Continuing our three-part blog, we will now cover highlighters, also called illuminators or luminizers. This product not only has many names but also has many forms, it can be a powder, a cream or a liquid, it can also be matte or shimmer and it can be used in conjunction to contouring or to give your skin a nice glow. With all these names and uses how do you know what to get and how to use it? Let’s see if we can clarify this topic.

First of all, what is a highlighter? As the many names indicates it is a product used to bring a desired area into focus, to highlight it using light, either by making the desired area brighter/lighter than its surrounding, or by making it glow using shimmery products. As for how to call it, here is how I do it:

Example of highlighter, Kan Von D Shade + Light contour palette

Highlighters are the famous companion to contour. I use this term for when applying a foundation or concealer a shade or two lighter than your skin to highlight specific areas. This product is always lighter than your skin and matte.


Illuminators are used to illuminate targeted areas. This is the shimmer powder, liquid or cream used to add the glow so popular on social media, it is also used on strobing.

Example of illuminators, Champagne pop by Becca and Soft and gentle byMAC

Luminizers are usually liquid products that can be mixed to your foundation, or used on its own, to give the skin an overall glow. Example for luminizers are the Cover FX custom enhancer drops, Becca shimmering skin perfector or even Lorac Tantalizer.

A few examples of illuminizers that can be used as luminizers. Benefit Sun Bean and High Bean, NARS copacabana

As I mentioned before this names are used interchangeably, and an illuminator can be used as a luminizer and vice-versa, it all depends how and where it is applied.

Stay tuned for our final part on this blog, where I will be talking about a few application techniques and tricks for when contouring and highlighting.

Hope you enjoyed this quick summary on highlighters, and as usual if you have any questions or comments just send it my way.

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