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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Get Glowing: My top 3 illuminating products

That lit from within look is something most of us covet and no one does it better than JLo. She always looks like she's come back from some amazing holiday and that has alot to do with the use of highlighting products on her face. This look is easily duped but the problem is that there are so many highlighters on the market that it’s hard to know where to start. Don’t fear though because I’m here to help you manoeuvre the makeup mine field and share some of my top picks to get a gorgeous glow whatever the occasion.

From left to right: NARS Orgasm Illuminator, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Gold, Dior Shimmer Powder in Amber Diamond.

Best for an all over glow:
NARS Orgasm Illuminator.

My original review for this product can be found here. I haven’t found anything better than this product to mix into my foundation or moisturiser and use all over my face. Most highlighting liquids and creams are either too thick, too pigmented or just too sparkly to use all over the face but this one is perfect. It’s also the only one that I’ve found that doesn’t break me out and make my face look shiny as opposed to radiant. If the Orgasm colour isn’t doing it for you then check out the new illuminators in the shades Copacabana, Super Orgasm and Laguna at your closest NARS counter.

Best for a natural glow:
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector

This product is amazing and if you haven’t tried it then you’re definitely missing out! It’s thicker than the Orgasm Illuminator but it blends beautifully on to your skin. I have this in the colour Gold (the swatch above is of the gold) and Topaz and I love using them on the top of my cheek bones and down my nose. I avoid using this all over my face because its thicker consistency means that it makes my skin oily.

The whole Becca range is very women of colour friendly and this illuminator is available in lots of different shades to suit many skin tones. It works well both over and under foundation but make sure you don’t apply it over powder or the result won’t be pretty! Sheer it down or wear it under foundation when you want a subtle look or pat it on top of your foundation if you want to shine in a good way! If you want to check out my original review on these and swatches of the gold and topaz you can find it here.

Best for a night out:
Christian Dior Diorskin Shimmer Powder

I love cream and liquid highlighters for the day but nothing beats this gorgeous finely milled shimmer powder for the night. Most of the powder highlighters I’ve tried are too sparkly or powdery but this feels a bit creamier for a powder and it blends amazingly on the skin. It also photographs really well which is important on a night out and because it’s a powder you don’t have to worry about your skin getting oily.

It doesn’t come in lots of colours (2 to be exact!) but the colours that are available will suit anyone. I have this in Amber diamond and I love the fact that, because it has strips of different colours in it, you can either swirl all the colours together or use a specific colour. This colour looks a bit icy in my swatches but I had to apply it heavier than usual so trust me that once blended it looks very natural.

No matter what your highlighter of choice is, the key to getting the perfect glow is strategic placement of a product with with very fine shimmer. If you go for something that has more chunky shimmer particles and use it all over the face then you'll end up looking less like JLo and more like an extra from Twilight!

So there they are, my top picks for illuminating products. What are your favourites? Leave a comment below because I’d love to know!


  1. Great post Bug! One of my favourite illuminators is from The Body Shop.

    Kisses, Melanie

  2. Thanks Melanie :) I really should check out more of the makeup from The Body Shop because I've been hearing so many good things about it!

  3. Great review! I haven't tried many liquid illuminators (scared they might break me out), but I'm thinking of giving Orgasm a go.

  4. I just know I am going to cave eventually and buy that Dior highlighter. Its gorgeous but I have a hard time paying the expensive price.
    My favourite highlighters are MAC's MSF in 'Perfect Topping' and in 'Blonde'. Really pretty glow.

  5. So pretty! My mom is heading to Australia in a couple of months, so I'm going to have her check out Becca for me. I'm really interested in their primers, too.

  6. Lilit: It's so hard to know what's going to break you out or not. I got a sample of the Orgasm Illuminator before I bought it and so far so good :)

    Alicia: The Dior highlighter is so pretty and it comes with its own little pouch which I love. I really want to buy the Rose Diamond one as well but I just don't know if I can justify having them both!

    I've heard so much about 'Perfect Topping' but I'm not a big fan of the MSF's unfortunately.

    Aseya: The Becca range is great but I just hate that even though it's an Australian brand, it's still more expensive here then it is in the US :( The primer looks really good but you should definitely check out their cream blushes!

  7. I love MAC MSF powders. Also the NARS multiples are quite good, escpecially luxor.

  8. I really need a proper illuminator! I'm dying to try out the Becca one after your review on it. I'm constantly pounding on the golden mineralize skinfinishes that I have. Although they do give me a glow, I really still need to purchase an illuminator!

    Please check out this blog post aswell,

    I've given you for two awards! I love your blog! xx

  9. Have you tried the Illamasqua highlighter/illuminator whatever it's called? I don't know if I'm sold on the whole idea yet... May need to investigate the Nars one you swatched though!

  10. Tara: I think maybe I should give the MSF's another go because they're so popular! The multiples are quite nice but I always forget I have them so I never wear them!

    Naomi: The Becca one is gorgeous and it would look amazing on you!

    Thank you so much for the awards! I really appreciate it :)

    Clare: I've only tried the powder blushes so far from the Illamasqua range but I'm sure the highlighters are lovely! The orgasm illuminator is definitely worth checking out :)

  11. i love love highlighting products, and don't own any of these 3, but after such a great and informative post, i think i'm going to check out the dior and nars. wonderful blog!!!

  12. JennySue: Thank you :) The Dior is gorgeous and definitely worth checking out in person! I haven't found a better powder highlighter.