bitch’s pick when it comes to bronzers and highlighters. Now go out and buy them all please. They’re only $50 each and it’s your duty to be frivolous when it comes to new makeup products that you probably don’t even need, isn’t it?
Illustrations: Surbi Chetty