How To Choose The Best Highlighter For You

Illuminators, also called skin brighteners or highlighters, can impart a gorgeous, radiant glow to your complexion, enhancing your best features and making you look healthy and awake. But the wrong highlighter can also draw attention and emphasize your flaws. So, how to choose the right one? Here’s what you should look for in a good highlighter:


As a rule, you should avoid any highlighter that is too light or too dark for your skintone as they will just look unnatural. It’s the glow, not the highlighter itself, that should be seen. But what shade should you choose? A champagne highlighter looks flattering on most skintones, while silver and white hues are more appropriate for the evening. Dark damsels should choose peachy or golden shades for a more natural look. If instead you have any red tones in your skin, whether due to rosacea, pimples or any other cause, beware of pink shades as they will just accentuate them.


Do you have dry skin? Then opt for a liquid highlighter with a creamy formula that will not only brighten your skin but moisturize it as well. This type of highlighter however, can make oily skin look even shinier. Because of this, those with oily skin should use a powdery highlighter. Powders, in fact, aren’t moisturizing and some of them can also have oil-absorbing properties.


For a more natural look, choose a product that provides a subtle sheen to the skin. Avoid instead anything too glittery, shimmery or frosty, especially if you have wrinkles or large pores, as they will just draw attention to these imperfections. Like that weren’t enough, such finishes may also turn your face into a discoball. Always try a highlighter on the back of your hand before purchasing to make sure it will highlight your skin without drawing attention to any flaw you want to hide.

Do you need a separate highlighter anyway?

If you choose a foundation with a dewy finish that brightens skin then you’ll likely not need to use a separate highlighter. If you do, use it very sparingly, or you’ll risk looking shiny. And not in a good way. If instead, your foundation has a dull, matte finish, you can either use a skin brightener on areas you want to emphasize or mix the two products together to give a subtle, natural glow to your entire face.

Do you use a highlighter? What’s your favourite?

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    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Marina, High Beam is one of my favourites. And I really have to try Becca’s highlighter too. I’ve heard great things about it.

  1. Janessa says

    I just bought a Benefit boxed set with Sugarbomb blush, They’re Real! mascara, a tiny vial of perfume, POREfessional primer, and Highbeam. I didn’t use it yet and I don’t know if I’m going to keep it.
    What do you think, is it worth having? I was planning on giving it away to someone who will make good use of it.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Janessa, that’s a lovely set. And I’d say it depends. It contains some good products (High Beam is one of my favourite highlighters and Benefit Blushes are pretty good too), but it’s only worth keeping it if you’re gonna use it regularly. Otherwise, give it to a friend who will make good use of it indeed.

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