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5 Secrets To Get A Great-Looking Highlight

Tips from the pros.

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The main purpose of highlighting your face is to create that desirable healthy glow on your skin, which you can lose after applying foundation all over your face. After foundation, the complexion will look even but quite flat. Applying highlighter is one of the most popular methods used to regain the dimensions of your face

However, it seems like a lot of people these days treat highlighter as if it is a reflective mirror on their face. It can be too obvious and too much. The highlighter they use ends up failing to make their skin look naturally radiant.  

So, if you like to wear your makeup to enhance your features instead of as mask, here are top makeup artists’ tips about highlighting you need to follow. 

1. Always choose the right shade for you. 

Highlighter comes in a variety of colors, and a lot of makeup enthusiasts tend to think that any color would apply sheer and blend naturally to the face. This is the reason why so many people bought into using those unicorn and mermaid-themed highlighters introduced a couple of seasons ago. 

However, for a gorgeous highlighter, it’s still about knowing the shade that makes your skin look like it’s glowing from within. For this, when you are buying highlighters, swatch the product on the back of your hand (or wrist) and move it in different angles to see how the highlighter works in light and shadow. 

If the highlighter looks dark on your skin or exhibits an obvious color like blue, lilac, or green in the shadow, skip it. Great-looking highlighter should mimic the natural shade of your skin in the shadow and not show up in the dark. 

2. Apply highlighter according to the shape of your face. 

The contours and high points of people’s faces are different from each other. Therefore, do not just copy what’s presented in an Instagram makeup look.  

The difference between learning makeup from YouTube or Instagram tutorials and classes at a makeup academy is that, in tutorials, you just follow what the guru is doing. However, in a pro makeup masterclass, you are taught to fully understand the face and determine the proper way of applying makeup to it. 

So, take the time to study your face and correctly identify where the high points are for the application of your highlighter. 

3. Blend the highlighter instead of just sweeping it onto your skin in a streak. 

Highlighter should look like how your skin shines when you’ve had a bit of a workout instead of a strip of product on your skin that has a sharp shape. Always apply highlighter with a light hand and swirl around the edges with a small brush to blend it in seamlessly with your blush and the contours on the sides of your face. 

Be careful about over-blending, though. This can sheer out the highlighter too much and make your face makeup shimmery everywhere, which is not a flattering look. 

4. Highlight the tip of the nose and brow bone lightly all the time. 

Highlighter can make your facial features pop. Thus, if you do not apply it properly, it can make your features look bulbous and thick.  

For instance, a lot of YouTube makeup gurus like to bop the tip of their nose with highlighter. This is not a good look for someone with a really round tip of the nose. Highlighting this area will only make the nose not only look prominent but also bigger as well. It will put the careful contouring effort to make the nose look slim go to waste. 

Another makeup booboo with highlighter is applying it thickly on the brow bone. This looks good in editorial photo shoots, but for a day or night look, it can unintentionally make the brow bone look thick and aged, and the eyelids more hooded. So, always apply highlighter lightly on these areas using a small yet fluffy brush. 

5. Choose a finely milled highlighting powder if you have textured skin. 

If you struggle with acne or you already have some fine lines on your skin, it pays to invest in top quality highlighter whose powder is finely milled. This applies more seamlessly, and a little goes a long way. 

You also need to uphold the rule of thumb, which is to apply the product lightly. A heavy application of highlighter will only emphasize your skin woes such as wrinkles and enlarged pores. 

Go for a really subtle wash of radiance with your highlighter or skip the highlighter altogether, and opt for a luminizing foundation instead. Just powder areas strategically for the look of a smooth complexion. 

These are what you need to do for a lovely highlight. Apply these tips and highlight will always work to make you more radiant and youthful. 


Toni Malt is the Middle East’s leading international editorial makeup artist and the woman behind the highly anticipated Toni Malt Makeup Academy in the heart of Dubai, now training the next generation of key makeup artists. From minimalistic looks to freestyle artistic creations, Toni’s creative work has been published in top international fashion magazines around the world including VOGUE, ELLE, L’Officiel, Marie Claire, Harper’s BAZAAR, Grazia and Cosmopolitan. 

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