For the uninitiated, highlighter is a face makeup that attracts the light and creates the illusion of brightness for that lit-from-within look that the beauty-obsessed are, well, obsessed with right now.
Celebs often pair highlighter with contour shades to create that ultra-sculpted look, but you don’t have to be a contouring pro to enjoy a touch of shimmer.
Like all things makeup, highlighter comes in a variety of shades and textures to suit every skin tone and type, and there is a system behind getting it to catch the light in just the right way.
Keep reading for the Sephora 4-step guide to glow, plus highlighting looks you need to try.
How to Highlight in 4 Simple Steps
1. Prep: A thorough cleanse can help your skin glow from within as it acts as a mini facial to help improve circulation and exfoliate away dullness.
Your skincare routine is an important first step to making sure your highlighter works its best. Clean, hydrated skin is key to a healthy, natural-looking glow. Before applying any makeup products, make sure to use a gentle face wash, exfoliator, and moisturiser to create a smooth, supple canvas.
2. Prime: Start layering on the lustre with dewy moisturisers and illuminating primers. The instant hydration creates a subtle gleam and helps makeup stay in place.
These days, a good makeup primer is much more than just a makeup base. Look for one packed with hydrating ingredients to replenish skin throughout the day and blurring properties that diffuse the light and create a soft-focus glow that will really make your highlighter pop.
3. Perfect: Create a smooth base by adding a radiant foundation to the centre of your face and blending out. Concealing any imperfections will give your highlighter maximum impact.
Even out your complexion with your coverage of choice. Foundation typically provides fuller coverage, but a lighter weight bb cream or tinted moisturiser will work too, depending on the look you’re going for.
4. Finish: Now you’re ready to illuminate and shine. Use a highlighter brush to sweep on the highlighter of your choice—powder, cream, liquid, or gel.
Not sure where to apply highlighter? Just think the highpoints of your face that would naturally catch the light: cheekbones, the bridge of the nose, your Cupid’s bow, and the jawline into the hairline. Using a highlighter fan brush can help blend the product into your foundation more naturally for a seamless look. For a high-wattage effect, wet your brush with a setting spray first. Don’t forget to use a finishing powder all over to set your hard-earned glow in place all day!
From Natural to Otherworldly, Try These Glow Looks
Sunlight: Give your skin a sun-bathed look. Think soft definition that mimics the effect of natural light. Go for the gold with radiant, sun-kissed shades in golden tones that caste a bright spotlight on your best features.
- Eyes: Create warm-toned eyes with a metallic bronze shade on the lids, a raspberry shade in the crease and a pop of gold at the centre.
- Cheeks: Sweep bronzer around the perimeter of the face, then add a peach blush and a champagne highlight for a golden sheen.
- Lips: Swipe on a coral lip shade, pat a gloss onto the centre of the lips and brush a highlighter across the top of the cupid's bow.
Prismatic Light: Give your skin a holographic look. Think pastel, rainbow and otherworldly shades for dramatic definition. Embark in otherworldly glamour with extreme highlight and glow using multi-coloured, holographic shades in metallic finishes. Any one of Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors should do the trick.
- Eyes: Sweep an iridescent turquoise shadow across the lids. Add an ethereal pink to the inner corners, and finish with blue mascara.
- Cheeks: Layer a holographic amethyst highlighter across cheekbones, and add a touch of petal pink blush to the cheeks.
- Lips: Apply balm and a pastel lilac lipstick. Pat gloss onto the centre of the lips, and brush a pearlescent highlighter along the cupid’s bow.
Experimenting with highlighters should be fun and we’re here to help. Discover your next glow kit or highlighter palette when you shop online at Sephora. With so many options, your skin’s future is looking ultra-bright!