Bronzer Vs Highlighter Vs Luminizer – What’s The Difference?

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Bronzer, highlighter, and luminizer are all facial cosmetics. However, they all have different uses. When applying makeup, it is important to know what each of these does, how they are different, and how to apply them. In this article, we will explain the ins and outs of each item.

When you apply bronzer, you are looking to warm up your face, which will result in healthier-looking skin. While bronzer is used to create depth, highlighters are used to make your skin glow. Luminizer, also known as an illuminator, is another product used to add glow to your skin. However, it is different than a highlighter, even though the two are commonly confused. 

Throughout this post, we will discuss the differences between these three products and how to use them. In addition to making sure you are well-educated on how the products work, we are also going to include some high-quality suggestions to help you shop for the product you need. Keep reading!

A woman brushing her face with powder inside the powder room, Bronzer Vs Highlighter Vs Luminizer - What's The Difference?

All About Bronzer

When you apply bronzer, your goal is not to make your whole face look tan. It is to add warmth and depth to your skin, as well as give the appearance of healthier skin. It is not designed to add color to your face.

The basic steps in using bronzer are to tap a makeup brush in bronzer, then apply it to all the places on your face where it hits. These places are the perimeter of your face, your cheekbones, temples, and forehead. Next, blend the makeup in small circles. Then, with the remaining product, brush the makeup on your nose, chin, and neck. If you want to look more chiseled, you can also use bronzer to outline your jawbone.

If you are looking for a more natural style, bronzer can be great to add depth and warmth to your face. Although bronzer can be worn year-round, it definitely gives an advantage to summer looks because it makes your skin look warmer.

To get a high-quality look, you need a high-quality cosmetic, like Physician’s Formula Bronzer:

To see this bronzer on Amazon, click here!

What To Use If You Don’t Have Bronzer?

A happy woman brushing her face with highlighter

Sometimes you want that warm glow but don’t have any bronzer. Luckily, there are other options you can use instead of bronzer.

One of the easiest options is eyeshadow. You can use eyeshadow with a yellow, orange, or red undertone. For cream eyeshadows, be sure to add a little bit of moisturizer before you apply it so it doesn’t make you too glittery. Apply powder shadow with a big brush and then use your regular loose powder to make it less sparkly.

An unexpected option, cocoa powder, can be used to make a great bronzer. You add in cornstarch until you get the right shade. Once you have the perfect shade, use a makeup brush and apply like you would your regular bronzer.

All About Highlighter

When you are using a highlighter, you use a shade lighter than your skin color to catch the light and make your features more prominent. Like bronzer, it is used to add depth to your look. Another purpose of a highlighter is to make your skin look more youthful.

When you are applying highlighter, you don’t want to apply it all over your face. You should only apply it to the high points of your face, like the tops of your cheekbones, your brow bones, the bridge of your nose, and your Cupid’s bow (the dip in your top lip).

Highlighter always makes you look over the top (in a good way). It makes your skin look fantastic and young. Because of this, a lot of people suggest using highlighter every time you wear makeup.

Which Is Better: Liquid Or Powder Highlighter?

One of the first things to consider when choosing between powder or liquid highlighter is your skin type. For people with normal to dry skin, a liquid highlighter is most likely best. However, powder highlighter works great for all skin types.

The next thing that will determine which type is best for you is the look you want to achieve. A liquid highlighter will give you a natural look. On the other hand, powder highlighter tends to be more shimmery and dramatic.

Another thing to consider is how you like to apply your makeup. A liquid highlighter has to be applied more precisely than powder. Therefore, if you like quick and easy, then powder is your best bet.

So, which one is better? For a dramatic look and easy application, a powder highlighter is better. However, if you want to look more natural and have more time to apply your makeup, then liquid might be better for you.

If you prefer liquid highlighter, try Revlon’s Color Stay Endless Glow Highlighter:

Click here to see this Revlon liquid highlighter on Amazon.

If powder is more your speed, you will love this highlighter by Wet N Wild:

To see this highlighting powder on Amazon, click here. 

Can You Wear Highlighter Without Foundation?

Yes, you can wear highlighter without other makeup. In fact, it’s a pretty common look. When you wear highlighter by itself, your skin will look more beautiful, flawless, and healthy than it does when you don’t wear makeup.

Can You Use Highlighter Without Bronzer?

Bronzer and highlighters serve completely different purposes. While bronzer warms your face, highlighter brightens it. Using them together will make you look more unique and defined, but you can wear highlighter without bronzer.

Can You Use Foundation As Highlighter?

A woman applying luminizer on her face

Foundation will not work well as a highlighter. This is because highlighter and foundation serve different purposes and have completely different looks.

The purpose of foundation is to serve as a base for makeup and make your skin look like it is the same color throughout. Unlike foundation, highlighter is designed to make your face glow and brighten. As a result, foundation cannot give you a highlighted look.

All About Luminizer

Luminizers, or illuminators, are extremely similar to highlighters. In fact, a lot of people call highlighters illuminators because they make your face look lighter. However, they are slightly different in appearance and application.

Luminizers are designed to put all over your face, whereas highlighters are meant to be used only on the high points of your face. As a result, highlighters tend to be more pigmented and have special light-catching ingredients that illuminators do not have.

Many highlighters are mistakenly labeled as illuminators. To make sure it is actually an illuminator instead of a highlighter, look for a less sparkly, more subtle product.

To apply a luminizer, you have to figure out if it is cream, liquid, or powder. A lot of beauty experts recommend mixing liquid luminizers with your liquid foundation and applying your foundation as normal for the best effect.

For creams, you can mix them with your normal foundation or layer them on top of your foundation. To apply powder, use a fan brush and brush it across your cheekbones and Cupid’s bow.

To pump up your look, you can try this Yeweian Luminizer set:

Click here to check it out on Amazon.

Do You Apply Luminizer Before Or After Foundation?

The answer to this question depends on what kind of a look you want to create. Normally, you should apply your foundation before you apply a luminizer. Then you apply your blush after the illuminator.

However, if you want to make your luminizer more subtle, it can be applied before you put on your foundation. This will make the luminizer’s glow less showy.

Final Thoughts

So, what are the differences between bronzer, highlighters, and luminizers? They have different uses and applications. While bronzer creates a warm look to your face, highlighters and luminizers make your face glow.

The difference between a highlighter and a luminizer is slight, but still there. They are applied differently and have different finished looks. If you found this post interesting, you will love the other posts on this blog. Click the links below to check them out!

My Bronzer Always Looks Patchy – What To Do?

Should You Put Bronzer Or Blush On First?

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