16 October 2017

Beginner's Guide: Choosing a Drugstore Highlight

I'll admit it, I've been a blogger for over five years now and I've only recently jumped onto the highlighter bandwagon. I've had one from Mac for a little while now, which I adore, but I figured it was time to really try some good alternatives out and get to know this trend like the back of my hand. And share my findings with all of you...

As with all beauty trends, it started at the top and has gradually filtered down into the high street stores. And when I went to find a couple to try I felt a little bit overwhelmed by choice, so I did what any normal beauty blogger would do and picked up a whole bunch of them. I figured I wasn't the only one in that situation, so for those who are in a similar one - instead of buying half of Boots, check out this guide and hopefully this will save you some money and help you achieve the perfectly matched highlighter to sit on top of your cheekbones.

So where do you start? How do you actually choose a drugstore highlighter that's going to work for you? Here are my recommended steps. And grab a coffee or some tea as it's going to be a long one...

First up, what formula do you want? There's a few different types, including liquid highlights, cream/stick highlights and powder highlights. Each give a slightly different finish, sit differently on the skin and react different to different skin types. So let's run through each one.

Liquid - liquid highlights can be used in a couple of different ways. Firstly as you would any other highlight along the tops of the cheek bones and blended in with a dense stippling brush or a clean finger. These can look very natural and give a beautiful glow to the cheekbones. You do however need to set these afterwards to make sure they stay in place. They can be great as they're super versatile - you can go really low impact and build them up as needed to your preferred pow factor. The Barry M Liquid Chrome Highlighter Drops are great as you can build these up really easily, are super glowy and give a natural finish. They also come in a few different tones to suit all skin tones (coming later in the post). You can also mix these in with your foundation to make it extra glowy and give a beautiful finish. I personally love the Seventeen Skin Wow 3 Way Highlighter for this as it's not full of glitter so mixes nicely with your foundation and is really natural. It's also got some primer to it as well so helps your liquid base stay in place.

Cream/Stick - not my personal favourite formula, but can be good for beginners as it's easy to swipe across your target areas and blend. They're very easy to use and can be high impact - they also tend to have more options without glitter than powder. Just be a bit careful as they do tend to move product around if they're not creamy enough. For example, I find the Rimmel Insta Contour Stick a little too hard, the Revlon Photo Ready Highlighter Stick is lovely and creamy and blendable. You can get cream highlights in a palette as opposed to a stick - which I personally prefer. Again, generally these are creamy and blendable and look very natural on the skin when blended in. Best blended with clean fingers, or a damp sponnge. Sleek do a beautiful Precious Metals palette that is insane.

Powder - probably the one you'll see the most around the highstreet, and these can be very hit and miss. A lot of them contain glitter, which can be okay, but it can make them look a little bit too much like a disco ball. Some are soft buttery and blendable, others can be a little chalky. The beauty of powder highlights is that they can look stunning, are very buildable and versatile. I like to apply these with a small headed fluffy brush. Some I love include Tanya Burr Illuminating Powder, looks stunning and is multi tonal so very flattering, soft and blendable. The MUA Undress your Skin Highlighters are also great, super pigmented and long lasting. I'd avoid more glittery alternatives, like the L'Oreal True Match Highlighters are super glittery which makes them a bit harder to blend and has mass glitter fall out - just something to keep in mind.

The purpose of a highlighter is to enhance the natural high points on your face. Therefore you need to make sure that you choose a highlighter that matches your skin tone. Generally you'll fit into one of three categories, cool, neutral or warm. You should know this from your foundation tone - if not I'd recommend getting matched by an artist on a make up counter who'll be able to help you out. If you're still not 100% sure I'd get a palette with a variety and play until you find which ones look most natural The Barry M Illuminating Highlight Palette is a good one for this.

Cool - if you have cool toned skinned, generally you'll want to go for something a little more pink or ice toned. You also get blue highlighters, but I'm not sure who those would actually suit... 

Neutral - this is more on my side of things, and is for those who are neither cool or warm toned. Champagne toned highlighters tend to work really well here, or very pale pink tones or gold tones that aren't too cool or warm toned. 

Warm - if you're warm, your generally a little more yellow toned. Therefore gold toned highlights, or bronze tones will suit your perfectly. 

And that's it! Just a couple things to really consider when you're choosing your highlight. Then once 
you've chosen your highlight product, you can move onto application! And that post will be coming soon...

Much love, Lisa May x

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