Cream cheek products can be rather hit and miss; too sheer, too difficult to blend, or quite often simply too creamy so that they slide about and streak and set in all of the wrong places. But few things rival a cream blush or bronzer if you’re looking for that truly dewy finish – they are sheer in the way that a powder would struggle to ever be, allowing the beauty of the skin beneath to shine through whilst giving just enough colour to achieve that properly healthy glow.
And who better to give us a trio of dewy, healthy creams for the face than Hourglass, the experts in subtle-but-believable glow? Their Ambient Lighting powders have quickly won cult status for their ability to brighten and illuminate without shimmer, and now their Illume Sheer Colour Trio brings us an all-in-one face-pepping solution that works beautifully over foundation as well as lighter bases and clean, moisturised skin.
This is the type of palette that quickly becomes indispensable; an understated highlighter for tops of cheekbones and underneath the brow, a suit-all blush and a warm bronze that can be buffed seamlessly into your base.
I like to use a brush to apply the bronzer (here it’s the Kat Von D Light and Shade, though it’s not really the most appropriate!) and then really buff it out. You’d think that the bronzer would be a bit wishy washy, what with the palette being called sheer, but it actually has phenomenal pay-off. You need to be quite careful – it’s easy to go overboard!
But carefully blended (keeping it to the sides of the face and not allowing the colour to creep too far towards the nose) it just gives a beautiful warmth to the skin. And the blush, layered over the top, stops things from becoming too “beige”:
Look at that rosy glow! It suddenly brings everything alive, doesn’t it? And if you’re wondering about the strength of the highlighter, then an easy way to see it is to look at my cupid’s bow – I have it on in the pic above, but not in the ones beforehand. Can you see how it just adds this gorgeous spotlight?
I was going to finish this post by saying that the Illume Sheer Colour Trio in Sunset isn’t a necessity for summer face-making – it’s expensive and you can probably cobble together similar things from your makeup stash – but, by jove, if you love your luxe-feeling makeup then you will adore this. Punchy, long-lasting formulas and with that perfected velvety finish that you seem only to get from the higher-end versions. It’s £54 at John Lewis here – it appears to have completely sold out and done a runner from the Space NK website, which doesn’t surprise me one bit.