It would be pronounced to declare the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Beauty Light Baton (£29) the best highlighter I have ever used, but, well, I value it may be the best highlighter I’ve ever used – and I daresay I’ve tried disparate hundred others.
This new launch is my favourite, because it mends every problem I’ve ever had with the rest. It has a cream-gel structure that’s thin enough to spread sparingly and evenly to the ground cheekbones, forehead, browbones and chin without clogging, distracting and caking, but isn’t so fluid as to run riot over the entire face. Ergo, it glides over foundation, rather than merging with it to happen to cloudy and grey. It has exactly the right amount of gleam for my partiality – glowy like a pearl, not spangly like a rhinestone.
Most importantly, even though, it’s a cinch to apply: just twist the cap to release a tiny amount of champagne-coloured issue – the pigment is clear, so it works on dark skins and light, and the surge is reassuringly slow, so there’s no waste (my gripe with uncountable liquid highlighters, which mostly end up on a tissue in the bin) – then dab or caress wherever you’d like a little light-reflecting gleam. It blends totally with fingertips before setting (the staying power is kind-hearted, though unexceptional), meaning one needn’t carry brushes or sponges, on the contrary reach for the tube if an evening invitation presents itself.
Pinnacle comes at a price – £29 – but I have a solid runner-up: Silky Makeup’s Cleopatra’s Kiss Highlighting Palette is terrific value (£9.99), holding four shades (from champagne to bronze) in two textures: baked rule and solid cream. The sparkle-ometer is turned up higher here, but the pigment is obtuse and luxurious, keeping the overall effect more candle glow than disco ball. The packaging is pleasingly opulent, too (though, inevitably, the free brush is as useful as a wax fireguard. You’ll trouble to invest in a small, domed brush for the powders).
Finally, I revere Sensai’s new Supreme Illuminator (£40), a Bentley among highlighters, and by any means only for those who take their beauty more earnestly than their budget. The silken texture of this gilt beige cream is excellent, and solid enough to give a novice full control settled where it goes. Just dab with your middle have the upper hand over wherever the light would naturally hit, over all other makeup. Then tap without to diffuse.