Makeup Your Mind

Here's How To Apply Highlighter The *Right* Way

Let’s glow.

Courtesy of Theresa Massony

While several ways to apply highlighter exist, the simplest method is to use a pressed highlighter and a loose, slightly small fluffy brush. Dab your brush into your highlighter, tap off the excess, and lightly sweep the brush along the very top of your cheekbone, from about an inch under the outer corner of your eye up toward your temple.

Courtesy of Theresa Massony

Using a slightly fluffy brush with tapered edges blurs the areas where your highlighter starts and stops, giving your cheekbone an overall glow and no harsh lines.

Courtesy of Theresa Massony

You can also use the same fluffy brush to apply a light dusting of highlighter to your upper brow bone, just above your arch, to give your brows a lifted effect.

Courtesy of Theresa Massony

Next, using a small, fluffy eyeshadow brush, sweep a bit of that same highlighter directly onto your brow bone, just below your eyebrow arches, to add more dimension to your eye look.

Courtesy of Theresa Massony

Although TikTok might tell you to dust a ton of highlighter directly onto the tip of your nose, where you apply highlighter depends on your nose shape and how you want it to look. If you want to amplify the point if your nose, then tap a bit of highlighter on the tip of your nose. If you’d like to contour your nose and make it appear more angular, sweep your highlighter lightly down the bridge of your nose.

Courtesy of Theresa Massony

This last highlighter step is optional (as are, well, all of them really), but highlighting your cupid’s bow can help contour the shape of your lips and make them appear a bit fuller. It also just looks beautiful, TBH. With the same eyeshadow brush, apply your highlighter lightly in a sweeping motion onto your cupid’s bow.

Courtesy of Theresa Massony

At the end of these steps, you should have a natural-looking glow that perfectly complements the high points of your face (i.e. where the light hits you) without making those areas look overly reflective or straight up sweaty.

Courtesy of Theresa Massony

If you prefer a more reflective, intense highlight, a loose highlighter will give you a more pigmented look. Instead of using a large fan brush, though, look for a mini fan brush to use with loose highlighters. This will help concentrate the product and prevent the loose particles from flying all over your face.

Courtesy of Theresa Massony

Just as with the pressed highlighter, these application methods combined with a loose highlighter will give you a slightly blurred glow, but a bit brighter.

Courtesy of Theresa Massony

Perhaps my favorite types of highlighters recently are liquid and cream highlighters. They give you a fairly intense highlight, but they easily blend into the skin, don’t exacerbate texture as much as powders can, and result in a refreshed, dewy look.

Courtesy of Theresa Massony

The end result using liquid or cream highlights appears the most natural out of each type of highlighter, IMHO, making you look lit from within. You don’t even need a brush. Using your finger to apply liquids and creams helps those products melt into your skin. In the end, you’ll have a glowing canvas with no signs of patchiness to be found.

Courtesy of Theresa Massony