The Definitive Guide to Where and How to Apply Highlighter

Who doesn’t want supercharged, moist-looking skin? (Rhetorical question.) That ultra-glowy, ultra-shimmery, lit-from-within look is extremely relevant right now, but it’s not as if it’s a passing trend. Over the past decade, highlighters have seen an exponential growth in popularity. (To wit: last year The NDP Group reported a 21 percent increase in sales of highlighter makeup.) Beauty and fashion aficionados now basically dip their faces — or in the case of Kim Kardashian, their bodies — in the stuff. But for highlighter novices, the question of where to put highlighter makeup — like, where exactly — can be a bit confusing. Especially if your cheekbones aren’t as prominent as Kim’s, your hand less practiced.

When tasked with highlighting ourselves, it’s important to know those key micro targets — the inner corners of the eyes, the cupid’s bow — that need attention. We must also remember the rules of how to apply highlighter: where it comes in our makeup routine, which luminizing products look best on our specific skin type and tone, how to blend, etc. As far as the aforementioned targets go, here’s a quick cheat sheet:

where to put highlighter makeup (diagram)

Got it? Good. Now, whether you prefer a prismatic Fenty Spring 2018 shimmer or a Glossier-ad-ready naked sheen, click through the gallery above for a more detailed explanation of where and how to use highlighter makeup, accompanied by some particularly pearlescent runway beauty photos.

[ Next: Master Class: How to Highlight and Contour Your Face the Right Way ]