Highlighters! Did someone say Highlighters!??!

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If you’ve ever met me you’d know that my absolute favorite part of applying makeup is highlighter.
Maybe I was a seagull in a former life and held onto my fascination for shiny things, who knows?
There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to highlighters but let’s start off on a fun note by breaking down some liquid highlighters to get our feet wet!


Marc Jacobs Beauty Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter $45 Key Notes:  A Soft Shimmer Texture. Easily blended out. A rose-gold color.

Marc Jacobs Beauty
Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter
$45
Key Notes:

A Soft Shimmer Texture. Easily blended out. A rose-gold color.

This is a highlighter that’ll take some getting used to. It applies relatively opaque and SLIGHTLY chunky but once you start blending it the base sheers out and the reflective particles start showing up. The actual opacity of the product can be altered depending on how long you let it sit on the skin before blending it.

It can go from a “dense” concentration of luminosity to something more sheer and subtle. Be careful though as even though the base is sheer, there are shimmer particles that could read as some to “glitter”. The Marc Jacobs website claims that this product can be used alone on mixed in with complexion products for a more “glow from within” type of effect, which is pretty standard for most liquid highlight products.

The only issue I take with this product are the supposed skincare benefit that they claim this product has. Coconut Alkanes, Coconut Milk, Coconut Water, Coconut Polysaccharides and Coconut Fragrance. All of these products claim to have some sort of benefit to the skin but in all honesty considering the amount that you’ll likely find yourself using (which is a very small amount) I doubt that the supposed skincare benefits will leave you with any real lasting benefits.

Anastasia Beverly Hills  Liquid Glow Highlighter $25 Key Notes: Metallic-like reflectiveness, dries somewhat quickly.

Anastasia Beverly Hills
Liquid Glow Highlighter
$25
Key Notes: Metallic-like reflectiveness, dries somewhat quickly.

I’m gonna be very honest. This feels very similar to the Marc Jacobs highlighter. It has the same level of opacity and same micro glitters. The main difference that I notice is that the ABH is a little thinner and a bit more opaque. That’s most likely because the Marc Jacobs product has mica higher up on the ingredients list therefore making it a teensy-bit thicker. The ABH products also dries down a bit quicker so I wouldn’t suggest trying this product with a mattifying foundation or over set makeup. The way it dries down would most likely end up lifting the foundation. As far as intensity goes, this is a serviceable middle of the road highlighter. You’re not going to be getting any strobing or “blinding” effects with highlighter as the reflective particles end up getting spread too far out once it’s blended. It’s great for a cute subtle daytime look, but if you’re aiming for a “strobing” effect, you’re going to have to pair this up with another product on top.


Pony Effect  Strobing Luminizer $18 Key Notes: Subtle, Daytime Appropriate, A Truly Dewy Effect

Pony Effect
Strobing Luminizer
$18
Key Notes: Subtle, Daytime Appropriate, A Truly Dewy Effect

Quick Side Note: This is my absolute favorite packaging of all the products I’m showing today. The Navy Blue with the Rose Gold looks luxe and gender neutral without look pretentious!

Now onto the product itself. This product feels almost more like a moisturizer or a balm rather than a highlighters. Be forewarned this product is K-Beauty product so this product is high-key the definition of sheer. This isn’t going to give you that editorial strobe-y look, it’s very subtle, very natural, and absolutely gorgeous if used appropriately. This is a very “t-shirt, and jeans” type of product. It has the texture and consistency of a moisturizer, it’s honestly somewhat reminiscent of Mac Strobe Cream. Out of all the products today it’s probably the easiest to apply and blend out to due to sheerness. I highly recommend this product for those who like their makeup low-maintenance and natural.


Japonesqe Liquid Lights $28 Key Notes: Thin texture, sheer base. Glittery. Can double as a skin base.

Japonesqe
Liquid Lights
$28
Key Notes: Thin texture, sheer base. Glittery. Can double as a skin base.

This is another multipurpose product. It’s sheer as well with a translucent base but it’s also incredibly thin and can double as a primer or a base layer prior to foundation. It doesn’t have that drying effect that a lot of liquid highlighters do, so I don’t feel as dubious about recommending this as a primer. I will say that it is quite glittery, it’s a subtle micro-glitter, but it’s still has waaaaay more reflective particles than any of the other products on this list. With that being the case I’d recommend applying this with an airy duo-fiber brush (something like a Mac 131) and blendin the hell out of it before it sets. If you’re going to use it as a standalone highlighter, half-a pump should do. This is high-impact stuff, so a little dab’ll do ya, nad using your fingers are most likely the best application tool.

In closing highlighters are a ton of fun but it’s important to know what you’re looking out of your products before you go spending your hard earned coin. No two highlighters are alike and it’s easy to fall into a trap of thinking that all things glow the same way. Don’t be afraid to go into your local cosmetics store and swatch, blend, and test products out to see if they’re for you! Informed decisions are the best decisions!

Blush and You: A Hopefully Helpful Guide...But No Promises.


So let's talk blush! 
Blush is one of those products that I've come to realize that people are afraid, no wait, terrified of. And for good reason, blush can easily take a look from "Zero" to "Mimi From The Drew Carey Show" very quickly if left unchecked. So I, your sort-of-friendly neighborhood makeup artist am here to give you a basic rundown of the different types of blush available!

First things first, let's talk formula. 
When it comes to the actual, physical medium that blush can come in it's important to understand what kind of blushes are appropriate for what type of look you're going for. Some kinds are easier to work with than others. To my best knowledge (meaning that I'm too lazy to hit up google right this second) there are three types of blush formulas on the market. Let's go through them!
 

  • Powder Blush:
Blush Used: Nars Blush in Taj Mahal Makeup By Perryn Morris Photography by Xingi Kilby Modeled by Meghan

Blush Used: Nars Blush in Taj Mahal
Makeup By Perryn Morris
Photography by Xingi Kilby
Modeled by Meghan

Powder blush is probably the most recognizable blush formula in existence. It's what everyone associates blush when it comes to the actual product. Powder blush is excellent when it comes to creating an impact because it's almost always buildable.

Personally speaking, powder blushes aren't my favorite simply because I'm naturally heavy-handed and it's easy for me to go overboard. A good trick for that though is to simply take a bit of translucent powder and buff it over the blush. It'll disperse it out and make it look more subtle. In terms of proper application, powder blush is best applied after setting the face. If you apply a powder blush over a still wet surface, it's likely to skip and look patchy. So a light layer of setting powder is all that's needed. 

A Quick Tip I learned from Chicago-based Makeup Artist Sonia Roselli: On a mixing palette, scrape off a little blush and mix it into a moisturizer. Apply it onto the skin before foundation to get a luminous, natural flush. 
 

  • Cream Blush:
Blush used: Mac Lipstick in Patissiere  Makeup By Perryn Morris Photo by Brenda Santillan Modeled by Emma G. Benson of Modelogic

Blush used: Mac Lipstick in Patissiere
Makeup By Perryn Morris
Photo by Brenda Santillan
Modeled by Emma G. Benson of Modelogic

Cream Blush is my current go to. A cream blush is just that, a cream-based blush. Blushes of this nature are usually more suitable for drier skin types, although I've used cream blushes on a variety of skin types. Cream blushes are my go-to blush mainly because that they're easier to get to a skin-like texture and less likely to skip or lift up the foundation. If you're in a pinch you can also use lipstick as a cream blush (I'd stick to matte finishes). 


Cream blushes can be applied in a variety of ways but my favorites ways to apply it are either with a duo-fiber cream blush brush or my trusty fingers. I tend to use cream blushes whenever I use a more sheer foundation. I like it because if I go a bit overboard and the foundation starts to lift, it's easier to go back in and make the area seamless. If I'm using a full coverage foundation, I'll make sure that the brush I'm using has a bit of foundation on it to marry it to the skin better. 

With cream blushes, it is important to remember to apply them before you set the face. I REPEAT DO NOT SET THE FACE BEFORE APPLY A CREAM BLUSH. Apply an emollient product on top of the powder is an almost guaranteed way to get the foundation to lift, and you'll end up wasting time trying to cover the patch. 
 

  • Liquid Blushes
Blush Used is Glossier Cloud Paints in the color Haze  Makeup By Perryn Morris Photo by Roy Cox  Modeled by Megan G.

Blush Used is Glossier Cloud Paints in the color Haze

Makeup By Perryn Morris
Photo by Roy Cox
Modeled by Megan G.


The wet stuff! Liquid blushes are a great option when seeking something more natural, they're also great for looks where you don't want to use foundation but still want a natural flush to the skin. I don't like using liquid brushes for more full coverage looks only because they have a tendency to lift heavier foundations but for sheer or bare skin, they're a great go-to. Again, with this kind of blush, it is most appropriate that it be used BEFORE setting the face, as they'll cause any powder products to lift after application. 

The best way to apply these products is with your fingers, hands down (no pun intended). You can go back in with a duo fiber or synthetic brush to make sure everything is blended, but to get it on the skin, fingers are the way to go. With these kinds of blushes, a little tends to go a very, VERY long way. Buildable is the name of the game with these products and it's important to take a step back every once in a while to make sure you're not going overboard. 


The most relevant thing to keep in mind when it comes to the kind of blush you use is that you start light and build it up. Keeping in mind the intended effect that your looking for will always make it 1000 times easier to achieving it rather than just haplessly cramming blush onto your face just because you think that's what your suppossed to do.