Facial Highlights, a Way to Create an Eye-catching Look

Irma Sandoval
The Paw Print

Highlighters are made to bring attention to the most important points in your notes or book right? Have you ever thought about highlighting your face? No, I’m not talking about with a sharpie! I’m talking about using make up to bring focus to the best features on your face.
Highlighting your face can help give you a subtle glow, make your eyes look bigger, and make your cheekbones look more prominent.  A facial highlighter is usually a lighter colored product, most often golden or pink toned, that has a slight shimmer in it to help catch the light and bring attention to the area where it is applied.
There are several types of highlighters including powder liquid and cream. Each type of highlighters has its’ advantages and disadvantages, but in the end it all comes down to preference.
Let’s look at powder highlighters first, since those are the easiest to apply. Powder highlighters can be anything from a light bronzer, like Wet N’ Wild’s Ultimate Bronzing Powder in 703 Rio Radiance ($2.99), to a blush, like Hard Candy’s Blush Crush Baked Blush in Tropics ($7.00).  Most powder highlighters are light colored bronzers or blushes; you can find powders specifically for highlighting at higher end make-up stores like Sephora or MAC.
Powder highlighters are my favorite because they are the easiest to blend seamlessly with the rest of your make-up.  Although powder highlighters can be applied anywhere, they are generally applied to specific areas including the bridge of the nose, the Cupid’s bow, and the cheekbones. Apply to the bridge of the nose if you want to have the appearance of a slimmer nose after contouring your nose. Apply to the Cupid’s bow to help define the line of your lips, which gives the illusion of fuller lips without looking overdone. Lastly, apply to the cheekbone to draw attention to the area; this will also make you look more rested and give the appearance of healthier skin. A couple more powder highlighters I would recommend are the Happy Booster Glow and Mood Boosting Powder by Physicians Formula ($13.95) and the Shimmer Strip Custom Bronzer by Physicians formula in Vegas Strip ($12.95).
Liquid highlighters are much trickier to work with because the color is much more concentrated, and take time to dry. Often times liquid highlighters are very potent in color, so it is very easy to over-do the shimmer and look really silly. My recommendation for fixing this problem is to use a duo fiber brush such as the F55 small duo fiber brush from Sigma ($14), which you can buy online at sigmamakeup.com. Duo fiber brushes are great brushes for blending products and making them look natural on your skin.
Each liquid highlighter has a different drying time, some dry really quickly and others take a minute to dry, it all depends on which brand you buy. The only recommendation I have for this problem is to practice with the product and learn to apply as quickly as possible.  Using a duo fiber brush also helps with this problem because it helps blend quicker than denser brushes or your fingers.
Liquid highlighters work best when applied to the Cupids bow, the cheekbones, and the inner corner of the eye.  Applying highlighter to the inner corner of the eye can help make the eyes look larger, distract from dark under eye circles, and help make the face look brighter.  I would recommend Hard Candy’s Glow All The Way Skin Luminizer in Doll Face ($8.00) or Eyes Lips Face’s (ELF) Shimmering Facial Whip in Lilac Petal ($1.00) that can be purchased at eyeslipsface.com, or Target.
Cream highlighters are easier to work with than liquid, but require more skill than powder highlighters. Cream highlighters can be applied to the cheekbones, Cupid’s bow, inner corner, the bridge of the nose, or under the arch in the eyebrow. This type of highlighter is really low maintenance, meaning they do not require a brush to apply.  In fact cream products are better applied with fingers because the heat from the fingers will warm the product, making it easier to blend.  Cream highlighters are commonly found in high-end make-up stores, and if you want to spend the money on the highlighter, then go for it! However, a less expensive alternative would be to use a cream eye shadow as a highlighter. It may seem a little crazy, but cream products can really be used anywhere on the face; formulation for cream products is pretty much the same across the board.  I recommend the Revlon Illuminance Cream Shadow in Skin Lights ($6.50). Any sort of cream stick product works as well, like a white kohl eyeliner, or an all over shade stick.
Facial highlighting can really add an extra oomph to your make up look. It can also help play up, or play down, features of your face. Remember the most important part of a facial highlighter is to have it blend with the make up so it looks natural and not forced. Highlighting is not just for academics anymore so pick up a brush and give it a try!

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