POPSUGAR Beauty

Your Ultimate Summer Shopping Guide to Highlighters and Illuminators

Jul 14 2014 - 1:30pm

The most popular question we're getting from our friends right now: what are the best illuminators on the market? Everyone wants to know how to get dewy skin or add an element of shine to their beach tan.

Typically, highlighter is considered the antithesis of bronzer. You use the darker hue to carve out cheekbones and slim the jaw, while illuminator goes on all the facial features you want to spotlight [1]: cheekbones, cupid's bow, inner eyes, brows.

Now, in the dog days of Summer, highlighter is taking precedence over full contouring in our makeup routines. If you use only one thing before heading out into the heat, make it a luminizer. Just swipe on these pearlized products for an instant glistening complexion that enhances your well-earned Summer glow. And it's totally acceptable to pretend you visited an exotic island when others ask about your vacation.

Source: Getty/Annika Hatje [2]

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat

The famed click of the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat [3] ($41) pen can be heard at makeup stations across the globe. This iconic illuminator comes in several shades to fit many different skin tones, which makes it a great concealer, too.

Chantecaille Luquid Lumière Antiaging Illuminator

Chantecaille Liquid Lumière Antiaging Illuminator [4] ($39) is the product to get if you want a blinding glow in just one drop. Apply it under a thin layer of foundation for a subtle glow, or dab it on top for a high-power shine.

Nars Hot Sand Illuminator

Any highlighter fiend knows that the Nars Hot Sand Illuminator [5] ($30) is a cult favorite. This liquid formula is one that you can use from head to toe. We especially like to spread it down our legs for that Victoria's Secret effect.

Illamasqua Gleam

Apply one stripe of the Illamasqua Gleam [6] ($26) illuminator above your blush to bring attention to your cheekbones. Then, use a sculpted blush brush to blend.

RMS Beauty Living Luminizer

Sheer as a lace negligee, the RMS Beauty Living Luminizer [7] ($38) is one you will wear down to the very bottom (and that's when a Q-tip comes in handy). This product gives skin a subtle silvery shimmer that will leave a dewy effect.

Revlon PhotoReady Skinlights Face Illuminator

This Summer you can forget foundation altogether with the Revlon PhotoReady Skinlights Face Illuminator [8] ($13), or just add a few drops to your full-coverage base. Two words: instant glow.

Edward Bess Precious Pearl Perfector Primer & Illuminator

For fair-skinned ladies, this Edward Bess Precious Pearl Perfector Primer & Illuminator [9] ($69) is a top choice. The gel is a light moisturizer that won't leave you greasy, and the silvery confetti inside gives just the right dose of luminosity.

Ilia Illuminator

Ilia Illuminator in Sway [10] ($34) can stow away easily in your everyday makeup kit for pre-happy hour touchups. The deep color is perfect for medium skin tones. Rub the stick down your nose and on the cupid's bow to brighten the center of the face.

Soleil Tan de Chanel

Forget the bronzer — this Soleil Tan de Chanel [11] ($48) will give your skin a sheen without darkening your complexion. One of our editors likes to use it on her eyelids and cheekbones for an instant Summer glow.

Tom Ford Skin Illuminator

Tom Ford Skin Illuminator [12] ($65) is best for women with warm undertones [13]. Use it to highlight eyebrows by adding a dab over and under your arches.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

The shades in the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette [14] ($58) go on superfine for a powder formula. The pearlized finish is subtle enough to wear day and night.

St. Tropez Rose Skin Illuminator

The St. Tropez Rose Skin Illuminator [15] ($23) comes out of the tube white but blends into a pink-flecked shimmer. Everyone will be asking: did you go to the beach?


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