Mastering the use of highlighter is like mastering contouring: it’s one of those simple make-up techniques that can make a world of difference when it comes to adding definition to, illuminating, or hiding the flaws on your face. I’m a huge fan of a good, golden highlighting powder or liquid to either bring out my cheek bones or add a dewy finish to my make-up. Below are a few presently in my make-up kit (and one from the past) that will have you going for the glow.
Topshop Highlighter in Sunbeam
I picked this up when I was overseas at the end of last year, partly because I got a 20% “tourist’s discount” and Topshop in LA hadn’t opened yet. It yields a strong gold tone that works great for a night out but I avoid using it on-camera: It’s a little too bold and risks looking greasy.
LORAC Perfectly Lit OIl-Free Luminizing Powder in Radiant
This one’s my go-to for adding a little glow when I’m getting camera-ready. At over $30 for a compact, it’s on the pricier side but a little goes a long way. Apply with a fine angled blush brush on the top part of the cheekbones for a radiant glow that isn’t greasy.
Revlon SkinLights Instant Skin Brightener in 03 Warm Light (DISCONTINUED)
Alas, a personal favorite that is no longer. I’ve yet to find a liquid luminizer that can be mixed in with my foundation for a dewy finish. If anyone has any suggestions, I’m open!
L’Oreal Bare Naturale All-Over Mineral Glow in #432 Nude Glow
Pros: It definitely illuminates and gives a strong glow on jawbones and cheekbones. Cons: the formula is on the sparkly side which makes it more suited for use on the arms, legs and decolletage instead of the face, and the brush it comes with picks up way more color than necessary. Passable if you’re looking for a drugstore highlighter.
Za Cosmetics Cheeks Groovy in June Bride
When I was in Asia, I discovered Za Cosmetics, a drugstore line akin to Cover Girl. Naturally, I loaded up on products, including this highlighter. In the compact, it looks white-ish and opaque but yields a very very subtle highlight. Good for use in the center of the brow bone for a subtle sheen and sparkle.
I have a slight culinary obsession with truffle fries, something I share with my friend Lauren. It’s gotten to the point where we actually text pictures of truffle fries from various restaurants to each other.
To me, they’re the perfect marriage of bourgeois and everyman. Truffle (or, rather, truffle oil) seems to be the perfect excuse for restaurants to upcharge a side that can be found at both the most upscale of steakhouses AND McDonald’s. So, to satisfy my craving without draining my wallet, I conjured up the perfect cheater’s truffle fries:
1 large order of fast food fries (Jack in the Box’s work great)
Barely 3/4 tsp of truffle oil (a little goes a long way)
Grated store-bought parmesan cheese to taste
Mix together, plate, enjoy with ketchup and smug satisfaction at your homemade gourmet side.
When I was in Asia a few months ago, I was laser-focused on nabbing Shiseido Tsubaki haircare products. They contain tsubaki or Japanese camellia oil that’s rich in oleic and amino acids. The imports have gained something of a cult following stateside but even modestly-sized bottles get marked up something fierce.
So imagine my delight when I found shelves of Tsubaki products ranging from shampoo to hair masks at every corner drugstore in Asia - and at normal prices to boot. It was like the beauty gods were smiling down on me and demanding, “GRAB AS MANY BOTTLES AS YOU CAN AND BRING THAT STUFF HOME!” Beauty gods speak in all caps when they issue mandates.
So like a crazy tourist, I stuffed one large bottle each of the Damage Care Shampoo, Damage Care Conditioner; one smaller bottle each of the Shine Shampoo and Conditioner; and one tub of the Damage Care Hair Mask into my suitcase and hauled it across the ocean back home.
Right now, I’m working my way through the Damage Care line. I like the shampoo just fine but I am LOVING the conditioner. One small pump’s worth worked through my hair in the shower and my hair is tangle-free the moment I step out. Usually, I run a leave-in conditioner or, lately, some coconut hair oil through it to soften and detangle, but I’ve found that when I use Damage Care, I’m ready to comb through right away. The hair mask, which I’m using weekly, is equally effective on my fine ombre’d ends. And by “fine” I mean “on the thin side” not, like, “fiiiine,” just so we’re clear. The one downside to Tsubaki products is that they contain sulfates (boo) which will definitely make me think twice about going for seconds. For now, though, I’m loving my firsts.