Highlighters are products which are used to illuminate and add light to the face where the light would naturally hit. You can apply a highlighter to your upper cheekbones, brow bone, inner corners of the eye, bridge of your nose, centre of your forehead and chin.

They come in a variety of textures, colours and packaging. Once you find one you like, there's no going back. I own quite a few and wanted to share my likes and dislikes.


  • Mac Vanilla pigment is a loose powder product. Pigments are versatile and can be used as an eyeshadow or face product.
  • Nars Albatross is a pressed powder, offering quick application.
  • Vanilla pigment and Albatross are often compared to be dupes of each other, but they are actually quite different. Vanilla pigment has a more multi dimensinonal colour with gold and pink undertones , whereas Albatross is purely gold based. I really like both products but grab for Albatross more, as it's less messy than using a pigment.
  • Mac Moon River (LE) is mineralised grand duo. It has two shades of pale pink which are quite shimmery and very pigmented. One side is baby pink and the other is a paler icy pink. I mainly use the paler icy shade of pink which is buttery to touch, it creates the most beautiful highlight on your upper cheekbones and is actually my favourite out of everything I own and the most used. My skin undertones aren't cool but I find that this still works beautifully.

See Swatches...

  • Mac LE Redhead is a mineralised skin finish (msf) rom the BBR collection. It has an incredibly smooth and buttery consistency and is highly pigmented. It gradients from a pale warm gold to a red warm gold. I don't actually show it as much love as I should, but I definitely like it.
  • Bourjois touche illuminating touch in 96 rose universal is a baked powder highlighter. It is a lovely peachy colour but has chunks of silver glitter in it which annoys me slightly. The glitter doesn't actually transfer onto the face, it just creates a nice glow. It's a nice place to start but not something to add to your collection.
  • Illamasqua Furore pigment is a loose powder product. It has a shimmery peachy finish which looks beautiful against warm skin tones, I like this but hardly ever use it.
  • Illamasqua Glint is part of the Sirens collection. It is a bronzer and highlighter duo, Glint is a colour that doesn't look that impressive in the pan, but once applied looks amazing as the golden undertones really shine through helping to create a gorgeous glow. I love this and use it quite often along with the burnished bronzer.

See swatches...

  • Benefit High Beam is a product I love and have used for years, it was actually my first highlighter purchase. It's perfect for creating a 'wet look' highlight as are all cream highlighters. I really like the contrast of the pale icy pink on my skin.
  • MeMeMe is a UK copycat brand for Benefit, Beat the blues, Sun Beam is actually a replica of Benefits Moon Beam. It is a yellow toned gold shade which looks really natural on the skin. This is perfect for olive skinned girls, I love it and use it often when I'm doing everyday makeup.
  • Illamasqua Lies is a pale ice cool pink, I had high hopes for this but actually hate it. The consistency is very sheer and the colour looks almost non existent on the skin. It melts away to reveal a greasy residue. However, I also own 'Rude' by Illamasqua and it's a totally different consistency, I have never had issues with it melting and actually love it. But, thumbs down for 'Lies'!
  • Elf lilac petal shimmering facial whip is a pale icy lilac colour. It doesn't look that great on my skin tone therefore never use it. It would be best suited for those on the paler side as it has a great pigmented consistency. Elf is a good place to start if you are thinking of experimenting, they also do a lovely healthy radiance powder bronzer in 'Luminance' which is a gorgeous pale shimmery champagne colour with a pigmented and smooth texture for £1.50. I used to own it but it went walkies on holiday.

See Swatches...

What's the best powder and cream highlighter you have ever used? My favourite powder highlighter is Mac 'Moon River' mineralised grand duo and my my favourite cream highlighter is between Benefit 'high beam' and Mememe beat the blues 'sun beam'.

I was sent all Illamasqua items mentioned, the Bourjois rose universal and the E.l.f shimmering facial whip. I was not paid to talk about any of the items, I am not affiliated with any of the brands and like always, this is my honest opinion.


Anonymous said…
I have been getting into highlighters more lately too. I mainly only use Mac Shell and Vanilla pigment though. Which is your absolute favorite? Have you ever used the Cargo eyelighter?
Unknown said…
Great post. Although now I'm wanting to buy even more highlighters! x
Muhsine Emin said…
@Andi Mac mineralised grand duo is my absolute favourite. I have never tried cargo :/ xx

@Amy uh oh :) xx
Εvi said…
My favourite is the Body Shop shimmer waves in peach, it's the bobbi brown shimmer brick copycat with 5 shades of peach and gold- I love it!!!
Unknown said…
I love my Moon River blush too. I use that a lot! =D Will have to check out Sun Beam, looks like a pretty yellow-toned highlighter. Thanks for sharing! :)
Laura-PBN said…
Love this post! I've recently become obsessed with highlighted glowy skin. My favourite at the moment is MAC's By Candlelight MSF, though I have used and loved High Beam in the past xx
Marina said…
I love High Beam and I am waiting for my Shimmering Skin Perfector by BECCA to arrive. I spent £ 32.00 and it's better be worth it. I "blame" Lisa Eldridge for this :)) She shared that it is one of her fav highlighters!
Marina (makeup4all) x
Alina said…
I have sooo many highlighters! Definitely a topic i want to blog about too. Your blogposts are always so in depth. Really love your blog :)
Devea said…
I LOVE LOVE LOVE highlighters! I don't really know why because I could live off one, but they are so pretty! My favorite ones are NARS albatross and high beam by benefit!

Ashwini said…
Lovely post! You present each blog post so well, it's really inspiring me to work harder at my own blog. If you could do a post on how you take pictures of yourself, your products, and swatches, I'd be so grateful. :)
India said…
I adore High Beam! Thanks for posting xx
Anonymous said…
I like the look of the Albatross highlight! x
Anonymous said…
I only have one highlighter, high beam. I love it and one little bottle has lasted so long. When Benefit do get it right, they really pull it out of the bag!
Asiya said…
Hi Muhsine,

Great post. Highlighters are so important to achieving a great finish in pictures. I always recommend it to brides. Like you, my favourites are MAC vanilla and benefit high beam. High beam being my preference for great photos. I remember around christmas time the girls at mac were sporting the duochrome on their cheeks as highlighter. They looked ethereal, I wanted to buy one right then and there!

Hope you don't mind if I link back to this post in the future.
GirlAboutTown said…
i love the mac honeycomb highlighter but i'm so afraid of using it b/c it's so pretty ;x LOL
Unknown said…
Love your blog (: You do such an amazing job...keep it up!! My favorite highlighter? Nars Albatross (: Such a classic!!

Right now, I'm using my Benefit pencil in Gilded as a highlighter. I swipe it across my finger, then rub it in on top of my blush and down my nose.

I picked up a sample of the Orgasm Illuminator by Nars - but haven't used it yet. I heard that there isn't much pigmentation to it though.
iliketweet said…
I adore Benefit high beam, works a treat!


Muhsine Emin said…
Thanks for your comments girls, really enjoyed reading them :)

@Marina ooo I hope you like it, I've never tried becca products. x

@Ally thank you so much :)

@Ashwini Thanks :) I always take my swatches in natural sunlight! X

@essjay23 yes exactly, when they do get it right, it's amazing! :)

@aaina thank you, highbeam looks lovely in photos and even in natural sunlight, love it! I dont mind at all if you link back to my post. x

@Hannah thank you. x

@Ellapretty yes the orgasm illuminator isn't that pigmented, it's more of a sheen. I have never tried the gilden pencil but it looks great!
Anonymous said…
I hardly ever use highlighters, maybe I should start. I've got a really nice little one made by OPI which I've never seen anywhere. It was probably a limited edition thing, which is a shame as it's fab.
La Princesa said…
i loved reading this post!

i currently use benefit moon bean which i loooooove but want to get a few more because choice is always a good thing!!!!

gonna check out some of your favs!!!

Diana x

Oh you have some gorgeous ones!
I use Benefit high beam most of the time... I love the first Mac one you've swatched though,thats beautiful!

Kate Gene said…
I have yet to really get into highlighters. Everyone raves about Benefit; I might check their's out. I'd love to look a little more glowy! :)
I'm a big fan of the MSF by M.A.C but Albatross from Nars is also one of my favourite highlighter! This shade is just GORGEOUS!

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