Nontouring: The Latest Highlighting Trend
Contouring is so out…the latest trend makeup artists are raving about involves highlighter, highlighter, and more highlighter! Similar to strobing, which often times goes hand-in-hand with contouring, “nontouring” sculpts the face by accentuating the highest planes of the face (i.e. nose, cheekbones, cupid’s bow) with highlighter, explains Glamsquad Director of Makeup Artistry, Kelli J. Bartlett. Nontouring is also more foolproof: Rather than using darker shades, which can appear harsh if applied incorrectly, contouring with highlighter achieves a more natural look by bringing out your best features and keeps skin and makeup looking “glowy,” says Brie Larson’s makeup artist Min Min Ma, Honey Artists. The idea is to look “lit-from-within.”
Goof-proof and glowing, say no more. Beauty Banter scored some tips and tricks from experts and celeb makeup artists, so we too, can look like we’re from the heavens.
Read on for everything on nontouring and the best products to use…
How to contour with highlighter:
First, choose a shade that compliments your skin tone (darker skin tones a golden or bronze, fairer skin tones, a pink or champagne). Begin with a cream product, adding highlighter to the high points of the face, drawing a “C” around the eye and brow bone, down the center of nose, and a little on the forehead and chin, then use a beauty blender to press the highlight into skin. Next, dust on a powder highlighter like BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfecter Pressed Highlighter ($38) to set the highlight in place, says Kelli Bartlett. (Tip: Because you want to bring out your best features, celebrity and editorial makeup artist Martin Younan also suggests a dab of NARS Illuminator ($30) or powder highlighter rubbed on the center of the eyelid!) And, if you just can’t part with contouring, Ashlee Glazer, Rachel Zoe’s MUA and Smith & Cult Beauty Ambassador, suggests using a deep bronze liquid highlighter under cheekbones for a contoured effect.
How to layer highlighters:
With so many highlighters to choose from, it can be daunting to find the right one, but since nontouring is all about the highlight, it’s totally acceptable to buy five different highlighters and go crazy with the layering! Ashlee Glazer recommends starting with a liquid highlighter like Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid Highlighter ($41) or MAC Strobe Cream ($33), using fingers then blend it in with a beauty blender, and finishing with a powder highlighter. (Tip: A “dirty” foundation brush (dirty meaning leftover makeup) dusted over the layers will blur any edges.)
All experts agree, start with a liquid highlighter, which can easily be mixed into liquid foundation for a highlighted base. But be careful when mixing textures, says Martin Younan: “Mixing too many textures together can end up looking cakey. You just have to remember to stay consistent (liquid with liquid/cream and powder with powder) to keep the face looking smooth and natural…and NEVER go from powder, back to liquid.”
Choosing the best highlighters:
Skin texture plays a huge role in this decision. For longer wear or combination/oily complexions, Min Min Ma suggests powders, which are also great for setting makeup, and cream highlighters for drier skin. And for easy application when spot targeting areas of the face, sticks are a perfect match, says Ashlee Glazer. Liquids tend to be the most versatile and can be blended with anything.
Get ready to be lit!
Also try these highlighters we can’t get enough off…
NARS Banc De Sable Highlighter Palette ($49)
Kevyn Aucoin The Neo Limelight ($58)
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette ($62)
Min Min Ma’s fave: YSL Lumiere Divine Highlighting Powder Palette ($49)
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Highlighter ($28)
Stila Heaven’s Hue Highlighter ($32)
NYX Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder ($8)
Giorgio Armani Chinese New Year Highlighting Palette ($88)
Martin’s fave: Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder ($44) in Starlight, use with Kevyn Aucoin fan brush ($60) for flawless application.
Claudia Mercado is a beauty-obsessed writer living in Long Beach, CA.