Highlighters are all the rage; have been for a very long time, and are here to stay! And why not? It gives your face that glow, and makes it look healthy and gorgeous, but only if it’s applied the right way. You can easily make yourself look greasy, oily, and sometimes, no short of a disco ball if you’re not careful enough.
Applying highlighter is one of the most looked forward to step of most makeup lovers. Almost all the clients and models I’ve dolled up are always excited when I dip my brush into the highlighter. Although matte face looks good, but glowing face looks much more natural and eye catching; again, only if it’s applied in the right way.
Following are some of my tips to apply highlighter like a pro! I have gathered these tips from my mentors, and some of them I’ve learned through time by correcting my own mistakes.
Choose the Right Product
The number one mistake we make is choosing the wrong highlighting product. Yes, the techniques matter, and it matters a lot how you apply the highlighter, but the product itself plays a huge role. It doesn’t matter if the highlighter is affordable or expensive; that’s where your technique of application comes into play. What matters is how the product is swatched and applied. Before buying a highlighter, make sure you check it how the actual product is.
If it’s glittery or shimmery, don’t get it. It’s going to make you look like a disco ball. It is supposed to be smooth, not chunky. You want to glow, not glimmer. Also, avoid products that are either too scratchy or hard surfaced. Also, pay-off is very important. You don’t want to buy something that you would need to use a million strokes of to get the glow. One to two strokes should get the job done!
Choose the Right Shade
You have to keep two things in mind when choosing a highlighter, whether for yourself or the client.
Shade of the highlighter: Whatever your skin color is, you want to apply a highlighter that compliments it. You don’t want to apply a shade three times lighter than your skin tone, or it’s just going to look as if it’s sitting on top of your skin and not melting in with the rest of the makeup. The wrong shade will not make you look like you glow from within. The best shade is either your own skin tone, or just one shade darker or lighter depending on preference, but certainly not more than that.
Undertone of the highlighter: If your skin has cool undertones, get a highlighter with cooler undertones; and same goes with warm undertones. Now, having cool undertones doesn’t mean you can’t apply gold highlighters, because in all honesty, gold highlighters look the most natural (on most people). You just have to be mindful of how tilted it is towards warm undertone or cool undertone.
Prepping the Base
No matter how good the highlighter is, if you skin is not well-kept, or if you base is powder-y or patchy, it’s not going to look good. Before applying any makeup, make sure your skin is well prepped; the smoother the base is, the better the highlighter is going to look. That’s just the fact and there is nothing you can do about it except take care of your skin.
Don’t apply too much powder where you would normally apply the highlighter.
After you’ve gotten everything right from the shade, the undertone, and the product, it’s time to apply it. The number one mistake we make when applying highlighter is we coat the brush with it, and then go in like a mad person on the face. Back and forth we go applying the highlighter as if it’s the end of the world. By doing that, we don’t glow, we get an obvious stripe of highlighter on the face.
Step 1: Take a facial spray, preferably Mac Fix Plus (but honestly any spray that claims to be dewy works fine), and apply it all over your face. Make sure the highest points of your cheeks are wet.
Step 2: Wait for a while and let the base settle. Do NOT apply highlighter while the face is wet. Once the base is tacky (that is when it’s about 70% dry), coat the brush with the right highlighter and apply very softly and carefully on the highest points of your cheeks. Make sure you’re not rubbing or scratching your face with the brush, just one or two soft strokes are enough.
Step 3: With the tip of the brush, softly blend out the edges. You want the highlighter to look diffused and blended, not harsh and visible.
With the previously explained technique to apply a highlighter, what you will get is a beautiful glow from with in look. But if you want to increase intensity, and of course without wanting to look greasy; here is what you can do. Wet the face again, or just spray Fix Plus on a clean sponge, gently tap the sponge on the areas you want to build intensity in. Let the base dry. Then just tap the brush on the very specific areas of your cheek. You don’t want to do the same thing again, just add intensity where it’s needed (i.e., right in the middle of where you’ve applied the highlighter previously).
Best Highlighters to Invest in
Some of the highlighters that have worked for me are mentioned below. The following list has a mix of affordable and high end products.
- Huda Beauty highlighter palettes
- Mac Soft and Gentle
- Mac Whisper of Gilt
- Laura Geller Gilded Honey
- Becca Champagne Pop
- Becca Moonstone
- Wet n Wild Boozy Brunch
- Maybelline Master Chrome
- Note Cosmetics Terracotta Powder
If you have any suggestion, comment or question, make sure to leave it in the comment section below!
Youtube: /Munazza Bangash