Call off the search, this sophisticated highlighting stick is your ultimate cheat for tired face days, says our columnist Nicola Bonn
When it’s used in the right way a highlighter can give you a ‘lit from within’ glow and I know that for many of us that is the holy grail of beauty (particularly when your snoring husband steals your zzzs and your kids run into your room and jump on the bed at 5:30am). But it’s really easy to go wrong with highlighting. Mistakes I’ve made include covering my entire face with a pale pink shiny liquid highlighter that made me look like a spectre (not the date night look I was aiming for) and an incident involving streaky glowy bronze that had a kind of jungle camo effect.
No matter where I am, be it on the school run, at work, at the park with the kids, I see women who - like me - have had some sort of highlighter disaster. My guess is that we’re all too damn busy, so we splodge on a bit too much in low light as we run of the house without properly blending.
Step in the highlighter that has changed my life - OK a bit dramatic but it’s definitely changed my face. The Hourglass Vanish Flash Highlighting Stick, £38 is a wand of joy. The chunky prism opens up to reveal a stick of perfectly pigmented highlighter in five shades to suit most skin tones. They range from a deep caramel bronze all the way to the delicate and mesmerising pink flash which is a beautiful light pink that really enhances the complexion and works on the lightest of skin shades (this is the one I own). I’m also a bit obsessed with gold flash but think I will save this one for next summer against a tan.
The Gold and Rose Gold shades are stunning on darker skins. Although I'm focusing on the stick here, let's just take a moment to appreciate the way that Hourglass has totally nailed the glow. Its Veil Translucent Setting Powder, £16 is really finely-milled and contains tiny gold particles that lift your complexion. I’m also a massive fan of their Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder, £35 which gives the most beautiful, classy glow to the skin thanks to tiny pearl particles. This is subtle, intelligent makeup at its best that whispers rather than shouts.
Back to my stick of wonder. Apply your base and under eye concealer and then swipe it over your cheekbones, under the arch of your brows or just beneath where you apply your under-eye concealer for the most beautiful, natural good-night's-sleep glow. You can either apply it directly from the stick or to your fingers first or use a brush. You should find that it blends in really easily because the product has been formulated to adjust to your body temperature so literally melts into the skin.
It is also made up of tiny, hollow spheres that make it feel extra light. It’s a bit like wearing a soft silk dress as opposed to some of the clunkier highlighters on the market that can feel suffocating (to continue the dress analogy, think bodycon PVC) or a bit too 'unicorn'.
I always take a second to check my handiwork in natural light before I set off for the day. I then stick my stick in my handbag and reapply when I need a boost. If I’m going out for the evening I’ll dot it on my decolletage.
At £38 this isn’t cheap, but it lasts forever and the thought and technology that goes into creating this and so much of the Hourglass range makes it worth it for me. The makeup just seems a cut above whether it’s the fine milling of the powders or the clever ingredients that make the products sit on the skin in just the right way. It also ticks the vegan box. This is makeup that, like a great colleague, works with you and puts you in your best light.
Like the sound of the Hourglass Vanish Flash Highlighting Stick, £38? Buy it now
Nicola is currently doing a live tour of her chart-topping beauty podcast Outspoken Beauty in conjunction with Fenwick, with special guests makeup artist Cher Webb on 8 October in Cantebury, 9 October in Bond Street and 10 October in Kingston and GTG’s Editorial Director Victoria Woodhall on 17 October. Tickets cost £10 and include prosecco and a goody bag and are available here .