Review: 3 best brightening makeup primers and highlighters

This trio of tried and tested brightening powders and illuminating primers will be your best beauty bet for adding depth and dimension to a no-makeup makeup look

I don’t know about you, but these days I’m all about “mermaid makeup”. The goal is to look like you've just swam a few laps and emerged on the edge of a Siloso beach rockpool. (My foes might say I’m more of an Ursula than Ariel, but heed not these haters …)

In any case, here’s a rapidfire run-through of a trio of my favourite highlighters, helpfully divvied up into powder and fluid form. For your perusal and prospective purchase, please!

#1 Cle de Peau Beaute Luminizing Face Enhancer in 14, $140

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WHY I LOVE IT: My beauty buddies are wont to roll their mascaraed eyes whenever I start on one of my Cle de Peau Beaute proselytising spiels, but hey, this is a personal review and this is honest-to-goodness paradise in a pan.

Pulled one too many all-nighters? The carefully calibrated mix of pink and plum pigments in this comforting compact is just about the only powder formula capable of breathing life and light into my skin – better at fending off signs of fatigue than snatching forty winks, in my opinion.

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Here’s the one-minute trick I deploy whenever I’m in need of an emergency, is-she-or-isn’t-she shimmer. Sweep this sandy-hued highlighter along your cheekbones and keep the rest of your face beautifully bare; the featherweight formula leaves zero telltale streaks, at least on my combination skin.

#2 Shu Uemura Stage Performer Glow Creator, $62

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WHY I LOVE IT: Make for this multitasker if you can’t abide tedious eight-step regimes. I like warming up a generous globful in my palms – I’ve found that this is essential for easy application of this somewhat viscous salve – then patting it into bare skin as a brightening base; on good skin days, this alone should suffice.

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Need a tad more coverage? Easy: Tap tiny dots on your brow bone, cheeks and chin over your conventional foundie to lend light to specific focal points on your face. Wee disclaimer for shine-adverse folks: This particular product boasts a pretty bold pearlescence that may take a little getting used to.

Got a couple of minutes to spare before your date comes a-knocking on your door? Smear the cream up to your temples and blend well with a synthetic brush. I’ve found that the V-shaped contours lends my visage a sun-kissed smoulder – very fetching, very flirty, very natural.

#3 Make Up For Ever White Definition Instant Brightening Powder Foundation SPF30/PA++, $20 for case and $65 for refill

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WHY I LOVE IT: This full-on foundation is the “dark” horse in a stable of blindingly white stallions, in that it comes off more matte than most. Coverage is incredibly respectable for a powder product of its ilk; the freckles speckling my forehead were well nigh undetectable after just one sweep.

Even more intriguing is this powder’s uncanny knack for reading as radiant on film; no small feat for something that purports to squelch shine as well.

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And yes, it makes good on the latter promise: My kwali complexion was comfortably satiny after an afternoon’s worth of cavorting on a yacht. Stash this in your arsenal of touch-up tools if you’re planning a  beachside date with your beau.

Speaking of beaches, I trust this review of my mermaid makeup essentials will of use to fellow aspiring Ariels. Good luck getting your glow on!


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