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Chronology has gone to pot and I'm following up THE BRONZE AGE with THE GOLDEN AGE, a post dedicated to the humble highlighter. Favouring a highlighter above all other makeup-related purchases, I strongly believe that when it comes to adding finesse to your makeup look, the Midas touch is the finishing touch. A golden glow is most definitely in and with summer an already distant memory and the highlighter/illuminator a more popular product than ever, it's time to banish that Miss Havisham-esque chalky pallor in favour of something a little more Shirley Eaton in Goldfinger.  

The true beauty of the highlighter is that there are so many options; in terms of application, texture, and finish, you're as spoilt for choice as you are when it comes to picking out a lipstick colour. Whether you opt for the bright, bold, full-of-sparkle approach or demurely choose the barely-there hidden in plain sight option, it's all about gold.

Say aloha to a golden glow from here on in.

MAC Cream Colour Base in Pearl

Cream textures feel fresher and lighter for summer than heavier powders, and this pearlescent champagne coloured solid melts with touch and commits to a seasonally appropriate finish without compromising upon delivering a noticeable golden glow. Just a dab of this sheer illuminator creates chiselled cheekbones and a youthful je ne sais quoi glow, perfect for skin in need of a pick-me-up. Subtle, radiant and refreshingly wearable and grown-up [its glitter-free], this allows the user to brighten the face with precision application and erases tiredness in a flash [literally]. 



THE BALM Mary-Lou Manizer

Designed to reflect light and subtly sculpt cheekbones, this decadent powder departs a creamy gold Victoria's Secret angel glow with just the right amount of glitter. Despite being unassuming in the compact, the words 'subtle' and 'natural' do not feature in this product's vocabulary when it comes to application; thanks to the high shimmer content it creates a show-stopping luminescence perfect for an evening look, the type that will party on all night [and probably would for a good week afterwards] if permitted. This is megawatt highlighting, so if you're using it all over, do so with a light hand and be very conservative with application. Essentially though, this compact is here for times when you want to look like a member of the Cullen family caught in a rare ray of Washington State sunshine. N.B. For amazing wearability [dawn to dusk glow, truly], use to set a cream or liquid highlighter. 

NO7 Skin Illuminator Radiance Boosting Beauty Fluid

With a neutral sheen that blends well and results in a barely-there silken glow, this glides on beautifully; expect a satin smooth finish and a hint of iridescence [not to be confused with glitter, this is shimmer at most]. The resultant effect is a lit-from-within luminosity, for it makes skin look fresh and healthy rather than contoured and sculpted. Rather than using the attached brush applicator, I prefer instead to dot this over my cheekbones and blend with my fingers for a sheer buildable sheen with a wet-look finish. It's also thin enough to mix with primer or foundation for an elusive all-over glow; multipurpose and marvellous.

KIKO Radiant Touch Creamy Stick Highlighter*

One of my nearest and dearest makeup allies [for who doesn't love a beauty product in stick form??], this creamy pearlescent highlighter will make your cheekbones look godgiven, with appropriate placement. Soft and velvety to touch, it exudes a golden glow that looks incredible with a tan [but is also equally suited to a winter look, for it serves to warm the complexion]. Sweep this in a '3' shape from cheekbones to temples for photo-op perfect illumination and pure unadulterated golden goddess vibes.

THE BODY SHOP Highlighting Dome in Golden

In the absence of a decent stint of sun, this will provide that luminously healthy 'just got back from the Carribbean' glow; a whisper of bronzer wrapped in a pearly golden sheen, best served doled out across the cheekbones. If it contains any glitter, it's microscopic, so don't worry about this sinking into and emphasising pores. Creamy in texture with a sheer but not short-lived finish, the formula allows you to be liberal in your application in order build up from chic and neutral to bright and bold. The solid applicator does drag if used for direct application so I would recommend applying with a buffing brush. 

CHANEL Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder

Highlighting powders have come on in leaps and bounds since the heavy glitter-infused compacts of yesteryear; these days they're weightlessly smooth and virtually undetectable, offering a sheer wash of gold without concealing or mattifying. A case in point, and one of the first new-gen options to hit the market, Chanel's offering is inspired by the naturally radiant complexion gained in spending time outdoors [a look favoured and pioneered by Gabrielle Chanel herself]. Expect a pure, fresh radiance, the kind of outdoorsy sun-kissed glow you get from a brisk walk across the beach.

What are your go-to products for a golden glow?