Belfast Telegraph

Make-up masterclass: How to add glow to your skin with the perfect illuminator

Paddy McGurgan is one of NI's best-known beauty experts and each week tells you all you need to know about the latest make-up techniques and trends

By Paddy McGurgan

Whatever your skin type or tone, everyone loves to add a little bit of glow to their skin.

Whatever your skin type or tone, everyone loves to add a little bit of glow to their skin. You can do this in a variety of ways, however, one of the most popular is by using liquid illuminators. This is such an easy way to not only add dew to the skin but also natural coverage, perfect for holidays or even a lighter daywear approach. Here are my all-time favourite liquid illuminators.

Iconic London Illuminator Drops, £30

I do love using this product, and a little goes a long way. My favourite shade of this liquid illuminator is 'original' as it is a beautiful bronze shade. I always recommend using a duo fibre brush when applying your illuminator - this will ensure the product goes evenly and smoothly on to the skin.


NYX Born to Glow Illuminator, £8

I recently picked this product up and I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. I love how it's not intense, so I'm able to layer it up to the pigment and intensity that I need. I love versatility within a product and being able to use it for various functions. I also use this product as an eyeshadow shimmer base for my pigments, to give an intense base. I simply use a flat eyeshadow brush and pat this at the edge of the tear duct until midway across the lid, then pack my shimmer product across. I love using a shimmer cream/liquid product as a base for my shimmers as I feel this intensifies the pigment and colour. This illuminator comes in several shades so you are sure to get one that will suit you.


Shiseido Synchro Skin, £32

I recently got sent the Shiseido Synchro Skin Illuminator and, of course, I tore into the packaging to test it out. I was blown away by my first pump on the back of my hand. I tried the gold shade. It came out almost like a foam/gel consistency and with only one blend into the skin it totally absorbed. It is probably the most effortlessly natural illuminator I have used to date. For me, this would be my go-to on a shoot, where natural dew and illumination is key. If you're a blinding highlight girl, you may want to add a more intense illuminator, but this was so beautiful on the skin and added a golden coverage underneath as well. Massive thumbs up from me, Shiseido!


Make-up Atelier FLV2, £22.50

Anyone who has followed this column or kept up with my social media will know this is my all-time kit essential. This is Make-up Atelier's Liquid Illuminator in shade 'FLV2'. I find this product really hits the balance between natural glow and blinding highlight. It is an intense liquid product but glides beautifully onto the skin for easy blend-ability. This product comes in lighter and darker shades, however, FLV2 suits nearly all clients from natural brides to editorial photoshoots and even night-time full glam clients. I use this on the high points of the face - for example the upper cheekbones and around the outside of the face - for added shine and dewiness.


Maybelline Master Strobe Liquid Medium, £7.99

​This product has a micro-fine pearl formula and boosts glow for a subtle sheen. The translucent liquid can be mixed with foundation for an all-over illuminated look or used sparingly on particular features to add dimension such as the bridge of the nose, cheekbones and under-brow arch.​ It is very lightweight and easy to blend and apply, and it comes in a really beautiful warm skintone colour.

Perfect for all day wear!


How to shine... in the best possible way!

  1. An illuminator's main function is to demand light to hit an area of the face, so be savvy where you place your product. If you have any blemishes or texture you would rather not highlight, then be wary to not place product there, as the illuminator will highlight this.
  2. Always be conscious of the colour of the product and colour match as best you can. The right match should disappear into your base and skin, leaving only a hint of luminosity when it catches the light.
  3. Only apply the liquid illuminator on the high points of the face as this is where light will hit the face, so as the face moves the light will naturally hit the skin.
  4. An illuminator is not a foundation. Covering your entire face with it will only have you mistaken for a Christmas bauble. Only apply on certain areas.
  5. If you want an all over golden glow, then add a small amount of your illuminator in with your foundation for an added natural dew to the skin.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph