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Luminizer: What Is It and Do You Need It?

Luminizer: What Is It and Do You Need It?

Luminizer is a word you see practically every time you travel down the makeup aisle, but is it a highlighter, or an illuminator? It’s both, and we’ll help you understand why this product is worth more than its weight in gold, and how you can use it to create skin that looks flawless, healthy, and radiant.

What Is Luminizer?

A luminizer is a combination of a highlighter and an illuminator. Let’s take a peek at what both of these products do before we explore how they combine to make a product that every person should have in their cosmetic bag.

  • Highlighter. Highlighters are products that have been in use for decades. Designed to accent areas of your face where you’d like to draw attention, highlighters are often used on the cheekbones and the bridge of your nose. 

    Highlighters, however, tend to contain an excessive amount of sparkle. It’s very difficult to find a highlighter that doesn’t contain particles that are so large the end result on your skin looks glittery. That may be fine for an evening at a nightclub in your twenties, but for day to day use, it’s simply too much. 

  • Illuminator. Illuminators hit the makeup scene as a way to add vitality back into the skin. After cake-like makeup trends of the 80’s and 90’s, artists were searching for ways to create skin that looked more life-like, and the answer was a luminescent product that could be mixed with foundation to create an all-over luminous glow.

    The real problem with illuminators is the all-over application. While this amount of shine is perfect in some settings (runways, photography, etc.) a typical person working a 9-5 has no need for this level of sheen. 

Enter the luminizer. A beautiful combination of both a highlighter and an illuminator, designed to both highlight specific areas of the skin and create a believable health and radiance that isn’t over-the-top. 

Who Invented Luminizer?

RMS Beauty’s founder, Rose-Marie Swift, spent her career creating runway-worthy looks that wowed photographers and editors alike. As she began working with Victoria’s Secret models, she needed a way to create a sun-kissed brilliance that still looked makeup-free, natural, and not glittery. 

Necessity became the mother of invention, and Swift created a product that used clean, hydrating ingredients to create a light-reflective glow on the face. She attempted to trademark her sacred product’s name as “RMS Beauty Living Luminizer,” but her legal team decided it wasn’t worth the time.

Now, practically every cosmetic company offers a luminizer, the product Rose-Marie made famous.

What Does Luminizer Do?

A better question is what doesn’t a luminizer do. Luminizers work to create the look of living skin that is healthy and glowing. Especially wonderful for aging skin, which tends to naturally lose moisture, luminizer helps hydrate and eliminate the look of dry, caked-on makeup that can settle into fine lines and wrinkles. 

Used correctly, luminizer has amazing benefits.

Highlights Your Favorite Features

Luminizer gives structure to the face, and helps light reflect on elevated areas of your face like the bridge of your nose, the cheekbones, and the center of your eyelids. Unlike highlighter, luminizer creates brilliance and shimmer, not glitter and sparkle. 

Creates a Natural Glow

Using an illuminator all over your face creates anything but a “natural” glow. You may look a little ethereal, but that’s not a great look for someone who’s just going shopping or heading to work. 

A natural glow can be created with a luminizer, which helps add a natural looking, light-reflective glow to your skin that is believable. The look is more hydrated and healthy than shiny or oily. 

Helps Nourish Your Skin

Another problem Rose-Marie saw with highlighters and illuminators was that they were often filled with ingredients that weren’t beneficial to the skin, and worse, could sometimes be damaging. 

The particles in highlighters were sometimes dangerous to the environment and to the skin, and the ingredients in illuminators consisted of oils that could clog pores and leave the skin looking greasy. 

The ingredients in RMS Beauty’s Luminizer are so clean they’re practically edible. We also use pure mica to create illuminated shimmer. Mica particles are fine,  never glittery. 

How Is Luminizer Different From Highlighter?

Luminizer doesn’t highlight, it hydrates and helps you create a soft glow. Luminizers blend effortlessly onto your skin, whereas highlighters can be impossible to use to create a natural look. They tend to be darker, and harder to blend.

Unlike highlighters, luminizers don’t dehydrate the skin. They help keep it soft, supple, and dewy. 

Where Can I Apply Luminizer?

You can apply luminizer anywhere the light would naturally bounce off your skin. Some of Rose-Marie’s favorite places to use luminizer are:

  • Tops of your cheekbones
  • Bridge of the nose
  • Centers of the eyelids
  • Bow of the lips (you can also mix luminizer in with your favorite lipstick to create shimmery shades)
  • Collarbones 
  • Shoulders
  • Shins
  • Knuckles of the hands (think holding a wine glass in evening light)

What Types of Luminizer Can I Use?

Luminizers are available in creams, sticks, and powders. There are also products available that work like luminizers but add a sun-kissed bronzed look to the skin. 


Best for virtually every skin type, cream luminizers blend easily and add hydration. You can apply them with your finger or a small brush, and you’ll find their formula makes application effortless. 


Stick luminizers are essentially creams in a tube. These may be easier to apply if you’re in a hurry. Stick luminizers can also be used with a brush, although it may be more difficult for you to get enough product on your tool depending on the texture of the luminizer. 


A powder luminizer may work well for users with exceptionally oily skin. However, just be certain that the powder you use is long-lasting, formulated with safe, clean ingredients, and designed to sit on top of the skin instead of rapidly absorbing.


If you’re craving more of a sun-kissed, beach babe look, try a bronzer. RMS Beauty’s Buriti Bronzer gives you the same hydrated, slightly shimmery glow, but in a deeper shade of color that creates the perfect tanned skin look, without the skin damage. 

What Should I Look for in a Luminizer?

Just because luminizers are popular doesn’t mean they’re all the same. In fact, most of them are created with ingredients you shouldn’t put anywhere near your skin. Here’s what you’ll find in RMS Beauty’s luminizer lineup.

Organic Coconut Oil

It’s not just organic, it’s raw and cold centrifuged. This differs from cold-pressing, which still allows heat exposure to the oil, eliminating some of the healthful benefits. Our coconut oil is the highest grade available, contains an immense amount of skin-nourishing ingredients, like caprylic acid, which has antimicrobial effects

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is incredibly beneficial for the skin. It is full of powerful antioxidants and helps fade the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Its emollient properties keep skin soft, supple, and conditioned. 

Vitamin E in cosmetics is often derived from soy, but RMS Beauty sources vitamin E from sunflower oil, a purer, cleaner way to obtain this essential ingredient. 

Castor Seed Oil

Castor seed oil is an amazing ingredient that helps deeply hydrate the skin and create the perfect amount of shine and texture. It’s a staple ingredient in our luminizers and helps set ours apart because of its ability to naturally create a dewy look.  

Do I Need Luminizer in My Beauty Routine?

Yes! No matter what your age, a luminizer can help give you the look of health, radiance, and beauty without layers of makeup that can settle into your skin, cause breakouts, and make you look older than you actually are.

Luminizers are the perfect way to highlight and bring visible brightness to the skin without creating too much drama. RMS Beauty’s luminizers are the original products developed by Rose-Marie Swift, the creator of this combination highlighter and illuminator. 

Our luminizers are available in several different shades that compliment every skin tone and help bring out your natural glow without covering up your skin. Apply them with your finger or a makeup brush and allow the product to naturally melt onto your skin.

Unlike other products, our luminizer lasts, creating a refined finish that will last for hours. Need a touch up? Go for it! Every time you use our luminizer, you’re adding hydration and beneficial ingredients to your skin, not packing on makeup that could clog your pores or look tacky. 

The Right Amount of Ritz

Even if you’re putin’ on the ritz, you don’t need a lot of heavy makeup to get the job done. A simple swipe of luminizer on the skin is enough to create delicate drama and believable beauty that gets you noticed. 


Antimicrobial effects of virgin coconut oil and its medium-chain fatty acids on Clostridium difficile|PubMed 

The Toxic Twelve Chemicals and Contaminants in Cosmetics| 

Vitamin E in dermatology|NCBI
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