A highlighter is one of the best items you can have. No, not the neon yellow or pink ones you use to study, but products to add a glow, shimmer, or glisten to targeted areas of your face.
It's possibly the most versatile and foolproof make-up product there is, and so easy to use, whether you're a seasoned make-up pro or a beauty noob. It's also something you can wear on its own with nothing else but moisturiser on your face, yet it can take your look to the next level if you're wearing a full face of make-up.
The basic principle is to apply highlighter to the high points of your face. This means the areas that catch the light the most. These are the middle of your forehead, down the middle of your nose, above your cupid's bow (the dip at the centre of your upper lip), your chin, and directly on the most prominent part of your cheekbones.
You don't need to hit all those spots; focus on a few or even just one is fine. This is why highlighter works well when worn on its own. If you're going to highlight just one area though, the best place is your cheekbones. Ta-da! Instant dimension and glamour!
The three most common forms of highlighter are cream, liquid and powder. Here is how best to use each:
- If you're new to highlighters, try a liquid one. It's the easiest to use and the most subtle.
- Dot a little product where you want it, and blend it with your fingers or a stippling brush. Make sure the product is well blended, so you can't even tell where bare skin ends and shimmer begins.
- You can wear highlighter all over your face, but there's only one way: mix a pea-sized amount of liquid highlighter with your moisturiser, foundation, or BB/CC cream before smoothing all over your face. If you just use highlighter over your whole face, you risk looking like an oily disco ball.
- To really make a statement, go for a powder highlighter.
- Use a small fluffy brush, like an eyeshadow brush, and swirl it in your product. Using a light hand, sweep it on the areas you want to highlight. The small brush allows you to be precise about your application.
- A high-sheen highlighter, blended and softened, looks great on cheekbones, but opt for a softer one for other areas of your face to look more natural.
- Apply powder highlighter after you've set your face with translucent powder or powder foundation. If you're not wearing any other make-up, wait for your moisturiser to sink in first. Otherwise, the wetness of your moisturiser will hold on to too much pigment, making it harder to buff - you'll end up with a stark streak of glow on your face.
- After applying your highlighter, soften it a little with a big fluffy face powder brush. Just go over the area in circular motions.
- Probably the best type of highlighter for Hong Kong's humidity - plus it can be applied on top of liquid or powder products.
- If it comes in a tube, swipe it directly onto your skin on the areas you want it, and blend with your fingers or a dense-bristled blending brush. If it comes in a pot, pat it on with your fingertips and blend as you would a cream highlighter from a tube.
- A big plus of a cream highlighter is that it won't leak or crumble, so you can throw it in your bag without fear of it making a mess!