Highlighting found a solid foothold in the beauty industry years ago and has since then become an essential step in any makeup routine.

For those new to the concept, highlighting can be daunting but if correctly approached and executed it is something that can make all the difference.  But what is highlighting?

Typically one would apply a product with luminous properties to areas of the face that light would naturally highlight or where more attention would want to be attracted. These areas are: the top of the cheekbones, below the arch of the eyebrow, the undereye area, the cupids bow, the nose, chin and centre of the forehead. However, all of these areas do not need to be highlighted. The effect one desires will determine where one highlights and the products one uses. Highlighting can also be done with matte products to intentionally bring highlights and shadows to the face without the noticeability a shimmery highlighter can give.


Picking your Products

Powder highlighters are probably the most commonly used. The naturalness depends on the fineness of the powder and if the product contains glitter or not. Typically highlighters that don’t contain glitter flecks are recommended as they avoid creating an association with arts and crafts – basically, it’ll look like you poured glitter on your face. Finely milled highlighters are multifaceted as when one constructs a natural look little product can be applied. Still, the powder can be built up to be very noticeable without the dreaded fear of looking cakey.

Liquid highlighters are also very popular and are the most versatile, in my opinion, as they can be applied under foundation, mixed into foundation or on top of foundation to create different looks. It would also be advisable to avoid glitter in liquid highlighters as if it is mixed into sheer coverage foundations the glitter flecks are strikingly visible. The process of mixing highlighter into foundation produces a dewy or youthful glow that is favoured by the beauty community. If one decides to apply the highlighter as one would apply a primer this also gives a desirable effect. A matte full coverage foundation can be used with a highlighter as a primer – which gives a subtle glow with the assurance of not looking oily if one does have an oily complexion. However, shimmery primers give a glowing appearance as well as having beneficial priming properties – which I think is the better option.

Gel and Cream highlighters are the most natural appearing highlighters as they almost ‘melt’ into the skin and don’t allude to having applied anything on the skin – keeping in mind that an overzealous amount is not applied.

 Setting powders are known to be matte and most commonly used for prolonging the longevity of one’s makeup but a beautiful technique is to use a luminous setting powder to set the undereye area or to use it on the whole face – this is not recommended to people with oily skin but can maybe to done if the correct primer, foundation and concealers are used. A prime example of this is Lancome’s Absolute Powder.




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