Makeup Basics: Highlighter

Guides, How to Makeup

Makeup Basics: Highlighter

Part ten of the Makeup Basics series.

So you’ve started contouring, but you want to want to emphasize certain features even more? Highlighters can do that for you.


What is it?

Highlighter is a light-colored product – usually white, cream-colored or pinkish – that’s used to, well, highlight certain areas of your face. Like most face products, you can find it in powder, cream or liquid form.

Why might I want to use this stuff?

Going back to that ol’ optical illusion of dark=recede and light=project, you can use highlighter to make certain features appear more prominent. For example, putting a highlighter on top of your cheekbones can make them appear to be higher, or putting it down the center of your face can make your face seem less wide. Highlighting is usually done in combination with contouring.

How do I choose the right one for me?


Since highlighters are meant to draw attention to certain areas, they usually have some amount of sheen, shimmer or outright glitter to catch the light and reflect it. It is possible to find more subtle options though.


The most popular colors for highlighters are variations of white or cream, though some are warmer and some are more cool-toned. I generally coordinate my highlighter with the overall tones (warm/cool) of the rest of my makeup.


As always, liquids, creams and powders are all available – and those are just the products that are actually labeled as highlighters. I’ve used everything from too-light foundation to powder eyeshadow as highlighting products before. This comes down, again as always, to your preference and what other face products you’re pairing it with.

My favorites

My holy grail highlighter is Shiseido Luminizing Satin Face Color in High Beam White. I also like Benefit High Beam and Wet n Wild Color Icon Reserve Your Cabana.


You made it to the end! Feel free to comment below if you still have any unanswered questions.


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