Difference between:: Bronzing powder, Highlighter and Illuminator

21:20 Missundaztood 7 Comments


I'll try to explain the difference between a bronzer, highlighter and illuminator, the way I learn about it. Hope this post will also help YOU to understand the difference.



You should remember that all this products are multipurpose, and in most cases you can use them in more than a one way. Let's start with ...

Bronzers - they can be liquid, compact, mineral, shimmer, matte... so sometimes it is hard to decide which one to buy, but they all have the same function - to achieve "a sun looking" skin. Matte bronzers or darker compact powder are great for adding depth to your cheek bones (contouring), they contain small amount of shimmer, so your face won't look like a disco ball. And they can also be wear all over the face, to make your face look darker, especially during the summer.


Liquid bronzers can also be used all over the face or you can mix it with foundation to add a bit of a color to your face. Shimmer bronzers are great for some parts of the face, like cheek bones, neck, shoulders ... what ever you wan't but try to be careful so you don't end up like a disco ball. Again.  :)

Liquid Bronzers source



Illuminators are mostly in a liquid form, and their function is to enlighten some parts of the face or the body.


Estee Lauder Illuminator source


Liquid Iluminators are light in color, mostly lighter than the concealers so that can enlighten your under eye areas. And it is used on top of the concealer. It can also be used under eyebrows, on the nose, on the cheeks... where ever you want to enlighten your skin.




Highlighters are very similar to illuminators, their "job" is to enlighten your skin and they are doing that but each on their own way. :) But, at the end they are actually doing the same "job" so I don't see a bit of a difference between those two products. 

Highlighters can be in a compact form or as a liquid, you can use it to add a glow on some parts of your skin like cheeks, nose, under the eyebrow, or you can use some of them as an eyeshadow. 
I'm using Essence highlighter for my under eye are, but I'm mixing it with a bit of concealer because it has a bit shimmer in it, and it is doing very nice job with enlighten my under eye area. Great product for a cheap price of 4$.

Essence I love Runway Highlighter




At the end I'm posting you a picture of face contouring with a bronzer, highlighter and illuminator. Lighter parts of the face are usually the places where you are adding a highliheter or/and illuminator, and darker parts are to warm your skin with bronzer. 


Contouring bronzer/highlighter/illuminator source 1. source 2.


So, there you go, my opinion on bronzers, highlighters and illuminators. Hope I help you to spot the difference. If so (or not so) please do let me know in comment section! Thank you!

Maja xx

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