Have you been making this common highlighter mistake?

Makeup Artist Rae Morris’s Simple Trick For Avoiding This Common Highlighter Mistake

Australian makeup artist Rae Morris reveals exactly what to look for when choosing your next highlighter

Beauty Crew Digital Content Editor / July 24 2019

Oh highlighter! With your luminising properties and ability to emphasise our cheekbones, light up our eyes and glow-up our skin, there aren’t many makeup products we love more.

But as we’ve just learnt (thanks for the heads up, Aussie makeup legend Rae Morris!), if you don’t choose the right highlighter shade, instead of giving you all that glowy goodness you so desire, it can instead have the opposite effect – turning your skin a sallow, muddy shade wherever you’ve applied it.


According to Morris, this is due to the pigments within the highlighters. Many highlighters contain brown pigments (especially rose gold-coloured highlighters) and although they may look beautiful when you’re under full light, as soon as you enter the shadows or a dimly lit space, the brown pigment actually appears very dark and dirty on the skin.

“When you put highlighter on, it can go up to five shades lighter in the sun, and when it’s dark, it can go up to five shades darker,” says Morris. 

Fortunately though, Morris has a trick for choosing a highlighter that won’t have this unwanted side effect, and she shared it with us during our exclusive chat.

“Put [some swatches of highlighters] on the back of your hand, turn your hand away [from the light] and watch your skin. Some of them will [look] like a bruise. Especially the rose gold highlighters - if they’ve got brown in them, they go brown [in low-light settings],” says Morris. Steer clear of those ones! “Highlight should look invisible out of the light,” notes Morris.

Is anyone else’s mind totally blown by this beauty revelation?! We’re never buying a highlighter without checking it in the shadows first. 

If you’re looking for advice on how to take your highlighter to the next level, check out this backstage beauty trick.

Have you ever noticed your highlighter turn a muddy shade in the shadows before? Let us know in the comments.

Main image credit: @giizeleoliveira

Isobel is a Digital Content Editor at BEAUTYcrew, marie claire and InStyle. When she's not busy hunting for the latest beauty news, you’ll find her arranging her skincare collection in search of the perfect “shelfie.” Isobel was previously BEAUTYcrew's Junior Beauty Writer.