How to use a highlighter, and what to avoid


Highlighters have taken the make-up world by storm, with people using it to accentuate their features by providing a glorious, shimmering glow to the skin. However, since the worldwide takeover, there have been various reports of how to apply highlighter, and with so many variations it can be difficult to decide which kind of highlighter you want, what color it should be and then how to apply it! With all these factors in mind, how should we really use highlighter, and what faux-pas should we avoid?

Photo: BURST

Get the right texture for you

So highlighters can come in many different forms whether it’s a cream or a powder. The more expensive the highlighter, the more technical it sounds, but you should always try it out on a tester before purchasing. There’s no point spending loads on a good highlighter and discovering you absolutely hate it. So, when you go to purchase a new highlighter, try it out on the back of your band and get to know how it feels. You will also learn what kind of coverage it can give you, and how shiny it might be.

The general rule

There is a lesser-known rule with makeup which is akin to ‘like-for-like,’ which basically means that, if you’re using cream-based foundations then you will want a cream-based highlighter and so on. One expert says it is okay to break this rule provided you do it in moderation, as it can begin to look caked-on if you apply too heavily.

Colors to avoid

There is a major online trend to use crazy-colored highlighters, which is totally fine, but you might not want to add this to your daily routine as they can look quite garish and unnatural in the sunlight, which probably wasn’t your intention. Try and get a highlighter no more than a couple of shades lighter than your skin tone; it’s supposed to ‘highlight’ not glow or darken.

Matt or shimmer?

This is, again, based on what time of day and the event. So if you’re on a night out, or an evening meal, then you may prefer to go for the more noticeable shimmering highlighter. But during the day this may seem a bit much, especially at work, so you may be better off going for one that has less glitter and more glam.

Photo: BURST

How to apply

Some people like to go a bit crazy with their highlighter, which can make it look a bit wild, and might upset the flash on a camera. The best places to use a highlighter is on the cheekbones, working upwards. This is highlighting the natural definition of your face, rather than adding it somewhere it doesn’t belong. Although you can highlight the very inner corners of your eyes, it is best to avoid slipping into any other eye-wrinkles as it might look a bit odd. With highlighter, in most cases, less is more, and it’s always best to check what you look like in as natural light as you possibly can.

Highlighter can be tricky, but with enough practice and the right type, you will be an expert in no time.