Beauty Makeup

How to Use Highlighter

As I continue to learn more about the beauty world, I’ve started running into a product that absolutely flummoxes me: highlighter. No, I’m not talking about the kind you get in your hair (though if you’re interested in hair highlights, consider researching more in the hair care forum). I’m talking about the highlighter you use on your face, like The Balm’s Mary-Lou Manizer.


If you’re a total novice like me and don’t know what highlighter is, consider it like the opposite of bronzer. Highlighter is a pale, shimmery powder or cream that’s used to highlight or contour aspects of the face. It can be used to create that glowing look,but if applied incorrectly, it can also make you look just silly. Use this guide to get to perfect your application!


First and foremost, it’s very important that you carefully match your highlighter to your skin tone. Shades range from a milky white to a more golden shimmer. If you’re pale skinned, try more pink-tone highlighters, like Benefit’s High Beam. If you’ve got darker skin, try Benefit’s Moon Beam, which is a warmer, golden shimmer. If you’re unskilled at figuring these things out, consider asking a salesperson at your favorite store or use MUT members as a resource!


Once you’ve found your perfect shade, you’re ready to start applying. There are lots of ways to use highlighter, and you can play around to figure out where you should apply it. The three most common place, though, are as follows:

  1. On the cheekbones. Lightly blend the product along the cheekbones to give a more contoured look and give your skin a dewy glow. (Just make sure you properly blend, or else you’ll look quite silly!)
  2. Under your eyebrows. This will make your eyebrows look fullerĀ  and draw attention to your eyes.
  3. In the lip’s cupid bow. By doing this before applying lip color, you’ll make your lips look bigger and fuller.

Of course, there are lots of other places you can use highlighter – I like applying it lightly on my forehead to draw the eye upwards! Experiment with what works for you, just make sure you always properly blend!


Do you use highlighter in your everyday routine? What’s your favorite product? Where do you apply it? Share your knowledge in the comments so the rest of us highlighter novices can learn from your experiences!