The Best Illuminators for Bright Springtime Skin

It’s finally springtime—the sun is out, flowers are in bloom, and the air is light and sweet. There’s something about this time that invites experimentation, a kind of ‘out with the old, in with the new’ attitude that inspires us to mix up our established routines. When it comes to beauty, spring is the perfect time to play with makeup, swapping the heavier winter shades and textures for lighter, more playful styles. If you’ve been poking around in the magazines and perusing the blogs in the past few months, you’ll see that luminous skin is the trend to know now. It’s that gleaming, just out of the shower fresh-faced look that girls everywhere are giving a try as the temperatures heat up.  

The key to this look is the illuminator. Also known as a luminizer or highlighter, the illuminator is a product designed to create shine with a delicate satiny finish.  It’s lightweight and perfect for those frantic on-the-go touchups (mid-cab ride, anyone?). Apply it to the sides of your cheeks starting from the temples, on the bridge and in the corners of your nose, or on your Cupid’s bow for instant radiance and shine. Try using it instead of your bronzer or blush for a more effortless sheen look.  

Luminous skin at Michael Kors Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of Into the Gloss. 

Luminous skin at Michael Kors Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of Into the Gloss

But before you buy an illuminator for yourself, you must know that not all illuminators are alike. They come in various forms and applicator types and create a wide range of textures on the skin. Consider this your ultimate guide to illuminators completely with the best of the best you simply must try now. 

For an Iridescent Glow

Benefit High Beam - This delicate pinky complexion enhancer is perfect for quick and easy shine. Use the small brush to make x's along the sides of your cheeks for lightweight coverage. Gently pat the liquid with two fingers until it sits nicely on your skin. a little goes a long way, so one bottle should last you a good while.  

Sleek and All-Natural

RMS Living Luminizer – A backstage favorite, this illuminator adds a nice glow to the skin without being greasy or overly thick. It comes in a small container that is perfect for your handbag or your desk drawer for midday touchups. Apply as often as needed using your fingers.

Fresh-faced beauty was also seen on the models at Jason Wu. Photo courtesy of Into the Gloss. 

Fresh-faced beauty was also seen on the models at Jason Wu. Photo courtesy of Into the Gloss

The Concealer-Esque Cult Classic

YSL Touche Éclat Radiant Touch Luminizing Pen – Every girl needs a YSL Touche Éclat for her beauty collection. Long-lasting and easy to apply, this chic little pen is both illuminator and concealer, hiding skin imperfections and signs of fatigue with one swipe.

 To Look Younger and Healthier

ILIA Illuminator – This illuminator highlights, heals, and adds a youthful glow in seconds. Packed with luxurious organic ingredients like Rose Hip Oil, the product calms the skin as it brightens your complexion. The delicate shine is also perfect for the inner corners of your eyes. It’s the best way to fake a good night’s sleep.

Highlighted skin can also be intensified for the evening with contoured cheeks. Photo courtesy of Harper's Bazaar. 

Highlighted skin can also be intensified for the evening with contoured cheeks. Photo courtesy of Harper's Bazaar

Smooth & Easy

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight – The Clinique Chubby Sticks are famous for their smooth texture and instant results. Roll the product onto your cheekbones and the bridge of your nose to enhance your features in a flash. The crayon-like applicator makes it super portable, so it’s ideal for traveling. For a more dramatic nighttime look, also try Clinique's Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour. Never has contouring been so easy with this duo.