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We Answer Every Question You’ve Had About Highlighters

Which highlighter is the best? Which brush should I use? We roped in a celebrity makeup artist to answer your burning questions, once and for all.

Highlighting is tricky. While in no way as tough to master as contouring, some measure of skill is required to work that palette of pearly-slash-glittery product to your advantage. There’s a fine line between making your cheekbones pop and looking as though you’ve got a halo under your chin. When you pull oily skin and humidity into the picture, it becomes  a whole other thing.

You want dewy without the oily, a radiant glow without the shine. And why are there so many highlighting products out there? How does one even begin to choose?! And what’s this thing about creating your own highlighters with custom highlighter drops and facial oils? You’ll need more than a map to navigate those aisles at the beauty store.

To put your fears to rest, we roped in celebrity makeup artist Shaun Lee to answer all the questions you might have about highlighting and highlighters, from the best products to use and the correct shade for your skin to the things to look out for if you have oily skin.

What are your favourite highlighting products to use on your clients?

Cle De Peau Touche Sublime Brilliant Enhancer, NARS Multiple Illuminator, Tom Ford Shimmer Shot, Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder Highlight in 01 and NARS Dual Intensity Blush, where I use the more neutral colour on the palette as a highlighter. These highlighters all give your skin a nice glow without looking too glittery.


Where exactly on the face should you apply the highlighter?

Apply on the area where you want more dimension – the forehead, cheeks, cheekbone, nose bridge, above the brow and brow bone.

How do you make sure that you don’t apply too much on one part of the face?

There is no shortcut. The best way to do it is to do it little by little. You can always add more when necessary.

What are your favourite brushes to use to apply highlighting products on your clients?

Chanel has a good buffing blush. I also use a flat foundation blush from MAC and an angled brush from RMK.

What brush shapes should I be looking out for?

A buffing brush for the cheek and forehead, an angled brush for the cheekbones, a flat concealer brush for the nose bridge, brow bone and above the brow bone.

What are some of the mistakes that people make when it comes to highlighting?

Applying too much product. You don’t want your face to look like a reflector. A wrong shade of highlighter can dull your complexion, too. Also, make sure you apply in a place with good lighting.

How do I tell which shade is best for my skin tone? There are so many different kinds out there!

For the fair skinned, always use a highlighter with a pearly or champagne sheen. It will give your skin a natural glow. If you have warmer or tanned skin, use warmer tones like gold, peach or sand. These will give that sun-kissed glow.

Powder, liquid or cream?

I like using cream highlighters when I’m doing makeup for a photoshoot as it lasts throughout the day even with the humidity we have in Singapore.


Can I still use highlighters if I have oily skin? Highlighters already have a mild shine. Combine that with natural oils from the skin, it becomes shine plus extra shine. How do you avoid that?

Powder-based highlighters will be the best option if you have oily skin. Applying mattifying products before applying the highlighter helps, too.


What To Read Next: The Golden Highlighter That Helps You Fake A Facelift, 9 Stunning Blushes That’ll Give You That Natural Glow and Beauty Wars: We Searched For The Best Primer Ever | Originally posted on 21 November, 2016

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