Spilling the Tea on Highlighter

Highlighter seems to be the “it” girl of the beauty industry right now.  There are colorful, intense and subtly beautiful highlighters out there right now.  You can see some of them coming a mile away (ie: Fenty, Huda Beauty etc.) and sometimes it is just a glow-y look on natural skin (ie: Ilia Beauty, Rituel de Fille, etc.).   The tricky bit is finding the right highlighter for you and your lifestyle.  Not to mention now we have the time to carve out some mirror time! 

Obviously, we do makeup applications here at the shop, London Beauty, all the time.  It is always part of our practice to add a little cheek highlight to even the most basic look.  The funny part is that if we don’t tell people what we are doing, when they look in the mirror they comment and say, “wow, my skin looks so good!”  We find it fun to tell them it’s the trick of the highlighter adding to that effect.  Sometimes we even get, “I thought I was too old for highlighter.”  Well, not to fear, you are never too old or too young to play with a great highlighter and here is the how to.

The first step is to find a highlighter you are comfortable with, both in color and in texture.  On younger skin both powder and creams will work.  Depending on how powders are applied, they can look like they are sitting on top of the skin.  Additionally, they can end up in places you don’t want, because the wrong brush can drop the powder in a larger section than anticipated.  For anyone with smile lines that can result in highlighting your crinkles – not what you are looking for.  With that said, at London Beauty, we default to the “creamier” style on most skin types.

Color is your next big decision.  There are golds, silvers, pinks, purples, rainbow, holographic, you name it.   For parties, events, specific looks, using the more colorful versions will add drama.  For the purposes of everyday, sticking with a more neutral metallic with a touch of pink or peach is likely to be best on any skin tone.  As a rule of thumb, pick your metallic based on your skin tone.  If you are cooler in undertone, silvers can work nicely.  If you are warmer, golds are best.  In general, everyone can wear a gold, not everyone can pull off silver as an everyday effect.  Either way, you want something that will feel like an extension of your skin.  Some colors we love are Cosmic Dancer and Stella by Starlight by Ilia, or Anthelion and Phosphene by Rituel de Fille.

Now for placement.  Your highlighter is generally a final step.  All your makeup should be done by now except, perhaps, your lips.  I like to use my fingers to apply the highlighter.  I rub into the color (even if it is powder) with my fingertips.  I then pat the color where I want it.  I usually start on the cheekbone. A nice rule-of-thumb is to shoot for places light would reflect on your face.  The cheekbone is where you can really put down color but make sure it’s blended!  I will then touch a little to the arch under my eyebrow and on the cupids’ bow of my lips before I put on lipstick.  If you are feeling like you want a little more you can pop some on the inner corner of the eye to add brightness. Again, be careful and build.  It’s easy to add more but starting over is a pain.

Now, you are done.  Check your gorgeous self in a mirror with even light and step out into your day (or night). As you get more comfortable with the process those great, fun colors will be less scary and you can rock something bolder.  Build your wardrobe as you play.  And remember, sometimes a little is just enough!

Shop our favorite highlighters below:


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