How to Use Liquid Illuminator

Liquid illuminators are a great way to add subtle yet striking lighting effects to your face and body. Whether you’re looking for a lit-from-within glow and more dramatic contouring or highlighting, liquid illuminator is the perfect product for anyone who wants to play with light and dimensions of their features. 

With its easy application, maintaining glowing skin throughout the day has never been simpler – it’s just a question of knowing what products will work for you and how best to use them. But how exactly do you use this product?

Read on to learn more about how to use liquid illuminator and get expert tips for making the most of it. 

What Is A Liquid Illuminator

A liquid illuminator is a makeup product that adds radiance and glow to the skin. It comes in a fluid formula and contains light-reflecting particles that help to enhance the natural luminosity of the skin. 

Liquid illuminators can be applied to specific areas of the face, such as the cheekbones, brow bones, and nose, to create a subtle or intense highlight effect.

Uses of Liquid Illuminator

Adding a Glow to Skin: Liquid illuminators are used to provide a hint of glow and subtle radiance to the skin, which helps in giving it a natural luminous finish. The green tea extract and other ingredients prevent wrinkles, reduce skin redness and protect the skin from sun damage.

Enhancing Facial Features: The light-reflecting particles in liquid illuminator help in accentuating facial features such as the cheekbones, nose, and cupid’s bow. It can also be used to create a subtle highlight on the eyebrows for an extra-defined look.

Mixing with Foundation: Using a liquid illuminator as a mixer with foundation helps ensure that skin looks dewy and natural rather than cakey or flat. This combination is great for creating an all-over glow look.

Doubling up as Highlighter: Liquid illuminators can effectively highlight the high points of the face such as cheekbones, forehead, and bridge of the nose to give a more sculpted and radiant look. 

Acting as Eye Primer: Instead of using an eye primer, liquid illuminator can provide a subtle highlighting effect around the eyes while also creating a smooth base for makeup. This helps in extending the wear time and intensity of eye makeup. 

Liquid Illuminator vs Primer

Liquid Illuminator vs Primer

While both liquid illuminators and primers are used to enhance the appearance of the skin, they serve different purposes. 

A primer is typically used as a base for makeup application and helps to smooth out the skin’s texture, minimize pores, and improve the longevity of makeup.  In contrast, a liquid illuminator adds a luminous glow to specific areas of the face and is usually applied after primer and before foundation. 

While some liquid illuminators may also have hydrating or moisturizing properties, they are not primarily used as a makeup base.

How to Use Liquid Illuminator

Follow the steps below to apply liquid illuminator and create a noticeable glow: 

Apply illuminator after foundation

Begin by applying your preferred foundation, ensuring you have an even coverage over your entire face. Once the foundation is blended in, take the liquid illuminator and apply it to the areas of your face where you would naturally catch the light, such as your cheeks, nose, chin and forehead. Make sure you apply in moderation to stop foundation from settling in pores.

Dab the illuminator on your cheeks

To apply the illuminator on your cheeks, take a small amount of product onto your fingertips and lightly dab it onto the apples of your cheeks until you have achieved an even coverage. Start from the outer edges of your face and work inwards.

Use the illuminator down the bridge of your nose

To highlight the bridge of your nose, take a small amount of illuminator onto your fingertip and lightly run it along both sides of your nose in an upward motion, from the tip to just under the brow bone area.

Apply a small dab to your chin, upper lip, and forehead

Take a small amount of product and lightly dab it onto your chin. For your upper lip and forehead area, use a slightly smaller amount, as these areas are more delicate than other parts of your face. When applying the illuminator to these areas, start slowly by taking a small amount of product and building up the coverage if needed.

Blend in the illuminator

To finish your look, blend the illuminator in with your foundation and skin tone. Start from the outer edges of your face and use gentle sweeping motions with a makeup sponge to work your way towards the center. This will ensure that your complexion looks naturally glowing and vibrant. 

How To Choose The Perfect Glow Liquid Illuminator Shade

Decide if the illuminator is right for your skin type

Illuminators come in liquid, cream, and powder forms. Different formulas are better suited for different skin types – for instance, cream illuminators work best on dry skin, while powder works great with oily or combination skin. 

Select a liquid illuminator for a soft, natural-looking glow

Liquid illuminators are the best choice if you’re looking for a natural and subtle finish. It blends into your base makeup seamlessly and gives your skin a dewy, glowing look.

Choose a powder illuminator for a long-lasting finish

Powder illuminator

Powder illuminators are great for achieving a long-lasting look. It has a slightly more matte finish than liquid illuminators and is less prone to fading.

Use a golden or bronze illuminator for olive or darker skin tones

If you have an olive or darker skin tone, choose a golden or bronze illuminator—these shades will work best to bring out the beauty of your skin tone.

Try a pearly or pink liquid illuminator for fair skin

If you have fair skin, opt for a liquid illuminator with pearl or pink undertones. This will give you an ethereal, natural-looking glow without looking over the top or artificial. 

Mixing Liquid Illuminator with Other Makeup Products

When it comes to mixing a liquid illuminator with other products, the most popular combination is with:

  • Foundation
  • Moisturizer
  • Body lotion

When used in conjunction with foundation, liquid illuminator helps give an overall radiant glow to your complexion that won’t look too shimmery or glittery. It can also help to even out and smooth your skin’s texture while adding a subtle sheen. 

When using liquid illuminator in combination with moisturizer, it helps to give the skin an extra hydrated and glowing boost of colour. 

You can also mix liquid illuminator into body lotion for an all-over glow that won’t feel too heavy or uncomfortable on the skin. 

Tips To Use An Illuminator For A Healthy Glow

  •  Dab the product only in areas you want to emphasize.
  • Mix a few drops of illuminator with your favourite moisturizer or SPF lotion.
  • Mix a few drops of illuminator with your foundation to get a dewy, subtle radiance.
  • Mix a drop of illuminator with a cream or liquid concealer to reflect light under the eyes. This will create the illusion of a bright, well-rested face.
  • Use your illuminator as a primer under your foundation or mattifying powder. 
  • Layer a liquid illuminator under a blush can alter the finish of the blush and provide a whole new dimension to your face makeup.
  • To add extra oomph to your sun-kissed look, mix a drop or two of illuminator with your liquid bronzer.
  • Emphasize your collarbone or enhance your bust by applying an illuminator to the highest points.

DIY Liquid Illuminator For A Naturally Glowing Complexion

Creating a DIY liquid illuminator is a simple and affordable way to achieve a natural glow. 

  • Mix a small amount of liquid highlighter or shimmer powder with a few drops of facial oil or moisturizer. 
  • Blend well and apply to the desired areas of the face for a luminous effect. 
  • Experiment with different ratios of highlighter and oil/moisturizer to achieve your desired level of luminosity. 

This DIY liquid illuminator is a great alternative to store-bought products and can be customized to suit different skin types and preferencess.


What do liquid illuminators do for the face?

Illuminators are products used to give your skin a natural-looking, radiant glow. These light-reflecting liquids and creams can be applied around the eyes, nose, cheeks, brow bones, and temples to create a subtle highlight or strobing effect. They can also be used to add a subtle warmth to the skin, eliminate redness or even out your complexion.

Is liquid illuminator the same as highlighter?

Highlighters and liquid illuminators both create glowing effects on the face, but they are not exactly the same. Highlighters are usually thicker and creamier than liquid illuminators, and can be used to create a more intense look with greater color payoff. Liquid illuminators tend to be lighter and less pigmented, giving a subtle sheen or radiance without as much color payoff. 

Can I use illuminator as primer?

Yes. Illuminators can be used as primers, but they are not designed for this purpose and may not provide the same level of coverage or effectiveness as dedicated primers. Primers are usually applied to even out skin texture and prepare the face for makeup, while illuminators are meant only to add glow and highlight the face. 

How do I know which shade of liquid illuminator to choose?

The best way to choose a shade of liquid illuminator is to consider your skin tone, undertone, and desired effect. For fair skin tones, opt for a light champagne or pink-toned illuminator, while medium to dark skin tones should choose a deeper gold or bronze shade. If you want a subtle glow, look for an illuminator with less pigment, while those wanting more color payoff should opt for a more pigmented product.

Can liquid illuminator be used on any skin tone?

Yes. When going for an illuminator, consider your skin tone and undertone as well as the desired effect. For fair skin tones, opt for a light champagne or pink-toned illuminator, while medium to dark skin tones should choose a deeper gold or bronze shade. Different formulas and finishes can also be used to customize the look for your individual skin type.

Create A Glow Skin With Liquid Illuminator

Everyone wants to have that gorgeous, glowing complexion. And, with the help of liquid illuminator, you can easily achieve it. 

All you need is to follow the easy steps discussed. Who said you needed a professional makeup artist to get that beautiful sheen? With liquid illuminators, you can become the envy of many. So why wait? Go out there and glow today. 

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