Makeup of the 21st century has the power to transform our faces in ways we never thought possible. From contour kits to eyebrow fillers, beauty products in this day and age can pretty much do it all, like help fake the appearance of thinner faces and thicker brows. The invention of highlighter has also changed the makeup game forever. This cosmetic power player emphasizes key points on your face to make them stand out and, when combined with contour makeup, adds more definition to your complexion. But, unfortunately, it’s so easy to get carried away with this shimmery beauty essential, and applying it incorrectly can even have the opposite effect and make you look older. For any highlighter newbies, here are the do’s and don’ts of applying the product correctly, and the best spots on your face to highlight.
1) Less is more. Because highlighter is just so gosh darn beautiful, some women feel the need to go to town on their faces with this product. But you want your face to look dewy, not like a disco ball out of a ’70s movie, so don’t overdo this makeup trend. Where exactly should you be putting it, you ask? Dab small amounts on the top of your cheekbones, the tip of your nose, and in the bow of your lip after you put on foundation. You can also add a teeny tiny bit to the top of your brows or on the inner corners of your eyes for more definition. Pick and choose your spots carefully, or else your complexion just won’t look natural.
2) Apply with a highlighter brush. Makeup brushes are your friend, so use them to your advantage. While you can still apply highlighter the good old fashioned way with your finger, a highlighter brush ensures that the pristine, glowing makeup goes onto your face smoother, without packing on as much product. A highlighter brush is definitely worth having in your makeup arsenal, so stock up on one of these bad boys from Bloomingdale’s, Sephora, or Ulta. Your finger can salvage the situation if you accidentally put on too much highlighter, though. Use it to blend any excess product after you’ve already applied it with a brush.
3) Use the right shade. Highlighters definitely aren’t one shade fits all. Some are much lighter and more translucent than others, so test out a few different products the next time you head to Sephora or Ulta. You want to avoid looking more corpse-like than Taylor Swift in her “Look What You Made Me Do” music video if you happen to choose a shade that’s too light. Some highlighters also pack on the shimmer, which can make your face noticeably sparkly (and a little too illuminated). Unless you’re headed to a music festival or costume party, you probably want to settle for a more natural looking product. But hey, to each his own.
For more beauty and style tips and tricks, check out how to apply eye shadow, how to wear a graphic tee, how to use a brow pencil, and how to find the right makeup setting spray for your skin type.