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How To Highlight Your Face

If you’re after gorgeous, glowy and fresh looking skin you don’t necessarily need bronzer and you don’t need a tan; what you need is a good illuminator which (also goes by the name of highlighter or luminizer) will add and reflect light off your face giving you a fresh, dewy healthy skin look and will work at making your best features more pronounced.

Where to highlight:

There are a few key points to highlight on the face and generally these are the areas where the sun would naturally hit which are:

  • The top of the cheekbones
  • Bridge of the nose
  • Under the brow bone
  • Cupids bow

Some less common but still often used places to highlight the face are generally underneath the outer corner of the eyes & lips, the inner corner of the eye (normally done to make eyes appear larger and to minimize the appearance of dark circles) and on either side of the nose just above the nostrils. If you have dry skin the center of the forehead can also be highlighted.

You will want to stay far away from highlighting problem areas like pimples, puffy skin or anywhere where you have a wrinkle or two as highlighting will bring unwanted attention to this area.

A common technique used to give light to the face is to mix a pea sized amount of illuminator in with a foundation or tinted moisturiser for a gorgeous all over healthy glow.

What to highlight with:

Highlighting generally needs to be done with a product containing shimmer although often foundations, powders and concealers which are a few shades lighter then your skin tone can be used but will not give as greater effect as a shimmer based product. Like all makeup, there is more then one formula which you can use to highlight the skin such as:

  • benefit high beamLiquids: Liquids are probably the most common formula of illuminators; they blend into the skin very easily and look the most natural almost creating a ‘second skin’ finish. They don’t go chalky, they feel light on the skin, aren’t very prone to oxidizing and normally have the largest array of colours. Liquid illuminators are normally blended using the fingers.
  • Creams: Creams; like liquids are also very popular and create a natural look and blend into the skin well; however not quite as easily as liquids and they often don’t create the same second skin look and lightweight feel which liquids can achieve. Creams are best applied with the fingers. Try using a cream shadow!
  • Powders: Powders are a great option for oilier skin types although aren’t as commonly used as other formulas as they can often go on the skin chalky and can oxidize on some skin types. Powder formulas of illuminators are best applied with a small powder brush. You can even try using a loose pigment or powder shadow (which tend to blend better too!)

(My favourite illuminators are: Benefit High Beam, St Tropez Illuminating Cream, NP SET Liquid Veil)

Which shade to highlight with:

While most shades can be universal for some skin tones it’s best to use the most flattering shade (After all why would you want a shade which didn’t bring out your best features and instead something that you wanted to hide!) these include:

  • Light Skin Tones: Lighter skin tones (particularly porcelain & fair skin) are best flattered with pink, cream, egg shell and off white shades but anything with a golden base will just result in an orange looking finish.gold pigment
  • Medium Skin Tones: Medium skin tones are best suited with shades which are a little in between such as soft golden colours and rose gold colours but you’ll want to avoid anything dark or light or you’ll risk looking too pink or too orange.
  • Dark Skin Tones: Darker skin tones are best suited with golds and bronze shades but anything to pink or too light will look very unflattering on the skin.
  • Very Dark Skin Tones: Skin tones which are very dark (almost/does look black) is better off sticking to warmer and darker shades such as burgundy’s, dark chocolates, coppers and any dark bronzey shades.



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