How to Use Highlighter on Your Face: 4 Ways to Get the Glow

Flip through any magazine, browse through fashion sites online, or scroll through Instagram, and you are sure to see beautiful models and celebrities who appear to be illuminated from within as if their skin is illuminated with a dewy radiance that’s theirs alone.

But did you know that you too can get the same gorgeous glow? And no, it doesn’t take a filtered lens or air-brushing to give you the same glimmery luminescence that make models turn heads. The secret weapon that gives women in the know their own personal glow, is a product that should be in every woman’s makeup bag—highlighter!

There are at least 4 great ways to use the best highlighters to make it appear that you are followed around by invisible lighting specialists, giving you the luminous look your own inner beauty deserves.

Getting the Glimmer

Highlighting—also known as strobing—is nothing new. It’s been the secret weapon of celebrity makeup artists for decades. Highlighting is the technique of adding either a powder or cream highlighter to your features in a way that directs the eye to specific areas of the face, at the same time that it gives the skin a healthy, dewy look. Applied correctly, a good highlighter will give you an angelic, haloed appearance that will make you stand out in a crowd, but in such a natural way that observers can’t quite put their finger on what it is that makes you look so special.

So how do you apply highlighter? Experts share their know-how for a great basic beauty highlighting routine.

Basically, you want to highlight all the places on your face that naturally reflect light. First, apply your favorite foundation and concealer as you normally would and blend it well.

Next, take your highlighter and apply it lightly to your temples and down across the tops of your cheekbones in a C-shaped curve and blend. (Your blush or contour should go directly beneath the highlights on your cheeks.) Add a small dot of highlighter to the tip of your nose, or alternatively, if you want to give your nose a thinner, more aquiline appearance, apply your highlighter in a line down the center of the bridge of your nose and blend lightly.

Then, apply a line of highlighter down the center of your forehead from your hairline toward your nose and blend. Apply it directly beneath your eyebrows on the outer ends, and to the inner corners of each eye.

Finally, apply a thin line from beneath your nose to the cupid’s bow of your upper lip, and a line down the center of your chin. The line on your chin should be even with the line on your forehead.

Be sure to blend all your highlighted areas well. For added shimmer, you can apply shimmery highlighter to your lips and then dab on some gloss for a naturally beautiful look.

Enjoy your gorgeous glow!

Moisturizer or Makeup Mix-ins

Another way to use your highlighter is to add a good liquid highlighter directly to your tub of moisturizer and mix it together. You can use this on the days when you don’t want a full face of makeup but still want that dewy radiance. This is a fantastic way to achieve that fresh-faced, no-makeup look and still turn heads with your inner light!

For a slightly more finished appearance, try mixing some liquid highlighter into your foundation to give your face an all-over luminescence. This gives a more glamorous glow for evenings out.

Summer Shadow

A great way to create a summer glow in the eye area is to use a glittery highlighter and brush it on your lids in place of eyeshadow. You can even amp it up by dipping a dampened finger into powder highlighter and using it on your eyelids up to the crease. Use a clean eyeshadow brush with a thin tip or cotton swab to apply some highlighter beneath your lower lash line to brighten your entire eye area.

For a more subtle glow, apply your normal eyeshadow and then add a line of highlighter to the center of each eyelid for a dewy, doe-eyed look.

Grow the Glow

To expand the glow beyond your face, or to further highlight your inner glow, you can light your face from below with some careful application of highlighter to your shoulders and collarbones. Using highlighter on your upper body can accentuate your bone structure and even make you appear thinner. Brush a powdered highlighter on the tops of your shoulders and across the tops of your collarbones to accent them. You can even brush it along your outer thigh and shin bones when showing your legs to give them an instantly toned appearance and to add a sun-kissed look for summer.

For a beach party, luau, or just to turn heads with your gorgeous glowing skin, try rubbing moisturizing oil, tanning oil, or sunscreen onto your body and then brushing powdered highlighter directly onto the oil or moisturizer anywhere you want to add shimmer. The oily base will help your glow to last all day.

Highlighter has come out of hiding inside the bags and drawers of the best celebrity makeup artists and hit the general population in the last few years, partly due to its perfect pairing with contouring products, which have also gained in popularity. This surge of highlighting and contouring trend is thanks primarily to some celebrities who have endorsed contouring and highlighting products and featured them prominently in Instagram photos. Now, highlighters are finding their way into the makeup bags of women across the world and making magic.

Nothing perks up your complexion faster than highlighter, so the deal is sealed with anyone who tries highlighter on a day when they wake up with a dull, tired look, a hangover, or dry skin. Adding a few licks of your favorite highlighter will instantly brighten tired skin and give you a healthier look that can lift your inner spirit while it elevates your outer appeal.