Holy Grail Glows

A matte finish as the holy grail state of make-up is a minor passing cloud in today’s glowing sky. Setting sprays, lip glosses, highlighters in all their variations and the skincare brands influencing cosmetic trends are devoted to radiant finishes. Yet, we must still question why make-up’s renewed vitality is so important.

The spirit of highlighting – product, application, result – mingles effortless radiance with skilled application. Perhaps it is so popular because it suits global warming‘s melting of ice crystals, or because luminous skin indicates health, or because a glowy finish requires far less maintenance than matte. But I personally believe it lays with the passage of time and the nature of cosmetic trends. Time has allowed the perfect highlight, be it powder, cream, liquid, stick or even jelly, to embody pigmented colour that settles on the skin under the shimmer of the actual highlighting molecules.

The True Essence Of Highlighting

‘Highlighting’ is no longer the singular act of applying a silver shimmer on your cheekbones. Application is also required (for the most luminous of glows) on the nose, cupids bow, chin, brow arches and tails, and inner eyelid corners. The look achieved by tactical highlighting and attention to individual bone structure is somewhat un-achievable with well blended bronzer or cream contour.


I spent many a day in front of the mirror unsure on why highlighting is so hyped. I just didn’t get it. I found it impossible to apply without drowning my face and accentuating my pores, acne patches and scars, and ill-blended contour. I also found it impossible to work into a natural makeup look. But alas, after much experimentation, many fails and even more awful make-up days, I realised that choosing the right product is, as always, essential.

Josie Marie’s Take

My devotion to eyeshadow palettes works overtime in my psyche and directed me toward powdered and colouful highlight palettes, rather than strobing sticks or singular pans. I believe that a variation in colour provides better means to reach the perfect colour for your individual skin tone – if there is not one immediate suitable colour, a palette grants the opportunity to mix multiple colours.

My journey to radiance started with Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Moon Child palette. The purple pans and the warm undertones of the shade ‘Pink Heart’ coupled with the amazing reviews, convinced me this was the palette for me. Unfortunately, the colour pigments didn’t suit my skin tone, despite how pigmented and easy to apply they were.

Luckily, I did not have to search much further to discover that I was better suited to the shades in Jeffree Star’s 24 Karat Skinfrost Pro Palette. Taking place as my current highlight holy grail, the browns work as a median between contour and cheekbone highlight, while ‘Sarcophagus’ and ‘King Tut’ really do give an easy-to-blend, difficult-to-ignore glow. The pigment is as commendable as ABH’s glow kits.


This weekend, my make-up look (as pictured above) was bronzed skin, subtle shadow, natural brows and a Legendary-Sarcophagus-King Tut glow. Tactically mixing these colours to blend across my face made my glow look well blended and suited. Of course, the buttery formula of Jeffrey Star’s Skin Frost range played a big role in the easy blending.

For those looking to hone their highlighting craft, trial and error of palettes is definitely a good place to begin. I still don’t even know what brush to use, but at least I know what my highlight holy grail is.


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