How to Use Liquid Highlighter in 4 Easy Steps
We all want to achieve chiseled looking cheekbones and sculpted arches, but let’s face it — that’s usually easier said than done. For all the girls out there looking to make their best features pop with liquid highlighter but haven’t the slightest clue where to begin, this one’s for you. Ahead, we share a simple step-by-step guide to nailing the perfect lit-from-within glow. Now, you’re well on your way to highlighting like a pro! You’re welcome.
Step One: Pick the Right Formula
Your faux glow is only as good as the product used to achieve it, so don’t take this step lightly! Instead of settling for the first highlighter that catches your eye, take the extra time to read labels. The right formula can really make a difference in the end result—trust us! Of course, we’re here to give you a hand. Below, find three liquid highlighters—from the L’Oreal portfolio of brands—that have our stamp of approval.
L’Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Liquid Glow Illuminator: Designed in shades ranging from warm to neutral to cool, this illuminator flatters every skin tone and under tone to help enhance key features. (12.99 MSRP)
NYX Professional Makeup Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator: This lightweight liquid illuminator—available in four light-catching shades—can be used as a foundation base over your cheekbones, décolleté, cupid’s bow, and more for an enviable, natural-looking glow. (7.50 MSRP)
Yves Saint Laurent Beauté Touche Éclat: The priciest of the three, this highlighting wand is perfect for a gal looking to splurge. Discover for yourself why it’s a favorite among makeup artists and beauty editors alike. ($42 MSRP)
Step Two: Target the High Points of Your Face
Now that you have your highlighter in tow, let’s talk about placement. After all, a well-placed highlighter can help instantly sculpt your cheekbones, make your tired eyes appear more awake, and brighten dull spots. Before swiping highlighter onto your face, map out the areas you wish to add a little extra shimmer. It’s better to be strategic and have a game-plan rather than swipe highlighter willy-nilly. After applying your favorite foundation and concealer, use your fingers or a small brush—note: if your highlighter is a twist-up stick or a wand, apply it directly onto your face—to dab a little liquid illuminator onto the high points of your face in small dots. This includes across your cheekbones, over the center of your forehead, down and around the bridge of your nose, under your peepers, on your cupid’s bow, and under your brow bone. Keep in mind that a little bit goes a long way with liquid highlighter. You don’t want your face to resemble a disco ball, do you? That’s the opposite of subtle.
Step Three: Blend Like It’s Nobody’s Business
After your dots are mapped out, you’ll want to blend, blend, blend right away. If you wait too long, your formula can dry up and be more difficult to spread out, drawing too much attention to one area of your face. Use your fingers or a damp blending sponge to gently blend the formula for a seamless, natural-looking glow. Don’t worry about over-doing it as it’s nearly impossible to mess this part up. If—after all is said and done—you feel that your skin is too reflective, dab a little bit of concealer or foundation on top of the area and blend it out. This should help tone down the glimmer.
Step Four: Amp Up Your Glow
If you feel like your face could use a little extra highlighting oomph, lightly dust powder highlighter onto those areas. This can help boost your glow in seconds! Complete the look with a few spritz of setting spray and voila—you’re done!
Pro tip: If you want to achieve an all-over glow instead of a targeted application, mix your liquid illuminator with your moisturizer.