Yes, This Is the Single Best Makeup Product for a Healthy-Looking Glow

One of the questions I get asked most as a beauty editor is what the secret is to glowing skin. In fact, in recent years, I'd say that the secret to glowing skin has become beauty's new "elixir of youth." While for decades, we have felt inclined to look for products that promise to reverse the signs of ageing and smooth out wrinkles, nowadays we're much more interested in embracing our wrinkles and searching for ways to boost natural radiance instead. After all, the "anti-ageing" myth has deceived us for too long. Now, we want realistic promises out of our beauty products. And glow is one thing we know our products can definitely serve.

It's no secret that glow starts with skincare. Whether it be glow-boosting moisturisers, hydrating cleansers or dark circle–busting eye creams, if it's radiance you're after, you've got to commit to a hydrating skincare routine first. Having said that, it would be wrong to say that a great highlighter isn't the single most effective way to fake a glow and lit-from-within radiance.

Best Highlighters: Claire Most

Photo:

@CLAIRE_MOST

A great highlighter, suited to your skin's wants and needs, has the ability to supercharge your face at any given moment. Whether you want just a dot of light-reflecting pigment on the tip of your nose or a full-blown doughnut glaze on your cheekbones, a highlighter is the best way to add super-quick radiance to pin-pointed areas of the face and create the illusion of full-face radiance.

Having said that, as someone who likes to keep their makeup look low-key (for the most part, anyway), I know all too well how daunting the idea of using highlighter can be. So to help you make the right highlighter decision, I've rounded up the very best fool-proof formulas out there to meet your every highlighting need.

Best Powder Highlighters

For a Natural Finish

I'll be honest. Most powder highlighters can be tricky to work with if you want a seamless, natural-looking result. However, this palette from By Terry houses four buttery powders that can be used in a number of different ways. The pink shades can be used as glow-boosting blushers, the bronze shade can be dusted across the nose and cheekbones for a sun-kissed finish, and the lightest shade can be dusted over high points for an elevated glow. They add radiance without leaving skin looking shimmery. Whenever I use these powders, at least one person asks me why my skin looks so good.

For a High-Impact Finish

If it's next-level glow you're after, look no further than this cult product from Fenty. It melts into the skin, is easy to work with, and doesn't look like it's full of chunky shimmer. Having said that, the iridescent sheen is out of this world.

For Easy Application

On first glance, I thought this highlighter was going to be really difficult to blend. In the compact, the formula looks super-shimmery and almost unnatural. However, as soon as it's dusted onto the high points of the cheeks, it blends out into a wonderfully blurring strip of reflective glow. I'd go as far as to say it's virtually fool-proof.

For Multi-Use Benefits

I'll warn you now: This quad isn't for the faint-hearted. If you want your highlighter to look understated and subtle, this stuff isn't for you. However, if you like a high-pigment, shimmering glow, it's ideal. The powders are so pigmented, in fact, that I often use them on my lids as eye shadow and dust them over my collarbone and shoulders a glow boost come summer.

For Pore-Blurring Results

If I'm being totally honest, I'd say this is the best highlighter ever created. It's not that the rest on this list don't live up to its greatness; it's more that I don't know a single person who wouldn't fall in love with this product after the first application. As you can see, there's no chunky glitter, and the powder slips onto the skin like a slinky, silky nightdress, softening and blurring everything in its path. 

For a Bronzed Finish

Like beachy skin in one hell of a chic compact, these powders are exceptional. When pigments are this dark, the key is to be precise in your application. Use a small brush and dab onto the high cheekbones, on the tip of the nose and along the Cupid's bow to create the illusion that you've just had a two-week holiday in the sunshine.

Best Cream Highlighters

For a Natural Finish

Glow doesn't have to equal shimmering iridescence—and that's why this product is so genius. With a gel-like, pearly effect, this stick can very quickly be swiped on to the high points of the face to give skin a plump, dewy, juicy finish. It creates an illusion that skin is flooded with hydration and moisture, even when it's not.

For a High-Impact Finish

If you swipe Glossier's Haloscope straight onto the skin, you can expect a seriously impactful result. The formulas are highly pigmented and next-level glowy. And while this look isn't usually my bag, I like to keep a stick in my collection so that I know it's there for a night out if I want it. On days when I want a subtler finish, I simply rub my fingers into the stick and tap onto my cheeks.

For Easy Application

This stuff is basically the aforementioned Ambient Lighting Powder in cream form but again sans serious shimmer. You can just drag this handy stick over the high points of the face and blend with your fingers. Are the results as perfecting as Hourglass's powder highlighter? Potentially not, but it definitely gets an A+ for ease.

For Multi-Use Benefits

Another beautifully easy highlighter to opt for is this one from Chanel. Apart from looking impossibly chic, this little guy is also a really great makeup product. Despite the fact it has clearly been formulated as a highlighting stick first and foremost, Chanel designed it to be used on the face, lips and eyes, leaving a light-reflecting glimmer wherever it goes.

For a Bronzed Finish

I'm not exaggerating when I say that every time I wear this highlight (which, by the way, is very often—it's probably my personal favourite), somebody asks me if I've been on holiday. It's pigmented, and a little goes a very long way, so I apply one dab to the highest point of my cheekbone and blend it up into my hairline. It's ideal for dark skin tones, too. It's sun-drenched, shimmering goodness.

For Skin Benefits

This iconic little pot has been heralded as one of the most widely adored highlighters out there. Seriously, people love this product. The highlighting effects are subtle enough for everyday wear, and the cream itself contains coconut oil and beeswax to nourish the skin, lending itself to a lit-from-within result.

Best Liquid Highlighters

For a Natural Finish

When you first squeeze this tacky liquid from the tube, you'll be a little worried—but fear not, because I was too. It smells like cupcakes, has a lipgloss-like texture and is full of shimmer. However, as soon as you swipe it onto skin, all of that melts away, leaving behind a beautifully glowing, dewy highlight that isn't in the least bit imposing. 

For a High-Impact Finish

If you were to imagine a glowing highlight, you'd probably picture this. Its glow almost leaves the skin looking wet and dolphin-like. If I were to recommend one going-out highlight, it would have to be this.

For Easy Application

This product is very… marmite. Don't get me wrong—most people who try it adore the glow-boosting, creamy formula, but the packaging really knows how to divide a room. It has a built-in sponge applicator that allows the liquid to be dotted onto the face. Some people have an issue with this, as it has a tendency to leak. And I was one of these people. However, I soon realised there is a lock on the lid, and providing you close that lock after every application, it shouldn't leak. Since discovering that, I've found it to be one of the handiest glow-boosters in my collection.

For Multi-Use Benefits

If you walk by this product on a Chanel counter, you'll understand what I mean when I say it's kind of hard not to buy. Honestly, it looks absolutely beautiful—like a work of art. And the good news is it looks just as good on the skin as it does in the bottle. It can be tapped onto skin like a normal highlight, mixed into foundation for an overall glow or applied to the shoulders and décolletage for full-body radiance. 

For a Bronzed Finish

I've struggled to get my hands on a Rare Beauty highlight because they are regularly sold out. However, a couple of weeks ago, I finally secured one and can confirm they are every bit as good as people say. I couldn't secure the shade that I felt matched my skin tone best, so picked up a bronze (Reflect). Since I've been wearing it, people have been commenting on my sun-kissed glow, so it's definitely doing something right.

For Skin Benefits

You can always rely on Milk Makeup to deliver easy-to-use makeup products that feed the skin while they work. This wonderfully buildable highlighter contains mushroom extract and hyaluronic acid to leave skin juicy and plump, with a glowing, dewy finish.

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