18 October 2012

Colour Me In: White -- A guide to basic highlighting

'Colour Me In' is a series of posts in collaboration with Alice of ArsyParsy, Tezza of Myteeefine and Amanda of Thai-Tales!


Hoooray! It's Thursday again! We're one day away from the weekends, hang on tight everybody!
This week's focus colour is 'white' and with no doubt, the first make-up product I turned to were highlighters -- my ultimate favourite cosmetic product of all time!

Highlighters are light reflecting, no coverage cosmetic products which helps to accentuate the planes of our face and can also help to 'fake' that healthy, radiant glow! Strictly not to be confused with illuminators

Highlighters can be, and are usually more 'intense' with its light reflecting properties and should only be applied over the high planes of the face. 
Illuminators, on the other hand, are more subtle and luminious in finish and can be used to mix with coverage products such as foundations or tinted moisturisers for an all over dewy glow. Illuminators can definitely double up as a 'subtle highlighter', but never vice versa.

So how do we highlight?

1. Know your skin's undertone and pick a tone!
Just like foundations, highlighters are also available in a variety of undertones (such as pearly whites, golds and pinks) to cater to our individual preferences and complexions.
Whites = generally suited to both complexions
Golds = suited to warmer skin tones
Pinks = suited to cooler skin tones

2. Know your occasion and pick a finish!
If you're looking forward to a big event, you should definitely take into consideration whether flash photography will be involved or not.
Pearl finishes = ideal for day events with the intense and shimmery glow it offers. For evening events which usually does involve flash photography, pearl finishes do have the potential to fake an oily glow, rather than a radiant glow (and you don't want that!). 
Matte/satin finishes = more subtle and are more about creating dimensions of the facial planes. Such subtle finishes are generally suited for both day and evening events. Matte/satin finishes are quite hard to find, but can be substituted by a foundation 1-2 shades lighter than the skintone.

3. The basic highlighting guide with each finish.

Highlighters with pearly finishes are pretty intense, so I would suggest to only highlight on the highest planes of the face such as the cheekbones, brow bones, nose bridge (lightly) and cupid's bow.

Skip the chin, skip the 'triangle' highlighting method and skip the forehead with pearly finishes or you'll look overly pearly and shimmery!

As for matte/satin finishes which are much more subtle.. just go crazy with it! Highlight the centre of the forehead, brow bones, nose bridge, cupid's bow, chin and cheekbones.

For the cheekbones, you can go ahead with the triangle highlighting method (what Kim Kardashian does) for a more chiselled and sculpted look. This method will also brighten up your complexion and eye area, but make sure you conceal your dark circles well or it'll put emphasis on your dark circles instead!

4. A few affordable highlighting/illuminating products you may want to know about!

1. L'Oreal Paris Lumi Magique Concealer (works better as highlighter than concealer, satin finish) $26.95
2. Face Of Australia Mineral Therapy Illuminating Pearls (highlighter, slight pearly sheen) $14.95
3. Face Of Australia Mineral Therapy Liquid Illuminators (illuminator) $14.95
4. L'Oreal Paris Lumi Light Concentrated Primer (primer, but better as highlighter, light pearly sheen) $29.95

The only product from the list that I haven't tried yet is the Face Of Australia Liquid Illuminator, but I've heard so much good stuff about it so I thought I'd share that with you! :)

Your turn to share!

What is your favourite, go-to highlighting product?
Is it the well-loved Benefit High Beam? The YSL Touche Eclat Pen Highlighter?  

Don't forget to hop over to my dearest bblogger friends to check out their post! :)


  1. I have the FOA illuminators, they're definitely worth it if you are a MUA or something cause there's sooooo much product! Great to mix with foundations and everything! I have the lumi magique pen and a lot of people say it's similar to the YSL. To me it kinda is (i've tried the YSL one and I think the Loreal one is a great dupe for it) :)

    1. Cool! I've been lusting over those FOA illuminators for the longest time! And I do agree with you! They're ike 50mls worth of product right? And you only need a tiny pea size!!! Thanks for the heads up on the YSL dupe! I've always been keen on trying out the YSL Pen one day, but I guess I'll cross that off the list!! :P

  2. Highlighting isn't a major part of my routine but it sure can brighten up a tired face!
    Thanks for the diagrams!

    1. Aw! Sheri! You should try it! It really does make a difference! I will never skip highlighting :P!! Neverrrrrrrrrr!

  3. New follower here. :)

    Thanks for this! I've never really bothered highlighting too much because I'm scared of overdoing it. XD I will definitely give it a try again with the help of your guide! :D

    1. Awww hi!! Welcome to my blog! Let us know how you do okay! :D

  4. I don't use a highlighter or an illuminator because I'm too busy trying to hide my dark circles >< do you have a good under eye concealer or a good eye cream recommendation? X

    1. Hi sweetie! I've left a comment on your blog answering that question! x

  5. I don't use a highlighter or an illuminator because I'm too busy trying to hide my dark circles >< do you have a good under eye concealer or a good eye cream recommendation? X

  6. I don't use a highlighter or an illuminator because I'm too busy trying to hide my dark circles >< do you have a good under eye concealer or a good eye cream recommendation? X

  7. I have that L'oreal concealer but I haven't used it yet.. I didn't know it was a dupe for the YSL so I'm definitely going to test them out after I comment :D

    I'm also putting the illuminating liquid on my list because it looks like a cheaper alternative to the Nars/MAC/Benefit highlighters ;)

    1. Yes! Apparently one of the shades by FOA is comparable to NARS Orgasm! Definitely check it out! ^_^

  8. Ahhh Tram, you're so incredible!! This is one of the best highlighter posts I've ever seen. :)

    I love the FOA Illuminators and Natio used to do a powdered compact that also had a bronzer in it. It's amazing and so easy to use. Liquid is great but it does take some practise.

  9. The FOA illuminators look really interesting! I might give them a go sometime :) Thanks for the tips on highlighting too :)

  10. I love this post! ♥ I absolutely love this part of the makeup routine! Highlighters and illuminators are such gems! :) I use MAC's Luna for highlighter!

    The Misty Mom


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