Highlighter is a millennial national treasure in beauty. With an influx of Instagram-built, digitally-minded brands blindsiding the industry in the past 3 years, the big focus has been on creating products that look great on our social feeds, be it on the skin or simply in the pan.
While there are a number of super glam, ‘gram-friendly palettes that are crazy pigmented and not for the faint hearted (think your Huda Beauty’s, your ABH’s, your Becca’s etc etc), I’ve noticed a real rise in a new type of highlighter: the natural ‘your skin but better’ version. Usually cream-based, these replicate the skin’s natural glow, often looking a little bit like sweat – but in a really great way. Highlighters are no longer super sparkly with glitter pigment pressed into the product. The new generation is super light, ultra creamy and makes skin look like SKIN, but better.
What’s more, a lot of these new formulas are devised with organic, raw and clean beauty in mind, making them both natural in formulation and natural-looking on the skin. Take for example the Glossier Haloscope: ultra chic on the skin, highlighting subtly with a glossy finish – and from a brand that simply will not tolerate the practise of animal testing. Similarly, RMS’ Magic Living Luminiser is legendary in beauty, both for creating a certain ‘wet-look’ luminescence on the skin, and for its origins: RMS is an organic, natural beauty brand that uses packaging which is biodegradable, recyclable or reusable.
These new-gen highlighters have cleverly tapped in to the ‘no makeup makeup’ trend, too. Along with lighter BB creams, soothing tinted lip balms and natural-looking cream blushers, a glossy, understated highlighter promotes the idea of pared-down perfection. Move over matte: it’s all about the glossy posse.
My favourites (photo above, L-R):
RMS Luminizer Quad, £46
RMS Living Luminizer, £36
Topshop Glow Highlighter in Misty, £12.50
Marc Jacobs Glow Stick in Spotlight, £28
Glossier Haloscope in Quartz, £18
Victoria Beckham for Estee Lauder Morning Aura Illuminating Creme, £72