I Drink Luminizer For Breakfast

RMS Living Luminizer
Topshop Glow Highlighter
Dior Glow Maximizer

I apply luminizing cream any morning I feel tired (so...every morning). It makes a huge difference if you want to fool people into thinking you're actually awake and listening to them! It's also easy to use, hydrating, and good, clean, all-American fun. There's a terrifying multitude of illuminating products, though, so I understand if you're hesitant. The whole proposition seems WAY more challenging than it truly is, like Sudoku or adjusting an iPhone's push notification settings. But at the end of the day? No reason not to join Team Faux Glow. It's easier to be hungover on our side anyway.

Typically, I just do the laziest thing and stir some illuminating stuff into my concealer. Everybody's skin has different needs, but because I'm dry-textured and prefer organic products, my go-to is RMS Living Luminizer. It comes in a tiny pot for sleepovers, I can rub it on with my fingertips, it's sheer (so I don't look I put glue on myself and rolled in craft glitter), it has a neutral sheen that works on everyone, and it blends with liquid or cream, so it gives moisturizer, skin tint, blush, lipstick, etc. a little shimmer. It takes 10 seconds and I can swish mouthwash while I put it on, which is one of my primary concerns when applying makeup.

If going natural isn't so much an issue for you, I have to say that Topshop Glow is almost the same product, but in a mineral oil base that gives it a marginally less translucent, more matte finish. It also comes in two shades—White is the Living Luminizer dupe, and Gleam is verrrrrry similar to RMS's Buriti Bronzer.

Huge caveat—neither RMS nor Topshop are really ok to use with powder. Avoid mixing them with Bare Minerals unless you want to look like a character in the 1998 Lifetime Movie classic Baby Monitor: The Sound Of Fear. Other than that, the world is your crushed-up and reconstituted pearl powder oyster!

If you're not willing to give up your whole mineral foundation way of life in order to join me in smearing mica flakes and coconut oil on your personage, the other best option is Dior Glow Maximizer Primer, which separates itself from the competition by 1) being a sorta creamy pink liquid that you can pour onto your face without fear of overexerting anything except your pursestrings, and 2) priming and drying rapidly to a thin, smooth layer that's easy to dust powder foundation over.

Primer usually makes me feel like I'm stuffing a wet wool sweater into my pores, but I don't hate this one, which says a lot. If you are one of the many good, probably more-sane-than-I-am people who enjoy priming themselves, you will probably just love this stuff. Anyway, option: given.

—Lacey Gattis

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Juan Jaar

    The topshop is sooo good you guys, been using it for almost two years and its so bomb, travel friendly, AND - cheap! (thumbs up emoji + hearts in eyes)

    Topshop has a really good selection of luminizers actually, stick, pot, powder, liquid. All beautiful and cost effective <3

  • Alyssa Gapske

    I love the look of that dior product. I've always been a High Beam girl, but I'm open to other options. Especially because my face could use a pick me up these days...

    • ITGLacey

      High Beam is great; it's just too concentrated for someone with hand-eye coordination as poor as mine ; ) I can't ever make it look subtle enough! The Dior is great for all-over understated skin happiness, though!

      • Anoushé

        I love a combination of high beam and watts up!! then I finish it off with some powder blush and voilà instant beauty sleep look ;)

        • Alyssa Gapske

          Oh I forgot about Watts Up! That is my favorite! Why did I forget about that, I use it everyday. Clearly I'm tired.

          Yes, High Beam can be messy.

          • ITGLacey

            I bet you look extremely not-tired, though! *high fives you over internet, shoves face into luminizer pot, drinks entire office coffee machine*

    • http://badoutfitgreatlipstick.blogspot.com Nae

      I really wish they would bring back the $10 "travel-size" tube of High Beam. That's the one I use, and I greatly prefer the doe foot applicator over the current nail polish bottles.

      They also discontinued Moon Beam. *sigh*

  • http://www.thebeautyinbox.com The Beauty Inbox

    Awesome - luminize me up! (that sounded better in my head...)

  • ITGLacey

    Hey! Liquid generally isn't—you make a good point. The Dior primer is a little different because it dries really quickly & creates a solid base without any slip to it. I wouldn't say it's a liquid-to-powder formula, but it's pretty darn close.

  • ITGLacey
  • Jamie
    • Kay Ann

      Ah I remember the day when these came in almost 20 shades! Luminizer heaven

  • http://gonewiththefashion.blogspot.com/ Olivia

    I'm a very recent convert to Living Luminizer, but also love Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector - it's also a good one for ensuring you don't look like you've rolled around in glitter.
    Also can I ask what red nail polish is used in the photos? Thanks! X

    • krnx

      I would like to know too -- Please tell us what color that is! I have been looking for a bright orange-y red.

      • Jenny Tzakova

        Michael Kors - Sensation, it is written further down in the thread. :) :) :)

  • Mohrorless

    Silly me, when you said you drank it for breakfast, I THOUGHT you DRANK it for breakfast!

    • ITGLacey

      This is the most polite trolling ever! Thank you... I think?

  • Big Brother

    Citizen, Big Brother feels compelled to inform you that Soylent Luminizer is made of people.

  • http://brushandbullet.com/ Teresa

    I've been meaning to try this. What sort of skin type do you have?

  • Cinamaron

    I love the Soleil Tan de Chanel Illuminating fluid because it is like rolling my face around in liquid gold. But I'm using powder for my face right now which doesn't work really well with liquid luminizer.
    The only other highlighter I have is a Guerlain Cruel Gardenia that I am scared to use!

    • Margaret

      I love Soleil Tan de Chanel! For some reason I thought it was a good idea to leave it at home instead of taking it with me on vacation…

  • Vanessa Reyes

    Just bought the L'Oreal Magic Lumi Primer and I love. I had been wanted to try a luminizer but didn't want to spend a ton of money. This fit the bill perfectly!

  • http://suddengenesis.blogspot.com/ Adam’s Eye

    To think that you drink up the stuff
    Is really confusing enough
    But just for a change,
    Your time rearrange
    With sleep, leave your face in the buff!

    NO ONE expects the Shark Tank Poemquisition.

    • ITGLacey

      With sleep I prefer to be wary
      My dreams (don't you see) might be scary!
      And while end rhyme's divine
      I'm much more inclined
      to enjoy poem schema that vary

      • http://www.o2birish.com O2BIrish

        Girls in makeup? Results often vary.
        Some look nice, but there's some that are scary.
        Moderation is fine,
        But you don't want to wind
        Up like Mimi, that girl on Drew Carey.

        • ITGLacey

          Now that you gentlemen are on ITG, may I refer you to our hilarious digital director's open thread? He's Irish & absolutely loves (loves!) a good limerick: http://intothegloss.com/2014/05/supplement-reviews/

          • Clone7

            Gentlemen?? Who walked in??!? ;-)

          • ITGLacey

            From time to time, confused computer folk wander into these parts; we just try to share our luminizer (& thread space!) with 'em til they get back on their digital feet.

          • Mohrorless

            We aren't confused! We are just easily distra - O Look! A chicken!

          • http://suddengenesis.blogspot.com/ Adam’s Eye

            "If you wanna be a chick, just flap your wings, and drink your luminizer."


          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoQb8vb4blA Jim but not THE Jim
          • http://www.irememberjfk.com Trappp
          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoQb8vb4blA Jim but not THE Jim

            If any confused computer folk wander in again just send them our way. We'll get them squared away by Asitnik!

          • http://www.o2birish.com O2BIrish

            He might be interested in my website - http://www.O2BIrish.com. I have every limerick I've written for the Shark Tank (since October 15, 2007!) along with other comic efforts, including documentation of my win of Roger Ebert's Great Limerick Contest in December 2009.

  • http://www.irememberjfk.com Trappp

    FWIW, we outdoorsy types have known about Skin-So-Soft for a long time. I've been using it since the early 90's. ;-)

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoQb8vb4blA Jim but not THE Jim

      I can tell from you avatar.

  • http://www.wernerbeauty.com/ Teckie

    I keep reading about people who put luminizer or illuminating pigment in their finishing spray - like MAC's Fix+ - I've been meaning to try it. I always have trouble controlling the placement of liquid luminizers, but the two in the pots look like the texture might be easier to work with than the more liquid-y forms.

  • blutoh

    You have a natural glow. Just go with it.

  • http://mikamartyniuk.tumblr.com/ Mika Martyniuk

    I adore your posts. I'm curious about the Dior Glow, and also about the one by Koh Gen Do (no parabens, no animal cruelty, no mineral oils). RMS products unfortunately break me out. But then I remember that I made an oath to myself, trying to stay on a minimum products diet. Buuu.

  • blutoh

    visine drops in eyes
    when awaking from last night
    it get the red out

  • thebloginista

    Laura Mercier Radiance & Radiance Bronze primers are amazing, too! That Dior one has my name written all over it, though...

  • lisa_carbone

    More importantly, what is the name of the polish you are wearing in the above pics!? It's gorgeous xo

    • ITGLacey

      Sorry for the delay! I had to wait until Courtney was in the office to ask her! It's Michael Kors nail lacquer in Sensation!

  • http://badoutfitgreatlipstick.blogspot.com Nae

    I am obsessed with highlighters. OBSESSED! The ones that have stuck with me and my pale, pale skin throughout the years: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector [sic] in Pearl, Makeup Forever Uplight #11, and Benefit High Beam.

    Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight was beautiful, but powders don't love my dry skin.

    And my mom repossessed my RMS Living Luminizer! I don't have the heart to take it back...

  • http://www.vibrantbeautyblog.com/ Jennifer Monforton

    Lovely picks! RMS Living Luminizer might be my all-time favourite highlighter and I'm definitely tempted by those TopShop options :)

  • http://taliashulze.com/ Talia

    What if I put the luminizer on after my Bare Minerals? This is serious y'all.

    • ITGLacey

      I would say that's a recipe for CakeTown, Population: You unfortunately :(

      Try luminizing powder instead? Several lovely ladies upthread have been recommending Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector (which you can take a look @ here: http://rstyle.me/n/br9ddg66e)

      • http://taliashulze.com/ Talia

        Thanks I will check it out. I don't really think of myself as the 'type' who can't even check the mail without makeup on, except that Bare Minerals is basically sunscreen, add luminzer to that and I'm always pleasantly surprised later on in the day by how wide-eyed I look.

        • ITGLacey

          Yeah, I'm kind of addicted... Maybe I really should take the computer bros' advice & start sleeping more instead!

          • http://taliashulze.com/ Talia

            'more' is so subjective though! :)

    • http://badoutfitgreatlipstick.blogspot.com Nae

      You could also try setting spray, like Skindinavia or MUFE Mist & Fix, to get a less powdery/more glowy look.

      • http://taliashulze.com/ Talia

        I mainly use it on my lids and inner eye corners, otherwise those sprays sound awesome.

  • Mohrorless

    Try a bag!

  • Mohrorless

    Sun's up here! Don't need the Hi Beams anymore

  • http://tonightatnoon.com/ Christine

    I love the look of all RMS products and the Living Luminizer is truly beautiful. Their "Un"coverup concealer is pretty great as well. Unfortunately, all their cream products are coconut oil-based, which is comedogenic and does not sit well with my skin. :(
    I do have Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone and it's equally perfect, however! Just less portable!

  • Marcela

    Is the staying power of the rms living luminizer good??? (sorry my english isn't very good)

    • http://badoutfitgreatlipstick.blogspot.com Nae

      It's better for dry to normal skin, in my experience, and it will stay slightly wet/tacky for a while. If you have very oily skin, you'll probably want to pass.

  • Mohrorless

    Sorry but today's distraction is a chicken. Don't let Jim The Boss find out you were distracted by something else! He'll just come crab around here!

  • AsphodelJones

    I was going to say the same thing. That's a gorgeous manicure.

  • http://scentoffashion.dk/ Camilla

    Thanks for a great post! Definitely very helpful :)


  • Sara Shabtai

    Have any of you tried the Josie Maran Argan Illuminizer product? For some reason too much product comes out and it's like, "well I can't just use a little, I paid $27 for this teeny tiny bottle, might as well use up whatever came out"..... 5 minutes later and I look like a golden leprechaun

    • MsEaves

      Try putting it on your collar bones! And if it's summer, your legs!

    • LJ

      Totally agree. Too sparkly, too much product comes out. Just chucked it.

  • Rosie

    is a cream/liquid highlighter okay to use w a setting powder? i use a liquid foundation but i have a pressed setting powder - will it get cakey?

    • ModernGrace

      I just tap this on places where I don't powder, like the top of cheekbones, bow of my lips, etc.

  • http://www.daisychainsanddreamers.wordpress.com/ Sarah

    This is gorgeous! Looks really silky :)


  • theshallowvoid

    I love the living luminizer. does anyone top it with powder to get rid of the almost wet look it has? I've done it before with the laura mercier secret brightening powder and I have to say I like the look a lot better than the stuff on its own.

  • Elizabeth Walker

    LOVE RMS products! A dream.

  • ITGLacey

    It's more of a "reapply at lunch" kinda thing for me, but I usually apply really lightly, so that's true of almost anything I use! Gives me an excuse to take a break & recenter myself ;)

  • ModernGrace

    I use the RMS and will try the Topshop version. My most recent purchase was theBalm Cindy Lou Manizer, and I want to apply it all over my face, haha. I also have dry skin and can't get enough glow.

  • ModernGrace

    I agree, and I use it when I can remember that I have it.

  • http://www.getmadcute.com/ MADCUTE

    I mix MAC's Strobe Cream with my foundation to create a luminizing tinted moisturizer-like effect.

  • Aparnaa

    OK, so here's a question. I get shiny, fast. Do I use luminizing cream? Or just let my natural oily self fly free?

    • ITGLacey

      I say you just let your shine flag fly—I really, really wish my skin were oiler!

      • Aparnaa

        It's not even hard! My skin is at the end of a 11 hour work day and only my eyeliner is still hanging on thanks to the oiliness. Well I guess that saves money for every other cosmetic I need... thanks!

  • http://www.jacquelinefonte.com/ Jacqueline Fonte

    But really, how to do this with brown skin? It's like all of those frosted chapsticks from my middle school nightmares: the second I apply anything with shimmer, I look, you know, FROSTED, like some kind of a melting cupcake. Anyone have any product rec's for someone on the darker end of the spectrum?

    • ikillplants

      I'm in your boat! Go for warmer bronzers with golden bases. I've been meaning to try the RMS Buriti bronzer for a long time, but my all-time all-star is the NARS Multiple in South Beach...I'm so loyal to it.

    • http://badoutfitgreatlipstick.blogspot.com Nae

      Like ikillplants said, go for more golden or bronzy products. The Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors come in a great bronze shade called Topaz; you could also do the Opal shade if you wanted something a bit lighter and pinker. The Balm Betty Lou-Manizer is advertised as a bronzer, but it has a definite sheen to it. I'd also recommend Chanel Soleil de Tan liquid, RMS Buriti Bronze, or some of the darker Makeup Forever Uplights.

  • Kate

    please tell us the name of that lovely nail polish!

  • rachel

    My vote is cast for MAC Creme Colour Base in Pearl. One layer is perfect for day on my ghost-white skin, multiple for evening.

  • L.J.

    Nars Copacabana for the win. (Want to try new matte sticks too...and then add Copacabana <---defeats purpose)

  • Bertiebeetle

    I also LOVE illuminators. My favourite of all is the Becca shimmering skin perfector in Opal but it really has the WORST packaging for what it is designed for. It comes in a pump and one pump gives you like 10x the amount you need to illuminate/highlight yo face so it's a huge waste. It looks so beautiful though and you only need the smallest amount.
    Other favourites are MAC iridescent powder in silver dusk; it's a bit more 'glittery' than the Becca so I use it more at night but you can apply it over powder which is great.
    Inika light reflecting cream is also beautiful , looks equally nice on my skin as the Becca and is great if you are concerned about ingredients and avoiding irritants like parabens and fragrance which the Becca product contains (why does an illuminator need fragrance??). It's very reasonably priced IMO, packaging is better than the Becca but a bit harder to find than the other two.

  • B

    RMS Living Luminizer is so beautiful. Also top on my list is Burberry Fresh Glow Fluid - SO gorgeous. I use it after sunscreen (or 5 layers of sunscreen, really) and then lightly dust loose powder on the T-zone, sparing the cheekbones (learnt this from Pat McGrath) so you don't steal the radiance away & your face will not look flat!

  • http://cosmoslyn.blogspot.com.au/ Ailyn Koay

    i have to get me some of that ... really need to fake it

  • Lindsay B.

    The best luminizer ever is Mary-Lou Manizer from the Balm

  • Diana Est

    It looks very much like two coats of Essie's Geranium. Hope Lacey eventually tells us the name of the polish because it's absolutely beautiful!

    • ITGLacey

      Michael Kors nail lacquer in Sensation!

  • Tamara

    I really love the MAC Cream Color Base in Improper Copper. It's a little more on the pinky/peach side with gold undertones and works really well for my skin tone.

  • ITGLacey

    It's Michael Kors nail lacquer in Sensation!

  • Sara

    Love this post! Tangential: WHAT IS THAT NAIL POLISH? Gorg.

  • Rebecca Wekking

    Please do share with us the name of that gorgeous nail polish! Such a perfect clean orange red!!

  • Tatiana

    Tom Ford makes amazing primer with a little bit of shimer which works really well on both fair and darker skin tones.

  • garliclovers

    What's the magnificent nail varnish color in slideshow? xx

  • http://www.clevergirlreviews.com/ Clever Girl Reviews

    I've got the Becca SSP in Pearl. I don't see myself ever running out of it but when I do I might consider the RMS. I can also use the Becca on top of powder. I also like the sunscreen in it. The tops of my cheeks are a mess with rosacea but they also burn easy too. This never breaks me out or makes, flakes, or pores look worse. Honestly, it's a miracle product! I prefer to be as organic and natural as possible but they will have to pry this bottle from my cold dead hands!

  • Elena

    I LOVE luminizer! The RMS one is lovely, even though I have oily skin I still use it and love it, I just blot a lil' bit and I'm good to go!
    I am pretty into Mac Cream Color Base in Hush (which works really well with olive skin) and pearl. I love Becca's Shimmer Skin Perfector in Opal. TheBomb's Mary-Lou Manizer is great too. I bought a stick highlighter from Top Shop that I'm not super into, it's a rose-gold color which I like but the formula doesn't have much staying power. I'll have to try the Dior Glow, Watts's Up, and Maybelline's Lumi Pen.

  • Cat Woods

    Physicians Formula and theBalm do awesome luminizers

  • http://crocusinsun.blogspot.com/ Crocus

    hey! I want to buy this rms living luminizer dupe at Mac and which one I should choose? Mac Pearl or luna? I can not buy RMS products because I live in Istanbul... Please help... :(


RMS Living Luminizer
Topshop Glow Highlighter
Dior Glow Maximizer Light Boosting Primer