I launched the series with a look at my blush collection, the single cosmetic item that sets my heart aflutter every time a new or innovative cheek product is released. A close second, though, is undoubtedly highlighter. I have quite dry skin, and ironically enough prefer a relatively matte finish where foundation is concerned. I like to control the glow of my skin by adding illumination back onto my face following foundation. Consequently I never seem to be able to get enough of all things subtly shimmery.
Benefit Watt's Up (Original Review)
Benefit's Watt's Up is the ideal cream highlighter. The twist up format means that it's easy to apply directly from the tube or with fingers, and the glow is just warm enough that I turn to this deeper shade of champagne during the summer months when my continually pale complexion has a bit more warmth. Although Watt's Up is best suited to the tops of the cheekbones and along the bridge of the nose, I've also used this multi-use cream highlighter as an eyeshadow in a pinch and loved the result.
YSL Le Touche Éclat No 1
I'll be honest: I purchased YSL's iconic Touche Éclat because it's a cult product and I had to see what all the fuss was about. (And perhaps because a certain sophisticated French girl who I'm lucky enough to call a friend informed me that "all Parisiennes" use this to achieve a "no makeup" makeup glow.) I use No 1 on top of under eye concealer to add a bit of light reflection when my dark circles are particularly pronounced, as well as around my eyebrows to give their already defined shape some added oomph. Perhaps Le Touche Éclat is the "je ne sais quoi" we're all talking about?
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish By Candlelight
Stereo Rose and Redhead are great Mineralize Skinfinishes, but I cannot figure out why By Candlelight is so underrated! This all purpose champagne highlighter adds a pop of illumination to my cheek bones when applied heavily, gives the face an overall glow when dusted on and much like Benefit's Watt's Up can also be used as an eyeshadow. By Candlelight ranks among my favorite MAC products of all time and should no longer live in the shadow of the coveted Stereo Rose.
NARS Highlighter Albatross
NARS Albatross is the black sheep among my favorites, which is perhaps why I gravitate to it so often. Unlike the vast majority of my highlighters that are champagne with a soft bronze or tan base, Albatross is a golden shimmer suspended in a cream colored powder. Though the swatch below is intimidating, I find that this adds the most incredible glow to my face and works equally as well when my skin is extremely pale in January as it does in the depth of summer.
Dior Amber Diamond
I'm certain you must be tired of hearing about Dior's universally adored Amber Diamond, but I just couldn't resist including it in my top picks. I love the amber sheen it imparts on my cheek bones when blended, and the fact that it's relatively customizable as each strip of shimmer has something unique to offer. So much speculation has swirled about the availability of this product (discontinued, available, discontinued, available) that it's achieved a sort of legendary status.
Apparently with the exception of NARS Albatross I'm a champagne highlighter girl through and through. These colors hardly vary, and yet I'm constantly left with the feeling that I need more. Why is that? (Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder, I'm looking at you.)
(Left to right): Benefit Watt's Up, YSL Le Touche Éclat No 1, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish By Candlelight, NARS Highlighter Albatross, Dior Amber Diamond