Highlighting Techniques

Written by Linda Tawil, president and creative director of Morphe LLC

Highlighting the face is a popular makeup trend. It adds light, luminosity, and a fresh glow. The technique gives the artist the ability to accentuate, hide, redefine, and draw attention to desired features.

The shape of a face needs to be taken into consideration when highlighting. What looks great on a round face will not complement a square face. For example, on a rounder face, apply the highlight on the higher points of the cheekbone, avoiding the apples of the cheeks, to create a more chiseled appearance. Highlight the T-zone and chin on a square face for a softer look.

Everyone benefits from brightening the under-eye area. A creamy concealer under the eyes eliminates darkness and delivers a fresh and well-rested appearance. To achieve this look, use a synthetic concealer brush to draw a "V" from the outer and inner corner of the eye meeting right above the cheekbone using the pupil as the center point. Fill in the V with the same concealer and keep in mind that the wider the V, the wider the face will appear. Blend out concealer with a round, semi-dense brush. Next, apply a loose translucent powder with a fluffy brush to avoid creasing and to give an airbrushed effect to the skin. An optional final step to seal in concealer is a technique called baking. To bake, apply a heavier layer of powder under the eyes with a fluffy brush or sponge and let it sit for five to 10 minutes. Dust off excess makeup with a loose powder brush. This step ensures the concealer will remain flawless all day and into the night.

Having the right tools is key for adding a natural glow or a more dramatic, shimmering pop to the face. A fan or tapered highlighting brush will do the trick. For an intense glow, spray the face or the brush with setting spray before dipping into the highlighter. The moisture from the spray will create a strobing effect. Apply golds, bronzes, or pinks to the cheekbones, just above the cupid's bow, the tip of the nose, middle of the forehead, and the eyebrow bone, always keeping in mind the shape of the face. This technique allows the light to reflect the highlighted areas.

The same color highlighter does not work on all skin tones. It is important to use a color that complements the skin color. For example, fair skin looks great with pearl or champagne hues while medium skin pairs well with peaches and golds. For dark skin, stick with warmer tones in shades of gold and bronze. Highlighter can also be added to foundation for a subtle, healthy glow.

Highlighter is buildable and should be applied in layers and blended to perfection. Set the look by misting the entire face with setting spray. There is no better time to try the highlight trend than summer. Winter is all about mattes, but summer is the time to rock that dewy, sun-kissed glow!

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