The Ultimate ‘Highlighter & Illuminator’ Guide For Brides!

Rashmita SrinivasRashmita Srinivas  |  May 3, 2017
The Ultimate ‘Highlighter & Illuminator’ Guide For Brides!


Everyone has probably heard about contouring and its much more subtle sister – strobing. This makeup trend is here to stay for more reasons than one and it has been the favourite amongst many brides especially during the summer months. Here is your guide to bridal highlighters, illuminators, brighteners, and bronzers to perfect your glowing bridal look!

Your Guide To Bridal Highlighters, Illuminators, And Brighteners For The Wedding Day

Every bride-to-be wants to look her absolute best on her wedding day. Here is your guide to highlighters, illuminators, and brighteners for your special day!

1. Highlighters

1 guide to highlighters

Highlighters aim to emphasize your features by bouncing off light from those areas to make them stand out. Usually available in a liquid or powder form, these products need to be used in very little quantity and are to be concentrated on areas such as the cheeks, the brow bone and the bridge of the nose.

Also Read About Affordable Highlighters Within A Budget

We love the Revlon Highlighting Palette. It is almost a dupe for our original favourite, the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick and way more affordable!

2. Illuminators

An illuminator, on the other hand, creates an illusion of all over radiance and an appearance of brighter skin. It can be used alone or mixed into your day cream/ foundation for a brighter effect. These are usually in the form of creams or liquids.

We love the Revlon Skinlights illuminator.

3. Brighteners

3 guide to highlighters

These products don’t contain shimmer and aim to brighten up the skin tone as opposed to making it look glowy and sparkly. These can be used under the eyes and on dull, rough patches to even out the skin tone.

We love a supercharged multitasking concealer like the Maybelline Dream touch lumi concealer. NYX hydratouch brightener works beautifully for brides with dry skin and instantly lifts your features and brightens your skin.

4. What Do They Contain?

Highlighters contain a lot of fine shimmer in various tones and undertones to complement all skin tones. Illuminators work well as skin care products, and as makeup products too. Since they are often available in cream and liquid forms, they are best suited for dry, dehydrated skin and for oily skin only during the colder months.

Brighteners contain little or no shimmer and the aim is only to make the skin look glowy from within, in a very subtle manner. These are best reserved for day occasions and layered along with a highlighter to achieve a more dramatic look.

Bronzers are darker versions of highlighters meant only to create a sun-kissed look.

5. Which Of These Is The One For You?

5 guide to highlighters

Deciding this is extremely important. You need to take into account your skin type, skin tone, time of the wedding (day or night) and the weather conditions (if it is humid, you might want to give the illuminator a miss). Try out the products together to see how they look on you, because, individually, they may seem spectacular but in conjunction with the others, they may not work as well. Try, try till you succeed.

6. Can They Be Used On Oily Skin?

Of course, they were meant to brighten and illuminate all types of skin, so the key is to pick the right product for your skin type. Opt for powder-based products to reduce any additional oiliness. Prep your skin with your usual skincare routine, follow up with a pore minimizing matte finish primer before you proceed to highlight/ illuminate/ brighten your complexion. This ensures that your makeup won’t get smudgy because of the oiliness and will last through your wedding rituals.

7. Layering Is Key

7 guide to highlighters

A highlighter is for a concentrated area of light/ glow/ shimmer, whereas, an illuminator gives you an all-over radiant look without any emphasis on specific parts. Therefore, use an illuminator mixed into your moisturizer/ BB cream/ foundation to create a luminescent base. After this, use a concealer, and finish up with a highlighter. Opt for a bronzer only if you wish to sport a sun-kissed look and make sure you don’t go overboard or else you’ll end up looked roasted!

8. What About Body Shimmer?

Go ahead, dab some highlighter on your décolletage and your back to highlight your body as well. It works wonders in giving your skin that all over healthy glow and that photographs wonderfully as well. Just be careful to stick to long-lasting powder-based products so that you don’t ruin your wedding clothes!

We love the Colorbar Body Shimmer. It is super easy to apply and is perfect to carry on your honeymoon thanks to its travel-friendly size.

9. Touch-Ups?

9 guide to highlighters

If done right, you won’t need a touch-up for a few hours at least, unless you’ve been sweating. Dab away the smudges and excess product with a blotting paper/ tissue paper, spritz your face with a hydrating mist and dab some highlighter on the high points of your face. If you don’t have the time to do all this amidst your wedding celebrations, then dab with a tissue and dab some liquid highlighter wherever required. Liquid highlighters are easier to blend with your fingers and tend to look less patchy making them the perfect product for touch-ups.

10. What To Watch Out For?

If your skin is sensitive or prone to acne, make sure you skip the products with large shimmer particles as they can irritate your skin.

If your skin is oily, opt for a powder-based product to absorb extra oils while brightening your skin.

If you have dry skin, stick to cream/ liquid-based products and use powder highlighters only to set your liquid highlighter. Any amount of powder applied directly into your skin will end up drying it out so be very careful.

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