Time to shine! Whether subtle or sparkly, powdered or jellied, everyone looks better with a little incandescent movie-star light on their skin. And since most of us don't get to be lit by cinematographers on the regular, the makeup gods created highlighter.
Highlighter makeup is pale, shimmery powder or cream makeup that's meant to mimic the effects of really good lighting on skin. It makes cheekbones pop, eyes shine and skin glimmer. It's not an essential part of your look like, say, concealer or mascara, but much like a bit of eye-catching jewelry, it's a fun, flattering addition to your look. Traditionally, highlighter is a powder, but the rise of new, easy-to use gel formulas have made it as easy as finger paint to apply and the effect as natural or spotlight stealing as you want it.
Highlighter can be used in all kinds of ways, as eyeshadow, to give lips a hit of shimmer, on shoulders and decolletage, but for the most part it's used to create these three makeup effects:
Strobing is a bold hit of shimmer highlighter brushed on the tops of cheekbones or across eyelids that is meant to be noticed—an often reserved-for-nighttime look.
This is the opposite of strobing, using highlighter in a natural, understated way. Applied with a light hand, highlighter makeup mimics the glowing, sexy look of dewy skin. Don't apply it all over the face, just cheeks, temples and maybe along the bridge of the nose. Always blend in well with fingers or a makeup sponge! The effect should be seamless and genuine.
There are a few small areas on the face that look incredible with a bit of subtle sparkle. The inner corners of the eye. At the Cupid's Bow of your lip. Just under the curve of your eye brows. A beautiful bounce of shimmer in any of these places will bring a magical, lit-from-within effect to your whole look.
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