What Is Highlighting in Makeup? Learn How to Use It for Beauty Enhancement

Getting one’s glow on has now become an easy-to-do task. Have you heard about highlighting? I bet you have. If you have, the questions on your mind would be: what is highlighting in makeup? How do I highlight my makeup?

Highlighting in makeup is one of the best transformative beauty innovations of all time. Highlighting is the process of blending a lighter shade of makeup on certain parts of your face to give it an edge and this is done with the use of a highlighter.

This is the key to achieving a radiant, glowing makeup look. Applying a highlighter on your makeup gives your skin a beautiful color upgrade, and it also works to enhance your bone structure.

Now the good news is that applying a highlighter to your makeup is very easy even if you are new to applying makeup on your face. Ahead, all other questions concerning highlighting in makeup will be answered. 

What Is Highlighting in Makeup?

applying highlighter

Highlighting is the process of blending a lighter shade of makeup on certain parts of your face to give it an edge, and this is done with the use of a highlighter. Highlighting in makeup is the key to achieving a radiant, glowing makeup look. 

This helps to revitalize your face and further emphasize your facial features by giving them a glow. All you have to use is a highlighter and the sun will naturally kiss your skin. 

The whole essence of highlighting in makeup is to make your skin look healthy and radiant and not only does it add magnitude to your face; it gives a natural look to your foundation as well, therefore making your cheeks pop. 

What Is a Highlighter?

Highlighter is a skin-illuminating cosmetic product that reflects light. It is often applied to the face or other parts of the body to brighten up the skin, creating the visibility of depth and curves. Highlighters come in a variety of forms such as liquid, solid stick, cream, and powder form. 

A highlighter helps to give the impression of a glowy and youthful face. You can achieve this by highlighting the elevated areas of the face, where light would naturally reflect such as; your brow bone, nose bridge, cheekbones, and your chin. 

Highlighting works in duo with contouring techniques to enhance bone structure on the face.

Beauty Benefits of Highlighting

If you haven’t been turned on to the fabulous benefits of a highlighter, allow me to enlighten you on the wonders of using a highlighter for beauty enhancements. There are way too many great advantages that come from this shimmery beauty product to pass it up! 

Below are a few of the nice things an application of a highlighter can do for you.

1. It will make you look younger

One of the many benefits of a highlighter is its ability to add some shine to your face and make you look younger. Just apply a sheer, liquid highlighter to your cheekbones and you will be surprised to see the level of dimension it adds to your face and how it creates a youthful glow on your skin.

2. Highlighting minimizes dark circle appearance

Do you have dark circles under your eyes? That is another good reason to apply a highlighter on your face, as it helps to minimize the appearance of dark circles under your eyes. It will brighten up other areas of the eyes. Try using a highlighter on the inner corner of your eyes and underneath your brow bone. 

3. It gives the lips a pumped-up look

You can also use a highlighter to make your lips look pumped. This is a uniquely useful way of using a highlighter. Simply dab some of your highlighters on your lips to make your lips appear fuller and larger. 

4. It gives your face a fresh look

Applying a highlighter on your face will instantly give your face a fresh look. Simply add a Felix glowing shimmer to your complexion with a highlighter. There are many areas of your face where you can add a highlighter.

You can apply it on your cheekbones, forehead, or jawline; do this to accentuate your facial features and add some charm to your perfectly made-up face.

5. It helps to accentuate the eyes

This is another simple yet effective way of using a highlighter to accentuate and widen your eyes. Use a pencil highlighter to blend the inner corner of the eyes: this will help to spread out a subtle glow and add dimension.

Another area of your face to apply a highlighter is on your brow bone; to accentuate your eyes and give you a healthy, pleasant look.

6. It makes you look more lively

Apply a highlighter on your face to finish up your look before rushing out the door. Apply a highlighter on the bridge of your nose, hairline, or the center of your chin; to look elegant, lively, and ready to conquer the world. 

7. It beautifies the brow

Do you know that highlighting your brows can help to bring out your facial features and give eyebrows a neat look? After filling your brows, use a highlighter to highlight around the brows to give them a clear definition.  

How to Apply a Highlighter

how to apply highlighter makeup

There are several application methods to use in applying a highlighter

  • Mix a few props of your highlighter with any moisturizer of your choice. Doing this will definitely give you that dewy glow.
  • You can apply it after you are done blending your foundation. Do this with a makeup brush to spread the glow on areas you’d like to glow.
  • Begin to apply from the inner corners of your eyes to make them pop.  
  • From there, brush some highlighter under the arch of your brows to define your look and lift your brow bone.
  • Now, apply a highlighter on the tops of cheekbones by blending the highlighter right up to the temples to accentuate your cheeks.
  • You can as well apply a highlighter to your lips’ cupid bow. This will give an illusion of fuller lips.

How to Highlight With Liquid Highlighter

Highlighters come in various forms and this is one of them. Liquid highlighters are often packaged in a bottle, tube, or cup, and it comes with an applicator to make highlighting easy for you; especially if you don’t want to use your fingers.

However, avoid applying too much as this might make your makeup look unnatural.

Tips on how to apply the product:

  • You can start by applying your primer and foundation
  • The next step is to apply your concealer and bronzer.
  • You can now apply your liquid highlighter. To do this, you can use an applicator or your fingers. 
  • Using the applicator or your fingers, dot the areas on your face you want to highlight.
  • Blend it into your face using a makeup brush or finger. 
  • After applying your highlighter, finish up the look by using a setting powder and a setting spray. 

How to Highlight With Powder Highlighter

Most highlighters come in pressed powder form, however, you can also get it in the form of loose powder. This type of highlighter is easy to apply. All you need for the application is a fan brush or foundation brush.   

How to do it:

  • The first step is to apply your primer  next step involves the application and blending of your foundation.  
  • You can now move to contour your face with your concealer or bronzer.
  • Apply a bronzer below your cheekbones, the sides of your nose bridge, the covering of your lower cheeks, and the corners of your forehead and blend it in
  • It’s time to use your highlighter. Simply use a fan brush to sweep a small amount of highlighter powder across your cheek bones, on the corners of your eyes and brow bone, on the bridge of your nose, center of your forehead, on your chin and lips.
  • Give a finishing touch to your look by using a setting powder. 
  • You can also use a setting spray to make your makeup last longer. 

How to Highlight With Stick Highlighter

The stick form of a highlighter is pretty much easy to apply.

How to use it:

  • Apply primer on your face and move on to apply your makeup on your face.
  • Now to apply highlighter using a stick highlighter, simply roll the stick and spot the molded highlighter on your face.
  • Then blend the highlighter into your skin using a brush or your fingers.
  • Do the finishing touch with a setting powder.

SEE: MUAs Outline Makeup Hacks Perfect for Dark Skin Tones

How to Highlight With Cream Highlighter

This form of highlighter is lasting and thicker, I’d recommend that you use this if you want to maintain your highlighter when applying.  You can apply it using a beauty blender, foundation brush, fan brush, and your fingers are not left out in this–you can also use them. 

How to use it:

  • As usual, apply your primer and do your makeup. 
  • To apply the highlighter, make use of a beauty sponge or a brush to tap on the cream
  • Now, dab it gently on the areas where you want it. 
  • Now blend it in with your preferred brush. 
  • Touch up the look with a setting spray.

Spot to Apply Highlighter on Your Face

how to use highlighter makeup

Now that you know how to highlight your face with the different types of makeup, below are areas to highlight on your face:

  • The tip and bridge of your nose to accentuate it and make it look thinner.
  • Above the cupid bow area of your lips to make it look fuller. 
  • Underneath your brow bone to accentuate and give a defining look to your eyebrow.
  • Above the arch of your brows 
  • Your cheekbones to define your look, lay emphasis on the curve and also to contour your facial structure. This will help give you a youthful appearance. 
  • The center of your forehead to create a more contoured look.  
  • Highlight the center of your chin to brighten it up, as this will contribute to the overall definition of your look.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you wear a highlighter without foundation?

Yes. You can even just wear it without any makeup. 

What does highlighting do to the face?

Highlighting enhances the face by brightening it up and giving it a dewy glow. 

What areas of the face should you highlight?

As stated in the article, below are areas of your face to highlight:

  • Underneath and above your brow bone
  • Your cheekbones
  • Tips and bridge of your nose
  • Your cupid now
  • Your chin
  • The center of your forehead


Highlighting in makeup is one of the best transformative beauty innovations of all time.

It is understandable if you used to think that highlighters were only applied for certain looks. However, now that you know that this beauty product is so versatile; it’d be a shame to only use it for a special occasion.

Without a nice application of a highlighter, your makeup look is not complete. I know you don’t want to sleep on this lovely chance at an elegant facial look. Apply a highlighter on your makeup today to get a glowing youthful look.

Thanks for reading.

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