When it comes to makeup, one aspect that can truly elevate your look is highlighting. Did you know that highlighting has been a popular technique used by professional makeup artists for decades? It’s true! Highlighting helps to accentuate your features, add a natural glow, and create dimension to your face. Whether you’re a makeup novice or a beauty connoisseur, knowing how to highlight makeup can take your application skills to the next level.

Highlighting makeup involves using a product that is lighter than your natural skin tone to bring out certain areas of your face. This technique can be traced back to the golden age of Hollywood, where actresses would use shimmery powders to enhance their cheekbones and create a luminous effect on camera. Today, highlighting has become a staple in everyday makeup routines, with a wide range of products available such as liquid illuminators, cream highlighters, and powder highlighters. By strategically applying highlighter to the high points of your face, such as the cheekbones, brow bone, and cupid’s bow, you can achieve a radiant and youthful glow that instantly brightens your complexion. It’s no wonder that highlighting has become a go-to technique for enhancing facial features and achieving that coveted “lit from within” look.

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Understanding the Art of Highlighting Makeup

Highlighting makeup has become a popular technique in the world of beauty and cosmetics. It involves the strategic placement of light-reflecting products to accentuate specific areas of the face, resulting in a luminous and glowing complexion. Whether you’re a makeup enthusiast or a professional artist, mastering the art of highlighting can elevate your makeup game to the next level. In this article, we’ll explore the various techniques, products, and tips that can help you achieve a flawless and radiant look.

Before diving into the specifics of how to highlight makeup, it’s important to understand the purpose of a highlighter in the context of cosmetics. A highlighter is a product designed to add dimension and radiance to the face. It typically has a shimmery or pearlescent finish that catches light and creates the illusion of youthful, glowing skin. Highlighters come in various forms, including powders, creams, liquids, and sticks, allowing you to choose the texture that best suits your preferences and skin type.

To learn more about the role of a highlighter in makeup and how to use it effectively, you can visit this helpful guide on what does a highlighter do in makeup. It delves into the science behind highlighters, the different types available, and expert advice on application techniques. Now, let’s explore the step-by-step process of how to highlight your face with makeup.

The Step-by-Step Guide to Highlighting Makeup

Highlighting your face with makeup involves several key steps. By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be able to achieve a natural-looking and luminous glow.

1. Preparing the Skin

Before applying any makeup, it’s essential to prepare your skin properly. Start by cleansing your face to remove any dirt or impurities. Follow up with a moisturizer to hydrate and plump the skin, ensuring a smooth canvas for makeup application. Allow the moisturizer to absorb fully before proceeding to the next step.

For added hydration and to create a dewy base, you can also apply a face primer. Primer helps to fill in pores, blur imperfections, and extend the longevity of your makeup.

Once your skin is prepped and ready, it’s time to move on to the next step: applying foundation.

2. Applying Foundation

Foundation forms the base of your makeup look and provides an even skin tone. Choose a foundation that matches your skin tone and apply it using a brush, sponge, or your fingertips. Blend the foundation well, ensuring that it seamlessly merges with your natural skin color.

Remember, the goal is to create a natural and flawless complexion. If you prefer a lighter coverage, you can opt for a tinted moisturizer or a BB cream instead of a traditional foundation.

Once your foundation is applied, it’s time to move on to the next step: concealing any blemishes or dark circles.

3. Concealing Imperfections

To achieve a flawless finish, use a concealer to hide any blemishes, dark circles, or discoloration. Select a shade that matches your skin tone or is slightly lighter for a brightening effect. Apply the concealer to the areas that need coverage and gently blend it in with your fingertips or a small brush.

For under-eye circles, apply the concealer in an upside-down triangle shape to create a lifted appearance. Blend the edges seamlessly into your foundation for a seamless transition.

Once your imperfections are concealed, it’s time to move on to the next step: setting your makeup.

4. Setting Your Makeup

Setting your makeup is crucial to ensure its longevity and prevent it from smudging or melting throughout the day. Use a setting powder or translucent powder to lock in your foundation and concealer. Apply the powder using a fluffy brush, focusing on the areas prone to oiliness or creasing.

If you have dry or mature skin, it’s better to use a finely milled powder or a setting spray to avoid emphasizing any dry patches or fine lines.

Now that your base is set, it’s time to move on to the highlighter application.

5. Applying Highlighter

The highlighter is the star of the show when it comes to achieving a radiant and glowing complexion. There are several ways to apply highlighter, depending on your preferred technique and the type of product you’re using.

For powder highlighters, use a fan brush or a small fluffy brush to apply the product to the high points of your face. These areas typically include the cheekbones, brow bone, down the bridge of the nose, and the cupid’s bow. Remember to start with a light hand and build up the intensity gradually.

If you’re using a cream or liquid highlighter, you can use your fingertips or a damp beauty sponge for application. Gently tap the product on the desired areas and blend it in for a seamless finish.

To learn more about different techniques and tips for highlighting the face with makeup, you can refer to this comprehensive guide on how to highlight face with makeup. It provides step-by-step instructions, product recommendations, and expert tips for achieving a flawless highlight.


Highlighting makeup is a versatile technique that can transform your look and give you a radiant and youthful complexion. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you’ll be able to master the art of highlighting and achieve a flawless result. Remember to choose the right products for your skin type, blend well, and experiment with different techniques to find the perfect highlight for your face shape and personal style.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Highlighting makeup is a technique used to enhance certain areas of the face, creating a luminous and radiant look. It involves applying a lighter shade to specific areas to bring them forward and create dimension. Here are some frequently asked questions about how to highlight makeup.

1. How do I choose the right highlighter shade for my skin tone?


When choosing a highlighter shade, it’s important to consider your skin tone. For fair skin, opt for champagne or pearl shades. If you have a medium skin tone, golden or peachy shades work best. For deep skin tones, go for bronze or copper highlighters. It’s always a good idea to swatch the shades on your skin to see how they blend and complement your complexion.

Another factor to consider is your undertone. If you have cool undertones, look for highlighters with a silvery or icy sheen. Warm undertones pair well with golden or bronze highlighters. Neutral undertones have the flexibility to experiment with different shades. Remember to always blend well for a seamless finish and adjust the intensity based on your desired level of glow.

2. Where should I apply highlighter on my face?


The placement of highlighter can vary depending on your face shape and desired look, but there are some common areas to highlight. The high points of the face, such as the cheekbones, bridge of the nose, and cupid’s bow, are popular areas to apply highlighter. These areas catch the light naturally and enhance the features.

You can also apply highlighter to the inner corners of the eyes to make them appear brighter and more awake. For a subtle glow, you can use a small amount on the brow bone to lift and define the brows. Experiment with different placements to find what works best for you, taking into account your face shape and personal preferences.

3. What tools should I use to apply highlighter?


There are various tools you can use to apply highlighter, depending on the finish you want to achieve. One popular option is a fan brush, which allows for a more diffused application and a softer glow. Blend the highlighter using gentle sweeping motions for a natural look.

If you prefer a more intense highlight, you can use a small tapered brush or a sponge applicator. These tools provide more precision and control, allowing you to build up the intensity as desired. Remember to tap off any excess product before applying to avoid a heavy or chunky application.

4. Can I wear highlighter during the day?


Absolutely! Highlighter can be worn during the day to add a subtle glow to your skin. Opt for a lighter hand and choose a more natural-looking highlighter shade. A soft, dewy finish can create a fresh and radiant look that enhances your natural features.

To make your highlighter more daytime-appropriate, focus on applying it to the high points of your face like the cheekbones and brow bone, using a light hand and blending well. This creates a natural-looking glow without being too overpowering.

5. How can I make my highlighter last all day?


To make your highlighter last all day, start with a well-prepped and moisturized face. A smooth canvas allows the product to adhere better and stay in place. After applying your foundation and concealer, set your face with a light dusting of translucent powder. This helps to lock in the products and prevent them from budging throughout the day.

If you want to intensify the longevity, you can also use a setting spray after applying your highlighter. This helps to seal the product and keep it in place for longer hours. Look for a setting spray that is suitable for your skin type to ensure the best results.

To highlight your makeup, start by applying a primer to create a smooth base. Next, select a foundation that matches your skin tone and blend it evenly. Use a concealer to cover any blemishes or dark circles. After that, apply a powder to set the foundation and prevent shine.

To enhance your features, use a bronzer to add warmth to your complexion and a blush to give your cheeks a natural flush. For your eyes, apply an eyeshadow in a shade that complements your skin tone, and finish with mascara for a bold, defined look. Lastly, highlight your cheekbones, brow bone, and the bridge of your nose with a shimmery highlighter.


  • Maria J. Morrison

    Maria is a professional Beautician and his hobby is beauty & Personal care. she has been for the last 5 years and he loves makeup while on outings as well. Based on his experience with the different types of makeup. She is sharing his opinion about various makeup so that a beginner can get started the right way. Find him onTwitter here. Happy reading.