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Highlighter is a makeup product that you use to add a glow to your face. You might put it on your cheekbones, brow bone, or other areas you want to stand out. It can come in different forms, like powder, liquid, or stick. Highlighters can make your skin look like it's glowing from within. They can be shiny, sparkly, or give a more natural sheen. Depending on what you're going for, you might learn about how to pick the right type of highlighter for your skin, how to apply it for different effects, and tips for making your glow last all day.

Choosing the Right Highlighter for Your Skin Type

When picking a highlighter, consider your skin type to ensure it enhances your beauty without causing issues. If you have oily skin, powder highlighters like the e.l.f. Cosmetics Baked Highlighter can help control shine while adding a glow. For dry skin, a cream or liquid highlighter, such as Tarte's Shape Tape Glow Bar, can provide hydration and a luminous finish without clinging to dry patches. Combination skin types can benefit from versatile formulas like the Benefit Cosmetics Watt's Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter, offering the best of both worlds.

  • For oily skin:
    • e.l.f. Cosmetics Baked Highlighter
    • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish
  • For dry skin:
    • Tarte Shape Tape Glow Bar
    • Benefit Cosmetics High Beam Liquid Highlighter
  • For combination skin:
    • Benefit Cosmetics Watt's Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter
    • Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight

Understanding your skin's needs will help you choose a product that not only highlights your features but also cares for your skin. For instance, if you have sensitive skin, look for highlighters with hydrating ingredients and without fragrances or irritants, like the Peach&Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum, which can double as a subtle highlighter while nurturing the skin.

How to Apply Highlighter for a Natural Look

Achieving a natural glow with highlighter starts with choosing the right shade and formula for your skin tone and type. Begin by applying your foundation and concealer as usual. Then, using a highlighter that's one or two shades lighter than your skin tone, lightly apply to the high points of your face where the light naturally hits: cheekbones, brow bone, bridge of the nose, and cupid's bow.

  1. Start with a small amount of product. You can always build up more if needed.
  2. Use the right tool for your highlighter type: fingers or a sponge for creams and liquids, a fluffy brush for powders.
  3. Blend well into the skin to avoid harsh lines, creating a seamless transition between your highlighter and base makeup.

Remember, the goal is to enhance your natural features, not to overshadow them. A light hand is key to a natural, radiant finish. For an extra touch of glow, you can dab a tiny amount of highlighter onto the center of your eyelids and just above your lip's cupid's bow. This technique brings light to your face, making your skin look fresh and dewy throughout the day.

What to Look For

When shopping for a highlighter, pay close attention to the formula, finish, and ingredients to ensure it meets your needs and preferences. If you're aiming for a daytime, subtle glow, opt for a highlighter with a sheer to buildable coverage, like the Essence Pure Nude Highlighter, which offers a natural, soft glow. For evening or dramatic looks, choose a more pigmented product, such as the PAT McGRATH LABS Skin Fetish Highlighter + Balm Duo, which can deliver a more intense luminosity.

  • Look for key features such as:
    • Buildable coverage for versatility
    • Long-lasting formula to avoid frequent touch-ups
    • Skin-friendly ingredients, especially if you have sensitive skin

Also, consider the highlighter's finish. Do you prefer a dewy, radiant, or matte glow? Each finish can create a different effect, from a subtle sheen to a bold sparkle. Lastly, don't forget to match the highlighter to your skin tone for the most flattering look. Lighter shades work well for fair skin, while deeper tones can enhance medium to dark complexions. Experimenting with different colors and formulas will help you find the perfect highlighter to complete your makeup routine.

FAQs for Highlighter

How do I choose the right highlighter for my skin tone? Opt for a highlighter slightly lighter than your skin tone. Warm undertones look great with golden shades, while cool undertones pair well with pearly or silver shades.

Can highlighter be used on sensitive skin? Yes, but look for highlighters labeled hypoallergic or non-comedogenic and free from irritants like fragrance.

What's the best type of highlighter for oily skin? Powder highlighters work best for oily skin as they help absorb excess oil and reduce shine.

How do I apply highlighter for a natural look? Apply lightly to the high points of your face where light naturally hits, such as cheekbones, brow bones, and the bridge of the nose, and blend well.

Can I use highlighter without wearing foundation? Yes, highlighter can be used on bare skin for a natural glow or to enhance specific features.

What's the difference between liquid, powder, and cream highlighters? Liquid highlighters provide a dewy finish, powder highlighters are best for a matte effect, and cream highlighters offer a natural, blendable glow.

How do I prevent my highlighter from looking too glittery? Choose a formula with finely milled shimmer particles and apply sparingly to avoid excessive glitter.

Is it necessary to use a primer with highlighter? Not necessary, but a primer can smooth out the skin's texture for a more even highlighter application.

Can highlighter be used on the body? Yes, you can apply highlighter on the collarbone, shoulders, and other body parts you wish to accentuate.

How do I make my highlighter last all day? Use a setting spray after applying your highlighter to help lock it in place for longer wear.