A Guide to Highlighter

Morning campers!

Sooo you know that radiant glow that people get when they’re in love or preggers? Well, turns out you can just buy it and avoid all that social interaction stuff. Score! All you need is highlighter.

The point of highlighters is to reflect light, which they do by containing lots of ground-up shiny stuff like mica. It can be used to disguise (covering up under-eye circles) and highlight (accentuating cheekbones), making it a pretty nifty product.


When I first bought a highlighter, I got a bit lost with where to actually put the damn stuff. Obviously the solution was to put it everywhere and shine bright like a diamond, but this approach was using up product at an alarming rate. In case you’re a noob, I’ve made a handy chart for you…


So basically you can use it to cover up under-eye circles as well as enhancing the parts where light would naturally fall. This includes the brow bone, cheekbones, cupid’s bow, top of the chin, down the centre of the nose, and collarbones.

Now let’s get down to formula. Using a liquid highlighter is going to add to the dewy vibe, whereas a powder will mattify your skin. I’m going to show you a few of the lovely liquid highlighters I’ve come across…


Estée Lauder Spotlight

Up first is Spotlight. I remember playing with this when I was little and my mom would bring home her travel-sized free gift from Estée Lauder. This time I came across it in a similar fashion, rifling through my friend Stam’s make-up stash and promising to return it after I’d swatched it for you guys. Well Stam, I wouldn’t hold your breath on getting it back. This stuff is the shiz. It’s the most watery of the four highlighters (I struggled to keep it on my hand for the photo), meaning that it’s the easiest to blend. The shimmer is a golden-pink colour that seems to suit all sorts of skin tones. It’s made to be worn either on its own, or under make-up for a soft glow. LOVE.



Benefit High Beam ($26 online, $44.95 with shipping. So according to Google that’s R442.24 for 13 ml.)

Next is High Beam; a pearlescent, rosy-pink highlighter. It’s designed to be worn over make-up, and is juuust lightweight enough to be applied without dislodging all your foundation. A little goes a long way with this product, so don’t overdo it. It’s much more silver than gold, so it tends to look ashy on darker skin. I would tell you you can get it at Woolworths, but Benefit decided to leave South Africa after getting us all hooked on their retro-packaged goodness. Damn you Benefit, damn you.

Screen shot 2013-07-22 at 9.52.05 PM



MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter in Radiant Rose (R255 for 3.6 ml)

In my quest to get over Benefit, I went to the trusty MAC counter. I actually went there looking for a foundation, but ended up leaving with a highlighter and primer too. Those ladies know an easy target when they see one. This is the highlighter that I used in my everyday make-up routine post, which you can see I use a bit like a concealer. It’s a subtle version of a highlighter, making it difficult to screw up when applying. It’s great for under-eye circles and can be used over concealer. Basically, a lovely all-rounder. But if you’re looking for full-on disco-ball dewiness, this is not the one for you.



Lush Feeling Younger (R165 for 20 grams)

When Lush came to Cape Town, I cried with joy. And by cried, I mean ran around the shop grabbing soaps and laughing manically (followed by putting them back coz that shiz ain’t free). I am OBSESSED with this brand, for reasons I will talk about in an upcoming post. However, I had my doubts as to whether they could deliver on make-up as well as they do on skincare. Well, shun the non-believer, this stuff is beautiful. Slightly thicker than the other formulations, you need to apply it with a light hand. It’s the most golden of the four, which leads me to believe it’s probably the most versatile across different skin-tones. When I wear it I feel like I’m on a romantic candlelit dinner. With myself. (Still nice tho.)



So I hope that was somewhat helpful. Do you guys have any recommendations? Anything you hate? Let me know!

Shine on you crazy diamonds,



One comment

  1. […] already spoken all about highlighters here on Smudged.  Michelle went through all of the liquid highlighters and broke the news that we can […]

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