How To Apply Highlighter in Different Ways

I posted a review on Too Faced Candlelight Glow Highlighter Duo Powder few days back. In the comments, one of my IMBB friend mentioned that she finds applying highlighter difficult. I checked IMBB search for if there is any article explaining method of application for highlighters in detail. But there was none.

hightlighted face

Since I found nothing, I decided to write an article myself to help her and all those ladies who find it hard to apply highlighter and cannot see the ethereal glow which highlighters usually advertise.

Trust me, it is the “easiest step” in ones makeup application process. In addition to this, I will share few more tips which can make highlighter a multitasking product. Here in this article, I am talking about the shimmery highlighters and not those matte concealer highlighters used in contouring.

The traditional method of application:
Choose a shade of highlighter which is the closest shade match for your complexion. Most of the Indian skin tones can flatter champagne, gold beige and rose gold shade highlighters.

fan brush use on face

For cheek bone highlighting, the best brush you can use is a fan brush. Place is on the cheekbones width wise and apply it sideways with light hands. You can brush off the excess later with this brush.

rati beauty ad

To highlight other high points of the face, a fluffy eye shadow blending brush will be ideal.

highlighting nose

Use the brush along the length of your nose, on your brow bone between your brows and eyes, on your forehead from the area between your eyebrows and Cupid’s bow i.e., the two little mounts on your upper lip.
You can apply highlighter on other portions you want to exaggerate like center of chin area, inner corner of eyes etc. as well.
If you chose a liquid highlighter then you can replace both the brushes with fingers and a synthetic concealer brush.

These are the most common areas where makeup artists prefer applying highlighters. Now I will give some tips to take these highlighters to another level.

My most favorite use of highlighter is on my collarbones when it is at display. So if one wants to exaggerate the appearance of their collarbone, they can apply little powder on the bones exactly.
Whenever you wear an off shoulder or spaghetti top, you will like to show off your shoulders as well. Hence, you can dust little bit of highlighter on the tip of your shoulders too.

highlighting collarbone

I have very thin lips but I like Angelina Jolie’s pout. So to make my lipsticks work, I sometimes apply a little highlighter on my lipstick at the center of my lower lip with my fingertips. It gives a three-dimensional look. Trust me it increases the visible thickness of my lips.


While using a liquid highlighter, you can always mix a drop or two of your highlighter to your foundation and have that dewy look of models in a fashion shows.
You can mix a little bit of wasted old powder highlighter to any of your nail paint and give them an extra boost of shimmer.
Similarly, you can place a little bit of highlighter on any eye shadow to enhance its shimmery appearance.
I sometimes use few subtle highlighters as an all over color for my eyelids.

These days, strobing technique is being widely used in makeup industry. For strobing, a liquid highlighter or cream highlighter can be used. It has to be applied under foundation or over moisturizer on the cheek bones and other the normal highlighting areas. Then after the whole makeup process, again a little powder highlighter can be used.
Sayli J has explained the whole strobing technique beautifully here:
You must have noticed, I used the word “little” a lot in this article because for highlighters “less is always more”. A little glow goes a long way. Applying excessive highlighter can make your pores look bigger. So if you highlight your breakouts, you end up with a snail trail on your face. So instead of looking like an oily disco ball become a glow goddess. Try these ideas and share with me your experiences.

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4 thoughts on “How To Apply Highlighter in Different Ways

  1. Very informative post. And thanku very much for explaining it in details. Totally enjoyed and points taken of course!

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