The 3 golden rules of applying highlighter

Olivia Munn glowing skin

We bet you've NEVER tried #1

Beauty Crew Beauty Writer / January 22 2019

Want fresh, glowing skin? Of course you do. Luminous, healthy-looking skin is the JAM. That’s why we all own a bazillion highlighting products. Because let’s face it, it’s hard work remembering to down two litres of water every day. 

The problem is it’s suuuper easy to go overboard with the ol’ highlighter. And sometimes, instead of looking like an illuminated dream, you can end up sporting two Hi-Vis-like stripes on either side of your face. Not ideal. 

To help you never be that person, we asked BECCA Makeup Artist Emma Chen for her top tips on nailing that effortless, *natural*-looking glow. Trust us, these three golden rules will seriously change your makeup game.


Layer your highlighters

Yep - layering multiple highlighters is a thing and according to Chen, it’s the best way to make your skin look like it’s actually glowing. “I love incorporating liquids and powders and I’m really passionate about layering products,” she says.

Layering your highlighting products adds a natural-looking dimension to your complexion. The liquid and cream highlighters will keep your skin looking dewy and hydrated, while the powder will deliver a touch of light-reflecting shimmer.

“For me, I’m all about using a glow stick and not shying away from cream highlighter and then applying a powder over the top,” says Chen. “It’s about being creative with the products you’ve got in your makeup kit. For example, mixing your cream highlighter or liquid highlighter into your foundation.” 

“I love BECCA’s liquid highlighters because they’re so versatile - you can pop them on the high points of the face and apply your foundation over the top, or just mix them together.”


Use your fingers

It’s time to give your makeup brushes a rest and put those digits to work. To make your glow look as natural and as effortless-looking as possible, Chen suggests using your fingers in a tapping motion to apply highlighter.

“It’s all about using the heat of your fingers and working the product into your skin,” explains Chen. “I love to use my finger [to apply highlighter] under my eye area and really work the product into the skin. For really delicate areas, the heat of your fingers will help break that product down.”


Focus on the high points of your face

“Keeping to the high points of the face is a good principle to follow,” says Chen. “One of the common mistakes people make is definitely pulling the highlighter down a little bit too low.”

The general rule is to apply highlighter where the sun would naturally hit your face – we’re talking the bridge of the nose, the Cupid’s bow and just on the top of the cheekbones. Chen says you’ll want to apply your highlighter in almost a ‘V’ shape around your eyes, and also suggests adding a touch of highlighter under your brow bone for extra definition.

For more tips on mastering the highlighter game, read our step-by-step guide to applying liquid highlighter, plus, take a squiz at the three new ways you’ll be highlighting in 2019.

Do you layer your highlighters? What are your go-to highlighting products? Let us know in the comment section below.

Main image credit: Getty

Erin Docherty is a Beauty Writer for BEAUTYcrew, Beauty Editor for Women's Health magazine and a Grooming Writer for Men's Health magazine. She has a keen interest in cosmeceutical skin care and is currently working on minimising her 9-step skin care routine – because ain’t nobody got time for that. When she’s not writing about the latest beauty news, or applying copious amounts of serum, you can find her spending all her money in Sephora.