One of the things we’re bound to notice when we look at a three-year-old’s face is healthy, glowing skin. Through the years, that glow naturally dims, but there’s a makeup product that can definitely revive a gorgeous glow: highlighter.
Highlighter can not only brighten our complexions with a dewy, youthful glow, but it can also visually lift our face, accentuate our facial features, help reduce the look of wrinkles by directing attention to other areas of our face, and, most importantly, help us look more vibrant and alive.
And because it makes our skin look healthier, it basically equates to taking years off our face.
In the video above, you’ll see me swatching a number of highlighters that provide beautiful glow, but first, let’s focus on the four most important things to know when choosing a highlighter.
#1 The Three Formulas
The whole makeup product category of highlighters has really exploded in the beauty industry over the last few years. This, fortunately, means that there is no shortage of powder, liquid, and cream variations at many different price points.
Choosing the right formula can deliver beautiful results but choosing the wrong formula can sometimes mean that we end up looking like we were playing with our granddaughter’s glitter stash. The best highlighters for our skin should glide on smoothly and easily, not crease or cake, and provide a lovely, soft, natural, lit-from-within glow.
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We all know that powder can sometimes settle into – and thus emphasize – fine lines. Add glitter to powder and the effect is even worse.
So, a cream or liquid highlighter formulation will often work especially well for us since the cream and liquid textures blend easily into most skin types and become like a second skin. These days many more makeup lines are creating really good cream and liquid blush and highlighter options which is a real “win” for us.
There are some powder highlighters which fall into the category of “cream to powder” which can also work well.
An example of a cream to powder formulation is Laura Geller’s Baked French Vanilla/Portofino Duo highlighter which glides on very easily. If applied dry, it provides a lovely soft glow. If applied with a damp finger or brush, the look can be more dramatic and intense.
#2 Choosing the Best Color
Next, it’s important to choose the color that will work best with our skin tone and undertone. Fair to light skin tones should stay with lighter colors of highlight, and those with darker skin tones can go with deeper shades.
If you have fair to medium skin with a cool undertone, silver, pearly white, and light pink or pearl white with a pink or lavender cast will be beautiful.
In case you have light to medium skin with a warm undertone, look for light golds, rose golds, or peach tones. Those with darker skin tones look gorgeous in deeper colors such as deeper gold, rose-gold, or bronzy colors.
#3 Where to Apply Highlighter
Placement is key when it comes with most makeup products. We want to draw attention to the high points of our face where we don’t have fine lines and wrinkles. Probably the most important area to highlight to lift the face is the cheekbones.
The exact spot to apply highlighter is the area under your eye where the cheekbone comes out the most. Blend it in and up toward the temple. You can apply the highlighter either with your finger or with a dampened makeup sponge.
Additionally, we want to highlight just a very small area at the center of our nose. Start a half inch below the eyes and only go down about ¼ of an inch. It can also be beautiful to apply a little highlighter above the arch of the eyebrow. Another spot to apply highlighter is above the Cupid’s Bow of the lips.
#4 Proper Application
I like to put liquid or cream stick highlighter on the back of my hand and then use my finger to apply it. When using cream, I’ll just apply with my fingers. Then I use a dampened makeup sponge to go around the edges so there are no harsh lines.
With your finger, first gently dab a small amount at the top of the cheekbone near the hairline and then gently pat and blend out more product going toward the nose.
It’s possible to build up on highlighter to provide more glow. Additionally, we can blend out or sheer out cream or liquid highlighters with our fingers or a dampened beauty sponge to tone down the amount of glow.
It’s always a good idea to take a dampened makeup sponge and go around the edge of the blush and highlighter to make sure that all our face products blend together seamlessly.
And if we accidentally go overboard with highlighter, we can always tap on a little leftover foundation from our foundation brush or dust over the area with a light application of powder.
Have you ever used a highlighter? If so, do you have a favorite? Which texture do you prefer? Do you use any other types of products that create a beautiful glow for your skin? If so, please share!