Concealer, mascara, lip balm--those are the makeup essentials most women say they can't live without. But highlighter, whether mixed into foundation, smeared on post-blush, or dabbed onto the temples after a strong SPF, is rapidly making its case for a place on the must-have list. The creamy formulas instantly illuminate your face, without sparkle, for a grown-up glow.
Once you find your favorite (ours, including two dual-purpose eye shadows, are pictured above), the trick is to place the highlighter in exactly the right spots, or as M.A.C.'s lead makeup artist Francelle Daly says, "The high planes of the face where the sun naturally hits." Smear a U-shaped line around the outer eye, along the orbital bone, and spread it out onto your temples. Then use a pin-sized amount in three more places: down the bridge of your nose, above the center of your lips in the Cupid's Bow, and just below the middle of your lower lip, above your chin. Make sure it's thoroughly blended in-fingers work best-and the light will do the rest.
1. Benefit Cosmetics High Beam
($15) in Retrospeck
3. YSL Dare to Glow Illuminator
($28) in Naughty Pink
4. CK One Skin Illuminator by ck Calvin Klein
($20) in Warm
5. Victoria Secret Pro Radiant FX Face Illuminator
6. Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Eyeshadow
($7) in Too Cool
7.Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate
($75) in Intensity One