Makeup Wars shines with favorite Highlighters and Illuminators

Favorite highlighters & illuminators from Tom Ford, Hourglass, IT Cosmetics, Becca

Favorite highlighters & illuminators from Tom Ford, Hourglass, IT Cosmetics, Becca

MAKEUP WARS is sharing some of the highlighters and illuminators that make us twinkle and shine, that make us glimmer and shimmer, that make us excited to be women in 2016.

Not every one of my highlighters is shown here, just the 3 newest and one all time favorite. There are many more that I really like but some just stand out more than others. Introducing 4 of mine: TOM FORD MOODLIGHT, HOURGLASS AMBIENT IRIDESCENT STROBE LIGHT, IT COSMETICS HELLO LIGHT CREME ILLUMINATOR, and BECCA MOONSTONE.

Tom Ford Skin Illuminator Powder Duo in Moodlight

Tom Ford Skin Illuminator Powder Duo in Moodlight

Tom Ford Skin Illuminator Powder Duo in Moodlight ($80) is one gorgeous illuminator. I resisted this for so long but the more I read about it and saw photos the more I desired it. This is amazingly subtle even if the photo doesn’t look that way. You are able to control the amount of illumination, easily building it up from an understated amount that brightens and lightens your face to a shimmery amount that gives more of a bronzing highlight. Tom Ford Moodlight (sometimes seen as Moonlight on a website) can be used separately or together. Use a big fluffy brush for an all over sweep of illumination or a blush brush to emphasize certain areas of your face.

Hourglass Ambient Iridescent Strobe Light

Hourglass Ambient Iridescent Strobe Light

There are 4 different Hourglass Ambient Strobe Powders. I chose Iridescent since it has a touch of pink that the others I’ve been using lack. Hourglass Ambient Iridescent Strobe Light is described as an illuminating pink powder imparting a soft highlight. I have very fair cool toned skin and I thought this would add enough brightness without being overwhelming. And I was right. This is subtle yet lights up my face. The powder is angel soft to the touch yet doesn’t ever look powdery on me.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone ($38) is the golden highlighter that I have. I bought a set that contained a travel size of Moonstone and it was one of the best buys I made. Moonstone, one of 7 shades, is a pale gold. It is slightly sparkly so it’s not a daytime look for me. I prefer to apply this with my fingers instead of a brush. It has an almost creamy finish to it so my fingers pick up this very soft powder and I find that my face is more luminous when used this way. The formula is enriched with ultrafine luminescent pearls. If I had to pick one brand for highlighting and illuminating it would be Becca. They really do stand out in this field.

Becca, Hourglass, Tom Ford swatches

Becca, Hourglass, Tom Ford swatches

As someone who favors cream products I couldn’t leave out IT COSMETICS ($24). They’ve created two Hello Lights! Anti-Aging Illuminizers – Powder and  Creme. I love them both but IT Cosmetics Hello Lights Anti-Aging Creme Illuminizer is my favorite.

IT Cosmetics Hello Lights Anti-Aging Creme Illuminizer

IT Cosmetics Hello Lights Anti-Aging Creme Illuminizer

Besides having wonderful anti-aging and hydrating ingredients (infused with peptides, hyaluronic acid, hydrolyzed collagen, silk and vitamins A, C, & E), it gives such a subtle and luminous glow. It’s perfect for spot highlighting like at the top of your cheekbones, above your eyebrows, and the cupid’s bow of your mouth. It’s a lit from within look and one I use often.

There are dozens more highlighters and illuminators that I enjoy using. Adding a bit of a liquid highlighter into foundation gives a beautiful dewy look, using an illuminating primer like COVER FX does all the work for you. Just don’t go without at least one of these wonderful products in your makeup collection.

Do you have a favorite in this category? Dare I ask what it is?  — Marcia


  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post! As soon as I saw the title of your post in my inbox, I knew that TOM FORD and Hourglass would make the list! I need those Becca and IT Cosmetics beauties as well!

  2. @Lola – you are the one who convinced me I couldn’t live without the Hourglass and Tom Ford. I’d love to get more of the Hourglass and Becca eventually.

  3. Such lovely choices! I have a difficult time with this category because I’m unsure about the right shades to choose and where to wear them. I have 3 liquid pink illuminators that I love, but I recently saw a photo of myself with it on my nose and I clearly didn’t work it in enough. How embarrassing! I have an Hourglass Ambient Lighting but I think the shade picked by the SA/MUA at Sephora is too dark for me, as is the Becca rose gold highlighter that I picked myself. Right now, my fave is theBalm’s Cindy Lou Luminizer that I use for contouring or as a blush

  4. Ohhhh the Tom Ford! <3

  5. I almost included that IT Cosmetics Hello Lights Creme Iluminator, too (great minds)! It’s really beautiful. I’ve yet to buy the Hourglass Ambient Strobe Powder, but know that I’ll eventually cave. I love the regular Ambient Lighting Powders.

  6. Great choices! That Tom Ford tho…. that one is probably my favorite.

  7. Love IT Cosmetics!!! Great choices!

  8. That Tom Ford is to die for!

  9. The It Cosmetics one is pretty on you!

  10. The becca highlighters are like butter. That’s going to be my next purchase to treat myself.

  11. The Hourglass powder looks amazing!

  12. I only have a few highlighters and don’t wear them that often–these are beautiful!

  13. I love my The Balm Mary LOUminizer!

  14. Great choices. I LOVE my Tom Ford Moodlight. It’s one of my best ever splurges. It’s just so freaking gorgeous and easy to wear. I put some on my sister in law when she came over on Christmas Eve and of course, she immediately wanted to steal it. lol

  15. I have Tom Ford Moodlight and it’s one of my most used highlighters ever

  16. I still haven’t tried Hourglass strobing powders. Gotta get on that!

  17. YASSSSS – I will take one of each. Gorgeous!

  18. I can see why that Tom Ford palette is so desirable! So pretty. I agree that Becca knows highlighters! I love my Becca products. I have a cream highlighter from IT Cosmetics, but it’s in a palette, so I’m not sure if it’s the same one. I do like it, though. Great picks!

  19. How can you not love a bit of highlighter! I am really loving the Becca one.

  20. I’m giggling…because I have all four of these. I don’t think that’s ever happened before where I’m reading about a variety of things and I have them all, and yet I’m not surprised because we like the same things, so I shoulda known! Moonstone is my favorite Becca

  21. Neha Kaul says

    I’ve always wondered why Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick was/is considered the ultimate highlighter when there are so many other brands that do just as good a job if not better.

  22. I’ve heard so many good things about the Tom Ford duo, and the Becca is one of my favorites even though mine broke! 🙁

  23. That Tom Ford is so dreamy! I’ve been drooling over it for a while…trying so hard to resist!