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The Best Liquid Illuminators

Writer and expert6 years ago
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Forget foundation and concealer, the beauty product that gets closest to creating that airbrushed perfection is well placed illuminator. It adds accents, sharpens cheekbones, refines the nose, lifts the eyebrows, plumps lips and gives the illusion of skin that’s radiant with health.

Powders started the trend, but used with a heavy hand they can end up looking metallic, streaky and false, which is why liquid illuminators have raised the beauty game considerably. Tough to misuse, versatile, flattering and, crucially, blendable.

Not all liquid illuminators are created equal though; formulations vary in texture, tone and formula with liquid gels sitting alongside metallic creams. Here are the latest additions to our makeup in order of subtlety.


If you love a product that’s versatile or prefer your makeup to do more than one thing then Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops, £34, give you that element of ‘multi-use’. The names, which include Celestial, Halo and Candlelight, give you an idea of what you’re getting - lit from within, radiant, luminous skin - and they can be used alone without looking fake or can, as the name suggests, be added into a foundation or cream to ramp up your glow.


There’s a current trend - you’ll find it on Instagram - for product to be directly dripped onto skin from a pipette. You can  do exactly that with Iconic London Illuminator Drops, £32.99 if you so wish. The three shades, Shine, Original and Glow (read: light, medium and dark), all pack a hefty punch in the shimmer department, but the liquid is incredibly blendable so hard to misuse. Add a couple of drops into your foundation or a tinted moisturiser for a glowing base or tap on top of you base with fingertips then use a brush to diffuse the liquid for a natural finish.


Glowing skin will never go out of fashion, but we have to give a nod to trends and holographic highlighters have been making something of a noise in the beauty world. Wunder2 Prime & Behold, £17.95, gives a holographic finish that lasts 24 hours. If your mind instantly turns to festivals then you’re close to the mark as the finish has an added dimension; rather than a glow and gleam you’re getting eye-catching and, well, holographic. The good news is you can blend or use sparingly to get a less holographic, more accented finish making it another versatile addition to your beauty bag.


If the word chrome makes you think of custom alloys on a sick super car or the finish in your kitchen then think again because chrome is very much a thing in beauty. We’ve seen it in lipstick and Barry M Liquid Chrome Highlighter Drops, £6.99, offers it in an intense, metallic liquid highlighter. This is most definitely 'a look', but considering you get a fair bit of change from £10 it’s a trend you can take a punt on.

Writer and expert
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