Real Girl's Guide to Getting that Highlight

Monday, May 8, 2017

I've always felt that there is a disconnect between the astounding makeup we see makeup artists post on Instagram and youtube and the makeup most of us wear on a day to day basis. There are thousands of tutorials and instructional posts showing you how to achieve any given look or technique but from my own experience, unless you are quite the master of makeup application it can be honestly difficult to come close to achieving the flawless makeup our favorite makeup gurus post. 
One of the biggest challenges in this department is achieving the perfectly glowing highlight that can be seen from a mile away yet doesn't look like costume makeup. I've worn highlighter for years now and never understood why no matter how much I applied it wouldn't be nearly as visible on me as it was on my favorite my makeup artist's on instagram. While capturing makeup on camera is a challenge of it's own, I want to share with you how I have learned to achieve the perfect highlight.

This is the real girl's guide to achieving that highlight:

  1. Not all highlighters are created equal: There is a huge variety of highlighters on the market, from liquid, to cream to powdered. A large part of deciding what formula of highlighter you want depends on what other makeup you are going to be wearing. For example, I wear a mineral powder foundation, so a liquid highlighter underneath the foundation is not going to be very visible on me. This is why I opt for a powder highlighter. 
  2. Picking the right shade for your skin tone: Obviously you don't want to buy too dark of a shade that it won't show up on your skin tone or too light of a shade that it will look like you have frosted your face with too light of a foundation. This is simple, however it can be very tricky within these parameters to find the right shade for your skin tone. The best way to find the right shade is to swatch the highlighters side by side on your skin. I had been wearing the same highlighter for a long time and the shade looked right to me until I swatched it next to another highlighter that was a bit lighter in shade. Next to the lighter toned highlighter, my current highlighter looked far too close to my own skin tone which explains why it never showed up as well as I would have liked.
  3. Application: A huge part in getting highlighters to look like they do on favorite makeup artists is in the application. I had been applying my powder highlighter with a fan brush and it just gave a very subtle glow but when I sprayed that brush with a makeup setting spray (I like MAC's fix +) it picked up so much more pigment and showed up ten times more vibrant on my skin that without the fix +. When applying liquid or creme highlighters it's important to pat the highlighter on rather than completely rubbing it into the skin. This ensures that the glow stays in the spot you want it and retains all of its pigment.
I hope this helps you achieve the highlight you've been striving for. If you have any questions about getting that glow just right feel free to ask in the comments!

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