Some days I feel like blending something onto my cheekbones that looks positively metallic. That’s when I reach for my hard-hitting highlighters that really add some seriously glow to the face. But there are definitely other days where a blinding highlight isn’t as appropriate. Such as for just a simple day at work. And although sometimes I throw caution to the wind and do it anyway, I still love the highlighters in my collection that sway slightly more on the subtle side of things.
There are also plenty of highlighters out there that don’t get the attention and love that they deserve and I think it’s all about managing expectations. Not every highlighter is going to do what Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfectors do but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. These beauties are all beautiful in their own way – adding sheen and glow to the cheekbones without looking overpowering. They look beautiful in photographs and provide a lit from within glow.
I never hear anyone talk about this beauty, but I’ve been loving it for ages now. This baked powder works beautifully to provide a subtle, pearlescent glow to the skin. It’s been a long-time favourite for the summertime when there’s a fine line between glowy and sweaty because it only ever looks lit from within. Definitely one to check out if you’re pale like me, it’s no wonder this one gets a lot of use by me.
A new one that I couldn’t wait to try out when it arrived in my Sephora haul a couple of weeks back. At first, I was surprised when this wasn’t incredibly intense but as I’ve tried it out more, I’ve come to love it. It’s not your intense, metallic highlighter that I think a lot of people were expecting but it is truly beautiful. Definitely don’t write these off after swatching them once because they really are beautiful on the skin.
The Tarte blush formula is amongst my favourites of all time so when they launched a highlighter last year, I couldn’t resist. And for me, it’s lived up to expectations. As you can tell, it’s more on the golden side of things but still works on my pale skin – looking glowy, effortlessly natural and never over the top. The formula is so soft and buttery and just blends onto the cheekbones. I reach for this one a lot on minimal makeup days.
Laura Mercier Highlight-01, Too Faced Blinded By The Light, Tarte Exposed Highlight
Another recent addition that I think didn’t meet people’s expectations of an intense, reflective highlighter. Although I’m still not getting along well with the third shade in the palette, the first two work really well when I want something a little more lit from within. And as always, Smashbox’s formula impresses – it kicks up a little bit of powder in the pan but applies beautifully to the cheeks.
Honestly, most of the drugstore highlighters that I’ve tried tend to be more on the subtle, glowy side of the spectrum but this unassuming Physician’s Formula product is easily my favourite of the budget bunch. Not only is the pan beautiful, the product itself is a pale girl’s dream. It’s a stunning pearlescent shade that adds a lot of healthy glow to my skin, and it’s impossible to go overboard with it.
Smashbox Pearl, Physicians Formula Translucent Pearl
Whether it’s for a simple day at work or I just feel like going a little subtler with my makeup, I seem to have my pick of the bunch when it comes to highlighters on the sheenier side of the spectrum.
What are your favourite subtle highlighters?
*some products in this post have been provided for editorial consideration, honesty as always!
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