Ah, Spring. The sun is brighter, the air is warmer, and it’s time to make one’s cheekbones shine with generous lustrous highlighting. Or, if you’re down with this month’s beauty lingo, strobing. Whatever you choose to call it, it’s all about giving one’s post-winter face a gorgeous glowy lift.
My tool of choice this past week or so has been a newish release in the world of creme highlighters, a powerful little pot of Mecca Cosmetica Enlightened Illuminating Balm. Small jar, big shine.
Enlightened is a soft pearl finish highlighting creme with a soft, diffused shine. The texture of this highlighting cream is nice and soft, giving it a good malleable feel that is easily worked into bare skin, into foundation, and even into powder without balling or catching.
I tend to prefer cream highlighters in a pot, despite them being relatively rare compared to stick or powder highlighters. The texture tends to be more silicone silky and blendable, which suits my makeup style of layering and blending wet-into-wet. It’s a technique borrowed heavily from painting, where working a product wet allows for a super blended, layered, even translucent look that doesn’t overpower the natural texture of skin: by selectively applying highlighter into primer underneath foundation, or buffing a highlighter like Enlightened into freshly applied wet foundation, I can easily create smooth, luminous, glowing skin that radiates health and youth, all without turning glittery or shiny.
I’m not the most attractive makeup model, but I think this is a fine example of using Enlightened to create a ‘strobed’ highlight effect without necessarily getting very shiny.
First I primed with a plain primer and allowed it to settle for a few seconds, then applied Enlightened in a C-shape from my browbone, across my temple, and down to my cheekbones. Any harsh edges were blended off with my fingers, but a small stippling brush would also get a soft edge without necessarily causing the highlighter to move.
I then diffused the highlighter by applying a sheer natural skin foundation (I swear by Lancôme Teint Miracle Natural Light Creator) with a stippling brush to create a smooth and even base. To further enhance the natural skin look and create the satin finish I prefer on my foundation, I finished with a very light dusting of a matte sheer powder (like Laura Mercier Smooth Focus, or MAC Blot Powder).
The highlight along my browbone was kept more prominent in order to catch the light behind my glasses. I dusted a teeny touch of MAC Shroom to set, but otherwise left it as-is.
Enlightened is a soft pearl colour, leaning neither gold nor silver. The shine itself is very muted, with no glitter pieces or large mica flecks to break the otherwise smooth satiny pearl finish. It is slightly sheer, making it supremely workable without turning patchy or holding a sharp edge when blending.
It’s not as pink as Face of Australia’s Lumi-Tint, less golden than Benefit Watts Up!, and less silver than Benefit’s High Beam liquid illuminator.
If you’re new to highlighting/strobing and/or want a highlighter that doesn’t require hours of finessing or a technical degree to apply without looking like a disco ball, this is an ideal illuminator to scoop up. It’s light, easy to apply, and leaves even a rough face like mine looking as pretty as a picture.
This item was purchased by swatchgirl.com.