How To Apply Highlighter For A Hyper-Real Glow

If you’re all about getting that glow, highlighter is a sure-fire way to make your skin beyond radiant, transforming complexions from drab to fab in seconds – literally. To help you en route to a lit-looking base, we’ve pulled together the ultimate guide on how to apply highlighter, whether you’re going for sheer luminosity or a dialled-up shimmer. Time to shine…

1. Pick a Formula

First up, decide how glowy you want your highlighter to look: sheer and shimmery or next-level luminous? We’re breaking down both finishes to help you choose the right product for your cheekbones…

For Subtle Highlighter: Radiant face powders should be top of your list for a sheer wash of highlighter, and Lasting Radiance Finishing Powder will not disappoint. Multi-tonal, micro-fine, glowy pigments give you a ‘no-makeup makeup’ effect, as if you just woke up like this. It’s the dream for daytime highlighting that lasts.

For Next-Level Highlighter: The Kate Highlighting Palette is a serious over-achiever. It’s the perfect pick if ‘shine bright like a diamond’ is your motto, because it’s ultra-illuminating, lending an almost-metallic sheen. The palette holds three radiant shades to get you gleaming from day to night, and we love teaming it with a dewy foundation.

2. Find Your Shade

Next, choose a shade of highlighter to suit your skin tone. If you’re using Lasting Radiance Powder, you have three adaptable hues to choose from: light, medium or dark. Easy.

Meanwhile, the Kate Highlighting Palette comes in one colourway but holds three hues, so you can tailor your glow to the mood or occasion. Use the champagne pink to illuminate fair skin tones, the gold to make medium, deep or dark skin tones shimmer, and the bronze on all skin tones for a dreamy tanned effect.

3. Where to Highlight

Let’s get glowing. Grab a fanned makeup brush for your highlighting powder, then tap pigment on the highest points of your face after smoothing on foundation. For an everyday look, start with the tops of cheekbones, making sure you focus on the cheek only, without straying too far into the under-eye area. Press shimmer on the inner corners of your eyes for an eye-awakening effect, then apply just a touch to the cupid’s bow to make lips look instantly fuller. If you’re amping up the highlight for a night-out vibe, apply your illuminator to the brow bones, too, and a very small amount down the bridge of the nose for a contoured look.

4. Where Not to Highlight

Unless ‘disco ball’ is your aesthetic, you can go too far with applying highlighter, and there are a few spots you should skip when you’re getting your glow on. While it’s good to wear illuminators all over when they’re mixed in with your foundation (this softens the shimmer), avoid tapping them directly onto your temples, the centre of your forehead, the sides of your nose or your jawline. Highlighter is attention-grabbing, so you should only wear it on the places that you want to stand out. That’s why we’re all about lighting up those cheeks, eyes and lips.

5. Turn Up the Glow

Ready to take your highlighter higher? Try these tricks for insane levels of luminosity…

• Apply your highlighting powder over the top of a dewy foundation for a highlight you can see from outer space. Not only will the powder up the dewy sparkle on your cheekbones, but the layering will make your glow last longer, too.

• If you’re into highlighter for your body, sweep Lasting Radiance Powder on the tops of your shoulders, your collarbones and down the centre of your shins for head-to-toe radiance. You can also illuminate skin with SunShimmer Instant Tan Shimmer, which teams bronzy pigments with light-reflectors for the healthiest-looking tan.

• Double up your powder highlighter as an eyeshadow for superstar sparkle. The shades in the Kate Highlighting Palette are perfect for lighting up lids and making you look wide awake.

Looking for more ways to achieve a glow? Check out our step-by-step on how to apply bronzer or discover the best self-tanner to suit you.