Am I the only one that feels like everyone and their brother has come out with a type of face highlighter this past year? As someone with fair skin I have had a hard time finding a highlighter that is light enough in its base shade to actually highlight that area and is lighter than my actual skin tone. I know I can’t be the only fair girl with this struggle right? Thankfully, I have quite a large highlighter collection and it does contain some that I just love and continue to reach for when I want that bright highlight. Here are my top 5 permanent products that I love and then a few limited edition ones that I reach for often too!
M-A-C Lightscapade MSF $32 (permanent)
I adore this cool toned highlighter! You can apply it with a light hand for a pretty subtle glow or really layer it for a more intense glow. There is no glitter or micro-shimmer in it so it applies really smooth and lays well on the skin. Even though this shade is really good for fair skin I think even up to a medium skin tone could wear this and really enjoy it. I bought it as part of a M-A-C collection so the print on the top is limited edition but the color itself is part of their permanent line.
2. Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in I156 $21 (permanent)
My beautiful makeup loving friend Robin, raved about this shade for months before I picked it up and I am SO glad that I did. Don’t let the marketing of it as an eyeshadow throw you off because it is BEAUTIFUL on the skin. It is a light iridescent pearly shade with a hint of a pink reflective shimmer and when the light hits it just right and it makes for a stunning highlight for fair skin. Just like Lightscapade, this shade has no glitter or micro-shimmer in it so it applies very smooth and lays beautifully on the skin. This in no way is chalky or powdery.
3. IT Cosmetics Hello Light Anti-Aging Crème Illuminizer $24 (permanent)
I am not partial to my highlighter being in a cream formula or a powder formula. As long as it lays well on the skin, looks beautiful, and wears well it is fair game for me. Enter one of the best cream highlighters I have ever found! It is no secret that I have a love affair with many IT Cosmetics products and this is no exception. This champagne/slightly pinky cream applies effortlessly on the tops of your cheekbones giving the most radiant and natural glow you have ever seen. When I am feeling a little frisky I layer this under a powder highlight for a really in your face pop of glow! I shied away from cream products for a long time because of my oily skin but when a product is formulated correctly it can work even on me. I typically apply this with the pointed brush that I purchased with it or a damp sponge. I have ever layered this over my setting powder and it doesn’t disturb my foundation which is a totally plus. The key with any cream product like this one is to pat (or stipple) on and not buff. You will disturb the makeup you have under it if you try to buff it on.
4. Colourpop Stole the Show $8 (permanent)
Colourpop describes this product as: Light cool-toned gold with luminous flashes of pink, silver and gold. I would say that description is pretty accurate although the “flashes of pink, silver and gold” are VERY subtle. Don’t think of this as a duo chrome type of shade because I don’t think it is. It is however, a beautiful cool toned gold with beautiful shimmer that is creamy and super easy to apply. Much like the IT Cosmetics illuminizer I typically apply this with a pointed synthetic brush or a damp sponge. I have applied it with my fingers too and it seems to be fine that way too. I do end up having to set this with a tiny bit of translucent powder because it doesn’t set quite like the IT one does.
5. Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Golden Lights $6 (permanent)
This is a VERY strong highlight so be careful if you do decide to pick it up. It is a white gold that is striking when used with a fan brush. I have also used it in the inner corner of my eyes for my inner corner highlight and it was gorgeous used that way as well. The formula of these baked highlighters from Makeup Revolution remind me of the MAC Mineralized Skin Finishes. This color happens to be my favorite from the range and it is the lightest one so it is great on fair skin.
A few of my favorites were limited edition or now discontinued but I figure I would share them anyway just in case you have one of them and want some inspiration to pull it out of your collection to use.
1. Tom Ford Skin Illuminating Powder Duo in Moodlight $80 (Limited Edition)
It took me awhile to fall in love with this one. The trick to this one is the brush that you use to apply it. The top white gold shade is fairly sheer so you have to use a stiffer brush in order to pick up enough product or you can use a flat sponge which also works. The first couple of times I tried using it I used the Goss #2 brush but that brush is just too soft to pick up enough product. I prefer the Sigma F35 which is not near as soft as the Goss brush. The bottom pinky champagne shade is really beautiful as a blush topper for a matte blush or under a matte blush. On deeper skin tones that shade would be a wonderful cheek highlight but it is just too dark for me to use as a straight highlighter.
2. Chanel Camelia De Plumes Highlighting Powder $72 (Limited Edition)
This is my all-time favorite highlighter. It is so unique and absolutely stunning on fair skin. The coloring is a whitish silver with incredibly finely milled gold shimmer shot through it. I wish I would have gotten a backup of this when it was still available because I would love to use this more often, but my crazy paranoid self is scared of ever being without it so it only gets used on special occasions. I cannot even put into words how beautiful this one is but I hope the swatch translates well.
The highlight struggle is real for fair skin but I hope that I have given you some choices that you may be able to try if you have a hard time finding one that works on you as well.