Do you ever wake up in the morning, stumble over to the mirror and think to yourself: “Holy bajeezus, I look absolutely STUNNING”? No? Yeah, me either. That is because we are real humans who require a bit of primping before we can achieve maximum levels of gorgeousness. I’m a big believer in the power of makeup, and luminizers are one of the most magical tools out there; they can take you from ragged to radiant in mere moments. Of course, before we dive into the good stuff, there are some other factors to consider…
HYDRATE. This is probably one of the most important (and underrated) beauty tips of all time. No luminizer, highlighter or serum is going to replicate the effect of drinking enough water—it’s the #1 thing you can do for your skin. A good rule of thumb is to divide your weight in half to figure out how many ounces of water you should be drinking per day, but remember to drink more if you’re active!
MOISTURIZE. This is the other side of the ‘hydrate’ coin. Your skin needs moisture from the outside as well as the inside to help rejuvenate it and protect against environmental factors (dry air, sun, etc.). Don’t forget to apply moisturizer both in the morning and before heading to bed.
EXFOLIATE. Exfoliation is a necessary step in creating an even base for any makeup you apply. A good scrub (my fave is St. Ives Apricot Scrub, which I rave about here) will slough off dead skin cells and leave you with soft, smooth, polished skin.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, you just need to find a luminizer that’s right for you! Here are a few that I love.
I use Laura Mercier Foundation Primer in Radiance (1) every day. They say that you can wear it by itself too, but I find it makes you look too shiny; however, once you’ve put foundation on over it, your skin just looks brighter and healthier. A primer is a very low-key, foolproof option in terms of application.
While we’re on Laura Mercier, her Matte Radiance Baked Powder Compact (2) is amazing. I use a fan brush to sweep it on the bridge of my nose, the tops of my cheeks, and a little bit on my forehead, and it gives my complexion a supernatural radiance. It’s awesome. Pro tip: luminizing powders create a soft, ethereal glow and photograph a little better than their cream and liquid counterparts.
Another fave of mine is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette (3). These high-tech powders were designed to replicate the luminescence of various types of light—candlelight, moonlight—and they really do just that. They’re a little more subtle than some of the others on this list, but the effect is lovely. These are finishing powders, so you can dust them all over your face.
Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat (4) is a cult favorite, and for good reason; its brightening powers are unparalleled. This product is especially great if you have dark under-eye circles that need a bit of attention, but you can also use it as a highlighter to accentuate the parts of your face that would typically catch the light (cheekbones, nose, brow bones, etc.).
Two cream luminizers that I adore are Benefit Watt’s Up (5) and NARS the Multiple (6). Cream and liquid luminizers typically give you more of a dewy, natural look. Watt’s Up is a lovely champagne-colored cream-to-powder that flatters any skin tone—just swipe a bit on the areas of your face you’d like to highlight and blend in with your fingers, either on its own or over your makeup. The Multiple, on the other hand, comes in a wide variety of shades, but one of the best is Orgasm, a peachy pink. This one really walks the line between luminizer and blush, as it has more color than the other options; I usually use it on the apples of my cheeks for a localized glow.
If you prefer a liquid luminizer, try Benefit High Beam (7), a pretty pale pink shade with a touch of shimmer that works best on fair complexions. Use your fingers to apply a bit to your brow bones and the tops of your cheeks, or add a drop or two to your moisturizer or liquid foundation for all-over luminescence.
What’s your favorite beauty tip for gorgeous skin? I’d love to hear it!