Makeup Wars | My Favourite Highlighters and Illuminating Products

This week the Makeup Wars members are sharing our favourite illuminating products. This is probably one of my favourite cosmetics categories for two reasons. Firstly I have very dry, dull skin and I need a lot of assistance in the glow department. Secondly I am very picky when it comes to products in this category so finding the right product is always a struggle for me. I guess I kind of enjoy the challenge and the subsequent joy and satisfaction of finding a product that meets my expectations. Why am I so picky? Well when it comes to highlighters and illuminators I do not like glitter. At all. Even shimmer is pushing it. I want the product to offer a natural glow and sheen without looking too sparkly. I want a refined finish.

Illuminating Primers – Give your complexion an all over glow with these illuminating primers. Some are quite sheer like the Burberry Fresh Glow and others more concentrated like the Dior Glow Maximizer.

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Dior Glow Maximizer ($42 CAD) has quite a strong golden glow. It can be mixed with your foundation to boost skin’s radiance, patted full strength on top of your makeup as a highlighter in light catching areas, or even used sparingly as a primer all over under foundation if you are in dire need of some radiance as I sometimes do.

Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base – A sheer fluid with very fine champagne shimmer. An amazing primer.

Clarins Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base in Rose ($37 CAD) this opalescent pink translucent fluid feels hydrating and gives skin a lovely radiance. It feels really light and I adore the finish of the Rose shade. This is a new permanent product released with the spring collection and it also comes in Champagne and Peach.

NARS Pro-Prime Light Optimizing Primer SPF 15 ($38 CAD) has the benefit of light sun protection and it offers a very subtle, completely neutral, illumination to the skin.  It contains red algae to revitalize skin as well as Vitamins A, C, and E to ward off free radicals. It really works well as a base and feels very light, absorbing quickly into the skin.

BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Illuminator SPF25+ – This is an all over moisturizer/primer but is concentrated enough to be used as a spot highlighter as well. Pearl is more my shade but right now I only have a travel size of Opal that I use in my pro kit.

Liquid Highlighters – I love the ease of using a liquid highlighter. You can mix them into your foundation or skincare for a luminous glow or apply them to the high points of your face for a glow that blends right into your skin.

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Rouge Bunny Rouge Sea of Tranquility Highlighting Liquid – A opalescent pink highlighter that is highly pigmented.

Benefit High Beam Luminescent Complexion Enhancer – I similar shade to Sea of Tranquility in a slightly sheerer finish.

Benefit Sun Beam Golden Bronze Complexion Highlighter – A warm golden glow. A only have a sample size but this is such a great way to warm the complexion.

Highlighting Pens – I don’t find these really highlight or illuminate much but they work great for brightening up the under eye area and disguising shadows and bags.

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Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Radiant Touch in 1 and 2

Cream Highlighters – Like liquids these blend in so naturally to the skin for a lit from within glow on the high points of your face.

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Edward Bess All Over Seduction in Sunlight – This is a sheer natural champagne shade with a refined glow. A favourite of many Edward Bess fans.

Benefit Watt’s Up! Soft Focus Highlighter – A similar champagne glow as the Edward Bess cream but in a more concentrated stick form.

Powder Highlighters – I find these are the kinds of highlighters are reach for most often as they just seem quicker and easier sometimes. It can be tricky to find ones that aren’t to sparkly and glittery for my taste. Here are some currently available ones that I adore.

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Giorgio Armani Belladonna Highlighting Palette – Don’t miss out on this amazing limited edition Spring 2014 highlighter. It has the most stunning champagne sheen and is an incredibly luxurious formula.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Sweet to Touch Highlighting Powder – This more pink toned powder highlighter is incredibly refined, smooth, and naturally luminous.

Limited Edition Discontinued Powder Highlighter Favourites – Highlighters are often part of limited edition seasonal releases and here are some of my no longer available go to favourites.

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Chanel Poudre Signee de Chanel Illuminating Powder

MAC Too Chic Beauty Powder

Lancome Blush Highlighter Illuminating Powder in Rose Etincelle

MAC Play it Proper Beauty Powder

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What are some of your all time favourite highlighters and illuminators. I’d love to know! Make sure to check out the other Makeup Wars blogger faves!

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Eyeliner Tips and Tricks for the Fashion Magazine Beauty Panel

This week the Beauty Panel members shared our favourite eyeliner tips and trick for You can check out everyones recommendations here: Eyeliner tips and tricks: 12 Beauty Panel ways to wear this versatile product


There many kinds of eyeliner. Pencil, gel, liquid. Click up pencils, self sharpening pencils, standard pencils, liquid eyeliners with brush applicators, sponge tip applicators, felt tip applicators, etc. etc. etc. There are so many formulas, methods, and shades that you can endlessly express your creativity with eyeliner. When it comes to everyday use though, I personally view eyeliner mainly as a way to intensify the lash line. Therefore, my favourite way to wear eyeliner is a gel or pencil eyeliner tightlined onto the upper lashline. This means working the eyeliner right into the base of your lashes from underneath the lashline.  When I’m feeling rushed I do it with a pencil, but my preferred method is pushed into the lashes with a brush and waterproof gel eyeliner like MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack. Liquid eyeliners or tiny angled brushes with a gel liner work great for doing a thin line or discreet flick on the upper lashline. Push liner brushes work great for pushing product right into the roots of your lashes.

When it comes to avoiding eyeliner meltdown it is important, even if you are applying a waterproof formula, to prep the eye area. If you apply your eyeliner to an eyelid that has natural oils or any greasiness from skincare present then it can’t properly adhere. If you are the kind of person who always wears full eye looks then this isn’t an issue but if you are someone who likes to only wear eyeliner on occasion then you need to apply an eyelid primer or a wash of a subtle eyeshadow to keep your eyeliner from migrating.


Products shown: L’Oreal The Super Slim 12H Infallible Liquid Eyeliner “Black”, shu uemura Lasting Gel Pencil Eye Liner “Black”, MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil “0L Black”, MAC Fluidline Gel Eyeliner “Blacktrack”, bdellium tools Push Liner Brush “714″, MAC Small Angled Brow Brush “208″, bdellium tools Small Liner/Brow Brush “760″

The Beauty Spotlight Team has Stranded Perilously Pale on a Desert Island!

The Beauty Spotlight Team’s latest assignment is to be stranded on a desert island with only TWELVE beauty products to get us by until help arrives. How cruel is that?! Well I guess it’s pretty awesome because who the heck gets to hand pick what items to take with them prior to getting abandoned on a desert island. That’s actually sounding like a pretty fabulous vacation to me at the moment. The rules are that we are not including sunscreen and lip balm in our lists as those are simply obvious must haves for absolutely everyone so we are assuming our desert island came with a secret stash of those essentials. Hmm now did this desert island come equipped with frosty tropical beverages and snacks as well or should I have been selecting edible beauty products?

At first I thought that twelve items sounded generous and that this assignment would be easy. But when you consider looking after your skin, as well as looking your best, and throw in the necessity of tools on top of that, and selecting a mere twelve products quickly becomes an impossible task. After a great deal of thought this is what I have determined are my Desert Island Must Haves. Now this is presuming I have people to impress on said desert island. I am of course assuming that this desert island is home to beauty conscious civilized people or maybe just really stuck up monkeys. If I were to be there alone, truly shipwrecked, than my must haves would consist of only skincare. Anyways enough of the logistics and on to the fun stuff!

My products of choice in no particular order:

shu uemura Ultime8 Cleansing Oil - When I reviewed this cleansing oil back in August I was totally smitten. My feelings have not changed. I could not imagine being without this decadent skincare product. Check out my original review here.

Clarins Blue Orchid Treatment Oil for Dehydrated Skin  - I haven’t reviewed this yet, as I only began testing a couple weeks ago, but so far I am calling this my miracle skincare product and have Instagramed my excitement over this extraordinary treatment. I think I have FINALLY found the product I’ve been looking for to rescue my dehydrated skin.

shu uemura Eyelash Curler  - I have several of the shu uemura eyelash curlers in my stash as well as in my professional kit. I have straight lashes that stick straight down so this eyelash curler is a must for me to make me look awake and fresh. Check out my original review of the gold version here.

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara I posted about this favourite mascara of mine in the Makeup Wars Favourite Mascara feature. This baby would definitely be my mascara of choice for my desert island adventure.

Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup ($62) LOVE LOVE LOVE this foundation. I have yet to review it as I only received it a little over a week ago but this is serious holy grail status for me. What makes it even more perfect for a desert island makeup bag is that I don’t need primer or setting powder with it. How amazing is that?

Urban Decay Naked Palette When it comes time to picking eyeshadows for my desert island must haves of course I had to select a palette with as many great and versatile shades as possible. I have never reviewed my Naked palette, simply because there are so many reviews out there already, but when given the task of narrowing my choices down to 12 selections this was the first palette than came to mind. You can never go wrong with the UD Naked Palette!

Le Metier de Beaute Blush Kit Kaleidoscope - Four beautiful blush and highlight shades in one palette? Of course the Le Metier de Beaute Blush Kaleidoscope made my list. It has been a go to and a favourite since I reviewed it in May. Check out the review and swatches here. It is such an exceptional piece from Le Metier de Beaute.

Hakuhodo J110 Blush Brush I picked this exquisitely soft blush brush as part of my Hakuhodo haul at IMATS this year. Heaven!

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain -  I have mentioned many times my adoration for this innovative formula. It is really a crying shame I only own two shades #7 Corail Aquatique and #15 Rose Vinyl.

Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer - I like the Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer because it does a good job concealing imperfections and it also will function as an under eye concealer without looking to heavy or cakey.

MAC 217 Blending Brush - Good ‘ol faithful MAC 217. I would really love to have the MAC 239 brush on here as well but on a desert island I can manage with this one eyeshadow brush. I think my Hakuhodo J5523 is taking over as my favourite blending brush though. It is very similar to the MAC 217 but WAY softer. At only $18 US the Hakuhodo is even far cheaper!

Somme Institute Transport Pads - I reviewed the Somme Institute skincare system back in August. It was one of the most impressive skincare regimes I have tried. The real standout of the line is the Transport Pads. These keep my skin clear of blemishes, clogged pores, dry flakies and irritation, and help fade pigmentation and even out my skintone. I was without these for several months this fall and witnessed old issues rear their ugly heads again. I don’t think I will make the mistake of running out of these again!