Your definitive guide to applying liquid highlighter

how to apply liquid highlighter

The easiest way to give your skin an instant glow

If there’s one thing we know women of all ages want, it’s glowing skin. And while a good skin care routine with regular exfoliation and products packed with hydrating ingredients and brightening vitamin C will certainly get you there, it’s a good highlighter that’ll give you instant gratification. 

And the highlighter formulation that’ll give you the most bang for your buck when it comes to glow factor? A metallic liquid highlighter. Trouble is, the pigmentation of the liquid itself seems intense, so those looking for a natural glow may shy away from one. But the good news is that no matter if you want a subtle finish or a sheen that can be seen all the way from New Zealand, a liquid highlighter will you have you sorted. You just need to know how to apply it.

Toolkit

You’ll of course need a liquid highlighter. Liquid Light is a budget-friendly one from MECCA MAX and it comes in four shades (Gold, Topaz, Opal and Quartz), so you can pick the highlighter colour that best suits your skin tone. If you’re shopping around for options, we also like Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops and the Australis Liquid Strobe Illuminating Drops.

We also recommend having a sponge, like the original beautyblender®, on hand.

highlighter tool kit

1

Drop a pea-size amount on your ring finger

This part is key in ensuring a natural finish. One drop from the pipette – divided between your two ring fingers – is enough to give both cheekbones a sufficient glow. 

Once you have the highlighter on your finger, press it onto the ring finger on your opposite hand to disperse the product.

liquid highlighter tutorial

2

Dab the highlighter on your cheekbones

Using both hands at the same time, gently dab the highlighter from your temples, down along your cheekbones, finishing just above the apples of your cheeks.

liquid highlighter tutorial
TOP TIP: If you have excess highlighter on your fingers, instead of washing it off, use soft tapping motions to apply what’s leftover down the bridge of your nose and on your Cupid’s bow.

3

Blend with your makeup sponge

You can use your fingers to blend in the highlighter, but we find that using a sponge gives a more seamless finish (and reduces the chances of a rogue fingerprint on your face!). 

Wet your beautyblender and squeeze out the excess moisture. Use quick but light dabbing motions to blend the highlighter along your temples and cheekbones (you want the ‘shape’ of your highlighted area to almost look like the letter ‘C’ around your eyes). Avoid ‘wiping’ the highlighter to blend it in, as this may shift your foundation and create streaks.

liquid highlighter tutorial

4

Repeat if needed

Once you’ve finished blending, feel free to repeat steps one to three to layer your highlighter for a more intense glow.

liquid highlighter tutorial

The final look

Once you’re happy with the level of intensity of your highlighter, if it’s not the last step of your makeup routine, finish off your look and you’re good to go – glowing skin and all.

liquid highlighter how to

Looking for more tips on nailing your highlighter? Here’s our guide on everything you need to know for perfectly illuminated skin.

Do you have a favourite way to highlight? Please share with us in the comments section below

Main and inset image credit: Sevak Babakhani

Carli is BEAUTYcrew’s Editor and has been since the site launched in 2016. She is currently on a quest to find the perfect medium-coverage foundation for combination skin, is trying to narrow down her mascara collection to just three, and is embracing the power of AHAs. You can find her words right here on BEAUTYcrew, and previously on beautyheaven.