As Summer winds down, and we head into Fall, it’s hard not to be sad about bidding farewell to summer sun and fun. Fortunately, you don’t have to kiss your glow goodbye as the seasons change. In this article, we’re sharing the tips and tricks you need to get a J Lo Glow all year round. So, settle in, and get ready to learn how to apply highlighter makeup like a pro with our Kelley Baker-approved step-by-step highlighter application guide.
If you’re a fan of Kelley’s YouTube channel or Insta feed, you’ve seen her apply brow highlighter and the transformation her technique has on brows of all shapes. But what about the rest of the face? What other areas can use a shimmery boost? Highlighter done right can make your features pop like never before! The right highlighter application creates a dewy, healthy glow – and best of all, it’s way less expensive and much more convenient than a spa facial.
So, we’ve broken down how to apply highlighter makeup into 8 simple steps. Even though eight steps may seem like a lot – trust us – the process is super easy and doesn’t add much time to your regular beauty routine. The key is using the correct tools and highlighter application techniques. We recommend checking out KBB’s exclusive Stay At Home Kit, which includes our favorite highlighting tools – and more – to put your best face forward.
When choosing the highlighter that’s right for you, keep it close to your natural skin tone. We recommend using a brush with thin, scattered bristles (like a fan brush) for your face’s larger areas – the cheeks, forehead, and chin – and your finger or a smudge brush for the smaller spots – inner eye, cupid’s bow, and brow bone. And remember, start sparingly with your highlighter application. You can always layer on more if you want to up the strobe to full-on disco ball!
1. Apply Foundation & Concealer
The first step in highlighter application is to prepare your palette – in other words, apply moisturizer, concealer, and foundation to a clean face, as needed. Although foundation isn’t necessary for highlighter application, it should go on first if it’s part of your beauty routine. If you apply foundation or concealer, then just make sure it’s blended in thoroughly.
Now let’s look at the specific areas on your face to highlight for a radiant glow.
2. Highlight Tops of the Cheekbones
We’ll start our highlighter application tutorial with the cheekbones, which are the most prominent points on your cheeks. You will want to apply the highlighter with a brush in a diagonal line from just below the eye socket where your cheeks start and on up to your temples. The result will make your cheekbones pop with a light, dewy effect and give you dream-worthy cheekbones.
3. Dab Some Highlighter on the Tip or Bridge of Your Nose
Next, dab the highlighter onto the tip of your nose, then drag and blend it up along the bridge with your fingers or smudge brush. You don’t need much, just a dab to blend up. Highlighting the bridge creates the illusion of a slimmer nose and can enhance facial symmetry.
4. Highlight the Center of Your Forehead With a Brush
After the nose, move up and apply highlighter to the center of your forehead. You will make a straight line from the bottom between the eyes to the top near the hairline. Like the bridge of your nose, highlighting your forehead helps balance your features. We’re creating glorious symmetry here!
5. Highlight the Inner Corners of Your Eyes
Nothing makes eyes pop quite like applying highlighter to the right spots – it’s a game-changer! We’ll start with the inner corners of your eyes. Just dab the product into the corners of each eye, right by your nose. Then gently blend it in with your fingers or smudge brush. The more highlighter you use, the more dramatic the effect. You’ll be amazed by how much brighter your eyes look!
6. Sweep Highlighter on the Brow Bones
Next up is highlighting the eyebrow bones – a brow babe must do! Apply it to your brow bone just under your eyebrow arches. Applying it here will not only make the eye area pop but also give your eyebrow a nice clean line. Highlighting your eye area is a cinch with Kelley’s Must Have Highlighting Duo or Powder Plus. She’s spent years perfecting her celeb-loved brow techniques and these products are her masterpiece.
7. Add Some Highlighter to Your Cupid’s Bow
Next, let’s move down to your mouth area to round out your perfectly highlighted face. Start with the cupids bow, which is the area in the middle of your top lip – the tiny dip on the top. Dab a bit of highlighter here to draw attention to your lips. It shouldn’t be on your lips – keep it in the tiny area just above the small dip in your top lip.
8. Add Highlighter to the Center of Your Chin
The final step in our highlighter application tutorial is the chin. It’s not one of the more popular areas and often gets overlooked. However, this fella shouldn’t be left out if we’re going for symmetry. Simply dab and blend a bit of highlighter into your chin’s center to round out your face. Just be sure and keep it light – you can always layer on until you’re satisfied.
And that’s it! You have just achieved an envy-inducing glow that everyone will notice. Want even more pop? Try adding a drop or two of highlighter to your moisturizer to give your face an all-over dewy effect. We’ve found that using these techniques to highlight all the high points of your face will transform your skin by creating just the right amount of pop and give you a red carpet-worthy glow.
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Cheers to always putting your best brow forward, friends!