The sun is shining, the heat is high and it’s time to get your glow on! There is no better way to showcase your tan than a flash of highlight
Highlighter is a fantastic product for adding definition to your face and drawing attention to certain areas. It literally… highlights, making you look more awake, glowing and healthy. The important things you need to know about highlighter before using it is where to put it and which shade suits you.
Where to highlight
There are many areas of the face which can benefit from highlighting — especially alongside a little contouring — however, you don’t have to contour to wear highlighter. It works just as well on its own! Highlight can be applied:
Under the brow bone: This creates the impression of larger eyes and also helps to define your brows.
Diagonally down the cheek bone: This is where you mostly see highlight. It’s applied as a streak of iridescent color or shine and reflects the light. It helps to sculpt and define cheeks.
The apple of your cheek: For a really youthful glow, a little highlighter applied gently across the top of your blusher works wonders. This isn’t as fierce as across the cheekbone. You’re looking for a gentle glow, not a blinding flash.
Down the bridge of your nose: If you’re contouring your nose, applying highlight along the bridge can help the illusion of slimming or sculpting.
Inner eye: This is like cosmetic magic! If you’re tired or have noticed darkening around your eyes applying a little pale or white highlighter to the inner corner of the eye will instantly brighten the area and give you a more alert look.
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Cupid’s Bow: A small amount of highlight dabbed on the centre of the cupids bow can draw attention to the curves of your lips and sharpen up your lipstick. Apply sparingly here though, too much and you can look like you’ve just run the block!
Décolletage: Applying highlight across your shoulders, collar bone or cleavage gives a gentle summer glow making your tan pop!
What color works for you?
Now we know where to put it, how do we select a color? Certain shades and finishes work better with particular skin tones, but this is by no means a hard and fast rule. I have very fair skin, and my favourite highlighters are pinks and purples. Part of the beauty of makeup is you decide what’s right for you.
Here are some suggestions to start with, but make your look your own!
Fair Skin: Silvery, pearlescent or champagne tones work well on fair skin tones. If you’re looking for a natural glow, apply a champagne or silver tone over a peachy blush to warm up the look.
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Medium to dark skin tones: Silvery tones can look jarringly fake on medium to dark skin tones. It’s best to opt for a little color here.
There is a vast array of peach and warm champagne color highlighters, all of which will give a gorgeous glow without leaving you with a frosty complexion.
Dark skin tones: A rose gold or bronze highlight looks fabulous on darker skin tones. Adding a wash of shimmery color across your cheeks will give a dazzling sheen to your summer look.
Iridescent highlighters are beautiful for rocking that unicorn/mermaid summer festival vibe. Start off with a light hand you can build gently until you reach the level of strobe you’re looking for.
Whilst the more unusual colored highlighters may not look particularly natural, they do look amazing for a night out and will certainly be picked up on cam better.
Be careful with placement with these highlighters though. I tend to stick to my cheeks and eyes for the more unnatural colored highlights. Nobody needs an iridescent pink top lip.
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To apply highlighter, it does help if you can invest in the right tools for a perfect finish. This doesn’t have to be expensive. There are a couple of different brushes which are perfect for highlighter application.
Fan brush: A super soft fan shaped brush is perfect for creating a highlight sweep across your face. The soft bristles and wide shape can trace the curve of your cheek in the same way you’d use this brush for contouring.
Angled brush: An angled brush tends to have tightly packed, firm bristles and this makes it ideal for collecting pigment. The result tends to be more dramatic as a result.
This is a great brush for creating that blinding diagonal sweep up your cheekbone for Insta ready selfies.
Tapered brush: A tapered brush is good for sweeping pigment onto your skin with a softer more natural finish. This one works well for a glowing, natural look.
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The best thing about highlighter is how much fun it is. Experiment which application and color, and shine bright like a diamond!
Katy Seymour is a super-sex-positive writer in the U.K. who believes kink is life. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any excuse for Rihanna…
Image via Diane Miller.