How To: Crash Course in Highlighting

How To: Crash Course in Highlighting

On my July 4th Beauty Essentials post, I discussed the importance of a highlighter to take your look from day to evening (recap here). With the 2012 S/S runways showing off dewy skin as the trend du jour, highlighting is no longer limited to the brow and cheek bones, it has become a product staple and a beauty technique worth mastering.

Highlighting is, perhaps, one of my favorite beauty secrets that I’ve picked up through working with makeup artists. It really can change an entire look, inject life into an otherwise lifeless face and give you an inner glow, an extra few hours of sleep, more accentuated cheekbones and even wide set eyes in a matter of minutes. These days, highlighters come in a variety of formulas – from liquid to powder to cream to highlighting cover-ups, and each has a specific purpose.

Here is my crash course in highlighting:

Liquid Highlighters: I like to use liquid when I want an all over glow. This consistency is easiest to use if mixed with a tinted moisturizer or foundation and applied to the entire face and décolleté. Rule of thumb: use 1 part liquid illuminator to 2 parts foundation. You can also spot treat with liquid, but be careful to first work the substance around in your hand and fingers before lightly dabbing on your face.
TRY: Burberry Fresh Glow, the best dewy skin in a bottle that money can buy; Benefit High Beam, great for spot treating cheek and brow bones.

Cream Highlighters: This consistency is like a solid liquid and is perfect for applying with fingers to bridge of nose, inner and outer corners of eyes (gives the illusion of wide set eyes), above the bow of lip, and brow and cheek bones. It keeps with the dewy trend and works best when applied at the end of makeup application.
TRY: NARS Copacabana, a stick of shimmery champagne; RMS Living Luminizer (I use this on my eyelids for a glossy eye too!); Jouer Highlighter in Camellia, the perfect multipurpose illuminator.

Powder Highlighters: Powder is great to layer over either a liquid or cream highlighting product, but use this last. Apply with a big brush and you can either lightly dust all over the face and décolleté or focus on cheekbones (which is what I prefer. Rule of thumb: When a powder is applied over a cream, makeup application will last longer! Then I’ll usually dip my finger into the powder and dab onto my brow bone for extra illumination, therefor accentuating my arches.
TRY: Stila All Over Shimmer Duo in Kitten, two colors that swirl together for varying degrees of pinky shimmer.

Highlighting Cover-Ups: The most famous illuminating stick is most certainly YSL’s Touche Eclat. Since its growing popularity, brands have been trying to duplicate the pen-like applicator that spills out part highlighter and part cover-up, perfect for awakening tired eyes and lining lips to accentuate the cupid’s bow (I also use this when applying a bold-hued lipstick so that the color won’t bleed or feather). These “pens” are also ideal for lightly highlighting the bridge of nose and even a dot on the chin to open up the face.
TRY: Dior SkinFlash Radiance Booster Pen (I like 002), my absolute favorite highlighting pen (love it even more than YSL’s Touche Eclat). Bright eyes in a swipe plus more!

*image: Oscar de la Renta S/S 2012


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Beauty Banter was launched in July of 2006 as a comprehensive beauty blog covering trends, tips and tricks, insider secrets, and weekly must-haves. Beauty Banter has a reputation of being on the cutting edge of emerging trends and product launches so our readers are always the first to know what’s hot and what’s just not.