Want to look younger and fresh-faced in a few minutes flat? Don’t we all. Sorry, I don’t have a secret clue to the fountain of youth product, but there is something that you can do in your makeup routine that’ll brighten up your face in only seconds. I’m talking about highlighting!
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Have you heard of “strobing”? Well, it’s been all the rage in the beauty world in the last year, and basically all it is is a glorified highlighting of the face. And it’s basically what celebs like JLO have been doing since the beginning of time. And she always looks amazing, so I’ll totally echo that.
Don’t know where to start? Or how to highlight? I’m here to help. Although there’s a zillion highlighting products on the market right now, you can’t go wrong with most of them. I’ll explain the differences.
Highlighters come in the form of powders, creams, sticks and liquids for the most part. Depending on the brand and the colors, they can range anywhere from quite subtle to all-out bling for your face. I highlight my face every single day, even on days where I don’t wear much makeup at all. I feel that with the added brightness, it makes me look more awake when this mom is tired and I always get compliments on how I have great, glowing skin. I think it’s because people are staring at my highlighter. Ha!
This is a personal choice, but highlighters are not products that I like to spend a lot of money on. There are some that are dirt cheap and some that are very expensive, and I’ve loved them the same. With that being said, I’ve also hated some cheap ones, so you won’t always get a great one (if you buy cheap). It’s worth noting though that if you want a very strong highlight that will blind people, then you might want to go the extra mile and purchase a high-end one. They are usually more pigmented and come in a fuller range of colors for a more dramatic effect.
So where exactly on the face do you want to highlight? You’ll want to focus on the high points of the face, or areas where the light hits you naturally. The most popular area would be on the high of your cheekbones, but other areas include the browbone, the inner corners of your eyes, your nose, and your cupid’s bow (area above the top lip). If you’re going for the full-on strobing effect, then you might highlight all of these areas, as well as your chin and above the brow. I personally do not want some areas highlighted (like my nose). You may have to play around with it to see what you like.
Highlighting Sticks – These are nice because they are creamy and can look very natural on the face. When you apply it, it’s easy to put it exactly where you want it, which is great. However, you have to be able to blend it well so that it does not look stripe-y. I like to take a sponge or beauty blender to stipple it in for a seamless finish.
Highlighting Creams and Liquids – These can look beautiful on the skin. But in my experience, they can take a little more practice and need to be blended very well. Again, I use my sponge or beauty blender to finish in this case. I love these, but I often reach for the powder more simply because it’s less time consuming. I love the creams for summer though because I tend to wear less makeup overall and it looks more natural and radiant with a summer glow.
Highlighting Powders are probably the easiest (and maybe quickest) way to highlight your face. It’s also the most fool-proof, in my opinion. All you need is a good brush. I like to use a flat brush, but if you want a very light highlight, then you might want to go with a fan brush for a more delicate application. I also like to use a smaller flat brush for my eye areas and cupid’s bow. Once applied, I like to blend it with a large powder brush for a more natural look. You can skip this step if you want it to be more dramatic.
The easiest way to highlight with a powder is usually doing it as a last step in your makeup routine. So here’s my face all made up before applying any highlighter:
And these are the areas that I am going to highlight (stick to just the green areas unless you want to be a shimmering queen, in which case do green AND red):
I’m going to use the NYX Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette and I actually scored this double-ended Mirra flat brush at Kroger! I can’t seem to find it online, but it’s a great brush. You don’t have to have this one though, any flat brush should do the trick. (I’d just use a smaller one for the detail areas).
Pretty, right? If you aren’t sure which colors to do, then swatch them on the inside of your arm. Then you’ll get a better idea of how they’ll show up on you. I’m using the bottom right one (champagne color) for under my brows and inner eye corners. For the rest of the highlight, I’m using the second one from the top left, which is a little more peachy-pink.
A few of my other favorite powders highlighters include the e.l.f. Illuminating Palette (which you cannot beat the price!) and BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured – Moonstone. That one is pricey, but great if you want a serious highlight.
Now let’s get our highlight on.
You could stop here if you’re going for subtle. I like to add a little more. Highlighting the cupid’s bow (area above your top lip) makes your lips look more defined and your lipstick pop:
And I’m not a fan of highlighting my nose. It’s pretty trendy right now to highlight the whole bridge of the nose in a thin line and then the tip of the nose as well. I’m not big on following trends if they don’t suit me. In this case, I don’t highlight the bridge of my nose unless I’m contouring. But for the sake of demonstration, here I am, highlighting the tip:
and here’s the finish:
TIP: If you want to keep things SUPER subtle, then I’d suggest adding your highlighter after your foundation, but before you set your face with your powder. And if you add it before you add your blush, it’ll give a nice glow that looks more from within instead of a brighter highlight on top of the layers.
So there you have it! Easy peasy, highlighting for beginners. Is highlighting a part of your makeup routine? Share your favorite products below!
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