There’s a light show happening on your face, and mine as well. When one stops to think about the number of highlighters on offer, whether in cream, powder, pencil, mousse, stick or straight glitter, it’s incredible that each company has takers. As we’re a few days out from the holiday, I’ve decided to change tack for this week’s posts to do a mini-series looking at a few highlighters that may or may not have pride of place in your cabinet. I shall touch briefly on some of the common ingredients found in highlighter, toss in some bits about what was used in past eras, and share my thoughts on the items photographed.
To kick off, we’ll begin with Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow, along with Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow.
Charlotte Tilbury’s makeup debuted in 2014, arriving in the US during autumn of that year. In the lead up to the US launch I was beside myself, spazzy with anticipation. Repeatedly, I talked myself out of paying astronomical shipping fees for a single eyeliner, which turned out to be the first item that I purchased in Barbarella Brown. Yes, I purchased it after the US launch.
Charlotte Tilbury’s Filmstar Bronze and Glow finally assumed position in my cabinet last Christmas. Since then it has been the one I turn to when my face needs extra lighting, and I especially love it when I’m doing a full face using only Charlotte’s products. Some of the ingredients include mica, rice starch, talc, corn starch and titanium dioxide.
The product is offered in two options, Light to Medium and Medium to Dark. With a formula that is very easy to work with, just reach for your favourite brush. If I want to apply as a hint, I use a sponge. This a very soft powder that does not dissipate to leave sparkly bits gripping one’s face like lost meteors. Once it is on your face, contours are illuminated, your face assumes enhanced dimensions and your eyes are enlivened. Either side can stand in as an eye shadow, whilst the highlight shade can be used under the brow and in the corners of the eyes in a pinch. The gleam and highlight this powder offers is a refined approach to that elusive ‘glow’. More than a bronzer/highlighter, it is what skin requires when nuance is needed.
If you’re after a cream enhancer because of dry skin or because of lines and imperfections, this is your ally. After my first use of this, I was not initially riveted. I should say that many products have a bit of a learning curve, and that the variations in skin, changes in environment, hormones, lifestyle and other triggers count towards how a product behaves. Additionally, my own indulgent tendencies likely scuppered my initial usage of this, as I usually have at least three other products on, before I even arrive at primer. Thus, with some tweaks to my routine, I am able to rely on this, especially during the colder, drier months. I especially like it on the bone at the side of the eye (the orbital bone which is actually a circle that encases all of the eye’s nerves, muscles etc) and on the bridge of the nose. To apply, I use a sponge or a small semi-soft brush. With a brush I can put it on exactly where I want it to be, whereas with a sponge I can cover more skin faster and with greater abandon. This can be worn alone or cocktailed with foundation or moisturiser.
Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow includes mica, camellia oil, titanium dioxide and aloe juice. It’s imperfection blurring properties come from ‘soft ceramic microspheres and fluorescent core light diffusers’, according to Charlotte Tilbury’s website. Mica, taken from The Latin word ‘Micare’, translates to the word ‘shine’. A mineral known to the Aztecs, Romans, Greeks and Egyptians, and found in cave markings, mica has been in use for eons. In the cosmetics industry, the number of products containing mica are innumerable. In its unrefined form, mica is translucent, and is a boon for cosmetic formulations because of it natural shimmery appearance.
The quest to attain “a healthy glow”, to appear as if one is “lit from within”, or truly, to appear as if one has been dipped in a pot of liquid gold, is an endeavour that has propelled so many of us to try product after product, seeking lighting shop levels of illumination. Is it possible to attain this? The ways in which light plays over the surface of the skin is indeed fascinating. Cue Sir Isaac Newton’s pioneering work in optics for opening the door to so much of what is known about the behaviour of light. In making a good highlighter, some of that knowledge is indeed at play, conjoined with what the creator of the product believes will sell. I am sold. My cabinet is testament to that.