The bright stuff
On a list of desert island die-withouts, illuminiser is definitely in my top ten. Perhaps it's not as crucial as tinted sunscreen and mascara (waterproof, obviously), but it is way up above eyeshadow and concealer – probably because it can double nicely for both.
Yep, in this beauty addict's humble opinion, it's a survival item. So when Bh member Mandy wrote in and asked if she could wear blush or bronzer as well as illuminiser without looking like a mirrorball, I answered with eyes (cheeks and collarbones) gleaming: yes, Mandy, you can. You should. You must!
Let us consider all the obvious things to love about a gleam cream. Mixed with moisturiser or foundation it makes you beam with exquisite radiance when you feel anything but bright. Dabbed on, it bounces light away from blemishes and lightens dark circles. And when you want to sparkle without looking like a showgirl, it keeps shimmer chic.
But the thing I love most about illuminiser is that it's the master of illusions. Manipulating light, depth and shadow, beauty's bright spark helps highlight what you have and fake what you don't – and that's why it's a cheekbone's best friend. After blush or bronzer, of course.
In fact, a London make-up artist once told me that illuminiser's the secret weapon that Posh uses to sharpen her razorblade cheekbones (I'm guessing along with her sourpuss pout and apparent aversion to lunch).
Here's what you do:
After locating the upper and lower rims of your cheekbones with your fingers, use a blush brush to apply bronzer just under the bottom rim before curving it up and onto your apples. Then pat illuminiser along the upper ridge of each cheekbone… and boom! Cheeks you could cut cookies with! Same goes if you're using blush instead of bronzer.
If you're a dab hand, you can probably handle the seam between a powder blush and luminising lotion or cream (that's why you pat, not rub or smooth, the illuminiser on). But if you're worried about creating a 'muddy' mess, try a powder illuminiser instead.
Tip: Peruse loads of pretty illuminating products on beautyheaven here.
Of course, you can apply a little light to your brow bones, collarbones, temples or décolleté too, but if you're worried about overdoing it, start with the one feature you want to highlight most and reassess the glow-factor at each step.
Phew. Told you I love illuminiser a little more than is normal. I hope my obsession sheds a little light on the subject for you too, Mandy.