This Is Exactly How to Illuminate Your Face Using Cream, Liquid and Powder Highlighters
Which formula is right for you? Here's exactly how to master your glow
Kim Kardashian West might be over contouring, but thanks in part to the reality star’s years-long sculpting obsession, the cheekbone is officially a feature not to be ignored. As we follow her fashion-forward lead, we find ourselves relieved to be reaching for much less dramatic palettes, sticks and liquids to achieve a more natural look. But with so many different highlighter formulas on the market, landing on the perfect type — and application — can still be a bit tricky. So we turned to Kelli J. Bartlett, GLAMSQUAD Director of Makeup Artistry, to break down the secrets of these shimmery products.
Instead of fumbling about with light and dark colors to accentuate your features, strategically-placed highlighter will create the same effect, while adding brightness and glow at the same time, Bartlett tells PeopleStyle. “Focus it on the highest planes on your face, such as the nose, cheekbones.” Below, the pro breaks down which formula is key for your own dewy-skin needs.
The Look: A barely-there sheen.
The Formula: Liquid: The easily blendable formula is best for an overall shimmer, says Bartlett.
The Application: Dab on a few dots, blending them with a BeautyBlender sponge as you go. If you prefer an allover glow, Bartlett recommends mixing a few drops in with your foundation.
Buy It! Marc Jacobs Beauty Dew Drops Coconut Gel Highlighter, $44; sephora.com
The Look: A genuine glow.
The Formula: Cream: The targeted application is great for strategic spotlighting.
The Application: Glide your stick straight from the tube (or if it’s in a pot, use your fingers), then tap the area to diffuse the demarcation of your subtle sheen.
Buy It! Laura Mercier Sunrise Highlighter Crayon, $32; sephora.com
The Look: A high-impact shine.
The Formula: Powder: Because they don’t mix as easily with the skin’s natural moisture and oil, they create a mega-watt glow that lasts, Bartlett says.
The Application: Swipe on an iridescent or shimmery powder with a fluffy brush. And if you really want to epitomize a sun-kissed goddess, you can even swipe a layer over your shadow to amp it up.
Buy It! Milani Strobelight Instant Glow Powder, $10; milanicosmetics.com
For more glowing skin tricks, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands now. And tell us: What are your highlighter tricks?