BEST FOR LUMINOUS MAKEUP Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter
This silky primer-come-highlighter is wonderfully versatile. Buff a fine layer over moisturized skin before applying your foundation to give skin a soft glow, or pat over areas where you would like to see more luminosity (typically the tops of your cheekbones and the Cupid’s bow) after your foundation is on. You can even wear it on its own as a beautiful base: its subtle, warm glow is ideal for all skin types and won’t accentuate lines or uneven texture.
BEST FOR STRATEGIC HIGHLIGHTING Westman Atelier Lit Up Highlight Stick
Despite the Instagram trend for all-over dewy skin (which can be unforgiving as it needs a smooth and flawless surface to begin with), the more wearable alternative involves limiting the wet-look finish to specific areas. This highlight stick is by far the easiest way to create that effect, as it blends a soft, dewy sheen with Ayurvedic oils that plump up the skin with moisture. Apply it just to the tops of your cheekbones and Cupid’s bow, leaving the rest of your skin velvety and, to finish, pop a small amount on the center of your eyelids for a hint of gloss. You can apply it straight from the stick, but we prefer to pat it on with fingertips to avoid disturbing any foundation underneath.
BEST FOR A DEWY HIGHLIGHT La Mer The Renewal Oil
Makeup artist Valeria Ferreira shared this trick with us and it has quickly become our go-to low-maintenance highlight method. After applying your foundation or CC cream, put one drop of this super-luxe oil into the palm of your hand, rub them together and then lightly press the sheen onto the tops of your cheekbones. The effect is a subtle glow that makes skin look beautifully healthy and naturally radiant.
BEST FOR AN ALL-OVER GLOW Tan-Luxe The Face Illuminating Self-Tan Drops
Reclaim the luminosity and vibrancy your skin had over the summer with this super-natural bronzing serum. It develops quickly (in under 60 minutes) and you have total control over its intensity. Apply it neat or mix a few drops with your regular moisturizer for something more understated. What’s more, thanks to a blend of raspberry seed oil, aloe vera and vitamin E, it leaves skin feeling comfortable, hydrated and nourished – unlike some facial tanners, which can leave skin feeling dry.
BEST FOR A SUBTLE GLOW Dr. Barbara Sturm Glow Drops
We love this serum for its double-duty properties. Its anti-aging credentials come from polygonum bistorta root, which evens out skin tone, and wild-rose extract, which minimizes the appearance of pores that would otherwise be a barrier to your glow. Its pale pink hue provides the instant brightening benefit we’re looking for and works from the palest to the darkest of skin tones. Try applying it immediately before makeup.
BEST FOR A NATURAL GLOW ByNacht Über Glow Discovery Kit
Combining gentle exfoliation with proper hydration is the most effective shortcut to glowing skin without makeup – and this three-step kit works overnight to refine skin texture, eliminate dead skin, brighten and nourish. Containing Iconic Reborn Radiant Serum, which uses Persian silk-tree extract to minimize blemishes, Über Glow Gel Peeling AHA, to exfoliate, and Perfect Nacht Sleeping Balm to seal in hydration with essential oils, use this kit overnight and you can wake up to naturally fresh, smooth and glowing skin.
BEST FOR ON-THE-GO TOUCH-UPS Tom Ford Beauty Shade and Illuminate
Long before we had even heard of ‘glass skin’, let alone yearned for it, Tom Ford created this clear, gleaming skin gloss. Virtually color- and definitely shimmer-free, it makes the face look beautifully polished, as it gives cheekbones that sheer, dewy-skin shine. Plus, it doubles as a great eye gloss, either worn alone or mixed with eye shadow.
BEST FOR MULTI-TASKING Marc Jacobs Beauty Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter
Add a drop of this to your primer, tinted moisturizer or base to give dull skin some instant radiance, or use it alone and blended along cheekbones (a little really does go a long way) for a pretty golden gleam. If you have problems adding a creamy highlight over a powder bronzer, the secret to stopping both going patchy is to reorder your routine. “Usually the highlight goes on last,” says makeup artist Kay Montano. “But if you swap it around and apply the cream highlight first, then finish with a powder bronzer or blush, both will stay in place.”
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