Due to the contouring craze and the dewy look being in, highlighters and illuminators have become sought-after beauty products. But for someone who’s new to makeup, how are they used?
While they’re both used to add glow to the face, they’re applied a little differently. As the name suggests, a highlighter is used to heighten the focus on certain features of the face. It’s usually applied on the upper cheekbones and the brow to give the illusion of higher cheekbones, or in the inner corners of the eyes to make eyes seem larger. While it’s commonly added on top of foundation, it can be also used under makeup for that lit-from-within look.
And highlighter can be also used to greatly improve your basic makeup look. Just add a small amounts under the eyes, down the center of the nose and the cupid’s bow, then a dab on the cupid’s bow. No need for heavy makeup and contouring to enjoy its benefits!
Meanwhile, illuminators are used for an all-around glow. It’s commonly added to foundation or moisturizer, and for some looks, can be just used alone on the skin. While it can be applied in some of the same places as highlighter (the cheekbones are one), it is applied in larger areas of the face. And its effect comes across as a “dewy” glow, since it adds more shine than highlighter.
A word of caution, however: larger areas don’t always mean more illuminator, as it’s easy to go overboard with the shimmer. And it’s not advised for use on oily skin.
Better yet, you can also use both kinds of makeup on your face. Use the illuminator on the areas where you want to approximate the shine of light on your face, and the highlighters for the features you want to accentuate.