Powder, Liquid Or Cream? Makeup Artist Angela Stewart Gives Us The Low-Down On The Best Illuminators

Powder, Liquid Or Cream? Makeup Artist Angela Stewart Gives Us The Low-Down On The Best Illuminators

Everything is illuminated



While the idea of highlighting certainly isn’t a new one (many of us have been seeking the beauty holy grail that is the perfect candlelight glow for our cheekbones for many a season now), the array of products on offer that promises to deliver certainly are.

But where to start? And what’s better: cream, liquid, or powder? And does a hefty price tag necessarily mean more strobe for your buck? An easy way to start the process of elimination is to opt for a formulation most compatible with your skin type.

If, like me, you have an oily skin, you no doubt already have a strong aversion to smearing anything too slick or greasy onto your face. So a powder or liquid highlighter may be your best bet.


dior backstage

Shiseido Synchro Skin Illuminator available at Smith & Caughey's, $50

This lightweight, water-based liquid is a great multi-tasker. It can be used over your liquid foundation by gently dabbing over the cheekbones, bridge of the nose, and cupids bow.  You can mix it in with your foundation or moisturiser for a global radiance, and it can even be combined with your favourite body moisturiser to give you those Victoria Secret supermodel limbs.

Bobbi Brown Pink Glow Highlighting Powder available at Bobbi Brown Pro Store Britomart, $110

It is hands down my favourite. This delicate sheer peach/champagne-coloured powder gives the coveted ‘Lit from within‘ look on the skin. The particles are so fine you can’t visibly see the texture, just cheekbones that look as if they’ve been kissed by angels. This shade works well on a fair to medium skin tone as does its sister shade Bronze Glow, which delivers an identical shimmer but in a richer gold.

Gavin Rajah


Stila Heavens Hue Highlighter available at Mecca and Mecca Maxima, $50

This one is full of surprises. With its springy to the touch texture and its otherworldly selection of colours, you’ll be in love faster than you can say ‘shooting star’. It is available in three shades: Kitten, a luminous nude pink; Transcendence, an opalescent pink, and Bronze, rich and sun-kissed. Well, it is Bronze for us.

It is perfect for those who prefer to get a glow on without feeling weighed down by a product.


marcesa backstage

Revlon Sculpt & Highlight Kit available at Farmers, $30.90

After a little more save than splurge? Check out the Revlon Sculpt & Highlight kit.

This quad palette includes two highlight shades as well as two contour shades. It is great for those who want the ease of having a selection at your fingertips (literally). While it is a powder formulation, it blends so smoothly and easily onto bare skin, you’d be fooled into thinking it was a cream.


Guerlain Meteorites Baby Glow Touch Highlighter Stick available at Smith & Caughey's, $69.

If your skin is a little more on the dryer side or if you simply prefer something you can use your fingers to apply, then a cream or liquid is a stellar choice. 

While the name might be a bit long-winded, the application is not. It is packaged in a convenient stick (think the make-up version of a push-pop). It’s pitched as the first nomad CC luminizer that features not one but three correcting and highlighting shades. And it comes in two different colour ways: Golden Glow and Pink Glow, both of which have an addictive delicate violet fragrance. Best applied with fingertips by gently tapping the product over the high planes of the face. While the payoff is subtle, it can be built up or used in conjunction with the brand’s Light Revealing Pearls of Powder ($103), which is available in four shades.


Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream available at Farmers, $38

And finally but by no means last in the plethora of beauty hacks is the tried-and-tested Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream. But wait, isn’t this skincare? Yup. It’s the classic miracle worker that soothes a multitude of skin ailments from relieving chapped, cracked dry skin to fixing minor skin irritations. But it’s also a killer glossy highlight when dabbed sparingly onto the tops of cheeks or swept across the eyelid for a perfect plastic finish. Multi-use for the win!


Words and review | Angela Stewart @angelastewartmakeup, view her work here.

Images | inthegloss.com, vogue.com and tumblr