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Get Glowing The Right Way: Highlighters & Illuminators | Sephora Hong Kong

Curious about the shimmery world of highlighters and illuminators, but not sure which one to use where? The glow-givers are similar, but not the same. In short, highlighter is for specific, concentrated areas of light, while illuminator casts light more generally over the entire face. We’ll break down the difference between highlighter and illuminator in detail and give you a quick how-to lesson on each one.

What is a highlighter?: Face highlighter is the finishing touch to your lit look. It’s usually the last thing you want to apply after foundation and concealer. Unlike illuminators, highlighters don’t just come in liquid form. Highlighter makeup can be a powder or cream, too, and is often available as a highlighter stick, pen, or even a palette if you’re into strobing (an amped-up version of contouring focused exclusively on highlighting).

How to apply highlighter?: Whether you’re applying a highlighter powder with a brush or directly blending a highlighter pen, you want to place the product on the same areas of your face. Focus on the high points that would naturally catch the light—like on the cheekbones, under the brow bones, down the bridge of the nose, and a dab on your Cupid’s bow. Make sure to blend thoroughly with a brush, sponge, or your fingertips to get the most natural light-catching dimension possible.

What is an illuminator?: Face illuminator is used to enhance your complexion’s overall radiance and give it that softer, lit-from-within look. Especially during the winter months, illuminator makeup is ideal for imbuing your skin with a healthy-looking vitality and warmth. Although liquid illuminators are more common, many cream formulas also have illuminating benefits, especially those used to brighten the under-eye area.

How to apply illuminator?: When it comes to where to apply illuminator, the simplest answer is everywhere. To do this, layer your illuminator under your foundation or try mixing it with your foundation to soften the effect. Some illuminators are more intense than others and better for specific areas that need additional brightening, like under the eyes, along the brow bone, or in the hollow of the chin.

Both highlighters and illuminators can give your skin angelic light-catching dimension, but the application and end results are different. Learn more about highlighters in our Highlighters Makeup Guide or discover different highlighter makeup formulas in our types of highlighter makeup guide. Find your perfect glow with the best highlighter and best illuminators when you shop online at Sephora.

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