If you’re reading this article, you’re probably new to the liquid illuminator world, but don’t worry, this article will clear up any questions you might have before jumping into using this product. In the most basic sense, the liquid illuminator is meant to brighten parts of your skin to emphasize your beautiful bone structure and natural features.
You might be thinking that this sounds just like the highlighters you’ve seen featured on celebrity and influencer Instagram pages. While they are both meant to brighten portions of your skin, they are applied differently and have different benefits.
Keep reading if you want to learn more about what illuminator is, how to apply it, and much more.
What is Face Illuminator Used for?
Illuminators are any cosmetic product that brings a shimmery, glittery sheen to your complexion; the main options available are highlighters and illuminators. A face illuminator, whether you choose a highlighter or illuminator, is meant to bring a beautiful, natural glow to your face in order to highlight your bone structure and emphasize your natural beauty.
An illuminator is perfect for those moments when you want to take an amazing photo while you’re at your favorite restaurant and the lighting inside is lacking. We all want the lighting to accentuate our beauty, but illuminators and highlighters save us from desperately trying to find the best lighting in random locations because it provides the shimmery, goddess-like glow you were looking for.
One extra benefit from using highlighters and illuminators, aside from helping you look like the flawless queen you are, is that these products help even out your skin tone and can correct for most blemishes and marks.
These facial illuminators, if placed in practiced hands, can even correct parts of a person’s face that they might want to surgically alter. For example, illuminators can help change the appearance of your nose; thus, making it appear smaller or thinner.
Are Highlighters and Illuminators the same thing?
Like I said earlier, highlighters and illuminators both help us achieve the same goal: a flawless, enviable complexion. However, they don’t get you to this result in the same way.
Highlighters usually come in a powder form, but sometimes they are offered in a liquid form. According to the majority of makeup artists, highlighters should be one of the last products you apply to your face.
This powder does not mix well with foundation and the majority cannot serve as a concealer or skin corrector, so you should apply this product as a finishing touch on your normal makeup routine.
Powder highlighters are applied similarly to other powder-based cosmetics, but be careful in how much you apply, a little bit usually goes a long way.
The trouble with powdered highlighters is that if you apply too much you might ruin all the other makeup you put on prior to the highlighter because you’ll have to use a makeup remover to take some of the highlighters off.
Creating a flawless look already takes patience and practice, and it’s hard to be patient when you have to start all over again on your look because you were a little heavy handed with the highlighter.
Some highlighters do come in a liquid form, but they are still different from liquid illuminators because the liquid highlighter should still be applied after the rest of your makeup is done and set.
Liquid highlighters usually come with a wand, and they are primarily used for a more precise application. Again, using too much can overpower the rest of your makeup, but this is a quick way to blend some highlighter onto your makeup.
Illuminators, on the other hand, provide a shimmery glow to your makeup routine, but this shiny product is applied a little differently than the highlighters you’ve read about. Illuminators can be applied by mixing it with a foundation product, applying with concealer, or towards the end of your makeup routine–similar to highlighters.
How to Use Liquid Illuminator with Foundation
As I mentioned earlier, liquid illuminator can be applied at the same time as your foundation. Now, when I say “at the same time” I don’t mean you can layer them on together, I mean LITERALLY at the same time. Many makeup artists will mix the liquid illuminator and their liquid foundations together, and then they will apply the mixed products at the same time.
While mixing and applying these two products at the same time can achieve a fabulous glow, there are a few things you have to watch out for when following this trick. First, you can run the risk of having too much product on your skin, and, especially for those of you with sensitive skin, this can lead to clogging your skin with heavy feeling products. So, you can achieve the glow of your life, but at what cost?
In order to avoid this issue, look at lightweight formulas for both your liquid illuminator and foundation. Check out the Nyx Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator for great results! This product is lightweight, and it delivers a subtle, yet impactful glow that is sure to look stunning in your next selfies.
Another issue that can come up when applying a combination of foundation and liquid formula is that the liquid illuminator formula could overpower your foundation and result in a shiny, shimmery face that is too glittery for everyday wear. Most makeup gurus recommend that you use a liquid illuminator with a sheer quality as opposed to a sparkly, glittery style.
Your best bet would be to try out Benefit’s Sun Beam Golden Bronze Complexion Highlighter. Despite having a highlighter in its name, this product is closer to a liquid illuminator than a highlighter. After you mix this product with your foundation of choice, you will have a dewy, warm glow. This is a perfect item to use to try out, especially if you are new to adding a little glow to your makeup regimen.
Once you’ve found a good mix between your foundation and liquid illuminator, gently apply it to your face and then slowly blend the product. In this scenario, less is more!
Again, if you are still trying to figure out the product combination and skills needed to successfully pull off this look, start slow with applying it in order to build up the product as needed. You’re trying to avoid a cakey look and a random glow across parts of your face that can happen when you apply too much.
Another great product to use when trying to achieve that natural peachy glow is the E.l.f. Essentials Shimmering Facial Whip in the Golden Peach shade. This product is infused with skin-nourishing vitamins, and after applying this product your face should look brighter and feel smoother.
Many liquid illuminators have various vitamins or moisturizing products infused into the formula, making this product a win-win for you–beautiful glowing skin and healthy pores!
Liquid Illuminator: Before or After Powder?
Liquid Illuminator is an amazing product because, unlike highlighter, it can be applied before, at the same time, or after your foundation; thus, making it one of the more flexible products as far as application goes.
Many makeup artists suggest you should avoid applying any liquid illuminator prior to your foundation if you have blemishes or lines because the liquid illuminator will highlight these marks even more so when it is applied before your foundation.
If you apply your liquid illuminator after your foundation, make sure you follow the same guidelines I mentioned earlier–less is more! And, as you learn more about your skin and the products, you can add more and build up the product to become more luminescent than the stars themselves.
For best results when mixing or applying before foundation, try L’Oreal’s Paris True Match Liquid Glow Illuminator in their golden shade. This product is great for highlighting your favorite features and it creates a subtle glow. The True Match Liquid Glow Illuminator works to match every skin tone and undertone to even out your skin tone and create a smooth, even glow.
Similar to some of the products mentioned earlier, this product is lightweight and great for sensitive skin, and creates a very natural look. You could even wear this product alone without any foundation if you were going for a more natural look on a trip to the beach or for lounging poolside.
However, if you wanted to apply your liquid illuminator after you follow your foundation regimen, try out L’Oreal’s Paris True Match Lumi Glotion for a bright, vibrant glow. This glow enhancer highlighting lotion is light and creates a soft glow as opposed to a glow so bright you look like the moon reflecting on the water.
This glotion has some added perks, too! It serves as a moisturizer, gives you a brighter looking complexion, it includes shea butter for soft skin, and it comes in multiple shades. Wear this glotion with your normal makeup routine, or you can wear this on its own thanks to its hydrating and illuminating properties.
Whichever product you pick, make sure you are picking the product that makes you feel beautiful and happy because, at the end of the day, feeling good in your own skin is the key to true beauty!