Wearing one of my favorite highlighters, MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Fairly Precious, on my upper cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose and atop my cupid’s bow
I cannot believe there was a time in my makeup life when I thought of highlighter as something optional, and a time before that when I didn’t wear it at all.
That is just so crazypants to me, because now, I think of it as an absolute, can’t-live-without-it necessity…like caffeine in the mornings and wearing a bra.
Nowadays, I wear highlighter almost every single day, and I think it makes a huge difference in my overall look. I feel like everything looks livelier, and my face appears just so much brighter when I wear it.
A few of my current limited edition highlighting faves — the three Magnetic Nude Extra Dimension Skinfinishes ($30 each US and $35 CAN)
So, I guess you can tell — I’m on Team Highlighter, LOL!
To share the highlighter love, here are five things you can do to make your highlighter hotter…
1. It’s prime time, baby!
OK, now, I know that adding a face primer into the mix is an extra step, but it’s so, so worth it, especially if you have pores for days (like moi).
You know the deal: primer evens out the surface of your skin, creating a smooth surface upon which to apply products. So, if you apply primer before your foundation, powder, etc., everything you layer on top, including your highlighter, appears that much smoother.
Which is great, because highlighter shimmers, and that shimmer can draw unwanted attention to pores and imperfections, so anything you can do to create a smoother canvas beforehand helps you get you closer to a flawless look.
It’s probably not a big deal in your teens and 20s, but as you get up into your 30s (and beyond), primer can make a bigger difference, especially when you’re wearing shimmer on your cheeks.
As far as brands, I swear by MAC Prep + Prime Natural Radiance. I’ve literally gone through cases of the stuff (OK, bottles), because it does a number on my pores and fine lines. Plus, it layers nicely with skincare products and makeup, and it doesn’t give me breakouts.
2. “T” for tapered (as in tapered eye brush)
I learned this tip from one my favorite MAC Senior Artists, Keri B, who introduced me to the MAC Iridescent/Loose Powders (fantastic for highlighting).
Keri suggested that I apply it with a MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush, and I did.
Totally changed my life.
I’m particularly fond of using the 224 with high-shine highlighters, like the Iridescent/Loose Powders and MAC Mineralize Skin Finishes. Compared to a bigger blush brush, the smaller, thinner 224 brush head gives me a lot of control over the product I’m applying, and anything that reduces mistakes gets a big win from me.
3. Play with different levels of shimmer
Hourglass Ambient Powder in Dim Light, a neutral peachy beige ($45)
Dramatic, shimmery highlighters look super cool! — but they aren’t the only highlighters around. There are also highlighters designed for toned-down looks with softer sheens, and their glow is just as gorgeous.