Top Six: Highlighters and Brightening Powders

Top Six Highlighters and Brightening Powders

21 October, 2015 Top Six: Highlighters and Brightening Powders

You’d think with my oily complexion I’d be steering clear of twinkly, sparkly highlighters, but recently, I’ve really enjoyed dipping into my stash of brightening and transforming powders. Highlighters have the ability to create a lit-from-within glow that truly enhances and completes any makeup look. From everyday subtle neutrals to full-on glam, I love to pair a makeup look with a corresponding touch of sheen. I’ve compiled a list of my favourite shades, ranging from golden champagnes to cooler rose and lavender powders – there’s definitely something for everyone!

Top Six Highlighters and Brightening Powders Highlighters and Brightening Powders Swatches

Starting from left to right, my first highlighter recommendation is the MAC Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl (£23+ here). This limited edition powder came out AGES ago, but it’s still one of my favourite pale pinks that brings a soft glow to the skin. The pigmentation is so sheer – not nearly as intense as the swatch in real life – and it looks lovely with a tan.

The Balm’s Mary-Lou Manizer (£17.50 hereis one of those products that receives universal approval from bloggers – it’s the perfect blend of honey, champagne and silver tones, that creates a glossy effect with just a few brush strokes. It’s also brilliant as an eyeshadow when applied all over the mobile eyelid, coupled with a matte brown in the crease. It’s super creamy and rich, and a gorgeous shade for most skin tones.

You probably know by now how much I adore Charlotte Tilbury, and her Filmstar Bronze and Glow (£49 here, full review here) is one of her best-sellers for a reason. The highlight shade is a true champagne, with gold micro-shimmer running through it. The effect is luminous and pearly without looking glittery, and the hints of peach make it great for warmer skin tones, or those who lean more olive.

For a powder that brightens the overall complexion rather than defining the high points (cheekbones, cupid’s bow, brows and nose), the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light (£38 here) is a great option. The formula is so light and buttery that it glides onto the skin and blurs over pores and fine lines, and it’s great to set foundation and concealer too. Diffused Light is a creamy pale yellow that makes skin look radiant and healthy. 

If I’m in the mood for an intense, wet-look highlight, I’ll reach for one of my newest purchases – the ColourPop Pearlised Highlighter in Wisp ($8 here, review here). This affordable, luxe-feeling highlighter is incredibly creamy, with a mousse-like texture that makes finger application essential. I like to dab on this pale bronze highlight to my cheekbones and in the inner corners of my eyes, or on top of a copper-brown smoky eye for some sparkly contrast.

My last highlight shade is the rosiest of the bunch – MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle (£24 here). There is SO much glitter in this compact, but I kind of love it. The texture is a lot grittier than other highlighters, but the glow this gives can’t be beaten. I like to apply it with a fan brush to dial down the intensity, or apply with a finger in a light tapping motion. The frosted finish marries beautifully with the cool pinks and warm golds in the plan, and when applied as an eyeshadow, it brings out multiple tones in my rather humdrum brown peepers, which is always nice!

What are your thoughts on these six highlighters? Have you got any recommendations for me? Share your thoughts below!

Happy Hump Day!


  • Alisha
    Posted at 11:33h, 16 January Reply

    These all look beautiful. I love Mary-Lou Manizer! I would love to try the Hourglass & Colourpop highlighters!

    Alisha |

    • Jessica
      Posted at 21:19h, 21 January Reply

      Thanks Alisha! You definitely should! Xx

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  • Tania Jayne
    Posted at 10:37h, 04 November Reply

    Gorgeous choices! I love the Mary LouManiser. I’ve used it as an inner corner highlight for my eyes, but not as an ayashaspw yet, I’ll have to give that a try! At first I wasn’t impressed with MAC’s Soft & Gentle, as I found it too glittery. As I’ve gotten into highlighters more & more I’ve grown to love it! For a more subtle highlight I love Lightscapade. I’ll definitely be picking up diffused light when I need a new setting powder! Xx

    Tania | When Tania Talks

    • Jessica
      Posted at 21:14h, 21 January Reply

      Thanks so much Tania! It’s great as an inner-corner highlight, totally agree. Thanks for stopping by! Xx

  • justaddmascara
    Posted at 17:02h, 26 October Reply

    ah, these all look amazing! I love highlighter, sometimes I get a bit out of control… Just so beautiful!

    • Jessica
      Posted at 21:14h, 21 January Reply

      Thanks lovely! Haha, me too! Xx

  • Jasmine Talks Beauty
    Posted at 21:44h, 22 October Reply

    I’ve actually never tried Soft & Gentle, I do love Global Glow though. The Mary Loumanizer is another favourite along with the darker Filmstar Bronze & Glow 🙂 I just can’t get enough of highlighters! xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

    • Jessica
      Posted at 21:15h, 21 January Reply

      Global Glow sounds amazing! Same, they’re so addictive! Xx

  • Alina
    Posted at 18:44h, 21 October Reply

    Highlighters are probably one of my fave makeup products… I recently git my hands on theBalm LouManizer & omg it’s actually gorgeous & a little bit goes such a long way x

    Beauty with charm

    • Jessica
      Posted at 21:16h, 21 January Reply

      Me too! Can’t get enough of them! Xx

  • Kelly
    Posted at 15:56h, 21 October Reply

    I love the Charlotte tilbury highlighter, it’s absolutely beautiful and I really wanted to try out that hourglass powder but haven’t gotten the chance to give it a try. The balm highlighter is also something that I need but didn’t get.

    • Jessica
      Posted at 21:16h, 21 January Reply

      You NEED to try Mary-Lou Manizer! It’s amazing! Xx

  • Miriam
    Posted at 13:44h, 21 October Reply

    Glad I have one of these, soft and gentle is really pretty and it was the first highlighter I bought. Charlotte Tilbury’s filmstar is in my wish list as well as the Balm’s Mary-Lou Manizer! I’m also interested of trying Becca highlighters!!

    Miriam ♥ A whole lot of serendipity

    • Jessica
      Posted at 21:17h, 21 January Reply

      I’ve recently tried Champagne Pop and would totally recommend it! Xx

  • Sara Fleming
    Posted at 10:48h, 21 October Reply

    I adore theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer, I’d love to try MAC – Soft & Gentle though!

    Sara – She Who Is Short

    • Jessica
      Posted at 21:17h, 21 January Reply

      You’ll love it! Xx

  • Jodie Vernon
    Posted at 10:20h, 21 October Reply

    The Hourglass highlighter looks so gorgeous, but the highlighter I want to try more than anything has to be the Charlotte Tilbury Film star Bronze and Glow, it just looks beautiful!

    Jodie, xo // Jodie Loue

    • Jessica
      Posted at 21:17h, 21 January Reply

      It’s stunning – so luxurious and it always feels like such a treat whenever I use it! Xx

  • Jasmine Harding
    Posted at 09:23h, 21 October Reply

    Loved this post girl, Highlighters are ma favourite! I am still after the CT Filmstar bronze and glow, that may be on the christmas list this year! I love Kevyn Aucoin highlighters, they are really pigmented and give a beautiful glow!

    Jasmine |

    • Jessica
      Posted at 21:18h, 21 January Reply

      Thanks Jasmine, me too! Hope you managed to get it for Christmas, my comment system has been all over the place so only just seen these comments! I’ve got a Space NK right next to my office so I’ll 100% check out the Kevyn Aucoin highlighters ASAP! Xx

  • Alexandra
    Posted at 07:28h, 21 October Reply

    I also own the Charlotte Tilbury bronze and glow , i found the highlighter pretty but a little bit too much in your face for the day.
    My absolutely favourite one is from the brand Jouer Cosmetics , it’s cream , travel friendly and really natural.

    Alexandra x

    • Jessica
      Posted at 21:19h, 21 January Reply

      The Jouer one sounds fab, I definitely need to try more from the brand! Xx

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