We ran into a bit of a naming dispute at ITG HQ when shooting this story. Those products you dab on your cheekbones, under your brows, in the inner corners of your eyes...are they highlighters? Luminizers? Il luminizers? For people who write and photograph beauty every day, we were needlessly stumped. Not that it matters—call it whatever you'd like, but the concept is the same: catching the light and reflecting it like the majestic wood nymph you are (or aspire to be).
The real question you should be asking yourself when approaching the realm of (let's just pick one) highlighters is: How do you want to glow? There's the louder, “ I'm Coming Out' approach, full of sparkle. Then there's the hidden-in-plain sight technique, where you can only tell there's something there when you tilt your face toward the light. Both are equally valid. Please share your current highlight personality below.
Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer : Subtly shimmery for an all-over glow—best mixed with foundation.
Jouer Highlighter in Camellia : Where you put it, it shows (it's straight up white, no cool or warm undertones to contend with). We zig-zagged it down Sofia Tesmenitskaya's face here.
Nars Illuminator in Copacabana : Looks pink in the bottle, but the iridescence goes on blue. It's pretty concentrated, so go light unless you're looking to do the full David Bowie.
Smashbox Halo Highlighting Wand in Pearl: Another subtle one. Consider this one your secret to looking well-moisturized when you're clearly not.
Buxom Divine Goddess Luminizer : Finally, some full-on glitter. Reach for this when in the mood for that VS-Angel vibe that's more sexy than demure (ain't nothing wrong with that).
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Moonstone : Worth. The. Hype. It's unassuming in the compact (sort of looks like your standard powder on a mica trip)—but that's the trick. Highlighter is just part of the equation; the other half is how it evens out your complexion. This one's a good choice for faces that tend to go rosy quickly when out in the sun.
Benefit Watt's Up! : In a perfect world, everything for the face would come in a stick. Drag Watt's Up! (absolute pun gold) anywhere you need a little illumination, blend up with the sponge or just your fingers, and you're done. Easy peasy.
Sofia Tesmenitskaya (Wilhelmina) photographed by Tom Newton. On the other side of highlighters are bronzers— here are our favorites.