I have to say this, when it comes to highlighters…I’m late to the party. As in, the guests have left, but the DJ is still playing some ABBA tunes for me to sadly throw some shapes to.
But I have a reason(ok…excuse), I cannot resonate with the Insta Sexy Stripe. You know the one that I’m talking about?That stripe across the cheek that was so popular in the last two years, the cheekbones that scream “Beam me up Scotty”? If this is you…I respect and admire you immensely. I’m too chicken to pull it off. ( Maybe the blog should’ve been titled, cream highlighters for the chickens amongst us.) I’ve seen plenty of Insta inspired cheekbones walking around and more power to them for owning the shine.
I fail to see how it transcends to your 30’s and or the workplace, (if you’re a career woman)and in general day to day life. I know that in my line of work especially , that extra stripe of sheen would be a tad too much, may look slightly unprofessional and would distract from the job at hand.
So how does one adapt a trend started by the Millennials and made famous on social media to the workplace or even on a 30 something face?
This is how I’ve done it, this is what works for my dry, dehydrated, perennially tired, career mum face…
I’ve realised that just like not all matte red lipsticks are created equal, neither are highlighters. When I’m aiming for that youthful, glowing, fresh-faced look that can look cool in a board meeting as well as a daytime lunch with the girlfriends…I find that I usually reach for one of these. I have to say this that highlighter will highlight whatever skin is underneath, so if you have texture or wrinkles, try dotting just on the high points of your cheekbones using a matte lighter toned concealer or go for an illuminating cream (post coming up soon…)
Application for daytime use ( my way)
(ps- You only really need one, as usual I have far too many, but choice is not a bad thing…sometimes 🙂 )
1. Asos Makeup chubby highlighter stick ( 2 colour options Tenacious ( Rose gold) Flawed (Bronze) £9.00 Asos)
I have the chubby stick in bronze and it’s good, albeit with a few chunky glitter particles. So I see it as more a Summer Day Ladies who lunch option. It does blend and can be built up. Be warned, that this is not subtle and is a highlighter that will make its and your presence felt. Which is not a bad thing. But forewarned is forearmed (or light handed in my case.)
2. Sleek Makeup highlighter palette ( they have two colour ways Summer Solstice, and Cleopatra’s Kiss, I have Cleoptra’s kiss. Both retail for £9.99 in Superdrug )
Sleek, with their stunning packaging have really been changing the drugstore makeup game. I do think that this is rather trend driven, which is why the fact that they are so inexpensive, makes them so covetable. Plus their packaging is stunning. Insta stunning.
This highlighter quad comes with four pans, two cream and two powder. The cream highlighters have surprisingly small glitter particles so they work and blend seamlessly to create a stunning glow, which can be built up to create some serious sexy alien sheen. ( The Cleopatra palette has two cream shades one which has a golden tone and one which has a creamy silvery undertone.) This can be everyday and special occasion.
3. Glossier Haloscope trio (£18 on Glossier, three colour ways – Topaz, Quartz and Moonstone)
Glossier describes this as a fusion between skincare and makeup. The highlighter contains an outer ring of colour, and inner core of moisturiser. And wow this is my my fave of all the ones listed thus far. ( Topaz has a bronze sheen, Quartz is universally flattering with a champagne Sheen, and Moonstone like its name has got a silver sheen)
These give the most natural looking glow to your cheekbones, and the most grown up one there is. You can literally swipe this in a moving cab, in the dark and not go wrong. A bit of dabbing and off you trot. Which is perfect for multitasking women on the go. I cannot pick a favourite, I’d much rather pick a favourite child.
This could be described as the creamy version of the famous Iconic London liquid highlighter, it feels like that to me at least. One swipe and you can see your cheekbones from space. Because its creamy, it can be blended a bit, but this is more suited to a day lunch with your mates, or a glitzy day do. If you work in a corporate setting, you don’t want your space age cheekbones to be the topic of conversation in the ladies washroom. It comes in three colour ways, Glow- transparent, Lustre pink iridescent, Gleam gold opal)
5. Nars the multiple ( Luxor, you can see by the wear on the lid how old mine is, plus mine is a travel version…the full size retails at £29 in lookfantastic )
This was one of the first highlighters that I remember buying, more as it was a part of a trio with Malibu and Orgasm cream blushes rather than for its own merit. So its only recently that i discovered this little gem lurking in my drawer. My loss. Its got definite sheen ( more of a presence than the glossier haloscope) but the glitter particles aren’t chunky. So if its workplace glamour, I might go sparingly or choose the glossier one above. This is great for a girly lunch and I think it would look stunning on every skin tone.
6. Jillian Dempsey Lid Tint ( Dewy £24.50 at Beauty Mart )
This has gotten so much love on insta, amongst influencers and MUA’s alike. I had such high hopes for it…But upon receiving it I couldn’t be more disappointed. I don’t see the hype. This goes on like an oil slick (not far off Vaseline to be honest). At the price it is, its not worth it. I don’t see myself buying it again to be honest. Buy some vaseline instead and save yourself some money.
7. Becca Shimmering skin perfector ( Rose Gold £15 down from the usual £32 on Space NK , look out for flash sales, also available in liquid versions)
Wowzers, I really didn’t think I’d fall in love with the colour as much as I did. This is a soft gold with a deep rose tint, so this solves the issue of blusher and highlighter and does double duty.
The sheen is subtle, the kind that catches the light and creates a glow, and keeps your female colleagues guessing. ( Though I’m all for girl power and I always divulge what I’ve got on…)
A word of caution though, this may not show up on deep ebony or mahogany skin tones. Becca has a range of other pressed highlighters though so don’t give up on the brand entirely if you have a deeper skin tone than cafe au lait.
The Glossier Haloscopes. Hands down.
(image courtesy hollywoodlife.com)
I think the Topaz would be a great summer colour or to bring warmth to winter pallid skin. I’ve seen it swatched on every skin tone and I love how it manages to suit every skin tone.
Quartz is an amazing champagne silvery colour that manages to stay on the right side of sheen vs shimmer. If there is just one Glossier haloscope your budget can stretch to, I’d say buy this. One cannot go wrong, its a simple swipe, dab and press motion on the cheekbones. You can do it in the dark, blindfolded, one handed and still not have a Bridget Jones’s moment.
Moonstone, this is a cool toned silvery highlight that suits most people but the cool toned amongst us will definitely benefit. It’s still day wear appropriate and will just give that moonbeam glint when it catches the right light.
Other cream highlighters worthy of mention:
MAC cosmetics Hush– which is a more peachy version of the Becca Highlighter mentioned above, Nars the Multiple in Copacabana, a more golden version of the Nars highlighter in Luxor and probably more well known. A drugstore cream highlighter which is Benefit’s Watts Up, a champagne glow highlighter. Hope this helps you make a glow worthy decision…
Love Elle xx
Note of disclaimer: All opinions are my own, I have no affiliations with any company, there are no affiliate links on this post and all products are purchased with my own money . Please check ingredients list of all products that you buy, in case you have allergies to any of the products that I mentioned. If you are particularly sensitive or even if you’re not, allergies can happen suddenly, even with products that you have used for years. If unsure, please do a patch test on your elbow, and wait 48 hours before using any of the products I’ve suggested. Please do not copy, publish any photos on this blog or contents in its entirety or otherwise without my express permission.